Word counts! Let’s nail ’em!

Hey sugar! Missed Q and Q Friday last week? Doh! We talked about loads of stuff from hand-lettering in picture books (divine and tricky!), to the submission quirks of some publishers, to how long is a middle grade novel? No. Really. How long??? Plus, I had me a little rant. I want as many kidlit…

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How to make your reader feel seen

In the world of girl and duck, I get this often: Jen, I feel like I’ve known you for years. I always feel like you’re talking to me, personally. This doesn’t happen by accident. When I decided to take girl and duck online, I knew I had a lot to learn. Especially about marketing. I…

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Angels, graves and unseen helping hands: How things got weird when I was writing Tensy Farlow

Sometimes, weird shit happens when you write books and stories. Actually. Scrub that. Replace sometimes with all the time. When we write stories we tap into our subconscious. But, I believe we also tap into the collective unconscious. In my opinion, the collective unconscious informs and fuels the imagination. I see the imagination as a…

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The most important skill you’ll need as a career author

All career authors need to know how to write. Well, der, you didn’t pay good money to hear me say that. But wait, let’s look more closely. You need to know how to speak in public. You need to know how to work a Twitter account or a Facebook account or an Insta account or…

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Why I was rubbish at writing for adults

News flash Some people think I’m arrogant. They think, where does she get off, dishin’ out all this advice about creative writing? She doesn’t know everything. Shocking, I know. But it’s probably true.  There is a slim chance I don’t know everything. Not every little thing But I can tell you when it comes to creative writing there’s not much…

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Finish your freakin’ novel. Here’s why

I’ve often been asked by aspiring authors if they should send three sample chapters to a publisher and try to get a contract that way. Alarm bells. If that’s what the publisher is asking for,  by all means send them sample chapters. Always give them exactly what they want. That’s, ‘How to be an Author, 101’.…

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Seven common mistakes aspiring authors make

1 They write as if their work is being marked. It’s hard to lose that inner student, the kid who’s shit scared of getting it wrong. But you’re not that kid anymore. You can write whatever the hell you want. In any shape or form. People don’t know what to do with this freedom. It…

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