Thursday, 21 March 2013

Feedback Required (please)

At today's Young Writer session, two of the mums came up to me at different times and asked why I don't take the Young Writer Concept on the road, incorporating it into schools, local clubs and libraries.  I would so love to do this but I really am not sure how to go about it.  One of the mums suggested I take a proposal to the local authority, including the newspaper articles, the published book, how it began and how it is run etc etc etc - to see if I could secure some funding.  The other asked me some time ago to put a presentation together that she can take to the head teacher at her son's school to maybe take it further there - but with the redundancy, now-totally-kaput-day-job (I finished there yesterday) plus the hunt for a new job (I have a mortgage too) - I didn't get the chance.  I have promised I will do one for her (and I truly will)  before the next session.  But how to proceed from there?

I really want this whole thing to be a huge success.  I want to encourage people to set up other groups, because they are so desperately needed if we are to secure the next generation of Rowlings, Pullmans, Donaldsons, Dahls and Meyers.  Even in the wake of the electronic publishing phenomena, writers and poets will always be a necessity and there is very little in the way of active Creative Writing groups for children out there - out of the school environment - where they can work with real writers and poets and learn about genres, deadlines and developing one's own style etc.  Sure there are websites and quite a lot of online and local competitions for the under-18s to enter (but beware the scammers who only want your money); but that's not quite the same as getting to actually speak to someone, getting real feedback and - most importantly of all - working alongside others in that age group where they can feed off and inspire each other.  I have done talks and workshops at schools and I know there is huge interest in the concept - and now I have also proved such a group can not only be done, but thrive.

So here is my request - any other writers out there - please, please PLEASE get in touch with me and give me your feedback on this.  You don't have to be rich and famous, or published.  You don't even have to write specifically for children.  You may well have a son, daughter or grandchild who has a real love of Creative Writing but don't know where else to turn for tangible support and encouragement for that child.  Let me know if you think other Young Writer groups could work.  Maybe you could even start one?

The more feedback I get the bigger the clout, so tell your friends, relations, teachers, libraians, local writing group members, other writers,  poets, publishers, editors, the W.I, brownies, scouts, beavers, guides - tell as many people as you can to get in touch with me and let's see how far we can take this.  There are future writers about who may never get the chance to follow their dream.  But Addiscombe Young Writers has done that and you can help others to do it too.

Looking forward to hearing from you.  Tell the World The World Needs Writers!
Good Writing everyone - and thank you in advance - and thanks, too, to those two mums for relighting a fire in my belly.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

How Can A Writer NOT Have A Title?

Not sure what title to give this today.  Not sure what I'm going to say if I am honest.  But desperately need to say something.  So here I am.  This is me.  I am Writer.

Had an acknowledgement from the other writing magazine the day after pitching the idea for The Article to them.  Nothing since, but at least they acknowledged I'd contacted them.  Nothing from the Publisher either, so may chase next week.  Have to chase when you're a writer as I am sure you know. Editors have notoriously short memories otherwise.  There's a couple of others I could try failing this first one but we'll see.

I got that job by the way.  It had been offered to me by the time the interview ended.  I start there on 3rd April so wish me luck when you wave me goodbye and all that.  The money is practically what I am on now BUT the hours are shorter - 9 to 5 (yes really - Dolly Parton has a lot to answer for), Monday to Friday.  This means I will get my evenings and weekends back, which is brilliant after three years of having them interrupted by work.  It also means I will have to change the Session days for my Young Writers and not sure if that will work.  Only time will tell.  Hope it works out.  I'd hate to lose it after keeping it going this long.

Think that's it for today.    Next time, I might even put some actual Work on to this blog.  After all - that is partly why I started it!

Catch you soon.  Good Writing!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Oh What A Glorious Thing To Be...

Definitely on the mend so have spent this evening Being A Writer.  I have pitched The Article to another magazine - and contacted a couple of publishers about maybe putting an actual guidebook together.  Have to do something.  Two weeks from now I will be out of a job!  So here is another part of the Great Plan - put an info pack together to send out to clubs, schools, libraries etc - announcing I am free to do talks, workshops, readings and the like - and that way I might be able to earn some money if another day job doesn't turn up.  What do you think?

Have Young Writers tomorrow.  Going to cover Descriptive Writing with them.  Had a pleasant hour today marking their first attempts at Limerick-writing at the last session.  Some of them seemed to click after several attempts - others found it a little harder.  But at least they tried.  All us writers should learn from these children.  Never give up, write because you love it and share the joy of it.

I'll probably be back tomorrow.  I am rather enjoying Being AWriter again...

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Forget ManFlu...

I am rather annoyed at myself because I have not done a new posting here for several days and this one will also be short.  But I do have a valid reason and that is that I have been knocked for six by some kind of virus.  Theoretically speaking, it cannot be normal flu because I am vaccinated against that every year.  And since I clearly do not qualify for ManFlu, I am calling it JillyBug because you would not believe how incredibly unwell I have been.  What started as a tickly cough in the middle of Monday morning last week had, by Thursday, turned into something on a real mission to finish me off.  It's true! Every muscle ached, every nerve was raw, my head was full of rocks, my chest was tight, my nose was similtaneously blocked and yet constantly streaming and the worst thing of all - no sense of smell or taste.  For three days!!!  Every drink I had, every morsal of food forced into my mouth was minus the very things that make them heavenly - I couldn't have woken up to smell the coffee even if I'd wanted to - and the food was all texture and no flavour.

This means the writing has gone totally to pot - and the first writing mag I contacted re: The Article has chosen to ignore me.  My soon-to-be-kaput-day-job is now full-blown kaput.  The company could not find me a suitable alternative so two weeks from now I shall be redundant. Luckily I already have one interview lined up this week and I have had acknowledgement emails from three others I have sent applications in to so all is not lost.  In the meantime, in between jobhunts and interviews - and now the JillyBug seems to be on its way out - I will make sure the Writing catches up with the rest of me.

I'll be back ...