Why do we care so much about shortlists?

Someone recently asked, what’s the big deal about a shortlist? What’s the big deal? A shortlist groups together the best!  It acknowledges the most accomplished of a long and always healthy collection of entries. It’s also how we make competitions like the Scribbles Creative Writing Awards, manageable — both for the judges and for the competitors. Imagine if we only …

Creative writers: Two things you must have that I can’t give you

I've been thinking about teaching. I think about it a lot. You see, I've been gathering notes for another tutorial to add to the girl & duck Institute. This one's about voice. Voice is one of my FAVOURITE topics. It should be every author's favourite topic. Well. Top five at least. By the way... Do …

Cottage news, awards and competitions (for you), film news and a studio that requires imagination

Blog time. Go, Jen, go. K. The hunt is over! We bought a cottage in the country!  OMG! This Easter we got ten substandard Easter Eggs and a 1930s cottage with two big trees, a wasp nest and a headless statue. Exhibit A: We move in winter. Lots of time to declutter — the house, …

Want readers to sigh over your work? Try this

Universalities. Those little pearls of wisdom… In literature, universalities are statements that apply to everyone or to the human condition. Sometimes they're accurate, insightful and give readers, young and old, a lovely ah-ha moment. Sometimes they're grossly inaccurate. Famous universalities in literature include: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a …

The 2 problems publishers have with rhyming picture books

Hello, sunshine!  Missing Q & Q Friday? Here's a transcript from a  lovely one we recorded last year. Thanks to Suzy from Wagga Wagga in NSW for this awesome Q! You can listen, read or watch. Whatever suits you. or visit the Girl and Duck Podcast on iTunes where you can subscribe and listen on the go. The Q: As an aspiring illustrator who …