Monday, 22 February 2010

Social Networking

If there's one thing I'll remember from the Undiscovered Voices launch party, it's the noise. The awesome hubbub caused by 70+ people all at schmooze factor 9. In many ways, it fitted my romantic image of a literary party - a room full of people sipping white wine and chatting animatedly about the state of the industry - except WE WERE ALL SHOUTING.

The Calm Before the Launch

It's the Undiscovered Voices launch party tonight and I should be desperately, frantically worried about it. In fact, my relative calm is so out of character that I'm worrying about that instead! So what went right?

Friday, 19 February 2010

Competitive Spirit

I've never seen myself as particularly competitive - I was always chosen last at team sports and I lived the typical geeky kid's life of too many computer games and not enough sunshine. So far, the children's publishing industry doesn't seem to be particularly cutthroat - beyond the need to land 'The Next Harry Potter' before someone else - and that suits me just fine. So why do I feel this pressure to compete?

Monday, 15 February 2010

The Gender Gap

It's impossible to spend much time writing for children before you notice the massive discrepancy between men and women; writers, agents, editors - women greatly outnumber men at all levels of the industry. Does this give us a vision of what life would be like in a matriarchal society? And is that such a bad thing? I've been procrastinating on this subject for months, lest it get me into trouble, but here goes anyway...

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Superiority Complex

I have to admit that being a writer sometimes makes me feel superior to other people. I'm going to stress 'sometimes' here, and if there are any other writers in the room, then that tends to drop to 'never'. I guess it's based on the idea that the time I spend trying to drag the right word from my subconscious is somehow a valid and noble enterprise. I'd like to think that when I'm sitting there on the train with my notepad, I'm doing something a lot more constructive than the guy sitting two rows away who's always playing World of Warcraft on his laptop.

Thursday, 4 February 2010


I was pushed into an uncomfortably defensive position at a critique group some months ago, when one of the other writers asked after the quality of my manuscript. I said that I thought it was very good and he responded:

"It isn't enough to be very good - it needs to be unputdownable."