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
Uncomfortable Children’s Books
I was recently re-discovering one of my favourite childhood books, Good Mister Tom, when I was struck by how disturbing the story was. I remember reading it as a nine or ten year old, and, despite crying and finding it deeply upsetting, I was also well able to cope with the story, and was hugely relieved by the happy ending. I wondered, at what age would I deem my own daughters old enough to deal...Read the full article >>
A little news on a new Little Miss character.
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,...Read the full article >>
Children’s writers: Why not to follow trends
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...Read the full article >>
A year of children’s writing events
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...Read the full article >>
Magic isn’t just for Christmas; it’s in books all year round.
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...Read the full article >>
Winner of Wells Festival Of Literature, Children’s Book Award, an Interview: Eve McDonnell
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...Read the full article >>
Discover the Community: New Children’s Writers.
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...Read the full article >>
Writing for Teens: Things to Consider
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...Read the full article >>
Interview with the director of Children’s Books Ireland – Elaina Ryan.
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;...Read the full article >>
Book Events Summary! Day 7 – P.R.E.P.A.R.E
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...Read the full article >>