So last night I went to bed with my head buzzing like a beehive - or maybe that should be honking like a geese coop Why? I attended my first workshop with the Golden Egg Academy - www.goldeneggacademy.co.uk - a team of experienced children’s publishing and creative writing professionals who provide (in their words): 'traditional structural editing, industry-led direction and networking opportunities to talented writers for children.'
After meeting Imogen Cooper (previously Head of Fiction for Chicken House Publishing) at a Bath Writing Event, I sent my novel to Golden Egg hoping they would take me on - which amazingly they did! Apparently only 1 in 4 writers are accepted so that's a big confidence boost.
I went to the 'Book Mapping Introduction' workshop without much idea on what to expect. I hoped I'd gain some idea on how to better see the flaws in my novel and to get feedback from industry professionals. What I got was vastly more. Imogen's idea for the book map seems on the surface quite simple: a kind of spreadsheet that allows you the writer and she the editor to track not only the continuity and plot of the novel but also dramatic incidents, the reveals, the character's motivations. It will take me a while to complete, I think, but well worth the time. I hope to choose Imogen as the editor I'll work with at Golden Egg as she is clearly very good at her job but, more importantly for me, she is a really lovely, caring person.
Also, Imogen and Dr Vanessa Harbour (Doctor of creative writing at the University of Winchester, editor of the ejournal Write4Children, and YA author - also an outstanding tea-lady!!) explained the process of being part of the nest of the Golden Egg Academy - and it is fantastic! Supportive and instructive, the editors of Golden Egg are already within a network of agents and publishing houses and want to get good stories out there. I'm so excited and grateful to be part of the academy and among other good writers in a similar position.
Now to get to grips with the book map...