Two special memories from this past week of National Book Week. . .
The week started off with the exciting announcement that I am the Ambassador for Ardoch Youth Foundation’sSchool Readiness Book Drive. As an author, former Occupational Therapist and a mum, I am so proud and beyond thrilled to have been asked to help with this campaign, which pledges to give 1,000 children in disadvantaged areas five books and fine-motor activity packs at the end of this year, in readiness for their school start in 2017. I’ll be writing a little more about this in coming weeks, but please click here to read about why I’m so passionate about the book drive.
And on Tuesday, I was at my beloved weekly volunteering position at Scholastic Australia’s Book Bunker children’s library, at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. I had a lot of fun with some of the Starlight Captains who popped in to visit us! We sang songs and read books – my favourite being our book-of-the-day: Tony Wilson’s award-winning and endearing ‘The Cow Tripped Over the Moon’. It’s a clever back-story about the several attempts that the cow actually made before she had a successful moon-jump. An instant classic in my mind, with a special message of courage, determination, perseverance and the help of your friends.
Congratulations to Lynda and the team at Bayside Library Service for holding their inaugural Author Expo at Beaumaris Library on the weekend. I had no idea there were so many writers, illustrators and book lovers in my local community!
A great atmosphere prevailed, where books and ideas were traded with enthusiasm. I look forward to this event growing each year!
An interesting programme, lead by speakers of both published and self-published books included: writing and marketing children’s literature; developing a non-fiction book; challenges in writing and publishing fiction; publish or self-publish?; promotion and the art of marketing; and Baysider writers in residence.
I particularly enjoyed the panel discussion: Promotion is not a dirty word! The art of marketing your book, with authors Lorraine Campbell, Jane Sullivan, Olga Lorenzo and Jenny Ackland. Here are my take-homes from it:
Be authentic and true to yourself
Start social media early – well before your book is published – and keep at it!
Say ‘yes’ to everything!
Engage with people and find ‘your community’
You are the expert on your book
It can be useful to have a ‘hook’ or ‘story’ for your book
Have your 30 second pitch (what’s sometimes called the ‘elevator pitch’) well-rehearsed at all times!
Be positive, polite and helpful to others in your industry
The very first KidLitVic Meet the Publishers Conference 2016
I spent a hugely enjoyable and inspiring day today at the very first Melbourne ‘Meet the Publishers’ event for Children and YA writers and illustrators. It was organised by authors Alison Reynolds and Dee White, along with the assistance of illustrator Nicky Johnston and author Jaquelyn Muller, and held at the magnificent State Library of Victoria.
The opening address was given by David Ryding, the Director of Melbourne’s UNESCO City of Literature Office, and set the tone for a day of collaboration and inspiration on all things creative in the world of children and YA publishing.
Both established and emerging authors and illustrators were able to attend Panel Discussions from the creme de la creme of Australian publishing, as well as present Portfolio Displays, Manuscript Assessments and 3 Minute Pitches.
The Publishers and Agents represented were: Allen & Unwin; Black Dog Books; Hachette Australia; Hardie Grant Egmont; HarperCollins Children's Books Australia; Jacinta di Mase Management; Random House Children's Books, Penguin Random House; Scholastic Australia; Scribe/Scribble; Text Publishing; The Five Mile Press
Some key themes from the panelists which really resonated with me were:
authenticity and consistency of voice are the cornerstones of good writing
be true to your DNA – don’t try to write or draw in a particular genre, just because it’s the current fad/bestseller
a good story is everything – irrespective of what tense it’s written in
collaboration between authors and illustrators is crucial
a book is a result of teamwork – between authors, illustrators and publishers
publishing is a commercial enterprise – that is the reality
all publishers are different – do your homework before submitting
When I first put pen to paper in London in 2001 to write ‘A Passion for Shoes’ I would never have guessed that ten years later, on the other side of the world, my hands would be painted IN a pair of shoes!
It was my great privilege to be asked by the immensely gifted Australian artist, Jacqui Grantford, to be a part of her exhibition ‘A Show of Hands’ in Melbourne, in 2011. I’ve made a link here to her video, where she explains how she extensively interviewed people from all walks of life, to see what made them ‘tick’. Each hand painting was accompanied by the person’s own ‘story’- and many of them were very moving and inspirational.
Jacqui has a unique way of capturing the spirit of people in her paintings. I found that the added story she had next to each painting gave it an even greater poignancy. She is also the author and illustrator of several children’s picture books. A very talented lady indeed.
I’m lucky enough to have this original painting, thanks to my husband and a sneaky special birthday gift. You can read more of my story here:
Long before this blog existed I had fun writing as my alter-ego, TheShoe Princess, in her very own BLOG. The Shoe Princess is one of the main characters in my novel, ‘The Shoe Princess’s Guide to the Galaxy’ – a story about a thirtysomething first time mum’s journey from high heels to highchairs and beyond.
I’m no longer writing The Shoe Princess Blog . . . but of course I still AM a Shoe Princess!
I’ve just bought myself the best Easter treat: a word. Yes, a word! How exciting for an author to own a word. All in support of one of my favourite children’s literacy charities: Melbourne’s Ardoch Youth Foundation. But just like chocolate…how can I possibly be expected to stop at one word!
A Passion for Shoes; and A Passion for Handbags, by Emma Bowd, RPS, 2002
Author, Emma Bowd
Author and Ardoch ‘Writer in Residence’ Emma Bowd, with Grade 2/3 students and teachers at Mother of God Primary, Ardeer, for their book launch of ‘Super Astro Chicken and the Giant Red Tomato’ 2018.
The Shoe Princess’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Emma Bowd (Bloomsbury, 2009)
Star Weekly Newspaper Article – Emma Bowd ‘Writer in Residence’ Sunshine Primary School
Emma Bowd – Founder and Maker at DEED bags
Play School Story Time – Fifi Box, Trixie and Little Ted reading Wonderful Shoes
Hello and welcome to my website – the hub of my creative world. From here you can find all you need to know about my work as an author, children’s literacy advocate and founder of the planet-friendly slow fashion social enterprise DEED bags.