I’m the author of The Ghost Twin Tales, three short stories featured in the Pinestein Press anthology, Mini Mysteries and Kooky Spookies.
I have two poetry packs awaiting publication with an educational publisher.
2. How long have you been writing for children?
I’ve been writing poems and stories since I was a child myself, but I started to focus on writing for children about five or six years ago when I took the Institute of Children’s Literature Course in Writing for Children and Teenagers. I’ve focussed on writing for children since then.
3. How much time do you spend each week writing and/or revising? And how much time on other writing-related tasks such as promotion, researching markets and so on?
That’s a difficult question to ask as no two weeks are the same. Sometimes I’ll spend a whole day working on one particular story. At the moment I’ve just started a fantasy novel and my aim is to write 500 words or so, 5 times a week. I do try to do some writing every day, but have to admit sometimes I get sidetracked. I set weekly goals for both writing and marketing/promotion, but sometimes one thing has to take priority for one reason or another.
4. How much time do you spend reading children’s books? And what are you reading right now?
Again this varies. I devour books in one sitting wherever possible as once I start reading I don’t like to put a book down before I’m finished. Right now I’m re-reading Michelle Paver’s Wolf Brother. I spend a lot of time reading stories in magazines and publications I want to get published in. This will probably change though as I’ve just started writing a middle grade fantasy novel. I spend a lot more time reading children’s books than books aimed at adults.
5. What advice would you give other would-be children’s writers, or share with other professional children’s writers?
Enter competitions! They’ve opened doors for me. Seek out, or ask for editors’ and publishers’ needs. Offer what they want, but provide them with a little extra.
Read, read, read and seek out other children’s writers as mentors, friends and critics (constructive critics, of course) .
6. What is your favourite online resource for children’s writers? Why?
I can’t say I have a favourite. I do read a lot of blogs and author websites to see what’s going on in the world of children’s writing. I like Write4kids, the Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club site etc. I also subscribe to a lot of online newsletters and a few listserves.
7. Do you have a website or blog? What else do you do to promote your published works and/or your writing skills?
Yes, I have a blog: www.kidsbooksuk.blogspot.com. I teach classes and workshops on Creative Writing in my local community. I’m hoping to break into school visits in the near future and have just applied to an organisation who arrange school visits. I’m a member of the Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club and SSWAG (Seven Stories Writers’ and Artists’ Group) SSWAG are currently touring with an exhibition entitled Work in Progress, showing how writers and artists work, from ideas, notes and sketches through to publication. I promote myself through my local press too.
I’m a member of several list serve groups such as Children’s Writers and Wordpool and have recently joined Facebook. I attend workshops, roadshows and conferences too. I just to be shy about networking and promoting myself, but now I love it.
Soon I’ll have one of my stories recorded as a podcast by a TV presenter. I’m very excited about that. I’ve been asked to speak about this experience to local community groups.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us, Dorothy.
If YOU would like to be featured here, drop me a line and I’ll send you the questions.