I had a great time in the West Midlands with a bunch of other children’s writers from the Scattered Authors’ Society this weekend. Here are some of them, looking highly professional round the boardroom.
left to right: Lynne Benton (just out of shot) Ann Bryant, Valerie Wilding, Jacob Sagar Weinstein, Odette Elliott, Abie Longstaff, Elen Caldecott, Yvonne Coppard, Jen Alexander, Rebecca Lisle, Tracy Alexander, Anne Rooney, Cindy Jeffries, Liz Kessler, Rosalie Warren, Linda Chapman, Julie Sykes.
Poor Jacob! The SAS does tend to be a bit female-heavy for some reason. To be fair there were other male authors there – Paul Dowswell, Joe Friedman and Tim Collins – but that still gave a ratio of about 8-1 women. What does that say about writers and gender? Answers on the back of a GCSE textbook please.
Obviously I can’t tell you what we talked about unless you crossed your heart and hoped to die which isn’t something you should rush into, really. What I will tell you is that I came away feeling refreshed and invigorated. Being with other writers is always a tonic, especially when we usually spend all day alone at our keyboards with nothing but Twitter and Cash in the Attic for company.
I will give you some new book recommendations that I found out about though:
Mary Hoffman’s David (Bloomsbury) sounds as if it is going to take the YA book world by storm when it is published on July 4th. The David in question is based on the famous statue by Michaelangelo. Nobody knows who the model for ‘David’ was so Mary has fabricated a life for him, full of intrigue and dark romance.
A new name to children’s writing is Rosalie Warren. Her book Coping with Chloe (out at the end of March) looks promising.
Tim Collins is making a big splash with his humorous titles Diary of a Wimpy Vampire and Are you a Geek?
Rapidly taking over this age group for girls is Liz ‘Emily Windsnap’ Kessler. Her new stand alone title is A Year Without Autumn about a girl who goes forward in time to discover that terrible things have happened to her friend.
Plenty to get your teeth into there… especially Tim’s (that’s a vampire joke by the way).