Megaphone got off to an exciting September start with an engaging and inspiring masterclass from Candy Gourlay on the topic of structure and how it can transform your novel. Candy kept us laughing and focused throughout, relating the topic back to her own writing journey and providing an exercise that certainly made me think more about my own novel in progress. Candy, in addition to her many other roles, is a volunteer for The Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) British Isles and their conference is coming up in November with lots of brilliant events and workshops for children’s authors and illustrators: book here – http://britishisles.scbwi.org/conference2016/

During the masterclass we were also filmed by ITV Central News for an upcoming feature on the region, diversity and literacy. All this on what must be one of the Custard Factory’s busiest days of the year: a Roald Dahl themed fun day, and the day the roof in the ladies’ loos finally gave up the struggle against the rain (there were a lot of buckets. It was damp).

I’m rather embarrassed by my photo of the masterclass because Candy herself is such an accomplished photographer, and this just doesn’t do justice to the fun we had  – in my excuse it was hastily snapped in the middle of a hectic day! (Also, that flip chart paper is not in the process of dropping down. It was like that right from the start).

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Candy Gourlay: author of Shine and Tall Story

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