IC Blog Tour

Thanks to Lyndal at Delia Writes for inviting me on the IC Blog Tour. I have been following “Delia Writes” for some time now and her exciting journey to self-publication. “Delia’s Perfectly Pink Earmuffs” has now been published and printed and is a gorgeous children’s picture book.

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The IC Blog’s focus is ‘A great way to elevate meaningful conversation and connections!’  For more information about Insightful Communications Publishing click here.
Below is a set of questions I have answered, that I hope will assist in the writing journey.

Here are the questions:

1. What are your tips for creating meaningful content?

I have a little notebook that I write down quotes, ideas, things that I read or hear on the news or in a movie or things that my friends/family say that might fit into one of my stories one day.

A few years ago I participated in Katherine Battersby’s How to Write a Children’s Book and I also participated in Blogging 101 where I learnt new skills about blogging and writing.  Every year I attend the CYA conference in Brisbane to listen to authors tell their story of what/how they write and their journey to publication and as well as meeting lots of lovely authors, I always pick up lots of tips and new ideas.

2. Books: Everyone has a story, some a book. If you’ve written a book, what was your creative process? What encouragement would you give others just beginning their book writing journey?

After I’d written a couple of children’s picture book manuscripts I sent them to an editor for a manuscript appraisal and she was very helpful, informing me about the structure of a picture book and what she liked/disliked about my stories.   She said, “You’ve got some really good ideas, you just don’t know how to write.”  I was horrified at first but these were my first attempts so I worked hard to improve them.

I then started entering stories in writing competitions – the feedback is invaluable and after a few years it was great to achieve a first place, second place and third place – built up confidence and encouraged me to keep on going.   I also submitted stories to anthologies and magazines.  There’s always somebody looking for flash fiction, poems, short stories and there are loads of writing competitions out there too.

I try to attend writing courses, book launches and author talks whenever I can.  I have found that a lot of these are free through my local libraries.  Following other writers’ blogs is another way to learn new things and stay in touch with what’s going on in the world of writing and publishing.

I’m also a member of  Creative Kids’ Tales and they have competitions, tips for writing and highlight emerging authors and illustrators.

Lastly, every year I submit one or two stories into the ASA Mentorship Program Award, hoping to be allocated a mentor to help me get my story up to a publishable standard.

3. What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t give up – keep on writing.  Even if nobody else ever reads it, it’s still fun and creative and I know my kids love my stories anyway!!

4. What are you working on now, and how can we, as a community, help?

I am still working on my junior fiction chapter book that I started 3 years ago and I’m also having a go at writing a YA novel (started it last November during NaNoWriMo) and hope to finish it this November.

I’ve been thinking about applying for a grant so I can do a paid mentorship program so if anyone has any tips about applying for a grant I’d love to hear about them.

Thanks for reading.  If you’d like to join the tour and inform people about your writing please do and link back here.

Have a great weekend.

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On a Roll…

Last year and during the holidays I was busy busy busy writing and editing and entering competitions and submitting short stories and poems to magazines etc and…

… all my hard work and effort has finally paid off!!!

I thought I would share my excitement with you all 🙂

It all started towards the end of last year when I received an email from Georgie at Creative Kids Tales to say that I had received 2nd place in their “Spread Your Wings” story writing competition!  I won a manuscript appraisal by Dee White which was fantastic.  With her helpful suggestions and guidance I was able to cut out all the waffle, improve the setting and characters and ‘show’, not ‘tell’.

Then, in another email, Georgie asked if I would like to be the emerging author for February on the Creative Kids Tales Website so of course I said a big “YES PLEASE!” to that.

Just recently I heard back from New Frontier Publishing that my manuscript was unsuccessful, however, it has been selected by Little Steps Publishing who offer partnership-publishing.  I’m not familiar with this term and am yet to research it further.  Would love to hear from anyone who knows about partner-publishing (the pros and cons) or has had a book published this way.

I also entered many of the Positive Words Magazine monthly short story competitions and a couple of my stories have been shortlisted which is great encouragement.  It’s also a lot of fun and a challenge trying to write a short story with a particular key-word in 100 words or less!

And last but not least, the micro-fiction story I entered in the Short and Twisted writing competition (mentioned on Little Rockets) has been chosen for their Short and Twisted 2013 Anthology.   Yay!

So, goals this year –  keep working hard and aiming high and try to do just as well, if not better!!   Hope my roll of good luck continues.  How’s your writing going so far and what are your plans and goals for the year?