Book Week 2016

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’s School 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.

ardoch book drive

Emma Bowd at Scholastic Australia Book Bunker RCH Book Week 2016

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.

 

Author Expo

0478 Author Expo - A3 poster V2 (2)1Congratulations 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

Meet the Publishers Day – KidLitVic 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
  • N E V E R  G I V E  U P

 

Welcome

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 and children’s Literacy Ambassador for the leading education charity Ardoch. For more about my work as a designer and maker of planet-friendly bags which also support Ardoch, please head over to DEED bags.

I love to connect with people on Instagram too. It’s my favourite social media platform where I share the many things which interest and inspire me, and invariably end up in my writing. I really like discovering amazing projects in all corners of the globe. My wanderlust for looking beyond my home base of Melbourne is probably due to the fact that since six weeks of age I’ve lived in a gazillion different places in Australia and Asia, as well as spending eleven wonderful years working in London – a true nomad!

My internationally published books to date include both non-fiction (RPS, UK and US) and commercial fiction titles for adults (Bloomsbury, UK). These books are my absolute treasures, and stemmed from my simple, life-long passion for those pretty things we wear on our feet each day; and by being literally knocked off my feet by the extraordinary experience of first-time motherhood. You’ve probably guessed by now, that my writing career has no strategic plan, other to write about what I love!

I very much enjoy writing for both adults and children. Recently, I’ve been focusing a lot of my writing energy on children’s book projects – having spent the past 13 years championing children’s literacy as a classroom story-writing facilitator, hospital literacy volunteer and Ambassador for Ardoch. I have several picture book and upper-middle grade fiction works in progress, so please do watch this space for news of publications.

For more about my journey to publication and general background information, please visit my ‘About Me Q&A’ page. And while I don’t profess to being a prolific blogger, I’ll share articles on this website as well as keep you up-to-date with my various author activities over on my Facebook Page too.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or general bookish chat, via the comments box, or: author@emmabowd.com

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