Words & Pictures

Bringing together writers & illustrators. creating books for younger children.

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The  inaugural  meeting  was  held  on  21 st   November,  and  attendees  only had an hour together before we all trooped off to listen to Gavin Bishop discuss  his  work  as  a  writer  and  illustrator  of  children’s  books.  (Go  to www.gavinbishop.com.)

This was the last presentation in the 2013 series ‘Kiss my Arts’ organised by Baycourt and the University of Waikato. As an inspirational role model, there could have been none better than this talented and versatile gentleman, who also proved his skills as a raconteur, keeping the
audience fascinated even when assailed by the dreaded blue screen syndrome. 
Two  handouts  were  made  available:  Writing  for  Children:  What  do  Editors  Want?  by  Laura Backes from the NZIBS, who run a correspondence course in Writing Stories for Children – go to  http://nzibs.co.nz/?page_id=83);  and  Writing  Poetry  for  Children  by  Jenny  Argante  – request a copy from wordwizard41@xtra.co.nz.
Those who attended and contributed to the group were Belinda McCallion (Bibli-Cool), Chris Wright  (BookRapt),  Deryn  Pittar,  Emma  Lord,  Gaye  Hemsley  (Christina  Productions),  Gun Caundle,  Jan  Pendergrast  (Tauranga  Christian  Writers),  Jenny  Argante  (The  Little  Red  Hen)
and Marlene Shores. 
A  great  variety  of  experience  and  expertise  was  made  available  to  us,  and  Emma  Lord  has offered to be the co-ordinator of this group. (eclord@gmail.com, mob 022 044 5468.) Thank you, Emma.
Some of the books were on display and it was reassuring to see how individual a children’s book can be. Gaye Hemsley recommended Positive Words as a good training ground for writers. Marlene Shores indicated she has approached The Cargo Shed about selling books through them, and is actively pursuing this as an important local retail outlet. 
Recommended   for   immediate   assistance   was   the   wonderful   website   of   BookRapt (www.bookrapt.org.nz),  the  Bay  of  Plenty  branch  of  Storylines:  the  Children’s  Literature Association (http://www.storylines.org.nz/) whose Notable Books of the Year awards are now open for entries.
Finally,  we  considered  the  importance of writing  appropriately  for  reading  levels  –  find out more about this at http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/reading_levels.htm#5finger.
Our next meeting in 2014 will be held on Tuesday 3 rd  February 5.30-7.30pm at The Alzheimer Society House, 116 13 th  Avenue. Turn up with a writing plan for the year ahead so your Words & Pictures buddies can help to keep you on track.

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