More recently I have been reading Young Adult (YA) novels because, whilst I wait to see how my Singapore book does in a competition, I'm busy planning out an idea for a teen romance novel. Some of the books I have been reading to help with this are: Trouble by Non Pratt, The Secret History of Us by Jessie Kirby, 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, How I live Now by Meg Rosoff, Girl Missing by Sophie McKenzie, Margot and Me by Juno Dawson, You Don't Know Me by Sophia Bennett and A sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood. They are all very different to one another and not just because they are set in different times and places.
Reading lots in this genre is helping me think about the differences in writing for an older audience. I'm going to have to learn to: slow down, get inside my characters heads more, not over-explain and watch the language that I use to make sure I'm not patronising my readers. Tough learning curve, but I'm going to give it a go and step out of my comfort zone.
Quick reminder that I don't, as a rule, review books I have read on my blog, but I do usually review on Goodreads. If you'd like to know my thoughts on a book head on over to Goodreads, find the book and look for my review. Obviously well known books get lots of reviews so you might have to do some digging to find mine. Happy reading everyone!
It is amazing to receive lovely feedback about a visit. Here is what Tess Hackett, the English Subject Lead at Springmead Primary School had to say about my visit to the school on World Book Day:
Q1: Would you say the children benefited from the author visit and if so how?
The children benefited hugely from the visit. The excitement in the air was obvious on the day and we have seen a follow-up effect in the classrooms, with children reading and talking about the books that they bought and discussing the stories that they wrote in class the next day based on the ‘Box of Wonders’.
Q2: Would you recommend other schools invite Camilla to visit, why?
Yes- the children greatly enjoyed the assembly and workshops and were thrilled to meet a ‘real author’. We have been able to follow up many aspects of Camilla’s talks, including the importance of editing and the joy of the writing process.
Q3: Would the children like to say anything to Camilla about her visit?
‘It was the best World Book Day we’ve ever had!’
Q4: Do you have any other feedback for Camilla?
Thank you for all of your hard work on the day. The children really enjoyed themselves and now have a better understanding of the writing process (and lots more imaginative ideas too)!
If you're interested in finding out more, please visit my Author Visits page. All you need to do is Contact Me, I'd love to hear from you!
These pictures are from my visit to the centre yesterday. Even though I was there to deliver a session to teachers about inspiring children in their creative writing in school, I learned just as much from my fellow artists, Paul (Poet) and Genevieve (Story Teller).
The photos are of the Judith Kerr exhibition that is running at the centre at the moment. Such a thrill to look around as I'm a huge Mog fan. It reminds us all that you don't need space aliens and superheroes to craft a great book for kids. Simple stories about every day life are like magic if they're done well (Okay, I do have to admit that it isn't every day that a tiger comes to tea!)
It's not expensive to go, so if you can I would strongly recommend a visit and if you're a school local to London check out the Catching Words Project - it is fantastic. The feedback we are getting is brilliant.
On World Book Day itself I had a wonderful time with all the children at Springmead Primary School in Welwyn Garden City. It is tradition to dress up as characters from children's books so in the photo below you will see me as Lucas Larks from my book, EATS.
The other author is my SCBWI friend, Anita Lehmann who was entertaining the KS1 children whilst I was busy with KS2. We met during break and lunch. It was good fun to share WBD with a friend. Did you dress up for your WBD this year? I saw lots of great costumes.
If you're thinking of inviting me to your school, please take a look at my Author Visit page for more information.
Big thank you to Anita Lehmann who made it all happen and for all the lovely SCBWI members who came along dressed as characters from their books and donated so many fantastic raffle prizes.
Final Note - I did have a couple of adults who talked to me about wanting to write for children. If this is you then my advice is to just do it but also find out about writing groups and support local to you. Writing is a craft, just like any other and you need to practice and learn in order to improve. If you want to know more about SCBWI go to the website: SCBWI British Isles.
I'm donating loads of brilliant prizes for the raffle on February 9th. To find out all about it please visit my Competition Page.
Next stop is Altmore Infants. Can't wait to see what other amazing stories are ready and waiting to be released into the world.
Remember that Catching Words project is open for more schools in and around London to sign up to. It is cheap as chips and I highly recommend giving it a go. Find out more here: Catching Words Project
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