The Secret Seven Picture Book essentials

katrina-portrait-1-regularfilesize4Last month, I was lucky enough to attend a picture book master-class with author Katrina Germein at the CYA conference. Katrina is one of those beautiful people who makes an instant connection and makes you secretly hope she’ll be your new best friend 😉

Seriously, she was so generous with her tips and so humble about her success that I came away feeling inspired and refreshed on my PB journey.

And because, as I’m revising my own PBs in progress, I keep trying to remember her pearls of wisdom, I thought I’d record them here.

Katrina’s top seven tips for picture books are:

  1. A swift orientation – the who, where and why. Drop the reader straight into the story. Set the scene and create intrigue. We looked at some great examples, including:

He was red                                                                               red

But he wasn’t very good at it.

Red by Michael Hall.

 

 

 

 

My uncle’s donkeyDonkey

is allowed in the house!

My Uncle’s Donkey by Tohby Riddle

 

 

 

 

The girl had lost her way.Lost

The Lost Girl by Ambelin Kwaymullina

 

 

 

2. Use evocative language which is concise and poetic

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How to apply for an Arts Job

Attention struggling artistes! You may not necessarily want it but most of us need a job to support our creative selves. Personally, I’m finding the isolation of writing full-time a real incentive to keep applying for part-time jobs. (Actually, since I wrote this post I’ve decided to study creative writing full-time so job hunting is kind of on-hold for me – but please, don’t let me deter you!) And, of course, if we’re going to work, an arts-related job is the ideal.

Last month, I went to the Wheeler Centre where Writers Victoria director Kate Larsen gave a seminar on this very topic. I’ve summarised her pearls of wisdom here:

KateL

Kate Larsen, Director Writers Victoria

 

DO

Ring them up if there’s a contact person and ask a question. This separates you from the pack. If you don’t have a question, make up a reasonably intelligent question and call anyway. If it’s a small organisation you might even actually speak to the person who will be doing the hiring so you’re getting in early with a chance to make a good impression.

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A short play!

12 x 12Another notch in the literary bed-post! Drum-roll…

Saturday night my short play Mummy, Mummy, Mummy was performed at the Potato Shed. This little play had a very long genesis. Way back when I was recovering from post-natal depression, a friend and I applied to our local council for a grant to write a play on er, PND. We were successful! And then, what with life and illness and children and attempting (and failing) to collaborate, I am ashamed to admit that we ended up giving the grant back!

Yes, I can hear all you writers throwing up right now – and I’m sorry, but you know, sometimes life happens. Anyway, at the time I started writing something on my own – the team work thing for one reason or another didn’t really come together. And that something was the short play that was performed on Saturday night.

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