Friday, 19 May 2017

'Author' Visit

It's been a writing week of mixed fortunes. Two short stories I really believed in didn't make it into Mslexia, likewise my YA novel - Girl In The Box (which I know has heart, and legs) was not long listed for the Bath Children's Novel Award.

So why do I keep on writing? Because what else would I do? I have to, I love it. Encouraging support came from wonderful SCBWI colleagues and on submission of an interview from SF Said to Words and Pictures, I was heartened to read he had 90 rejections before publication. You have to look for the crumbs of comfort. I have had one publication -

Not that publication is the be and end all, reading short stories to an audience is pretty cool if unnerving:

And then there was a ray of sunshine, an invitation to do some storytelling at a local school library as an 'author'- They even introduced me as such. I was so chuffed! I tried out a new story and the children seemed to really like it.

I liked it so much I extended my one session to stay the whole afternoon, re-reading the story (a re-construction of Hansel and
Gretel) to new audiences and joining the Carnegie book group to look at the shortlist. The children are part of 5,000 shadowing groups across the country, discussing and reviewing the novels before the winner is announced on the 19th June.

Carnegie is in its 80th year, its an award central to the significance of libraries, founded by the Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie,
'If ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries.'

The children were eloquently and enthusiastically engaged with these novels, filming short videos as their method of reviewing the titles. It brought home to me the importance of stories, the importance of libraries, (one is central to my current WIP) we must fight for them. So fellow 'authors' - here's to doping what we love doing best; writing, engaging with audiences, inspiring, creating, being resilient, here's to more of the same.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Which Way Now?

Laid up with the ankle injury again I've time to consider what next? Along with everyone else on the planet, we live in uncertain mercurial times. Which way to vote? Which job to go for? What to write next? Which agent to submit to? Amongst all the confusion, rejection and stagnation of a writing and working life - is it all worth it?

The answer to the last one is yes, always, just persist, resist, exist. As Maya Angelou said,

'But still, like air, I'll rise.'

Got to keep on keeping on, looking out for those signposts. So, thanks to the SCBWI community for support and encouragement. Hopefully they'll be an enjoyable bread and butter job out there soon and those stories and words in competition will sparkle enough to be noticed and at least longlisted. Got to keep on keeping on!