CYA 2019 – Bootcamp Notes

Part One – Bootcamp

The first weekend in July, with thanks to an RADF Grant from Bundaberg Regional Council, I attended the 14thannual CYA Conference in Brisbane, for authors of Children’s and YA books. I attended the first CYA Conference, in 2006 – and it has grown a lot since then. Not just in numbers, but in duration. This year it transitioned from a one-day conference, to a three-day event – expanding into the adult market, with one day devoted to ‘Everything’s a Genre’ – and writing Bootcamps offered over three days. I am mightily thankful for the Bundaberg Regional Council RADF committee for awarding a grant allowing me to attend the full three days, and meet one-on-one and in small groups with publishers and editors. It was the best professional development I have ever received and I am sincerely, heartfelt thankful!

On Friday, I took part in the inaugural bootcamp – authors working with an editor in small groups to gain feedback on a manuscript; editing suggestions, and opportunity to rework the manuscript, to then receive further feedback. I was in a picture book group with Lisa Berryman, children’s publisher at Harper Collins. Over the course of the day, we shared in our small groups, but also came together for two large panel discussions, hearing insights from all the editors in response to questions posed by ‘head ranger’, Dee White.

Friday’s Bootcamp editors: Clare Hallifax (Omnibus), Elise Jones, (A&U), Lisa Berryman (Harper Collins), Kristy Bushnell (independent), Maryann Ballantyne (Will Dog), Sarah Davis (Walker) and Lauren Clarke (independent).

DW: What makes you want to read further?

CH: I need to fall in love with a character. (Author voice is character, as well.)
LB: Very much the idea – setting/genre.
EJ: A book with heart.
LC: Proactive characters
SD: Narrative. Storytelling in an image. Potentiality. What happened and what is going to happen?
MB: Always looking for the bigger story.
KB: Character and personality onto the page. The emotion. Show (don’t tell) straight away.

“Voice is a writer who is in control of his craft.”

There was some discussion about author voice. And what makes it distinctive. And if it could be taught/developed. Someone shared a Paul McDermot quote, “Most things are fixable – except voice.” Nearly everything about this discussion sparked thoughts of poetry, for me. You want to develop your voice? I say play with poetry!

Other Takeaways:

SD: Your first idea isn’t usually your best. It’s too obvious.
SD: Write an evocative text that creates atmosphere.
EJ: Place the reader – at the start of the book and at the start of each section break.
CH: Write a story – not a list. And read it aloud.
KB: Know your characters and your problems and feed them in as necessary. (Not TMI too soon.)
LC: Set the scene and give need-to-know. And a hint of tension. Peril or dissatisfaction.
KB: Personified settings. Sets the mood and tone of story. An emotional connection. (And again I was thinking … poetry!)
?: Stage directions moving the characters around. Write it subtly. (Writer in control, with the help of their publisher and editor.)

On Submissions:

LB: Stating similar titles is helpful for Sales & Marketing – and how to pitch it. Compare for things like tone/feelings.
MB: Doesn’t want illustration notes.
LB: Illustrator notes are often helpful/necessary.
CH: If the narrative hinges on illustrations, include notes.
LB: Likes an elevator pitch – the essence of the story, like a mantra.
LB: Feedback is a gift. It’s not personal. It’s not about you.

Brittany, Kat & Meredith – the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards connection.

Friday Night was the first of the Networking Dinners, with kidlit creatives converging from all over the country. Networking is so important! And also so much fun! I did a double take when I thought I recognised the face across from me at dinner… and first name matched… and indeed, it was Brittany, Poetry Awards Officer for the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, who I have had much email/phone contact with in recent months, in my role as judge. (Another reason why I have been very busy of late – reading almost 5000 poems and judging across four categories! Almost finalised. And what a task – a joyful task – it was!) Brittany and I had never met, (had seen photos) and needless to say, we each had no idea the other would be at CYA! Also in attendance was the Secondary School’s judge, Meredith Costain.

Day One done! Watch for more blog posts to follow, including … my exciting news!

If you’re in the Bundaberg Region, I will be sharing fast facts from CYA in a one hour session at Bundaberg library, on Saturday 27th July, at 10am. I’d love you to join me!

For now, head across to Carol’s Corner and muscle up on poetry… or melt on puppy love. Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday today, Carol, and sharing Rooney (and your poem) with us.

Progressive Poem – Day Two

Not only is the Progressive Poem Irene Latham‘s idea, but I am following with her sentiment for her personal month-long poetry project, and bringing ‘happy’ into this poem.

  1. As a group, we agreed to write a poem for children.
  2. Matt’s Day One post challenged us to use found lines.
  3. I personally wanted to bring in some rhyme play – but not tie others to a pattern.

Matt’s first line brought back childhood days of Christmas holidays, when it seemed like we were gazing into infinity – ’cause in Australia, that’s our summer 6-week break.

Endless summer; I can see for miles

I was determined not to choose ‘smiles’ as my rhyme, as that would be so predictable.

Since Matt’s line uses a Beach Boys album title, I went there first… and found lots of surfing scenarios… and ‘Fun, Fun, Fun.’ Nope. Too easy! And it doesn’t rhyme with miles.

I then thought to give a shout out to an iconic Aussie singer, and bring some Johnny Farnham to the party; ‘well I can’t sleep, but I can dream’‘set the wheels in motion’‘I want to sail across the ocean’… If you discount the lack of rhyme, they had possibilities (especially that ocean!) – yet I just kept coming back to FUN!

So I started searching for songs with ‘iles’ rhymes, hoping to cobble something together. And had to eat my words. 🙃

Endless summer; I can see for miles …
Fun, fun, fun – and the whole world smiles

Found Lines:

  • L1 The Who, ‘I Can See for Miles / The Beach Boys, ‘Endless Summer’
  • L2 The Beach Boys, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ / Dean Martin, ‘When You’re Smiling’

Thanks for the wide open spaces, Matt. I’m smiling, as I tag … Kimberly!

2019-kidlitosphere-progressive-poem-copy

The Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem – April 2019

2 Kat @ Kathryn Apel
4 Jone @ DeoWriter
5 Linda @ TeacherDance
6 Tara @ Going to Walden
8 Mary Lee @ A Year of Reading
9 Rebecca @ Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @ Live Your Poem
13 Doraine @ Dori Reads
17 Amy @ The Poem Farm
18 Linda @ A Word Edgewise
20 Buffy @ Buffy’s Blog
21 Michelle @ Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @ Reading to the Core
25 Jan @ Bookseestudio
26 Linda @ Write Time
27 Sheila @ Sheila Renfro
29 Irene @ Live Your Poem
30 Donna @ Mainely Write

G’day Poetry Friday Peeps!

G’day! How wonderful to welcome all you Poetry Friday people, not just to my blog, but Downunder. Yes, the round-up is coming to you from Australia, where it’s the middle of summer (soooo hot!) – yet beautiful, none-the-less. So, slip into your togs, (perhaps I can tempt you for a dip in our beautiful Burnett River, later?) find a cool shady breeze, (you might need to make one) take a wedge of watermelon, or a mango cheek, then kick back and enjoy.

I’m in the process of writing a poem-a-day as a snapshot diary-of-sorts for the start of 2019, which I’ve been sharing as Insta-poetry. Perhaps you’d like to take a wander through the week with me before, you plunge into a host of poetry posts from around the world. Day 1, 2 and 3 featured in last week’s post, and on Instagram, but feel free to click back. 🙂 (I would delete the Instagram captions from this post, if I could, but alas…)

Day 4:

Day 5:

Day 6:

Day 7:

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

I’m using the hashtag #MoPoetry2019 on Instagram. You’re welcome to join! There’ll be a newbie up from me today… and more to come each day this month. Meanwhile, the Poetry Friday linkup is below. Can’t wait to check out all your goodies. 🙂

Share your Poetry Friday links here. All are welcome to read… and be inspired! 🙂

Click here to enter