Book Busyness Bliss

Ah, notifications flash at me from various devices, it’s time to blog they say or that your friends Cate and Gretchen have blogged again- and you have not! So I’m finally paying heed to the notification Fey and doing as they say!

Hello my dear Fellow Children’s Writers and friends,

It has been two months since my last post and I’ve been as busy as ever. Some of this busyness has even been related to our craft and industry which is thrilling. Why thrilling? Because it’s involved going back out into the world to find and meet kindred spirits for the first time in two long years. How I’ve missed it all. Book Launches, Book Week and birthday get togethers, and even a Preschool visit, with a return visit booked for December. Not bad for a debut author’s first Book Week! Special thanks to Tegan, Lisa and the rest of educators at Nido Early School, Seven Hills for being so welcoming and allowing me to share Star and some of my other tales with your beautiful children. I don’t know who was the most excited, the children, the staff or me!

There’s even more excitement to come with my first Love Your Bookshop Day as a presenting author. My local bookshop, Five Senses Education, who were so generous with their help during my Lockdown launch of Star have asked me to do a little presentation, reading and book signing on the 8th of October for Love Your Bookshop Day at both of their stores. I do hope to see many more writing and non-writing friends at North Rocks or Seven Hills Five Senses. If you do come, make sure to say, ‘Hi!’ I’d love to see you.

It’s such a buzz meeting fellow KidLit writers, which is why I’m also thrilled to be attending StoryArts Brisbane in October and involved in Book Fair Australia in November, before returning to the wonderful Nido Early School in December.

StoryArts Brisbane is one of my favourite writing festivals, it’s small and intimate, while still hosting many well known and respected writers, illustrators agents and editors. I, for example, am looking forward to attending Picture Book workshops with Zanni Louise and Freya Blackwood and an assessment with Alex Adsett. This final one for POC presented a new and interesting dilemma which may well be the subject of a whole different post down the line. Be sure to look out for this discussion in the next couple of months.

Book Fair Australia is a new event for writers of all sorts to showcase and sell their work. I will be sharing a stall with my amazing and talented friend Karen Hendricks alongside other wonderful and hardworking KidLit friends, Ashling Kwok, Carla Fitzgerald, Emma Hay, Jacinta Froud, Jacqueline De Rose-Ahern, Sandra Bennett, Sarah Speedie and Susea Spray.

Here’s what Nido Early School kindly said about my visit, ‘Today we were very lucky to have children’s author Artelle Lenthall come in and read her very own book- Star. This book “shares the importance of our own unique place in the world.” Our Kinder and Kinder 2 children along with educators throughly enjoyed this experience. #bookweek2022’

I love being involved in helping children, especially those in Sydney’s Greater West to develop a love for story and books and it’s equally delightful to find people who share that vision. If you’re involved in a school or preschool and would like me to present my Christmas book Star along with some other Christmas or differently themed stories, now is the perfect time! So, don’t hesitate to contact me below, on my Facebook page Artelle Lenthall or come along to one of the events above and have a chat about it there. Can’t wait to see what else the year holds.

Farewell Fellow Children’s Writers and friends,

Savour the Quest,

Journeygirl

Posted in Networking, Professionalism, Road to Publication, Writer's Conditions, Writing Conferences, Writing Events | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Kids and YA Festival Top Tips

2 rooms, 6 sessions in each, 20+ informed and interesting panelists and real live writers everywhere! The #kya2022 was a fantastic day and here are my top takeaways from the day and terrible picture of me with my much more photogenic friends

Me, Fiona Lloyd, Dannielle Viera at the end of a long, but happy day. Photo credit: Sarah Lenthall

Panel One – Deb Abela and Belinda Murrell

1. Character is KING! Know both why you love this character AND why others should love this character.

2. Chapter One MUST get your readers in, MUST be the best- BE THE BOOK or they may not read on.

3. If/when an editor gives you advice, really think about it, even if it means losing chapters or characters. Trust them… they’re really good! (at what they do)

Amazing Curator and Bestselling Author Belinda Murrell

Panel Two- Katrina McKelvey, Jane Godwin, Matt Cosgrove, Kate Temple, Charmaine Ledden-Lewis

1. Editors are conjurers of illustrator’s storytelling and conjurers of author’s storytelling (and this is why they often keep them apart)

2. PBs are little bits of theatre, perform them, read them aloud.

3. Perfect is the enemy of awesome.

Panel Three- Publisher Panel

1. Can my book be sold by a sales rep to a bookseller in 30 seconds because that’s all they’ve got- that and the book cover.

2. Publishers love same, but different. What is the difference, that should make them spend 10s and 10s of 1000s on your book? More often than not it is your Voice.

3. Absence of information is very powerful- think ‘Who Sank the Boat?’ Leave your audience wanting- arrive late, leave early in your story.

Panel Four- A.L. Tait, Kate Forsyth, Oliver Phommovanh, R.A. Spratt

1. The idea that won’t let go, that seems too hard is likely to be the one that will sustain a story/series

2. If someone tells you the stakes aren’t high enough, believe them.

3. No matter how amazing your world is and how incredibly built, a great character needs to walk through it or it won’t work.

4. Don’t save your best stuff till last, you might get cancelled.

5. If you’re happy to do huge structural edits, then allow your first draft to be a discovery draft, if not- plan!

Just a few of the wonderful new books available through the super friendly staff at Better Read Than Dead, Newtown

2022 and Beyond with Zoe Walton, Clare Hallifax, Pippa Masson and Kristin Darrell

1. Story and books are resilient. They have been through world wars, the self publishing… Sure the Pandemic has slowed things down, but they are still strong and doing well.

2. Agents can expect to see 1000s of submissions at a time and will only take on 1% of these.

3. A first print run will pretty much what they know they’ve sold through preorders or what they anticipate will sell in the first, but they will of course reprint if these sell quickly.

4. Best sellers used to be 10,000 now on average 3000-6000, can be anywhere from 2000-15000

And the biggies- EDITORS FACE REJECTION TOO! 😱 Who knew?! Whether this is at submissions after championing a book, auctions where another publisher wins or even when Big W don’t take on a book they were certain Big W would.

ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR CONTRACT SIT BACK AND ENJOY IT! Don’t micromanage, trust your team, write your next book.

Yet again, I’m battling the flu this time with a delightful ear infection and his friend conjunctivitis along for the ride. Ah the joys of the journey, for the writing journey does of course occur in tandem with the journey of life, so I apologise that this isn’t the prettiest post with as many images as much formatting as planned. Still as always all we can do, dear writing fellows and friends is Savour the Quest,

Farwell until next time,

Journeygirl

Posted in Creativity, Networking, Organisation, Road to Publication | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments