Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just hold steady a minute, so i can get my bearings...

Getting your work published is not the end of your education it is just the beginning. Every time I have had something published I have learned something new. The more I learn the more I appreciate how little I know. And it does not help that the industry is constantly evolving and currently seems to be experiencing some rather major shifts. Jeepers, just hold steady for a minute, will you, so I can get my bearings. Yet there are certain fundamentals which will always apply in this business. Being polite and professional is always the right place to start. And you can check out some more good advice on how to get on the publication road here at Nicola Morgan's blog.

I am in the teaching seat this summer holidays, taking a two day weekend workshop on writing for children as part of the University of Auckland's Centre for Continuing Education Summer Programme. There are still spaces available and you can check it out here. To be held at the lovely Epsom campus, it will be a fun weekend of juicy writing secrets, tips and the chance to weed and iron out those pesky writing problems you might be having.

Thanks to the wonderful Graham Beattie who reviewed my new book The Half Life of Ryan Davis on his blog. "YA psychological drama thriller writing at its best......."  Crikey - I wrote that book :). And I just want to share this juicy link because I think this is very smart. Janet Reid talks about the mistaken assumption of stupidity when someone does not 'get' what you are saying.  This is not just for writers but for everyone, everywhere.

I visited the primary school at which a fellow writer, Phillip Simpson, teaches last week to read to his year 3-4 class. I put up a signed copy of The Were-Nana as the prize for a writing challenge I gave them. Here is the winning entry by Eva Colthart. Well done Eva...I have chills running down my spine...

Halloween  Night
By Eva Colthart

Once   a   little   girl   was   going    to   do   trick   or   treating.   There   was   a   house   near   the   grave   yard.   She   trick   or   treated   there.   She   knocked   on   the   door   and   an old   man   came   out.   She   screamed   and   ran   away   as   fast   as   she   could.   Then   BANG!!   Something   came   from   the   old   man’s   house.   She   went   back   to   her   house   and   ran   into   her   bedroom   and   told   her    dad    everything .  He   didn’t   believe   her.  A    minute   later   the   lights   went   out   and   her   dad   lit   a   candle.   Then   the   lights   flashed   and   there   was   a   spooky   noise   it   sounded   like   a   howl.   She   thought   that   it   was   a   were-wolf   but   when   she   went   back   to   the   house   of   the   old   man   it   was   him.   He   was   turning   into   a   were-wolf!!!   She   was   scared   she   ran   and   told   her   dad,   he   still   didn’t   believe   her.   She   took   her   dad   to   the   old   man’s   house.   Then   they   went   into   the   old   man’s   house.   He   was   dead   on   the   floor.   Aaaaaarrrrrraarrr!!!!   She   screamed.   They   both   ran   back   to   their   house   and   the   lights   were   still   off.   Her   dad   lit   another   candle.   Then   a   zombie    came   through   the   wall!!!!!   And   on   that   day   they   both   died.

The   end!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Melinda, this is Eva's mum. Eva was so excited to win your fantastic book! It will be treasured for many years to come. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit Eva's class, Kind regards, Bernadette

Melinda Szymanik said...

Hi Bernadette - Eva wrote a great story to win the prize - well done! I enjoy visiting schools. Its brilliant to meet children who are so keen on books and writing.