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Navel Gazing

Just back from my first experience of Kid Lit Vic 2018 where I was draped with a lanyard, my name tag dangling near my navel.

I am sharing a few gems.

  • The venue, Melbourne Town Hall was fabulous, with high ceilings and rooms with sparkling lights.
  • Leigh Hobbs’ opening address was pithy and humorous and the bottom line was YOU NEED TO HAVE PERSEVERANCE and to take pleasure in the creative process, do the work for the love of it
  • Melissa Keil ran a workshop called ‘Pitch Perfect and Submission Ready’ and provided a booklet with examples of cover letters and proposals. She also explained the treacherous road to acquisitions. She emphasised that you must do the research and demonstrate you have targeted your submission.
  • The elevator pitch for a PB does not need to be more than a paragraph.
  • You should demonstrate that you are familiar with the children’s market and how your book differs from what is already there.There is no need to provide illo notes but you can suggest a style that would suit your words, and even a few names of illustrators that you like but be prepared for the publisher’s alternate suggestions. ( I did not know this)
  •  Jane Pearson from Text Publishing ran a workshop on ‘Finding your Voice’, that nebulous concept we are all chasing. She emphasised the need to fully imagine your characters beyond the story itself. Can you hear their voice in your head?She discussed the differences with 1st and 3rd person voice, the need to avoid clichés and stereotypes (like the bitchy girls at school) and that when different narrators are used, the different voice should come through.Finally she emphasised that it is hard to overlay voice at the end once a story is finished; it has to come from the inside and not be artificially created at the end.
  • now off to do some yoga and meditation