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Guest Blogs

A blog by Down The Rabbit Hole

Down The Rabbit Hole is a blog all about writing for children. It's run by Olivia Hope and Niamh Garvey. :

Olivia Hope is a children’s writer from Killarney, Co. Kerry.
She was once a hammer thrower, Sometimes a teacher of all subjects; from English to ice-cream making, And has worked in a variety scenarios, from nurseries (plants and children, although not at the same time, unless you count the daffodil incident) to nursing homes. She is unreasonably fond of cheese, French Fancies and is prone to cartwheels. She writes for all ages, and her picturebook “Be Wild” will be published by Bloomsbury in Spring 2018. Follow her on Twitter @OliviaMHope or her blog oliviahopeandtheimaginationstation.wordpress.com

Niamh Garvey loves everything to do with children’s books; from reading them, to writing them, and even to smelling them. Except for really boring books… she doesn’t even smell those. She writes stories for children and young adults, plus poetry for adults. She wrote the storyboard for the childrens storybook app “A Raindrop’s Tale” published by Gramercy Consultants on iTunes. She is working towards her dream of getting a novel published. Niamh is a full-time mum and a part-time nurse, living in Cork. She thinks stories are the best way to discover the world, and possibly the only place children should be encouraged to get lost in. Follow Niamh on twitter @msniamhgarvey or on her blog niamhgarvey.com

You can follow online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

A little news on a new Little Miss character.

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 19 April 2018.

Olivia Hope interviews writer and illustrator of the Mr Men and Little Miss series, Adam Hargreaves. It is often the innocuous or the unexpected that can spark story idea. Who knew that when a young Adam Hargreaves asked his father what a tickle looked like that it would inspire one of the most recognisable and fondly regarded book series for young readers – The Mr Men and Little Miss characters. Now in its forty-seventh year,...

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Children’s writers: Why not to follow trends

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 21 March 2018.

Following trends leads to cramped writing. When I first started writing for children, I went into Waterstones and studied the shelves. I thought that if I got to know the type of books that were doing well, then I’d be able to join in. But when I tried to write a story along the lines of the best sellers, my story came out forced, and frankly awful. The story wasn’t true to me. Had I...

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A year of children’s writing events

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 10 January 2018.

Want to understand more about the world of writing for children? Here’s a calendar of events that just might make you a better writer. January is a time where resolutions pepper the air, and good intentions are often spoken, but not acted on. Well, here’s where you can ACT and DO something that will improve your writing skills, introduce you to the Irish kidlit community, and give an insight into what the public side of...

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Magic isn’t just for Christmas; it’s in books all year round.

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 20 December 2017.

What is it about Christmas that gets children so excited? Their excitement bypasses normal levels and reaches new snow-covered peaks. But what triggers it? Is it looking forward to the feast dinner? The time off school? Meeting their extended families, and feeling that increased sense of belonging? There is so much to look forward to, from presents to the hope of snow. But I’ve been watching my own children’s eyes, and there’s no doubt about...

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Winner of Wells Festival Of Literature, Children’s Book Award, an Interview: Eve McDonnell

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 24 October 2017.

An interview with Eve McDonnell, by Niamh Garvey. Eve McDonnell is the winner of this year’s Childrens’ Book Prize at the Wells Festival of Literature, for her novel, “Elsetime”. I asked her a little about her experience and what comes next. Firstly, congratulations on winning the first prize in the Children’s book category at the Wells Festival of Literature 2017. It’s wonderful to see an unpublished writer win such a prestigious award, it gives hope...

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Discover the Community: New Children’s Writers.

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 18 September 2017.

If you are new to writing for children, you may not know that there’s a whole community for children’s writers in Ireland. You don’t have to be published, you don’t even have to be trying to get published, to discover this community. All you need is to love children’s books, and even better, love writing them. Here are some ways to get yourself out there, and join the community: 1) Conferences and festivals There are...

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Writing for Teens: Things to Consider

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 4 August 2017.

There are many over-laps between writing for children, adults, and teenagers. But there are some elements that I find specific to writing for teenagers, that I occasionally need to remind myself about. 1) Don’t talk down to teenagers. Teenagers are in the process of turning into adults, and often feel as though they’re already an adult. If you want to keep their attention, talk up to them, not down. Don’t make your reader feel like...

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Interview with the director of Children’s Books Ireland – Elaina Ryan.

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 19 July 2017.

In the run up to the twentieth birthday of Children’s Books Ireland (CBI), and their annual conference in September, DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE spoke to their director, Elaina Ryan. Expect a lot of big book love, support for Irish writers, and an eight foot bird.   The first question is a simple one, what is the CBI and what is its role?   Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) is the national children’s books organisation of Ireland;...

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Book Events Summary! Day 7 – P.R.E.P.A.R.E

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 2 July 2017.

The idea of interviewing children’s authors and illustrators about how they manage events, came about when I realised that they all manage events differently. I was happily wedged in the middle of a conversation with some children’s writers, who were chatting about how nervous they were doing their first events. Not only that, but they were all as surprised as me, that they each did completely different things in their events. So that got me...

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Book Events! Day 6 – YA and Children’s Author Sheena Wilkinson

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 1 July 2017.

You write for different age groups- do you find a big difference in how to carry out an event for teenagers versus primary school kids? I tend to approach them in a broadly similar way, but with an awareness that the reaction is likely to be different depending on the age group. Teens are more likely to be self-conscious and less willing to ask questions, etc than younger children, but that doesn’t mean they are...

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