Courses and Competitions : How To Write For Children

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:

The Boy Who Fell From the Sky, by Lucy Coats, illustrated by Anthony Lewis Photograph:

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.



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News : Sue Townsend Planned New Mole Novel

Puffin: Re-issue Edition, 2002

Puffin: Re-issue Edition, 2002

Author was working on new Adrian Mole novel.

Sue Townsend was working on a new Adrian Mole novel before her death. The new book was provisionally titled Pandora’s Box. The author of the fantastic Mole series died at the age of 68 and had written ‘some wonderful pages’ according to her publisher.

The unfinished book would have been the ninth of the Adrian Mole novels and it was due for release in the autumn.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4, was released in 1982 and along with the other novels, Continue reading

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Competitions: Sophie Hardach

LAOW Book CoverOf 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 LAOW Posterlove 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

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Discussions : Only One Book?

rp_Jornal-300x18011.jpgToday’s discussion – Are you able to only pick one?

We will read many things in our lifetime, get engrossed in many stories, care about a variety of characters as if they were real people – friends we’ve known, loved or lost and we will visit lands and countries without even leaving our homes.

Books have that magical ability to completely transport us to somewhere else. Novels give us a glimpse into another world.

Of course, if you ask anyone who is into reading, they will probably be able to list many books that they have enjoyed or not liked and will give you many reasons for their decisions.

There are also so many lists Continue reading

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Book News : The Creative Writing Student’s Handbook

Creative Writing Matters, 2014

Creative Writing Matters, 2014

A new creative writing handbook from the founders of the Exeter Novel Prize.

Being a new writer can be scary and there is a minefield of information available. I have my fair share of ‘how to’ writing books. However, this one looks particularly helpful. Margaret James was my tutor for a writing course I did with the London School of Journalism a couple of years ago and her advice was very valuable. Now, along with Cathie Hartigan, Margaret has placed her writing wisdom into one e-book. I will definitely be getting my hands on this one.

The blurb:

This new handbook takes students through the entire creative writing process. You will find plenty of practical advice, helpful exercises, lots of tips and links to useful websites in this indispensable handbook for new and seasoned writers alike. Continue reading

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A Moment With Pippa Croft

First Time We MetPippa Croft is the author of The First Time We Met.

What was that first moment that you realized you wanted to become a writer?

I can tell you exactly. I was watching a BBC period drama called North & South in November 2004. Although I’d always worked as a journalist and copywriter, I’d shied away from writing fiction. I was worried that I’d be rubbish at it and I didn’t have any inspiration. North & South suddenly – and out of blue – inspired me to have a go at writing some fan fiction, which was quite a new thing back then. I shared my story on an Internet forum and haven’t stopped writing since. In my role as a journalist, I also actually got to do a phone interview with the sexy star of North & South, Richard Armitage.


What authors, books, or ideas have influenced you most?

Jane Austen, definitely, Continue reading

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Literary Fact : Henry Fielding

Henry_Fielding22nd April.

Henry Fielding was born on this day in 1707. Born in Somerset, England, he was educated at Eton College. He was an english novelist and his works included Tom Jones and Amelia.

His sister Sarah was also a successful writer and John, his brother, was a magistrate.

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The Illusionists Blog Tour – Review

The IllusionistsThe Illusionists by Rosie Thomas.

London 1870.
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…

Continue reading

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The Illusionists Blog Tour – We Chat to Rosie Thomas

rosie thomas spotty jpeg smallThe 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

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