The online Wolves & Apples conference is now on sale, with talks and advice for aspiring children’s writers.
You can book each talk individually and we’ve kept the session prices low to make it accessible for everyone. We have now added a festival pass which offers you a place at every talk.
The lineup of sessions is below.
What Should I Write About?
Tues 26th Oct. 7:30 PM.
If you are hoping to get a children’s book published then deciding what to write about is key. But it’s not necessarily an obvious decision. Should you try to follow current trends? Or try to write something that’s a bit like books you loved when you were a child? Trying to second guess what will interest an agent or publisher can lead you nowhere. And who knows what children are interested in nowadays?
Bali Rai has written many succesful books and series inspired by his own background and interests. He will talk about his work and suggest ways you can use your own experiences and passions as the starting point for your children’s book.
“I was born in Leicester in 1971 and grew up in a multicultural, multi-racial community close to the city centre. As a child I dreamt about three things – playing football for Liverpool FC, being Bob Marley and becoming a writer. At the age of eleven I read the book that would inspire me to write. It was The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend.”
Bali Rai’s first book (Un)arranged Marriage was published in 2001.Rani & Sukh, a “true mash-up of Shakespeare, Bollywood and Punjabi folk tales”, was published in 2004 and later became a GCSE set-text. He has also written several books for dyslexia-friendly publisher Barrington Stoke.
A Future For Children’s Playwriting.
Wed 27th Oct. 7:30 PM.
For the aspiring children’s playwright there ought to be plenty of opportunities. There are many UK touring companies specialising in work for the young, puppet companies, and theatres such as Polka and the Unicorn Theatre. But a lot of theatre is devised, without any input from a writer. So could the children’s play be an endangered species?
Mike Kenny will talk about how to work with a theatre company, who are the gatekeepers, how to get your foot in the door, what writers uniquely have to offer, and how to move with the times.
Mike Kenny is one of England’s leading writers specialising in young people’s theatre. He was included in the Independent on Sunday’s list of Top Ten Living Playwrights and his plays are performed regularly throughout the UK and all over the world. In 2000, he was Arts Council England’s first recipient of The Children’s Award for Playwriting for Children and Young People. His Olivier Award-winning adaptation of The Railway Children for York Theatre Royal, has had successful revivals at Waterloo and Kings Cross stations, as well as at the National Railway Museum.
Building Your World.
Thurs 28th Oct. 7:30 PM.
Melvin Burgess’s latest YA book,Three Bullets, is one part of a Triptych; three novels written by three writers set in the same world – the UK as it might have been, or perhaps how it will be. Pete Kalu wrote One Drop, Tariq Mehmood wrote Second Coming, and Three Bullets completes the sequence.
So how do you go about building a world, even if it’s one you won’t be sharing with other writers? Melvin will share the process he went through and give some tips on creating and populating a convincing fictional world.
Melvin Burgess became famous in 1998 with the publication of Junk, about heroin-addicted teenagers on the streets of Bristol. In Britain, Junk became one of the best-known young adult books of the decade. Burgess won the Carnegie Medal for the year’s best children’s book by a British author.
Tickling the Ear.
Tuesday 2nd Nov. 7:30PM.
A chance for aspiring poets and writers to learn from one of the most prominent children’s authors in the UK.
Michael Rosen is one of Britain’s best loved writers and performance poets for children and adults.
He has published in the region of two hundred books for children and adults, including The Sad Book with Quentin Blake – a meditation on bereavement written after the loss of his son, Eddie; We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with Helen Oxenbury and A Great Big Cuddle with Chris Riddell.
He received the Eleanor Farjeon Award for outstanding contribution to children’s literature and was Children’s Laureate 2007-2009. He is currently Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London where he co-devised and teaches an MA in Children’s Literature.
Different Voices: Independent Children’s Publishing.
Eishar Brar and Elle McNicoll.
Thurs 4th Nov. 7:30 PM.
Once you’ve written your book, what’s the best way to get it to readers? Independent publishers offer an alternative to the giants of the book world.
Eishar Brar, from independent publisher Knights Of, and award-winning author Elle McNicoll will discuss the process of working together, explore the editorial and publishing process, and chat about Elle’s books. Along the way they will talk about the aims of Knights Of in publishing underrepresented voices, and Elle’s experience of that.
Anyone who hopes to be published but feels that their natural home may not be one of the big firms will find this a fascinating discussion.
Wired for Story: What Your Reader’s Brain Really Craves, and How To Deliver It.
Tues 9th Nov. 7.30pm.
Imagine knowing what we’re hardwired to crave in every story we encounter, what hooks readers from pre-school to eighty, and what keeps them turning pages. The answer is a game-changer, especially since the secret to writing a compelling story has very little to do with the surface plot or learning to ‘write well’.
We’ll explore what the reader’s brain is hungry for, why, what a story actually is, and why writers are therefore the most powerful people on the planet. The result? You’ll be able to zero in on what your story is really about before you write word one (or if you’re in the midst of your umpteenth rewrite, before you write another word). You’ll not only produce a more powerful novel, chances are you’ll drastically reduce your rewrite time.
Lisa Cron is a story coach and the author of Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers From the Very First Sentence and Story Genius: How To Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages that Go Nowhere) both published by Ten Speed Press.
Lisa has worked in publishing at W.W. Norton, as an agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency, as a producer on shows for Showtime and CourtTV, and as a story consultant for Warner Brothers and the William Morris Agency.