• Competitions,  Illustration

    #illo52weeks – August’s illustrations

    Phew! August was a busy month. going back to casual teaching in a primary school has not only been nerve wracking and exhilarating but also taken up a lot of what would usually be my writing and illustrating time. But nevertheless, I kept on time with each illustration if if it was by the skin of my teeth. So here they are: Week 31: Shakespeare I decided to use good old fashioned pen and ink as this was the first thing that came to mind when thinking of shakespeare. he would have written all his manuscripts and plays in pen and ink, probably with a quill, but I didn’t go…

  • writing challenge

    ReviMo – Revise More Picture Books Week – Day 1

    A new year comes with new challenges. I have already mentioned how I have started a new illustration challenge here: 52 week illustration challenge My next challenge is by Meg Miller: ReviMo – Revise More Picture Books Week – from January 12-18, 2014.      So today I sat down and looked back at an oldie but a goodie. I like to look at manuscripts that have been put to the side for a while as it helps me look back at them with fresh eyes. This particular manuscript was started in May 2012 and was received well by my critique group but it is a hard sell to publishers. It is…

  • Picture Books

    PiBoIdMo 2012 Complete

    Yesterday I completed a writing challenge – the PiBoIdMo 2012 – which stands for Picture Book Ideas Month. This is the second year that I have participated in this PiBoIdMo writing challenge. I have written previously about it here, PiBoIdMo 2012 and here, PiBoIdMo 2011. The great thing about this challenge is that I now have 30 new picture book concepts that I can work on over the next year. Last year 2 out of the 30 ideas have turned into complete manuscripts. 2 others have potential and 1 has been turned into a middle grade chapter book. The challenge is great for encouraging you to brainstorm for new ideas. Some will…

  • Manuscripts

    Picture Book Ideas Month 2012

    It’s that time of year again where you can challenge yourself for the whole month of November. Today is the last chance to sign up, as it starts on the 1st November 2012. What’s the challenge? It’s PiBoIdMo 2012 organised by the inspirational Tara Lazar – it means on everyday of November you have to come up with an idea for a picture book. Just the idea, that is all. How hard can that be? Surprisingly enough, some days it can be quite tricky! If you can write a first draft from that idea, even better but not necessary. I entered PiBoIdMo 2011  last year – it was my first writing…

  • Manuscripts,  writing challenge

    Halfway through the 12 x 12 writing challenge!

    I woke up to a party going on in my writing blog world. It is official, we are half way through the 12 Picture books in 12 months in 2012 writing challenge. I have previously written about it here in my New Year – New Goals  post. The 12 x 12 writing challenge was the brain child of Julie Hedlund, visit her and join in her party too! While you’re at it, why don’t you click here and visit all the other 12 x 12 party goers too! So, have I managed to write a picture book manuscript each month so far? Thankfully the answer to that is yes! And…

  • Manuscripts,  Picture Books

    CBCA Book Of The Year Shortlist 2012

      I have just finished reading the following article: Challenges of choosing a short list of top books for Children’s Book Council of Australia awards Children’s book award judge Michelle Prawer gives a good insight into the criteria for a book worthy of an award. This is very useful for any aspiring author like myself. The book has to be outstanding to make the CBCA shortlist, and to do this it must have the following: have a great story be well crafted characters must be well developed it must do something clever and different Many authors have been privileged enough to receive this award such as Mem Fox, Alison Lester,…

  • Submissions,  Uncategorized

    World Read Aloud Day 2012

    Today is ‘World Read Aloud Day’. To fing out more about this event click here. So tonight I am reading a new book that arrived in the postbox today – Miss Brooks Loves Books by Barbara Bottner and brilliant illustrations by Michael Emberley.  Thank you Mr. Postman, such great timing! This isn’t a book I have just chosen out of the blue, oh no, there was a perfectly good reason. Sometimes (and apparently more frequently) when you are submitting a manuscript, you can be asked to compare your story/concept to other books already out there. Mary Lindsey from QueryTracker.net also mentions this in her post: Query Letters: Constants and Not so…

  • Manuscripts

    Rejection letters

    Yesterday I received a rejection note in the post along with the manuscript for a children’s picture book that I had sent over a month ago. A reply in just over a month is pretty good going compared to some publishing houses. It is also very interesting to reread a manusript that you have not seen for a while, as you can see it again with fresh eyes. Maybe you can see why it was rejected in the first place or you may decide that it was just not what that particular publishing house was looking for in this moment in time. I find space from a manuscript can be…