Writing advice from top children’s authors

James Moloney and his story board

Last week when I was at the Somerset Writer’s Festival I listened to lots of really great authors talk about their books and writing in general.  I collected some great writing tips for children (and adults) throughout the week and thought I’d share some with you.

  • James Moloney – Just sit at your computer and brainstorm ideas.  When you brainstorm you’re mining for ideas.  You have to be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes – this is the key to a great story (and also reminds me of my favourite quote from one of my all-time favourite books, To Kill a Mockingbird).
  • James Roy – Entertain your audience by making your characters miserable – conflict is exciting.
  • Patrick Ness – If you have a good idea, wait – ideas always attract other ideas.  No matter what age you are, you are never too young to have ideas.
  • Melina Marchetta – Names are really important in a story and can tell you a lot about a character.
  • Anthony Eaton – Be an absolute eavesdropper and sticky beak, that way you’ll pick up lots of ideas from the world around you.  Also, look at real events and ask WHAT IF?
  • Gus Gordon – Spend lots of time looking out the window daydreaming and imagining weird things happening.
  • Markus Zusak – Take things that happen to you or other people around you and use them in a story, but don’t make it autobiographical.

All of these authors made writing sound really easy to me and I’m sure the children that attended their sessions were inspired.  So if you or someone you know wants to write all you need to do is start collecting ideas and write, write, write.

Hot topic

Earth Hour is just round the corner this Saturday 27th March at 8.30. It has snuck up on me this year, perhaps it’s the disappointment of Copenhagen all the posturing and no result. Although even the most optimistic of those around us did not expect much from that summit.

Skeptical though we may be that world leaders will get it right, we can do our own little bit to show we care. It’s time to turn out the lights and try not to burn down the house by lighting all those candles the kids love.

Did you miss Bob Parker’s free public forum Hot topic – are we being climate smart? It’s not to late have your say on our Christchurch’s draft Climate Smart Strategy at a series of information meetings being held between 24th of March and the 20th of April.

Become informed on these issues and explore our Earth Hour and Sustainable living pages and check out catalogue resources on climate change.

Carbon Neutral by 2020Search the catalogue for The Long ThawGetting Green Done

Come on Christchurch get involved, have your say! Can we make a difference?

Keep in the loop with our newsletters

Everyone wants in on this!
Everyone wants in on this!

There can be no denying that life is busy out there. With the invention of cellphones and email there is no longer any excuse for not being at everyone’s beck and call. Is there no means of a quick escape?

That is where the library can step in. From thrillers to armchair travel, biographies to DIY, we can keep you up to date on the latest titles and recommended reads.

Getting a newsletter gives you the control – find a great read in an area of interest to you and can place a hold on it before anyone else gets their sticky fingers on it.

You can also use our New Titles to find out about new books, new release DVDs, audiobooks, and large print titles. Each Friday our feed of What’s new on our website lists fiction and  non-fiction that has just arrived in the library and titles which have just been ordered.

Come towards the light – subscribe to a library newsletter, check our New Titles and find out what’s new on our website. Reading is your escape and we are the X  that will mark the spot.

Knock me over – it’s the Image of the week

Reconstruction of T. Armstrong & Co. premises, corner of Colombo and Armagh Streets. Circa 1930.

Reconstruction of T. Armstrong & Co. premises, corner of Colombo and Armagh Streets

Do you have photos of Christchurch buildings being demolished, changed, or constructed? We love donations. Contact us

Also contact us if you have any further information on any of the images. Want to see more? You can browse our collection here.