I’ve often wished that the children’s and YA world had the strong short fiction scene that adult fiction has. It can be tough writing novel after novel with no agent or publisher on board – short fiction, aside from its own real value as a distinct art form, provides a chance to gain publication credits and writing experience for new writers. Now Stripes is helping to develop that scene, with a focus on BAME voices:
“The theme of the book is ‘change’ and the purpose of the book is to represent and celebrate diverse voices. However, the authors have been given the freedom to “interpret the theme however they are inspired to do so”, according to Stripes.
Contributors will also include Tanya Byrne, Inua Ellams, Catherine Johnson, Ayisha Malik and Irfan Master, as well as unpublished and un-agented writers who can submit their stories via the website. Any BAME writers who want to submit must send a 2,000-5,000 word story to email@example.com by 28th February. More details can be found on the Stripes website. “
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 the wonderful Long Paper – get a roll of it from Homebase or similar if you’ve not tried using it for plotting and visualising your stories. Personally I think it’s the best tool in my writer’s toolkit!
We also discussed the psychological journey a writer takes when drafting a novel for the first time. This is something that I think is not much written about – there’s a lot out there on the art and craft and practice of writing, but less, perhaps, on things like the 30,000 word doldrums that typically hit any writer. It can really help to know that you’re not alone when you feel despondent about your writing, and that it’s part of a process most people go through.
Thank you Patrice for taking time out of launching Orangeboy to share your experience with us!