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Small But Perfectly Formed – Flash Fiction

November 8th, 2019

First, thanks to Willie for last week’s post. It’s interesting to hear him say that he thought writing for children would be easier than writing for adults. Lots of people phone up for a chat about enrolling on our Writing For Children Course and they often seem to think that this will be the case – unfortunately, as Willie found out, it’s not!

If anything, it’s harder because you have to know what age group you are targeting; you then have to be able to use words and ideas that are appropriate to this particular age group. You have to convince a publisher that you know what you’re doing in this respect and you also have to steer clear of overworked and old-fashioned concepts. What was popular when you were a child – or when your children were young – might not be top of the publishers pops these days. Finally, you’ve always to keep parents and teachers in mind. Because these are the people who have the money and will buy the books you write. If you’re writing books for young children, parents want them to look attractive and be fun to read aloud. If you’re writing for older children they want to be sure that if you do touch on a difficult topic it is done with tact and, let’s be honest, there is always the issue of ‘political correctness’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Preparing Your Children’s Book

November 1st, 2019

I finished a twenty-module Comprehensive Writing Course with the Writers Bureau in August 2019. I started the course in 2015 and at times was stumped by challenges along the way and let months pass without completing a module. But I always returned and the assignments worked; they made me think, they made me research, they made me practise. Help was always at hand from a tutor when I needed it. The course took me through a process and made me a better writer. That’s what it’s for. The learning through twenty assignments brought me the hard-won skills and confidence to be a writer.

There’s another reason I spent four years finishing my course. I have written two novels during these four years. One of them, Eoghan and The Talking Animals, was released on Amazon in April 2018, and the second book in this series, Eoghan and The Treasure of Termonfeckin, is being launched now, in November 2019. These books, set in Ireland, tell the story of an eight-year-old boy who discovers one summer on his grandfather’s farm that he has a gift: he can talk with animals. This brings Eoghan endless joy, but also endless problems, and he spends most of the first book solving dramatic problems on the farm. Read the rest of this entry »

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Writing for Children

January 16th, 2017

writing-for-children-blogThis week I’m breathing a sigh of relief as we’ve just come to the end of updating our Writing for Children Course.  It’s had a really good overhaul by the original writer Karen King, but even when she’s done all her hard work there’s still plenty more for us to do here at Head Office.  And you can’t  beat that feeling of satisfaction when everything is finished!

The course is packed full of useful information on writing in different genres and for different age groups – plus how to market your writing.  And a the biggest plus is the fact that there are 15 assignments, all marked by an experienced children’s writer who will offer personal feedback on  your work.  Of the assignments, 10 are structured but then the rest are ‘open’ so that you can have your tutor’s help and advice on your own particular project. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are You A ‘Binge Watcher’ Or A Writer?

January 22nd, 2016

couch-potato-blogFirst, thanks to Sneha for last week’s post showing how to use your time online professionally and constructively rather than frittering it away.

Since Christmas and my New Year resolutions I’ve been doing less ‘frittering’ – so I’ve only just caught up with the fact that Collins Dictionary word-of-the-year for 2015 was ‘binge-watch’. You know, where you lose huge chunks of time catching up on box sets, so that you can discuss them with friends.  Synonymous in most respects with ‘couch potato’ or ‘slobbing out’! Other words that seem to be trending are ‘dadbod’ – what happens when the hunk in your life starts to look a little less…hunky. And my favourite: ‘manspreading’. Don’t you just hate it when you sit on a train or a bus and the man next to you is reading the newspaper – but in order to do this he has to have his legs apart, taking up most of your space? There are ways around this, but I won’t go into them here. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Write a Children’s Story – Top Ten Tips

September 7th, 2015

LittleGirlPaintHandsSML-blogThis is an endearing little clip. The ten tips are pretty basic but they’re none the worse for that.  What I really like about it is the way that it’s illustrated. There’s no talking head taking centre stage.  Instead, drawings and cut outs are used to show the points. They are simple but clever and because the tips are brief you have plenty of time to look at, and enjoy, the way it’s done. Read the rest of this entry »

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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