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SCBWI Sunshine Coast Round-up

As I attend our third sub-branch SCBWI meeting for the Sunshine Coast, I am reminded yet again at how fortunate we are to be a part of such a talented and generous community. We begin our meeting by introducing ourselves, our latest projects and discuss the many trials and tribulations of the creative life. I am sure we can all relate to everyone’s experiences, whether it be the challenge of balancing writing time with family, excitement around an up-coming New York writing conference, and Peter Carnavas’s thrilling CBCA 2018 nomination.

SCBWI Sunny Coast

After our introductions, Taryn Bashford guides us through the ins and outs of creating an author platform, focusing particularly on website development, social media and how important it is to maintain a consistent and engaging online presence. I am always amazed at the expertise within our group, not only on writing, but across the wide skill set that is required to be a children’s author.

The Harper Effect Taryn Bashford

Next Margaret Gibbs waves her polished teachers wand by providing us with an in-depth insight of what teachers are looking for in an author visit. Her unique expertise was invaluable as she communicated the necessity to inspire, enlighten and motivate children. Marg also gave us five key points to communicate to the children;

  • ‘Ideas come from everywhere.’
  • ‘Share your ideas with others.’
  • ‘Reading is essential.’
  • ‘Don’t give up.’
  • ‘You need to edit and re-edit.’

Marg Gibbs

Finally, Peter Carnavas shared his experience with UQP in editing his children’s novel The Elephant. It was fascinating to hear how The Elephant was originally a versus novel and then gradually took its current format after structural edits. We heard how Peter altered his writing style by describing gestures and expressions more that he normally would have for picture books and how he was guided to avoid unintended rhymes. Peter also shared specific points that he focused on during his editorial process, such as simplifying seemingly uncomplicated words, like changing the word ‘beneath’ to ‘under,’ and always making sure there is a strong underlying ‘point’ to your story.

Peter Carnavas

Thank you so much to Ali Stegart for your organising and Renee Irving-Lee for arranging the lovely room. I would whole-heartedly recommend SCBWI members to attend our informative and supportive community meetings. We will have our Queensland SCBWI leader Sheryl Gwyther at our final meeting for the year on Sunday 28th October from 2.30 – 4.30. (Venue to be confirmed.)

SCBWI Queensland blogsite is up and running again

Hello readers! We’re pleased to announce that SCBWI Queensland now has an outlet for news, blog articles, illustrating and writing advice … our own updated blog site. Watch out for updating and modernising because we have a BlogMaster! SCBWI Qld member, Giuseppe Poli has stepped into the role. 

Giuseppe, one of our fab illustrator/authors, will co-ordinate the posts we hope to share. We also have a number of Official Bloggers who’ll add to the material we’ll post. They include Dimity Powell, Angela Sunde, Ann Harth, Alison Stegert, Emma Middleton, Jacqui Halpin and myself, Sheryl Gwyther (SCBWI ARA).

If you have an article or a link you think others will enjoy, send it to our Queensland SCBWI website, along with your name, your favoured genre etc, and what the link is about. … queensland@scbwiaustralianz.com

The importance of illustrations in picture books – a guest post by Emma Middleton – Readilearn

SCBWI success story, Emma Middleton​ takes a moment to illustrate the importance of pictures in picture books! #illustratorinterview #illustration #kidslit #picturebooks #readilearn #teachingresources Norah Colvin​ #thefixitman #NickyJohston

Norah Colvin

This week I have great pleasure in introducing you to Emma Middleton who is here to discuss illustrations in picture books as tools for analysis, enjoyment and interpretation.

Emma is a picture book author, illustrator, children’s performer and former ballerina who lives near Noosa, Queensland. After a career in performing arts, during which time she danced for the Vienna Ballet, she returned to Australia to direct and teach at The Brighton Dance Academy.

Emma retired from teaching dance to follow her passion for picture books by creating stories that will enhance a child’s sense of wonder, delight and unlimited possibility. Emma is the author of companion picture books The Lion in our Living Room and The Bear in our Backyard.

Welcome to readilearn, Emma. Over to you.

Illustrations in picture books can be an excellent tool for developing children’s analytical and interpretative skills, as well as enhancing their enjoyment…

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When Self-Doubt Kills Productivity.

Good to know we are never alone in spite of our words sometimes making us feel that way. This assessment of our writerly demises is so spot on, it both hurts and uplifts.

Debbie Johansson

Recently, I’d been struck with a wave of self-doubt. As I worked on my re-writes, it began as a trickle; my first six chapters were a complete mess and felt I couldn’t continue until they were fixed. That was my internal editor speaking to me and as they kicked in; the self-doubt began to swirl around me until it stopped me in my tracks. I was doing nothing more than going around in circles. It was then that I stepped away from the keyboard.

It was also around this time that I was reading up on self-publishing. This coincided with reading about the odds of author success. I always knew that going down the road to self-publishing was not going to be easy, but I guess the reality of it all really hit home.

I’d been dealt a blow from the stick of truth (thanks South Park ;)…

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Creatives’ Wish for Every Child

Inspiring post by Maria. Inspiring words from some of our brightest literary stars.

Big Sister Blogs - Maria Parenti-Baldey

‘What I Wish for Every Child’ by Authors and Illustrators who presented at the Celebrate Reading National Conference, The Literature Centre, Fremantle, WA.

Before presenters shared their ‘Wish List’, Australian Children’s Laureate, 2016 to 2017, Leigh Hobbs read a letter from Glenda Millard. She wished all, ‘a wonderful time drenched… in the solace… and joy’ of inspirational creatives.

*photos of Glenda Millard images courtesy of Google.

Leigh Hobbs wished for every school to have a library with a librarian because ‘every school kid deserves one’. For children to be given ‘time’ to create, write, draw and read, free from the ‘pressure of tests and ranking’. His bolshie characters, Old Tom, Mr Chicken and Horrible Harriet continue to befriend kids in libraries, bookstores and throughout the stratosphere.

Meg McKinlay wished for ‘spaces of nothingness’ to allow children ‘dreaming time and creative time’. For children to know that away from the digital…

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In the Dark Spaces

Write what you want to read. Insightful tips by YA author Cally Black with Dee White.

DeeScribewriting Blog

I’m lucky to have known with the elusive Cally Black for many years now, and was aware of her incredible talent long before she was discovered by the Ampersand judges, and awarded the 2015 Prize.

That’s why I’m so excited that readers will now have the opportunity to read her amazing work and discover her quirky,i maginative and insightful stories

I have seen Cally’s YA novel In The Dark Spaces transformed from a great piece of writing to an even greater book.

I can’t even begin to imagine where she gets her ideas from. They are so unique and compelling and amazing. You really have to read her books to understand what I mean.

But you couldn’t find a more hardworking, more deserving  or humble author than Cally, always willing to share her knowledge and craft with others.

Today she is sharing  FIVE fabulous tips on how she wrote her…

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Sunday for Children’s Writers at the Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writer’s Festival

I’m tickled every colour of Reena’s rainbow to be part of this exciting Festival and presenting alongside the uber talented, Dee White.

DeeScribewriting Blog

If you’re coming to the Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writer’s Festival, make sure you pop in and say, “Hi”.

I’ll be talking about writing for the international market, and the delightful Dimity Powell will be launching my new books, Reena’s Rainbow and K9 Heroes.

The festival has a great line up of speakers, launches and presentations – Sunday is especially for those who write children’s and YA books.

Bookings can be made through festival website.

Hope to see you there.

Dee

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