Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Two minutes of FAME!

I am a star !!!!
Or at least I was a star for 2 minutes last week at the 
A Night With Our Stars!

West Australian authors and illustrators that had a book released in the past year were invited by the CBCA to give a 2 minute talk about their book to an audience of librarians, teachers and other interested booky people.

It's a long way for me to travel from Singapore to Perth for 2 minutes of stardom but I had a things I needed to do in Perth (e.g. a family barbeque  a catch-up with friends and some shopping) so I took the opportunity to combine business with pleasure and went along!

It was particularly enjoyable because Michael Scott Parkinson, the illustrator of  Darcy Moon and the Deep-fried Frogs, and I were able to do our first ever double-act together.

I talked for two minutes (which went rediculously fast) about Darcy Moon while Michael illustrated my words in 'real' time. I didn't get a photo of what he drew because I was too busy talking, but he had the crowd in hysterics and made me sound even more hilarious than I usually am, so thanks Michael. 

I then illustrated (after receiving a few online lessons from Michael) his newest character creation 'Norbert' while Michael spoke about his new book coming out in August 2015. 
My impression of Michael Scott-Parkinson's 'Norbert'

The event was sponsored by Fremantle Press and Westbooks and was a fantastic celebration of wonderful children's books that were born in WA this year.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

All IN! Singapore Young Writer's Festival


ALLIN! Singapore Young Writer's Media Festival took place over February 28th and March 1st of this year (2015), and it was my pleasure to speak about two very different and exciting topics.

In the morning, I ran a three hour workshop entitled Speed-pitching Basics and Preparation. 

It was an intimate and interactive workshop that covered such topics as; 
  • What is a pitch?
  • Why should I pitch?
  • When, where and to whom should I pitch?
  • How do I write a pitch?
  • How do I prepare and deliver a pitch?

No matter what age you are, if you are interested in pitching your story to editors, publishers, agents or potential buyers watch this space. I will be blogging about these topics over the next few weeks and you could get a lot of advice for free !

The festival was held at the newly opened (October 2014)  library@orchard, located in Orchard Gateway Mall in the heart of Singapore's shopping district, so I was able to have a lovely local lunch with good friends David Seow and Ken Quek between sessions.

My afternoon session was another 3 hour workshop examining the topic, How to Craft Effective Characters.

A large group of more than 20 incredibly articulate and talented upper-school children from both local and international schools attended, and we examined topics such as;

  • What makes a memorable character?
  • How to create a great character?
  • How to use point of view to make my character come alive on the page?
  • How to use dialogue to make my character come alive on the page?
  • How to use plot to make my character come alive on the page?
  • How to use setting to make my character come alive on the page?

If you are interested in learning how to make your lead and/or minor characters believable, I will be giving tips and advice on this blog over the next few weeks, so watch this space.

It was my first time attending the festival and I was struck by how many young people (13-24 year olds) had a viable work-in-progress under their belt. I was also impressed by the extraordinary writing skills these young people already possess. 

Good luck to all of you that attended. You are certainly shining bright at a very young age!

 Closetful of Books
Closetful of Books #ALLIN2015