Wednesday, March 21, 2007

World Poetry Day

Today is Poetry Day.

March 21st was proclaimed World Poetry Day in 1999 by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. The aim of the day is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world.

To mark the day I was going to put a little poem on my blog - but... I changed my mind!

Monday, March 19, 2007

My New Books

My new books are now available to pre-order on Amazon UK:

Developing History Year R

Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd (30 Sep 2007)
Language English
ISBN-10: 0713683961
ISBN-13: 978-0713683967
Price: £16.99

Developing History Year 1

Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd (30 Sep 2007)
Language English
ISBN-10: 0713683953
ISBN-13: 978-0713683950
Price: £16.99

Developing History Year 2

Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd (30 Sep 2007)
Language English
ISBN-10: 0713683929
ISBN-13: 978-0713683929
Price: £16.99

They are part of a series of seven photocopiable activity books - one for each year of primary school. The books follow the proven, successful 'Developings' formula and provide a wealth of activities to support the teaching of history in the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. History fires pupils' curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Through the activities in this series, pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people's actions. The aim of the series is to develop children's sense of identity through learning about the development of Britain, Europe and the world. It introduces pupils to what is involved in understanding and interpreting the past. Children find evidence, weigh it up and draw their own conclusions, and in doing so they develop skills in research, sifting through evidence, and arguing for their own point of view.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Book Review - Creative Writing

How to books
ISBN: 1-84528-101-2
Author: Adele Ramet
Price: £9.99 (Paperback)

This book is ideal for the beginner writer who wants an overview of the different genres whether they are writing for children or adults. It covers both fiction and non-fiction and has chapters on character, setting, dialogue, using personal experiences and how to submit to publishers.

Following the familiar how to book format, each of the ten chapters concludes with a handy checklist and an assignment to help you develop your skills and put what you have read into practice. There is also a very useful list of addresses for writing organisations and societies, as well as lists of websites and further reading where you can find more information.

I also have some of Adele Ramet’s other books on my bookshelf:

Creating a Twist in the Tale: How to Write Winning Short Stories for Women's Magazines

Writing Short Stories and Articles: How to Get Your Work Published in Newspapers and Magazines

And I have had the pleasure of attending her ‘Writing a Twist in the Tale’ workshop at the Caerleon Writers Holiday. I found her no-nonsense, direct to the point style was reflected in Creative Writing: How to unlock your imagination, develop your writing skills and get published.

Adele Ramet does not ‘tell’ you how to write better, she ‘shows’ you through concise, easy-to-understand examples. By following her advice you will be able to recognise the areas that need sharpening in your own writing and know how to improve them. It is the kind of book you’ll want to refer to time and time again. Packed full of useful ‘insider’ tips on creating professional, potentially lucrative manuscripts it provides a comprehensive guide on how to write on a variety of topics.

It is full of essential tips to hone your skills and help you decide which area of writing you want to concentrate on, or specialise in. In my opinion, Creative Writing is a useful addition to the bookshelf and an invaluable tool for all aspiring authors.

This book was sent to me by the How to Books publishers especially to review on this blog. There is always a worry when I review books what happens if I don't like it but, I must say I really like the format of the How to Books. I like the way they use casestudies and checklists and they have assignments so you can practice. A couple of my favourite books of theirs is the Pamela Cleaver books on writing for children. See: Books About Writing For Children.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Pulped Fiction

A link to this article from The Independent was posted in one of my Forums and I thought you all might be interested.

Take a look at: Pulped fiction: Publishing is booming. So why are writers struggling?

It is most enlightning. Although, I don't think many authors turn to writing nowadays with the illusion they are going to make mega money. A friend of mine told me that an educational book has a shelf life of about five years and then it goes out of print. You have to keep up a large turn over of books to make any money at it.

You know what that means? I best get some work done!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Another Article

I've got another article published in this month's Writer's Forum - the March issue - for any of you who are confused what month it is.

If you are interested and get a chance to have a look it is on pages 35-6. It is about Leslie Horton and why she decided to write crime novels.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Blogs and Blogging

Blogging can be an awful distraction from doing 'real' work. It is a brilliant time waster.

I got asked the other day if I made any money from my blog. The answer is I'm afraid not. You don't get paid for posting blogs. It is one of those things where you are actually writing for FREE. I've been told by several different authors never write for nothing... and here I am still blogging.

I've been experimenting in MySpace too - so now I have two blogs. The MySpace blog I have decided to use for just posting book reviews. I have been sent a couple of books straight from publishers to review. However, I will probably add them here as well.

To be honest I prefer Blogger to MySpace. I think MySpace is very messy and has a disorganised feel to it. However, I quite like the making friends function. So yesterday I set about making a few friends and I am now Harrison Ford's friend. How cool is that?

Well, it would be if I hadn't gone to his site to leave a comment and accidently left a picture of a pig. There goes all my credibility - a pig! I ask you!

That was it. Talk about being totally uncool. This is what I meant to leave:

Which would have been much more sophisticated. So there goes my lasting friendship with Harrison Ford. I don't think it even lasted 24 hours.

Ah well, lets hope I make a better impression on the agents and publishers.