The Scribbles Creative Writing Awards Shortlist!

  Hello, dear reader! Today is Shortlist Day! So, what’s the big deal about a shortlist? Lordy lord! A shortlist groups together the best. It acknowledges the most accomplished in a huge collection of entries. It’s how we make literary awards (such as the Scribbles Creative Writing Awards), manageable — both for the judges and…

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My Failed Romance

Dear reader, If you’re in The Scribbles Academy you might be familiar with my confession. If not… Have I ever told you about the time I wrote a romance story? OMG. I still groan with embarrassment. It was the mid 1980s and the Australian Women’s Weekly in conjunction with Mills and Boon, was running a…

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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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End of an Era: Why I’m Closing Q & Q Friday

Since our first video in August 2016, Q and Q Friday has had almost 21,000 views. That’s a lot in a niche industry. A lot in a small country like Australia—with crap SEO. Hear me GOOGLE? Get your bloody SEO sorted! Help the little guys get seen! We’ve produced 107 videos (so far) and covered…

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My three words for 2019: A mid year check in.

Hello, dear reader! It’s a full moon tonight. Plus, we’re heading towards Winter Solstice. A good time to reflect, yes? So, a super quick post. What were your words for 2019? Do you even remember  them? My 2019 words were: Clarity Ease Quiet Clarity Clarity has been tricky.  I’ve had my knickers in a knot…

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Looking for a hook? This might help.

Hello! Oh my Goddess! I was going to knock up a quick, bullet blog to get you up to speed. But. It all got too messy. Too much to say. Too much to consolidate. So. I’m devoting this post to the Scribbles Masterclass because, hey, this is what we do at girl and duck. We…

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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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Part Three. My Year in Review: Work and biz, the flops and the favourites

Here’s Part Three of the trilogy, my love! Talk about a saga. Let’s start with This Writing Life. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! The Good Truly Tan: Baffled! (that’s book seven) came out in October (in paperback and in audio). The series continues to delight old fans and gather new recruits. This year…

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Three problems I see with backstory

Remember that song by The Waterboys? The Whole of the Moon. ‘You know how it feels to get too high, too far, too soon… Whatevs I’m dickin’ around. Here are three backstory problems as I see them: 1 Too much backstory  Are you trying to tell your reader too much, too soon? Are your opening scenes…

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