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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Story arcs made simple! Plus, how I wrote my first book.

Here at HQ (aka The Palace) I’ve been thinking about narrative arcs. Story arcs. Those things what you hang a story on… Pesky, aren’t they? Exposition Rising action Climax Falling action Resolution My friend refers to stories with saggy arcs as ‘souffle stories’. They sink in the middle. Nice! Here’s my simile: Writing fiction is like skiing. The…

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Geek Duck’s Top Ten Tips for Partners of KidLit Creators

I rarely if ever have guest bloggers. Why? Because I can’t be stuffed. It all sounds like way too much verk. And you know how I like to keep verk to minimum. But last week Geek Duck came to me and said, ‘I want to write a blog post, do you mind?’ ‘Go right ahead,’…

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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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News from the house hunt, and ‘where to from here?’ for this blog

You know how I used to have a blog called Baxter Street? Well I did. It was more personal that this blog. For 2018 I’ve decided to combine the best of Baxter Street with the best of Girl & Duck. Which means sometimes I’ll bang on about personal stuff that might not interest you. Other…

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Let Your Heart Be Light

Hello! I like writing blog posts at Christmas. No one expects much. Do they? Writing: I finally finished Truly Tan: Baffled! (book seven) and delivered it to my publisher on time (working right up until December 15, the day it was due). Phew! Next year I’ll be waaaay more organised. Ahem. Finalising: We signed off…

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14 Excuses to Stop Writing NOW

Creative writing is tough. Sometimes all we need is a tiny nudge to make us chuck it in. If you’re looking to bail but need more than a hall pass, here are some tried and tested, totally legitimate, OUTS. Great excuses. Guaranteed to save face. Your face. 1. If you get published you might have…

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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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What defines a main character?

Sometimes we refer to people as ‘real characters’. How weird. Is this uniquely Australian? Is it an Australianism? ‘Oh, my great aunt was a real character!’ Either way, it’s nearly always a term of endearment. There are loads of characters in my daily circle. The old bloke who wears a duster coat, drives a 1950s…

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