Guardian Masterclass: write stories to fascinate and entertain the toughest audience in literature.
This one-day workshop will teach you the skills essential to keeping a young audience enthralled by your storytelling.
The Boy Who Fell From the Sky, by Lucy Coats, illustrated by Anthony Lewis Photograph: guardian.co.uk
The aim of the masterclass is for all participants to go away equipped with a wider knowledge of what writing children’s (aged 7–12) books is all about and there is still time to book a place.
The tutor will be editor and writer, Lucy Coats and the speaker will be historical fiction author, Michelle Lovric.
This course is running in London on Wednesday 7th May or Saturday 31st May 2014 from 10am -5 pm. The course price is £220* and will cover a range of topics including how to build a good children’s book character, planning a perfect plot and an overview of the children’s book world.
This course is for people who have an interest in writing for children as a possible career, a casual source of income or simply for a unique and personalised way of creating fiction to read to your own children.
For more information and booking information, click here.
*price correct at time of publication.
Of Love and Other Wars – we have ten copies plus ten posters to give away.
Thanks to Sophie and the lovely people at Simon and Schuster, we have ten copies of, Of Love and Other Wars, to give away. As well as the book, each winner will also receive a poster of the stunning book cover.
About the book:
At a rally in the Royal Albert Hall, two Quaker brothers, Paul and Charlie Lamb, sign a pledge of peace that only one of them will honour. Meanwhile, in a draughty Victorian mansion in Hampstead, Mr. Morningstar wonders why his wife, a crystallographer from dynasty of diamond cutters, turns into a cursing somnambulist at night, while their daughter, Miriam, comes home from her shifts at the munitions factory with her stockings inside out. As the streets throng with khaki, the Lambs and the Morningstars must decide how to do good in a world transformed by evil. Should a scientist use her skills to maximise civilian casualties? Should a Quaker stand by as millions are murdered? And is it possible to love someone if you hate their convictions? When the two families are torn apart by war, Paul is forced to choose between his conscience and the woman he loves.
To enter: Continue reading
The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas.
A terrifying place for a young, beautiful woman of limited means. But Eliza is modern before her time. Not for her the stifling if respectable conventionality of marriage, children, domestic drudgery. She longs for more. Through her work as an artist’s model, she meets the magnetic and irascible Devil – a born showman whose dream is to run his own theatre company.
Devil’s right-hand man is the improbably named Carlo Bonomi, an ill-tempered dwarf with an enormous talent for all things magic and illusion. Carlo and Devil clash at every opportunity and it constantly falls upon Eliza to broker an uneasy peace between them. And then there is Jasper Button. Mild-mannered, and a family man at heart, it is his gift as an artist which makes him the unlikely final member of the motley crew.
Thrown together by a twist of fate, their lives are inextricably linked: the fortune of one depends on the fortune of the other. And as Eliza gets sucked into the seductive and dangerous world her strange companions inhabit, she risks not only her heart, but also her life…
The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas.
We are very happy to welcome Rosie and her blog tour for The Illusionists which has just been released by HarperCollins. We chat to Rosie about her book, her fantasy dinner party guests and where in history she would like to go…
Can you tell us about The Illusionists and how did the idea originate?
In one sense The Illusionists is about imagination and reality, and I have taken stage magic as a means of illustrating how we don’t always know the difference between the two. Devil Wix, my anti-hero hero, is struck as a young boy by the gift of ‘wonder’ in a harsh world, and he sets out to create wonderment through magic and illusion. The setting is Victorian London, starting in the 1870s, so it’s quite creepy and gothic in places. It’s also a love story between Devil and Eliza Dunlop, who is a modern woman looking for more from her life than marriage and motherhood. There’s also a cast of strange characters including a dwarf, an engineer of automata, and a woman made of cogs and springs. Their theatre of magic and illusion, the Palmyra, is a character too. The idea for the story came to me when I was researching a classic ‘box trick’ for a scene in The Kashmir Shawl.
Which authors do you admire and is there a book that’s stuck with you?
I like Anthony Trollope. There’s so much sly wit and energy in his books, but he is full of human sympathy too and he doesn’t caricature the way Dickens does. I’ve always loved Georgette Heyer – such lightness and sparkle. Continue reading