25/06/2012 by Patricia Kennon · No Comments
The SCBWI Ireland chapter met up in the red and white county of Cork. In this inagural meeting for children's books writers and illustrators living in Ireland, we swapped: advice, publishing tips, social media know-how and talked books. Oh how we talked books!
Colleen Jones, who organised our bookish meet-up, told us about the wonderful recent achievements of fellow SCBWI member Paula Leyden. Paula was nominated for a Children’s Books Ireland 2012 Award and won the Eilís Dillon Award at the CBI Award Ceremony in May.
At the top of our agenda was not the slush pile, the recession or even the limited chances in the writing world, but; what books we read as children, what books we read now and how we cherish writing despite the odds of publication. We traded some writing and publishing advice we have harvested. The best tips are listed here:
- Why do you write? Remember that every time you sit down.
- Don’t write to be famous, write because we need to get the stories onto paper.
- Publishers don’t want a one-hit wonder, they want passionate writers with more books in them.
- Have computer back-up systems in operation, save your work!
- Get on Twitter or Facebook and follow writers like Sarah Webb who has a fantastic blog. Learn form the best and the published.
- Set up your own blog, write about books, what you’re writing and connect with other writers.
- Spend 90% of your time writing and 10% using social media.
- Read books on the craft of writing.
- Read books on the curricula of Masters in Children’s Literature programmes, for example, see my GoodReads list.
- Join a writers group and book club.
- Participate in the SCBWI online critique group. It will be starting again in September 2012.
Here’s a list of some useful websites and resources: www.writing.ie; www.poetryireland.ie;; www.storytellers.ie; David Maybury’s blog; Kim Harte’s blog; Claire Hennessy’s blog; IBBY Ireland; Irish PEN; www.teachermoloneyking.com (cue wild evil laugh!!) and Inis magazine.
SCBWI Ireland will be arranging another meet-up for August or September so stay tuned to the website for details. I enjoyed this meet-up. I managed to share my merger knowledge and gleam some gems from others so I, for one, will definitely be going to the next meeting, yelling ‘more, more, more!’
Michelle Moloney King is a primary teacher, blogger, book-worm and is currently writing books of her own.
The SCBWI logo is designed by Sarah Bowie.