Creative Writing Awards and a fantastic FLASH sale! (Plus Elsie’s ongoing makeover.)

Okay. So. I’m writing this while someone drills the outside walls of the studio. Not sure what they’re doing. It’s like there’s a giant dentist outside trying to break in. A painting just fell off the wall, knocked a cup of tea flying and tipped over a Peace Lily. Aside from that, it’s business as…

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Shining on the slush pile (revisited)

The following is a transcript from an early Q and Q Friday (Questions and Quacks). You can read the transcript or you can scroll down and watch the video. Yay! If you subscribe to girl and duck you’ll receive a Q and Q video like this one, every Friday. Straight to your inbox. Free! Dear…

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What do editors know?

It’s only subjective! They don’t know everything! You have to stick to your guns! Over the years I’ve been privy to conversations wherein authors discuss/ argue/ wail about their editors. Likewise, I’m often asked by aspiring  authors and illustrators, ‘What should I do when my editor makes suggestions and I don’t agree with them?’ Sometimes…

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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…

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Rhyme and rhythm in picture books

Earlier this week I dreamed that I wrote a Little Golden Book— but somehow forgot to tell anyone. In the dream, I was flicking through the book (which was illustrated by Lucinda Gifford but in the style of Gabrielle Wang!) and I thought, ‘This is lovely. I must blog about it.’ I don’t know whether…

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In conversation with a wolf (who is also an illustrator)

When I was an aspiring children’s author back in the 1980s, the only career guidance I could find was Mem Fox’s autobiography. Ahem. Aside from that there was one other book, a textbook, kicking around. But it was fairly lacklustre and I don’t recall its title. Other than that, it was just me and me typewritin’ machine (it…

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Right story, wrong format. Why it’s important to be true to the story.

Today in my morning pages I had an ah-ha moment. Man, it had been a long time coming. Sometimes I’m astonished by how blinkered I can be. But once I had the realisation, I thought, I have to share this with the duckettes! And while we’re at it, for those of you who haven’t heard me quack about morning…

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PASSION! The big P of creative writing.

Behold, creative writing duckettes! The three Ps that will keep you going through the tough times. Patience, perseverance and passion. Sadly not one of them is coated in chocolate. But that could easily be arranged. Patience. Easy peasy. All this means is that we simply have to patient with ourselves. We have to give ourselves time to learn. Sounds like a…

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How not to brief an illustrator

Early in 2016 I decided it was time to start teaching creative writing again. I’d taught a few years earlier and loved everything about it—the connection, the conversations, the sharing, reading, writing, coffee! Heaven. This time though I wanted to commit more fully, and build something for my students that was rich and supportive. Something with staying power. I…

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video: Art supplies for beginners (you know, those of us who love art and are desperate to dabble).

Dream, imagine, play, create. That’s the girl & duck motto. So to kick things off I’ve made a little video. Or vlog. Or…moving picture thingy. No matter. It’s about the dizzying maze of art supplies. I love fine art and I ADORE illustration. There really is no difference to me, it’s all a joy. Because…

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