An afternoon at Write Links with James Moloney
Fifty books. Did I really hear that? Fifty. Can you imagine that? My mind has been blown away! I can’t fathom having fifty books published in my name – would I even remember all of their names or what the stories were about.
Last Saturday I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting and listening to, a renowned Australian author who has that many published novels. His name, James Moloney. This down-to-earth author writes a range of genre, but focuses mainly on fantasy and contemporary realism.
I came to know of James Moloney when my daughter brought home one of his books, Lost Property, as her Year 10 English text. I read it out of curiosity, being an author myself. I found the novel gutsy and real, so different to the texts I’d read back in high school in the eighties. After finishing Lost Property I wanted to read more of James’ work. So when I heard that Book Links/Write Links were holding this workshop, I quickly booked my spot.
I was not disappointed. With a room full of authors and aspiring writers, it was a real pleasure to listen to how James writes and in particular his tips on how to write a series of books.
I personally have never contemplated writing a series. My first standalone book is in the process of being published and it was a marathon to write.
I couldn’t imagine writing a trilogy or more! But many people in the room did have that ambition and were planning and writing their series of novels. It was wonderful to hear their dreams and ideas.
The two hour workshop was full of great advice and wisdom. My hand wrote frenziedly as I filled seven pages of my notebook. Re-reading my notes, I would have to say that the best tips I gleaned were:
Write Links Networking:
After our workshop, Write Links members shared their news for the month. April had been both eventful and an active month. The room was full of congratulatory clapping. Write Links is such an active group.
Our members have:
The QWC workshop, The Business of books: Hard & Soft Launches by Peter M. Ball was advertised and highly recommended.
The last session of the afternoon was critiquing. There are three groups: Picture Books, Junior Fiction and Young Adults. All groups busily shared their thoughts and ideas on how the authors could improve their work. I find this an invaluable part of the Write Links meeting. My writing has improved so much over the time I have been sharing it with others. I like that my fellow authors give me ideas, they tell me the parts of my story that are inconsistent or don’t make sense, and they tell me what is great. Having people talk about your work can be daunting but the critiquers are there to help and to make your writing the best it can be. If you haven’t joined a critique group, I highly recommend it.
Our Next Meeting:
Our next meeting will be on 4 June. The first session will be a group collaborative story for the Big Draw. Last year Write Link members wrote a fantastic story that the children who attended the Big Draw at the Queensland State Library illustrated. Author Charmaine Clancy will be running the session.
We look forward to seeing you on 4 June.
Dream big and keep writing!
Guest blogger: Jenny Woolsey
There were celebrations aplenty last month during our April Write Links meeting. We started with our monthly Professional Development session with a presentation by author Yvonne Mes on 'Getting the Most out of Attending Writer's Conferences' and concluded with our celebrations organised by Alison Stegert.
This year Write Links celebrates three years of networking, supporting each other, sharing our ups and downs, and critiquing each other's stories.
What started as a small group meeting for the first time three years ago through a combined efforts of Book Links and SCBWI QLD who recognised a need for a critique group specifically for children's writers, has turned into a vibrant writer's groups with around 40 active members including aspiring and emerging children's authors and illustrators, published authors and illustrators and award winning children's author and everything in the middle.
International Children's Book Day/ Hans Christian Andersen's birthday also fell on the day of our meeting, the 2nd of April. We took the opportunity to reflect on the many successes achieved by Write Link members over the last three years which we celebrated by eating this fabulous cake by Martii Maclean inspired by Hans Christian's story of The Little Mermaid.
But that certainly wasn't all, there was more to come ...
Jenny Stubbs, Book Links president, announced that Jackie French has accepted the position of Book Links and Write Links patron. Write Links couldn't be more prouder to have Jackie French as a patron. Former Children's Literature Laureate, passionate advocate of the importance of books and reading for children our patron couldn't be more fitting.
Book Links is hosting a fabulous event, which is open to the public, at Riverbend Books to celebrate the occasion on Monday the 30th of May from 6 to 8pm where Jackie will take the opportunity to discuss why governments ignore the Power of Story at their peril. Read more about this, and book your tickets https://booklinks.org.au/2016/04/24/jackie-french-dynamo-dyslexic-and-wombat-herder/
And check out this impromptu drawing by illustrator Giuseppe Poli to commemorate Write Link's birthday using one of the characters of his latest picture book 'Oliver's Grumbles'.