27 November 2017

Ten Things I Love about the SCBWI Conference

Photo: Colleen Cailin Jones
10 things I love about the annual SCBWI conference (and one thing I hate!)

Here goes:
  1. The fantastic Keynotes. This year I was inspired and entertained by the ‘seriously funny’ Liz Pichon and Alex T Smith. Their passion for producing funny children’s books and the hard work they put in, left me awestruck. Industry professional Julia Eccleshare’s thoughtful and realistic view of the current state of children’s publishing was excellent too.
  2. The workshops. I came away buzzing with enthusiasm from Kate Scott’s insights into how to have multiple careers as a writer (and the message you don’t have to be famous to make a living at it). From Joanna Nadin’s practical session, I gained the confidence to believe I could at least try and write something funny.

25 October 2017

Something From the Trolley?

Something from the trolley?

Book Gems I’ve come across accidentally.

I love my job in the library. Not only do I work with fantastic people and get to help wonderful library users, I have fallen in love with so many books I would never have come across if it weren’t for the place I work.

I frequently take advantage of the staff ‘perk’ of free reservations to order in books I’ve heard about, seen advertised or had recommended to me. As a result, I’ve managed to read a lot of great stuff. However, I’ve also done a lot of unplanned reading that has been great too. Books I’ve come across on the returns trolley or on a display shelf or in the course of returning a title to its rightful place on the library shelf. I’ve discovered some brilliant new fiction this way and some incredible new authors, but I’ve also, and more interestingly, found some fantastic non-fiction titles too. Here are just a few of those gems:

9 August 2017

I've started...but will I finish?

I’ve started…but will I finish?

Mum taught me how to use a sewing machine as a child and I’ve been making stuff with it, on and off, ever since. Every so often I set up the machine on the table in the window and, full of enthusiasm, I embark on creating something new in much the same way as I embark on writing a new story.

I don’t know where ideas for stories come from but sometimes it’s a something on the news or overheard in the street and plots and characters demand I do something about them right now. With sewing sometimes it’s some fabric, or a paper pattern that catches my imagination. Often it’s seeing something in a shop that’s way out of my budget and thinking: I could make something like that. But whatever the spark, the process of putting together a sewing project is very much like putting together a story.

27 July 2017