“ Jenny gave me complete confidence in myself as a writer and my story”
Emily McGuire describes her experience of WriteMentor’s 5-week WriteStart course with author Jenny Pearson
Tell us a bit about yourself as a writer
I’m currently writing my first middle-grade novel and it’s such an exciting experience so far! Writing has always been something that’s stayed with me through every impulsive hobby or wild career goal. I didn’t believe it could become a real profession for me until nothing else felt right to pursue. I’ve tried to write novels before but I couldn’t get past the beginning and decided that a different type of writing could be good, so I became a freelance copywriter. Then, as soon as I tried my hand at writing for a younger audience everything fell into place and I knew what I wanted to do.
What made you decide to do WriteMentor’s WriteStart course at this point in your writing journey?
I’d just reached a point where my idea was solid in my imagination and the story was planned out into beginning, middle and end sections. I’d only written my first three chapters and I wanted to learn everything I could about starting a middle-grade chapter book before I had the chance to make any mistakes!
In what way has the course helped shaped your writing and/or yourself as a writer?
After each week of WriteStart, Jenny gave me complete confidence in myself as a writer and my story. Every lesson I had a breakthrough and all my dotted thoughts finally connected into a bigger picture. Gathering knowledge and tips from Jenny’s writing and publishing experience gave me space to find my voice within the middle-grade genre and know which beats to hit within the story structure.
What was the best piece of writing advice you learned from WriteStart?
It’s so hard to pick just one! I loved character week and understanding what it takes for a great protagonist and how the antagonist fits in to the story structure. I learnt that you had to get the character right first. You could have an amazing story, but if the reader doesn’t love and connect to your main character, it’s harder to become emotionally aligned with the characters quest. (I’m sure Jenny said it a lot better than that!)
Ready to start your story?
Join WriteMentor’s online WriteStart course, for anyone starting a new story. Over five weeks, author Jenny Pearson, Costa Children’s Book Award shortlistee, will guide you away from a blank page towards the first spark of an idea.
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From that first spark of a story idea to submitting a polished manuscript to literary agents, WriteMentor’s online courses support children’s writers throughout their writing journey. Advance your craft and gain insights from published authors.