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World Book Day Comes Round Again

February 14th, 2020

First, thanks to Jim for last week’s blog. He’s absolutely right about flash fiction being a wonderful medium for making you concentrate on your writing and then edit it until the only words and ideas left are the ones that form the core of your story and move it forward.

March 5th is World Book Day. Thanks to National Book Tokens and lots of lovely book publishers and booksellers, World Book Day, in partnership with schools all over the country, will be distributing more than 15 million £1 World Book Day book tokens to children and young people (that’s almost one for every child/young person under 18 in the UK and Ireland). They’ll be able to exchange these for any of the 15 free books available at local participating bookshops or they’ll be able to put the £1 towards any full price book or e-book of their choice costing more than £2.99.

I always think this is a fantastic initiative as I don’t think you can give any child a greater gift than encouragement to read for pleasure. It opens up so many brave new worlds. But in addition, if you go to their website you will find that there is a series of masterclasses available. In theory, these creative, inspiring and interactive films can be screened in class at any time that suits you, if you’re a teacher. The 12 new films have been created to inspire students aged 5-12, whether they’re reluctant readers or aspiring authors and illustrators! They feature a great line-up of authors and illustrators, including Cressida Cowell, Eoin Colfer, Matt Haig and Muhammad Khan. Even if you’re not a teacher I’m sure you – and your children – will find them interesting.

I’ve only touched on a couple of the main features of the World Book Day website, but it’s full of things that are worth checking out if you are interested in writing for children and children’s literacy.

From reading writers’ magazines, attending workshops and talking to students on our courses I know that many people only really find time to write as they get older – perhaps even having to wait until they retire before they can devote as much time as they would like to their craft. We often here the advice ‘write about what you know’; so here is a selection of magazines that are specifically targeted at the older generation. At the moment, the ones here all indicate that they accept good, professional freelance work – but I must warn you that they do only want the best:

Saga Magazine, The Oldie, Prime, Retirement Today, and Dignity. Plus don’t forget The People’s Friend and Yours. So, if you’re looking for new markets, do your research carefully and give them a try if you feel you have the experiences and knowledge that might interest their readers. And don’t overlook local publications for the older age group that you might be able to pick up in supermarkets and other places. I saw one recently for over-50s being given away free in my local ASDA. Another one makes a regular appearance in my hairdressers.

Finally, don’t forget that our 2000-word Short Story Competition is currently accepting entries.  Prizes are £300, £200, £100 and £50 plus each winner can choose a Writers Bureau course worth up to £444! Closing date is 31st March, so you’ve still got plenty of time to enter.

My guest next week, Esther Chilton, may be familiar to some of you as she’s one of our tutors. And if that’s the case, then you’ll know enough to expect some useful tips on writing from her!

Author: Diana Nadin

 

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