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Top kidlit leaders share their knowledge…

Jackie Hosking

So next week I’m going to be sharing a very exciting opportunity for anyone hoping to further their career as a children’s author/illustrator but before I do that I would like to invite you to download this e-book which is being offered free of charge by the crowd at INFOSTACK.

INFOSTACK have invited me to be part of their “KidLit Creators Super Stack” – which is a collection (a stack) of kidlit resources from all round the world. For one week this stack of info will be made available at a ridiculously affordable price. My contribution to the stack is my METRE MATTERS COURSE. But that’s for next week. In the meantime please enjoy this wonderful FREE resource and learn the secrets to crafting a timeless children’s classic straight from industry leaders such as…

*A former literary agent who is an award-winning author/illustrator, the acquiring editor and art director…

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New kidlit publishing opportunities

Each fortnight new kidlit publishing opportunities are shared in the kidlit ezine, PASS IT ON. These opportunities are ongoing and once they have appeared in the ezine they are moved to this blog. You can find the latest additions by clicking the image above.

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Would you like to be part of PASS IT ON?

Some illustrators who have been featured in the past – click the image to find more.

Some of you might have seen my call out on social media so rather than try to answer everyone individually I thought it might be easier if I put all of the information into one place. So that’s what I’ve done.

Each week I collate an ezine called PASS IT ON that focuses on the kidlit industry in Australia, although some opportunities listed are international.

Inside the ezine I have regular segments: Meet the Illustrator, Meet the Writer, Meet the Book & now and then, Meet the Publisher. I’m always on the lookout for people to fill these spots.

If you are a children’s book writer and or illustrator and you’d like to be profiled then feel free to get in touch but first have a look at a recent issue, scroll through and see what others have done.

If you are an illustrator and you’d like to be profiled – you can download the questions here.

If you are a writer and you’d like to profiled – you can download the questions here.

And if you have a children’s book/ YA book that you’d like to promote – you just need to email me…

1. a head shot,

2. a picture of the cover,

3. a bio and

4. the book’s journey to publication.

Once you’ve put together all of your information you can email it all to me here – jackiehosking@bigpond.com

Ok, I think that’s about it. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in meter, Picturebooks, Poetry, rhyme, rhythm, stress, Writing

METRE (METER) MATTERS – although the spelling doesn’t

CLICK TO PURCHASE VIA PAYPAL

Hello again – I’ve not posted anything since June as I’ve not really had anything to say, that is until now.

So since then I’ve put together a writing course to help explain WHY metre matters and HOW metre works when writing in rhyme.

Some of you may have purchased my Rhyme Like the Experts Book and this course is really just an expansion of that along with some added bonuses.

I have been editing adults writing children’s poems and stories in verse for years now and I absolutely love it.

So far I have edited over 300 rhymers and close to 1000 rhymes – that’s amazing!

To read some of their testimonials you can click here.

Over the years I’ve been asked if I run any courses and of course, until now, I hadn’t.

So what do I offer? And what does it cost?

METRE MATTERS is a 30 page PDF that contains everything I’ve learnt over the years and is written in practical and easy to understand language.

It includes examples where I analyse different types of poems written in different metres along with exercises, that once completed, I will give feedback on.

The course guide is really just a jumping off point for discussion and further exploration that will happen when participants dive into the Facebook group that I’ve named The Versealots.

The Versealots is a private group that only course participants will be able to join and along with support I hope also to collect and share publishing opportunities that will encourage lots of submissions and hopefully publications that we will be able to celebrate together.

METRE MATTERS is a self-paced course, there is no beginning and no end. Once you’ve joined in you will be a life member.

Another bonus is that members will enjoy a $10 discount off the hourly rate when utilising my Rhyming Manuscript Editing Service – for life!!

So why do I think I’m qualified to teach you about metre?

Well I guess because it seems to be the only way that I can write. For a quick overview of what I’ve had published you can pop over to my other blog here.

When I first began editing other people’s work I didn’t possess any of the technical language, I’d say things like, this line is a bit lumpy, or, I tripped on this word. To be honest, back in the beginning I didn’t really know exactly what metre was.

As my client base increased I felt that I really should be able to offer better explanations as to why I was making the suggestions that I was and so began my journey of teaching myself the ins and outs of metrical poetry.

Now Einstein once said…..

…..and that’s what I hope I’ve done. Metre is certainly not an exact science and rules must certainly be broken. But before we can break the rules we much first be able to understand them.

But wait there’s more!

Some of you reading this may have received an email from me offering a further discount. This offer applies until the end of August and is for anyone who has used my manuscript editing service in the past including entering my Spring Competitions. If you think you might qualify please in get touch. It’s quite a substantial discount.

Ok that’s about it. Thanks for reading and hopefully I’ll see some of you soon.

Take care and happy rhyming.

Oh and just as a ps – here’s what some Australian publishers had to say when I asked them this question…

What are the most common difficulties that writers in rhyme encounter?

  • They haven’t got a sense of timing – rhythm or flow.
  • From a publishing point of view rhyming books do present challenges at the editing stage.
  • Metre metre metre! So few submissions have pleasing, easy metre. Read your poem aloud. Do you have to work hard to fit your words into your metre? Do you adjust the stress on ANY of the words (i.e. do you say them differently to the way you say them in natural speech)? Rewrite those lines!! I cannot emphasise enough how important metre is to poetry.
  • They think the rhyme excuses a whole lot of other flaws, including poor rhymes. Rhyming is a subtle and complex art that deserves years of study and then you have to make it work for children and then in a picture book format. You need a great story first and one that works for children, which has a proper beginning, middle and end.
  • Bad rhythm and forced rhyme. There should be no extra words to get the rhythm to work ‘such as the lion did say” instead of ‘said’ or reversals of words to get the rhyme, ie  ‘lion blue’ to rhyme with ‘you’ instead of blue lion. In other words the rhyme has to be very natural. The other thing to bear in mind is that many people don’t have a natural sense of rhythm anyway, and read rhyme and the emphasis on the words differently. The rhyme has to be very consistent to avoid such differences. The other thing I find is that the necessity to rhyme often means that the story goes in different directions when inexperienced writers attempt to write rhyme, so there can be dead spots ion the story or extraneous material (if that makes sense). It is very difficult to get good succinct rhyme which keeps to the storyline. Rhyme that works better is when writers are not trying to write rhyming couplets, but stick to a simple repetitive couplet such as ‘I went walking. What did you see. I saw a red cow looking at me.’ Or ‘Let’s go visiting what do you say. Two black kittens are ready to play.’
  • Rhythms and rhymes that are “not quite there”.
CLICK TO PURCHASE VIA PAYPAL

or to pay via direct debit email me jackiehosking@bigpond.com and I’ll send you my bank details.

Posted in meter, Picturebooks, rhyme, rhythm, stress, Writing

50% off first hour’s edit

To warm up your Winter Writing – Jackie’s Rhyming Manuscript Editing Service is offering 50% off your first hour’s edit for the entire month of JUNE.

Normally $45, for JUNE only you can get your first hour for only $22.50 – you’ll also receive a FREE copy of her Rhyme Like the Experts book.

So if you have a rhyming children’s story or poem that just won’t behave itself why not take advantage of this special offer?

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Meet the Writer – John Tyrrell

Every week I like to feature an Australian writer and illustrator in PASS IT ON.

The illustrators’ interviews, once they have been featured in the ezine, are uploaded onto this blog.

The writers that I’ve interviewed don’t have a blog of their own so I thought I might upload their interviews here. I won’t be able to go back to the beginning but I hope to fill this space with interesting insights into some of our wonderful writers.

So here we go, please meet….

John Tyrrell

This interview first appeared in PASS IN ON on Monday 2nd May 2016 – issue 583

 

When did you know that you were a writer?
I had always harboured a desire to write and to be creative. I had my share of Corinella triumphs and I was quite successful at competitions in my youth (“In 25 words, describe why you’d like to win this bicycle trip to the Moon” etc). My early career was in advertising/PR admin but included copywriting for ads, brochures and drafting news releases. When I took a golden handshake at the age of 40, I figured ‘This is it, writing’s my new career!’ Oh, so naïve. Becoming a famous writer actually took real work and tenacity. I realised I had some publish-ability when the Melbourne Age accepted one of my features – 1000 words, mind you– and they wanted more of a series! I figured I’d made the big time – until my sympathetic editor moved on and there was a change of direction.

When did you first read your writing aloud or give it to someone to read and what was their reaction? How did it impact on you?
I once wrote a whimsical article about “Shrink-wrapped Newspapers” and after I got no takers I rewrote it as a monologue. The piece was performed at a theatrical performance by an up-and-coming actor. I sat in my seat feeling uplifted that my words were floating around the audience as the performer brought them to life.

What is your favourite genre to write? Why?
Like a lot of writers, I’ve tried to be a generalist (‘Being versatile’ is the phrase for it!). When I undertook the Diploma of PWR, I enjoyed the challenge of having a go at all the genres. I’ve written for corporate and community applications, but I most enjoy children’s writing, in particular middle grade and picture books, and that is my focus.

How long have you been writing? And what have you written?
I’ve been at it for seventy nine and a half years which is hard to believe when you look at my photo. I believe that slow learners can get the cherries and I have enjoyed dabbling at a few things. I’ve had articles and puzzles published here and in the US. One of my picture book ideas was adapted for a web application (bragging rights but no $). Some years ago I wrote and edited a monthly children’s page for a local suburban magazine During 2014, I created ‘Jubilee Gems’, a series of community bulletins focussing on the works and deeds and triumphs of the people and their activities at a church parish.

Of your own work – do you have a favourite? Why is it your favourite?
Recently, I developed a non-fiction concept for School Magazine exploring people’s occupations. Two of these “Day in the life…” interview features have been accepted for Orbit – the most recent to appear soon. I have another two coagulating in the pipeline.

What is your favourite genre to read? Why?
I have a fascination for kids’ books. (I’m not sure if it’s because the fines are cheaper but the local librarian has given me an express queue.) I’m staunchly attracted to the quirky side of life and the humour associated with children’s material. I feel that I’ve come to a point in my life where I can get away with being juvenile.

Do you have a favourite author?
I often say that when I grow up I want to be Morris Gleitzman. I admire the amazing spell Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have put on us all and their immense following, and I enjoy Wimpy Kid’s Jeff Kinney and the Timmy Failure books by Stephan Pastis.

Did/do you have any writing heroes or mentors?
In a world where rejections go unexplained, early on I was on the receiving end of acts of heroism (encouragement) from Doug McLeod and Sally Rippin, whose letters spurred me on. Also, as writers we rely on constructive feedback. I am part of a wonderful writing group in Blackburn which has met once a month for many years and, last year, when SCBWI promoted its On-line critique groups, I joined a JF and a PB group. All these groups have wonderfully creative, inspiring people who provide valuable, honest insight to one another’s work.

Do you write full time?
I get to write more having left full-time work, but having more time is a trap without the discipline. We always say: If I had more time I could write heaps. It’s a fallacy. It’s easy to fiddle around with emails, file renaming and googling (research, of course) but there’s no substitute for hitting the keyboard and churning out new words.

What are your other jobs?
My background is in adult learning and career development, which is a stretch from children’s writing! I conduct training and facilitation and short courses for a variety of organisations, including a Presentation and Public Speaking Skills course for Holmesglen TAFE. I also pretend to do communications consulting but don’t tell my clients that.

Have you ever won an award/s or been shortlisted? What was it for?
Apart from the Corinella certificates and a super-looking bear stamp in Grade three, I did win a nice set of drinking glasses in an ASA member competition last year.

Do you belong to any professional organisations? 
I am a member of SCBWI, ASA and Writers Victoria.

How might you be contacted in relation to running workshops or for school visits?
I’ve been dilly-dallying over a website/blog but am probably suffering information overload. I can be found on LinkedIn and Facebook and I have a Twitter handle somewhere. Cash advances and autograph requests can be submitted to my email address jtcons@yahoo.com 🙂

We all know that would be writers should read and write as much as possible – do you have any other advice?
I think perseverance is a key. It’s too easy to give up after a few – or even a lot of – disappointments, but the literary world is littered with famous and successful writers who have wall-papered their rooms with rejection slips. Taking feedback on board, having belief and a practical optimism about succeeding are also deliriously important qualities.

Posted in PASS IT ON, Writing

Meet the writer – Heather Gallagher

Every week I like to feature an Australian writer and illustrator in PASS IT ON.

The illustrators’ interviews, once they have been featured in the ezine, are uploaded onto this blog.

The writers that I’ve interviewed don’t have a blog of their own so I thought I might upload their interviews here. I won’t be able to go back to the beginning but I hope to fill this space with interesting insights into some of our wonderful writers.

So here we go, please meet….

Heather Gallagher

This interview first appeared in PASS IN ON on Tuesday 26th April 2016 – issue 582

 

When did you know that you were a writer?

From the time I was about 8.

When did you first read your writing aloud or give it to someone to read and what was their reaction? How did it impact on you?

I was in Grade 4 and I’d written a whacky story about being trapped in a lift with a group of people. At the time I used to keep all sorts of weird stuff in my pockets. So in my story – I was the star, of course – I was able to throw stones at the window (of course lifts have windows – that’s a thing, right?) and smash it. Everyone was able to safely get out and I saved the day. My teacher Mrs Cunningham read this story out to the class and it was a big moment for me – it was when I decided to become a writer.

What and when was your first acceptance? How did you feel?

My first book acceptance was in 2012. We’d just got back from a family holiday and I was checking my emails. I remember seeing the title of my manuscript Ferret on the Loose in the header and thinking ‘here we go, another rejection.’ It took me a few seconds to realise that the email actually said ‘we’d love to publish your story’. I started screaming and running around the house. My family thought there was something seriously wrong. I could barely speak – I was ecstatic!

What is your favourite genre to write? Why?

I love writing crazy animal stories particularly for the 8 to 12 year old market.

How long have you been writing? And what have you written?

I began professionally writing as a journalist in the late 90s. But prior to that I’d written diaries, stories and poems. I wrote for the (now defunct) school magazines put out by Pearson Education. My first short story was published in Challenge magazine. Since then I have had a short story published in blackdog books Short & Scary anthology, Ferret (as mentioned above) and the picture book Happy Pants – Why is Mummy so sad? 

Of your own work – do you have a favourite? Why is it your favourite?

I have a soft-spot for Ferret because it had such a long genesis and was my first proper book. But I’m also loving The Great Ape Escape which is my current work-in-progress.

What is your favourite genre to read? Why?

I love middle grade novels because anything is possible.  That said, I also love reading YA because like the protagonists, I guess I’m still figuring out my place in the world.

Do you have a favourite author?

Road Dahl and currently, David Walliams. I also love Kate Di Camillo and Rebecca Stead.

Did/do you have any writing heroes or mentors?

Hazel Edwards mentored me during the Maurice Saxby mentorship. I have also received informal mentoring from some of the people I met through that mentorship, namely Helen Chamberlin and Kevin Burgemesetre. Claire Saxby and many members of the First Tuesday Book Group have also been very supportive and encouraging.

How do they encourage you?

Hazel gave me some great nuts and bolts advice on improving my picture book manuscripts. Helen and Kevin advised me during a tricky time with one of my manuscripts, just before it went to print. Claire is a great role model and has really encouraged me to persevere.

Do you write full time?

Yes.

Have you ever won an award/s or been shortlisted? What was it for?

Happy Pants – Why is Mummy so sad? was a recommended title in the Australian Family Therapists literature awards.
In 2009, I was awarded a special judge’s prize in the FAW Nairda Lyn Short Story awards.

Do you belong to any professional organisations? What are they and how do they help you?

I am a member of Writers Victoria and the Australian Society of Authors. Mostly, they help me to feel ‘in the loop’ in terms of industry news and opportunities.

Do you participate in writing workshops as a student? Which ones were memorable?

I did a large part of the Diploma of Screenwriting at RMIT which has helped a lot with structuring my work. It also helps me to ‘see in pictures’ which I think helps with picture book writing. I have also done lots of short courses with Writers Victoria, a particularly good one I did recently was on Pitching with Melanie Ostell.

How might you be contacted in relation to running workshops or for school visits?

The best way to contact me is by email at heather.gallagher@bigpond.com

We all know that would be writers should read and write as much as possible – do you have any other advice?

Glue your bum to your desk chair and just write. Remember CRAP IS GOOD – everyone has to write something not-so-great before they can write something brilliant J

How might people find you? Website, Blog, Facebook etc.

http://heathergallagher.com.au/HeatherGallagher/
https://www.facebook.com/heathergallagherkidswriter/

Also I have just started a Mother-Daughter blog with my teenager. You can find us at https://likemotherlikedaughter2016.wordpress.com/

Posted in Writing

Meet the Writer – Elizabeth Kasmer

Every week I like to feature an Australian writer and illustrator in PASS IT ON.

The illustrators’ interviews, once they have been featured in the ezine, are uploaded onto this blog.

The writers that I’ve interviewed don’t have a blog of their own so I thought I might upload their interviews here. I won’t be able to go back to the beginning but I hope to fill this space with interesting insights into some of our wonderful writers.

So here we go, please meet….

Elizabeth Kasmer

This interview first appeared in PASS IN ON on Tuesday 21st March 2016 – issue 578

 

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born and raised in Brisbane but have also been fortunate enough to live in Denmark, Bendigo and PindiPindi, a tiny town in North Queensland. I currently live on the Sunshine Coast with my husband, three children, a dog and a snake. I have a B.A. in Humanities and a Graduate Diploma in Education.

When did you know that you were a writer?

For me, being a writer has less to do with words on paper and more to do with paying attention. The wonderful children’s writer Kate Di Camillo says on her website:It is the sacred duty of the writer to pay attention, to see the world

When did you first read your writing aloud or give it to someone to read and what was their reaction? How did it impact on you?

Sharing your work can be a daunting prospect for an aspiring writer but it is so important to get feedback from a trusted source. When I first picked up on the idea that I wanted to write I undertook two online courses followed by a three month mentorship with Nike Sulway. Nike’sresponses and feedback to my early work was always positive and constructive.There is no way I would have had the confidence to attempt a novel without it.

Did/do you have any writing heroes?

Anyone with the courage andtenacity to follow a writing project through to completion is a hero in my eyes.

What and when was your first acceptance? How did you feel?

My first acceptance was when I won the 2015 Emerging Queensland Writer — Manuscript Award. Part of the prizeincluded a contract with UQP. To say I was excited when I found out I had won this award would be an understatement.

What is your favourite genre to write? Why?

I didn’t set out to write YA but I find myself loving it more and more.

How long have you been writing? And what have you written?

My very first steps to becoming a published author started in 2012. I have written two picture books, a handful of short stories and one and a half novels.

Of your own work – do you have a favourite? Why is it your favourite?

My favourite would have to beBecoming Aurora.I cannot articulate how wonderful it feels to actually complete a project as huge and daunting asa novel.

What is your favourite genre to read? Why?

I love picture books and fantasy novels, literary fiction and everything in between.

But, if pushed, I would have to say that Australian YA is a particular favourite of mine.

Do you have a favourite author?

That’s a tough one! For children, I particularly love David Almond, Kate DiCamillo, Roald Dahl, E.B. White, Anna Fienberg, and heaps more!

Some excellent Australian YA writers to check out: Karen Foxlee, Claire Zorne, Margo Lanagan, Melina Marchetta, Marlee Jane Ward,Rebecca Lim and Nova Weetman.

Do you write full time?

It depends what you mean by full time. I help my husband run a home based business and run around after my three children. Somewhere in between, the writing happens.

Have you ever won an award/s or been shortlisted? What was it for?

Through the CYA competition I have placed second for Picture Books and first for YA.
Last year I was awarded Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award.

Do you participate in writing workshops as a student? Which ones were memorable?

The annual CYA Conference is always interesting and worthwhile. If you are an aspiring writer it is also a great place to network and make new friends.

I would also recommend The Novelists Boot Camp at the Queensland Writers Centre. This weekend course waspresented by the funny and informative Dr Kim Wilkins. If you are interested in learning how to plot and plan out your next novel, this is the course to take!

We all know that would be writers should read and write as much as possible – do you have any other advice?

Be patient, everything takes longer than you think.

Join or start your own critique group. Critique groups are a fantastic way to gain support, give and receive constructive feedback and share ideas. Learning how to critique is a fantastic skill that not onlyimproves your own writing/editing skills but is also a great way to help others.

How might people find you? Website, Blog, Facebook etc.

My webpage is: www.elizabethkasmer.com

Facebook — Elizabeth Kasmer