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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.

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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Book events! Day 5 – Award winning writer Dave Rudden

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole 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 Down The Rabbit Hole 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 Down The Rabbit Hole 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 Down The Rabbit Hole 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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Book Events! Day 1 – Special guest author-illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick.

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 26 June 2017.

So you are a shiny new author, and you want to do an event in a bookshop, school or festival for children. What do you need to know? Every day this week we have advice for you from some of Ireland’s award winning writers and illustrators. We have tips, advice and stories to cover all age groups, from picture books to young adult.   So we begin with picture book author and illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzgerald....

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Children’s Books: Age Categories and Word Counts

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 15 June 2017.

This is a general list of age categories and word counts for children’s books. I have often looked this up and got different results, which makes it very confusing. I have therefore made some averages, based on what I’ve heard from publishers and agents at children’s book events, and from research and reading. Different publishers and agents can have different specifications for an age group category and their word counts, so do check with individual...

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When are you going to write a proper picture book?

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 29 May 2017.

On May 27th in DLR lexicon library, Sarah Webb, the writer in residence at DLR, hosted a second all-day workshop for children’s writers interested in getting published, in association with Children’s Books Ireland and supported by IBBY Ireland. The event focussed on all things picture book related, with a dearth of advice across the board from award winning writers, illustrators, publishers and creative directors. So…when are you going to write a proper picture book? (check...

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What is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)?

Posted by Down The Rabbit Hole on 17 May 2017.

After attending a number of events for children’s writers, it dawned on me that there are a lot of writers who don’t know what resources and organisations are available in Ireland. Out of this realisation, I decided to run a series of interviews and blogs to spread the word about what fantastic organisations there are for Irish children’s writers. This first interview is with Colleen Jones, the volunteer Regional Advisor for the Irish branch of...

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