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…

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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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Institute Opening Sale! Be quick!

Hello, dear reader. Do you remember the Ponds Institute?   Here at girl and duck HQ, I desperately wanted to call our new school, The Pond Institute. In loving memory, of course. And so I could justify a lab coat. But. I didn’t want to get sued. So, we have opened the girl and duck…

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Three ways to make yourself write

Excuses not to write or create. We’ve all got truckloads. Snoresville. Don’t waste mental and emotional energy trying to push through or fight with your excuses. Don’t try to rationalise them, either. Don’t take them out, hold them to light, polish and stroke them. And don’t try tossing out your everyday life in the name…

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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,…

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House Huntin’, Book Writin’, and the Inaugural Scribbles Live Round

The other day my friend, Tania McCartney, told me about Bullet Journalling. Sounds like fun! I’ll follow it up. It made me think of Bullet Blogging. Could I try that??? Is that even a thing? It is now. Here goes: The hunt for a country house continues. We’ve seen millions (well, that’s how it feels).…

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A quick announcement

Happy 2018 from girl and duck! This is not an official ‘blog post’. It’s just a quick note to let you know Questions and Quacks begins again tomorrow morning! Questions and Quacks, (or Q & Q Friday as we like to call it) is your one stop, kid lit, video wonderland. No exaggeration! It’s where…

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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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Behold! The children’s book industry. Here’s how it works

Is there a hierarchy in the children’s book industry? You betcha. If you’re just entering this dog-eat-dog world, think of it like a school. A large, grey bugger with high fences and lots of asphalt. The picture book creators are kept inside, in a rarefied, humidity-controlled, tastefully decorated sanctuary. Busy finger painting. Will speak to fairies. No one else. The…

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How to become a better writer

I wrote my first picture book in the 1980s. It was about a teddy bear. Mr Bear spent several hours dangling from a clothesline. Gripping stuff. I popped my story in an envelope and sent it to a publisher. Six months later when the rejection slip arrived, I stuck it to the wall above my typewriter.…

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