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Guest Blogs

A blog by Flourish & Blogs

Flourish & Blogs 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. Follow her on Twitter @OliviaMHope 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.

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

Posted by Flourish & Blogs 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 It’s wonderful to see an unpublished writer win such a prestigious award, it gives hope...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 Flourish & Blogs 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 Flourish & Blogs 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 Flourish & Blogs 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 Flourish & Blogs 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 Flourish & Blogs 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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Book events! Day 5 – Award winning writer Dave Rudden

Posted by Flourish & Blogs on 30 June 2017.

Happy Friday! This time we jump up an age group again into the older middle grade readers, with the simply splendid Dave Rudden talking all things book events.      1. What is your advice to any author or illustrator who has been asked to do an event for children?   Firstly, preparation is key. You want to know how many kids, what age they are and how long the event will be. You want...

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Book Events! Day 4 – Children’s Author Nigel Quinlan

Posted by Flourish & Blogs on 29 June 2017.

1. How did you prepare for your first ever book event? Did you go and see other authors to see how they manage events? Oh lord no, I just jumped straight in, though admittedly after dithering at the edge of the pool for a stupidly long time. I was asked to do something for a local school, and my immediate response was to say yes, of course, I’d be delighted, and then panic and stew...

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Book events! Day 3 – author and illustrator Oisin McGann

Posted by Flourish & Blogs on 28 June 2017.

Day three of the Book events blog, and we move up an age group. Oisin McGann is a very funny writer and illustrator, which comes out in his school and festivals visits and as you will see, in his interview answers. Terrific and practical tips about doing book events for children   What is your advice to any author or illustrator who has been asked to do an event for children? If you’re even thinking of...

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Book events! Day 2 – Irish Children’s laureate, illustrator PJ Lynch

Posted by Flourish & Blogs on 27 June 2017.

Continuing our events week interviews, we are delighted to have Irish children’s laureate PJ Lynch answer some questions about doing book events.   What is your advice to any author or illustrator who has been asked to do an event for children?   One of the most important things to do is to be sure you’ll be talking to the right age group for your kind of book. Insist on getting that right and then...

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