If you’re visiting this site as a fellow writer, hello and thanks for your interest! I’ve been keeping a blog since 2003, long before it occurred to me to begin writing for publication. But this blog starts only from the beginning of my days as an aspiring author. You can find posts about how I found my first agent (and general stuff about agents too) also about the process of getting published.
As to my own advice about getting published, well, so much has already been written on the subject. For years I resisted the urge to add to it, but found myself writing emails to many readers who asked. So here, adding to the pile of advice:
My own tips.
Read a heck of a lot. Read different genres, different styles.
Try writing in different styles, go out of your comfort zone and then return to it, with new skills.
When you read and something makes you feel something, stop and look at those words. What was it about them that moved you?
Live an interesting life. It will make it so much easier on the research if most of what you write comes from within, from your own knowledge and experience. I’m not saying ‘write what you know’. I’m saying ‘write what you can adapt’. Your life, your feelings, your experiences, your knowledge, they are all raw material. They are the well to which you return again and again. When you live through something uncomfortable or even painful, try to remember that one day, you can turn this into something in a story.
If you DO show your writing to anyone before you show it an agent (and it’s a smart idea to share your writing before you show it to anyone in the industry), then take the advice of my good friend Joe Craig, another children’s author. Ask them these THREE Editing Big Questions:
Does it make sense?
Is it exciting?
At any point, do any of the characters act like an idiot?
You may also like to hang out online with other writers to find out about how to submit material to agents and publishers.
Two great places to start that I know: Litopia Writer’s Colony and Writewords.org. They are two terrific websites for helping people get critiques of their work from fellow writers, both published and unpublished.
At Litopia members can critique each other’s work within the colony, within specialist critique groups. Radio Litopia produces regular podcasts about the publishing industry and writing. Writewords has a wide range of specialist critique groups, including Young Children, Children and Young Adult. Writewords also has a database of jobs (freelance writing) national writing competitions and very importantly – agent contact details. It also features regular interviews with published authors (many who started at Writewords) and literary agents.
Both groups also have a lively, dynamic discussion forum where writers at EVERY stage of the publication process can share experience, successes, woes and everything about the writing process. You’ll find more advice on those websites than I could ever possibly give you. If you are a writer and are looking to get published, I strongly advise you to join one or both of these terrific resources for writers. The members of both communities will make you feel you’re not alone in the process and support you all the way.
Posted on June 11, 2015 - by MG
This year Team Gemini Force descended on the tiny Welsh town, Jamie Anderson, Nina Douglas from Orion Children’s Books, me and my teenage daughter, Lilia. Martin Chilton, Cultural Editor of the Telegraph, was on board too, interviewing Jamie and me on stage for two events.
Posted on April 24, 2015 - by MG
Time for a quick recap on the launch of Orion Children’s Book’s edition of GEMINI FORCE ONE: BLACK HORIZON. The Blackwell’s cake party will be familiar. But this time, as a special treat for some Kickstarter backers and book bloggers, Waterstone’s Piccadilly also invited us to put on a London bash.