Megaphone update: Candy Gourlay, TV, leaky loos..

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 moreContinue reading “Megaphone update: Candy Gourlay, TV, leaky loos..”

2 weeks left to apply for #WriteNowLive London!

A reminder of this great scheme just came into my inbox. Apply apply! Events in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Penguin Random House wants to find, mentor and publish new writers with different stories to tell. Writers from communities under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves. Are you the next Malorie Blackman? Or Wolverhampton’s answer to James Patterson? Are youContinue reading “2 weeks left to apply for #WriteNowLive London!”

My First Draft: Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce is the author of several novels for children and young adults. Her most recent publication, Windrunner’s Daughter, is also the first book she ever wrote! For a free copy, this weekend. Here, she writes about the momentous occasion she first wrote The End – and how that momentous occasion was by noContinue reading “My First Draft: Bryony Pearce”

The mainstream is diverse; the literature industry isn’t.

There is so much to think about and talk over, following the recent A Place at The Table conference on diversity in children’s literature.Author  Catherine Johnson’s article about the conference is here, with a mention for Megaphone: She certainly speaks for me when she writes: I think a lot of people – me includedContinue reading “The mainstream is diverse; the literature industry isn’t.”

#APATT #EverybodyIn

Yesterday I attended A Place at the Table, a half day session of discussion, talks and networking for people interested in making British children’s literature a better, more diverse and inclusive place. It was organised by Inclusive Minds. It was great to meet like-minded people, and hear how others are trying to bring diversity mainstream.Continue reading “#APATT #EverybodyIn”

Third masterclass: Patrice Lawrence

Yesterday we were really happy to welcome Patrice Lawrence, whose first YA novel, Orangeboy, has just been published by Hodder. Patrice delivered the third masterclass, a wide ranging session where we discussed trusting yourself to write, finding a structure and using the wealth of our own diverse backgrounds to develop characters. We also talked about theContinue reading “Third masterclass: Patrice Lawrence”

Bias & representation – links

This fantastic speech delivered by Nikesh Shukla recognises the importance of representation in children’s books. I’ve heard people (white people, inevitably) dismiss those concerned with better, wider representation in children’s books as ‘worthy’. As a mixed race person like Nikesh’s daughter, I can assure you that worthy is not a description that’s ever occurred to me. EssentialContinue reading “Bias & representation – links”

Second masterclass: hook, cake, hake.

We were really pleased to welcome Catherine Johnson (and her cake) to the Writing West Midlands’ meeting room for the second masterclass of Megaphone. Catherine focused on story: from your first chapter, can the reader tell what the story is about or  not? She brought us back again and again to the fact that aContinue reading “Second masterclass: hook, cake, hake.”

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