The Word Writer’s Conference

Hi all. I just returned from being a volunteer helper for The Word Writer’s Conference which this year, was held on the Sunshine Coast. It was a 3 day event and included panels, work shops and talks. It’s put together by Wombat Books and they have a division which publishes books by Christian writers too. Even though I don’t write christian fiction, the conference was very helpful and it’s always lovely to meet and spend time with fellow writers. Keep an eye out for their next conference – they choose a different area each year – but I believe it’s usually QLD or very northern NSW. There were a lot of attendees and speakers addressing writers of children and young adult fiction – in fact a majority of the writers were writing for this market and so much of the advice was about this market.

The top 3 messages from the conference?

1. Write every day – even if it’s only for 30 minutes.

2. Treat your writing as a business and a priority. If you treat it as a hobby, everyone else around you will treat it as a hobby.

3. Have an online presence and if you’re already published, book trailers on YouTube are the way to go to get publicity and numbers to your website and the shops to buy books.

Inspirational words from our SCBWI QLD illustrators

A post from Helen Ross, SCBWI Qld member.

As children’s writers we know the magic that books can weave – and their importance in a child’s literacy and language development. We love words and pictures and feel very contented spending endless hours playing with ideas. We love to play.  Sometimes our best work has come out of an idea that might have seemed silly to begin with. But after tossing in a mix of creativity, thought, play and flair, metamorphosis has occurred. And a wonderful picture or story has emerged glistening, dynamic and spirited. And we have had fun! Though it can be a little hard going at times.

However, many adults tend to lose of sense of play – especially with art.

As roving reporter during Brisbane’s One Word One Day (OWOD) 2012  illustrator event, each artist kindly offered me their words of inspiration to children – in relation to art.

The following pearls of wisdom are from the talented SCBWI QLD members who attended this event.

 ‘They have to play.  They have to be free to draw something even if they think it is bad.  Each time they draw something they improve.’   (Angela Sunde)

‘Unlike mathematics and some other subjects, in Art there are no errors, just a continuous experiment; no mistakes. So this is a good thing for children to remember when they draw – you just keep learning.’   (Lucia Masciullo)

 ‘Use nature as inspiration.  For example, the words wind and rain can be very inspirational as they can be interpreted in so many different ways.  Kids can use nature as inspiration.’   (Peter Taylor)

Paint with your heart.’   (Lynn Priestley)

Great words of wisdom! Now go have fun!

Please feel free to offer your own inspirational thoughts in the comment section.