|The view form my window |
I’m still buzzing form a writer’s retreat I’ve just come from ate Retreats for You
. I was there with two colleagues, the mum of one of them and my very good friend and business partner Debz Hobbs-Wyatt.
I shall write a much more detailed account of this later on my blog.
will say straight away, though, that we were very well looked after. It
felt as if our right to write was honoured. Okay, so yes, we have to
pay for the visit, but the price was extremely reasonable for what we
I’d intended to try to do about four hours a day and then do
some other things – like marketing. In the end, though I did do much
more writing: about seven hours a day. I even managed about four hours
each way on the journey there and back. And there was time too to
socialise over meals and the six-o-clock glass of wine. There was even
time for a few walks in the pretty
I slow right down after the first couple of hours. This time, though, I
managed to go at full strength. I wonder whether it was because I knew
four other people were also writing?
Books and short stories
I’ve now completed the ninth edit of Girl in a Smart Uniform
have just started the tenth. This means that the very important but
relatively easy dialogue edit has been completed. This really helps the
novel to come along. It’s beginning to become solid. I’m now culling
quite a bit of the description.
I’m steaming ahead with the chapter on war in my book on children’s literature. Naturally I’ve included Lines in the Sand. Michael Morpurgo
and Michael Foreman
feature a lot in this chapter as one might imagine. I’ll also be writng
about Elizabeth Laird and Beverly Naidoo who both set stories in
troubled part soft the world. In writing this chapter I’ve become more
aware that there are some children for whom war is a part of normal
life. They have never known life without war.
I’m very pleased to have got two more stories accepted on the Cut a Long Story site
– Access Denied
and Extra Dimensions
. This happened the same week as I was sent the proofs of The Best of CafeLit 4 in
which I have a short story and a piece of flash memoir.
I’m still I’m getting a lot of visits to my Spooking
Facebook page. I still wonder why. Is it affecting sales?
We’ve almost finished editing the stories for the Snowflakes.
I’m busy now putting a book trailer together. This is always good fun. We’ve started looking at covers.
forget we’re already planning the celebration in London. Note for your
diary: 5 December. Those writers in the anthology will be given first
refusal on tickets. The CafeLit4 people will follow, then other Bridge
House and CafeLit writers and finally anyone. We’re hoping to get
between 50 and 100 people there. We’re making the event free this time
but there will be a cash bar. There will be books on sale, too – Snowflakes
and The Best of CafeLit 4.
There will also be a few other Bridge House titles on sale.
Remember, we’re always open to submissions. Find out how here. We’ve now put together The Best of CafeLit 4.
is currently being proof read. It will be a slightly slimmer volume
than usual; this time we have more pieces of flash fiction. Our
100-worders are in fact very popular.
We’re always looking for new cafés. I’ve now added some resources for
café owners. We’re also continuing to look for reviews of existing
cafés. If you visit one of the cafés in the project and would lie to
write a review of between 250 and 350 – nice, too to have a couple of
pictures – query via the contact form.
As I said last month, I am now limiting my school visit to these associated with The House on Schellberg Street project.
I’m still offering visits on this for a donation towards the project.
I’ve devised a whole interactive workshop for this. It would be a real
asset for any school teaching the Holocaust at Key Stage 3. Even if a
school can’t afford a donation, I’d be happy to run the project.
Query for a school visit via the contact form.
The Red Telephone
I’m just finishing what I hope are the final edits on Kathy Dunn’s The Demon Magician.
We’ve now set a release date for 31 October. We’re currently looking at covers.
There will be a new call for submissions once this has gone to print which shouldn’t be too long now.
like to remind you of our new enterprise - something between a
mentoring system and an online course. Though publication is not
guaranteed, we will at least look at your full book if you’ve attended
one of the courses. We’re offering it for free to a few people at first.
We’ll refine as we go along based on feedback from our clients. We’ll
then continue to offer it at a discount for a while before going to full
price when we’re completely happy with it. We’re not sure what full
price will be. Again, we’ll be guided by our current clients. Find out
I’ve now booked for the NAWE conference
in November, where I’ll be delivering a session on Build a Book in An Hour and a Quarter.
This is based on the school workshop that I do on Build a Book in a Day.
emphasis here though will be on kick-starting inspiration for adult
writers, coupled with a knowledge that the work will get out there.
Then the following week I’m off the SCBWI –BI conference in Winchester.
will be a little like going home. I did my MA in Writing for Children
there. At this conference I’ll just sit back and listen though I shall
be looking for copy for Network News
in Words and Pictures.
another conference in November as well. Three weekends running ….!
Gulp. Booking hotels and trains is actually quite stressful at times but
I’m more and more reluctant to drive these days. I find train journeys
good for getting work done.
SCBWI North West has plenty of activity,
too. We’re at the Imperial War Museum next Saturday and as well as
critiquing, we’ll be looking at self-publishing. Then we have a visit
form the Skylark agency at the end of the month.
Being a writer certainly does not mean being lonely.