I’m very excited to be working with Write Mentor this January. I write comic fantasy for children – four books so far. My first book, THE ACCIDENTAL PIRATES: VOYAGE TO MAGICAL NORTH began life as a NaNoWriMo novel and was a SCBWI Undiscovered Voices winner before it found a home with Macmillan’s Children’s Books. So I know the value of the writing community.
Don’t think you have to wait until you’re ‘good enough’ to join in. If you’re writing a children’s book now, or even thinking about writing one, you are part of the gang.
My Write Mentor workshops will be packed with all the things I’ve learned on my writing journey so far. Believe me, that is a lot of things. I have worked with editors in the US and UK, I co-host a SCBWI critique group for middle grade and young adult fiction, and I’ve taught many creative writing workshops to adults and children.
Workshop 1 (Saturday morning). Awesome Heroes, Abominable Villains.
Stories start with people, and so our first session of the day will be a fun time to get your ideas flowing. We’ll do some character creation exercises, thinking particularly about heroes and villains, because who doesn’t love a good villain?
Workshop 2. (Saturday afternoon.) It’s All a Matter of Point of View.
When you’re starting a story one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is how you’re going to tell it. First person, third person, omniscient, close, single, multiple? What do those mean in practice and how will they affect your story?
We’ll chat about the various viewpoints, compare some passages written in different points of view, and then take a look at your stories to find the perfect point of view for you.
Workshop 3. (Sunday morning). Worlds: Real and Imaginary.
My first two books were pure fantasy set in the imaginary world of the Eight Oceans. By my fourth book, I’d moved back to the real world and Abergavenny in South Wales. Whether you’re setting your story in the real world or inventing somewhere from scratch, I can help you create a solid sense of place and use your settings to spark off more ideas for your stories.
Workshop 4. When to Say Goodbye.
Saying goodbye to your manuscript is hard. How do you know it’s ready to send into the world? And how do you navigate the often bewildering process of finding an agent or publisher?
The final session of the weekend will look at the practicalities of polishing your work and sending it out on submission.
Each workshop will last around 60-90 minutes and there will be plenty of time for free writing each day, too. I’ll be on hand to give advice if you need it, and we are very lucky to have the Welsh Children’s Laureate, Eloise Williams, to give 1-2-1 critiques. It’s going to be an amazing weekend.
Claire Fayers grew up in South Wales, studied English at the University of Kent in Canterbury, and is now back in Wales where she spends a lot of her free time tramping around castles in the rain, looking for dragons.
She has worked as a church caretaker, a shoe shop assistant, in accountancy, in health and safety, in IT, and in a library. Only one of these prepared her in any way for life as a full-time author.
She works from her home in Cardiff, sharing her workspace with a pair of demanding cats and an ever-expanding set of model dinosaurs.
Eloise Williams is an award- winning author from Wales. Her books include Elen’s Island, Gaslight and Seaglass. She has an MA in Creative and Media Writing with Distinction from Swansea University and is currently working on Wilde, her fourth MG novel.
Having changed career path after working for over a decade as an actor, Eloise now divides her time between writing and teaching creative writing. She regularly runs sessions for Literature Wales, Ty Newydd, Arts Council Wales Lead Creative Schools Programme and the Dylan Thomas Centre. She also tours schools and other venues, and regularly appears at literature festivals.