Blogs

I don’t have a regular blog of my own, but I do contribute to other people’s blogs, so if you’d like to read any of my musings on writing, publishing, school visits and other things, do check out a few of the links below!

Diverse December – on reading books, identifying with the characters and the importance of diversity.

Getting to Know your Characters – the difference it makes when writing to really know your characters.

Constraints and Creativity – how constraints can improve your writing, and a little bit about how I used a medieval Welsh poem for the structure of Cauldron Spells.

Show Not Tell – the Creative Writing MA tricks I haven’t quite managed to master…

Publishing Your Own Book – on a project I ran with a local school to write and publish their own book.

An Open Letter to the Education Secretary – on the teaching of writing in schools, and how the relentless push for complex sentences and ‘wow’ words is ruining children’s writing.

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway – on writing non-white characters into your books.

The Perils of Character Upgrades – a frank and heartfelt exchange of letters with Character Upgrades Inc., over their attempts to improve some of my Frogspell characters.

Have We Seen the End of Pink Books? – on gendered book covers and whether they have had their day.

Accelerated Reader – What’s it all About? – the AR schemes being used in many schools and the perils of judging books by vocabulary and sentence structure…

How Many Characters is Too Many? – the day I realised I had too many characters to cram in a van!

Invisible Boundaries and Social Media – or, how not to barge in on a Goodreads discussion…

The Wonderful Magic of Authors Visits – on going ‘behind the scenes’ at some other author’s visits and seeing just how much they give to the children involved.

 Three Years On – what the publishing industry looks like from the perspective of three years in and six books published.

An Interview with Frances Hardinge – meeting Frances at the chip shop for some musings on her new book, Cuckoo’s Song, and on writing in general.

 The Dreamer and the Editor – on the ways the creative process works, and the collaboration between the dreamer (the woozy soft-focus dream self) and the editor (the rational, logical awake self).

How Do We Judge Quality in Children’s Books? – musings on the Carnegie criteria and what makes a good children’s book – is quality in children’s writing different from ‘literary’ quality?

 Why Children’s Books are the Opposite of Tragedies – on the hopefulness at the heart of so many children’s books.

Big is a Banned Word in Our Classroom – on the teaching of writing in primary schools, National Curriculum literacy targets and Michael Gove’s grammar reforms…

The Logic of Magic – on different writers’ approaches to how magic works and why I chose to use the sort of magic I did in Frogspell.

Looking for adverbs – should writers be ruthlessly cutting these out? An analysis of the use of adverbs and adjectives, with a glance at their frequency in the writing of Diana Wynne Jones, Jonathan Stroud, Marcus Sedgwick and others.

 

 

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