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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.

Book Events! Day 1 – Special guest author-illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick.

Posted by Flourish & Blogs 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 Flourish & Blogs 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 Flourish & Blogs 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 Flourish & Blogs 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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Picturing that picture book.

Posted by Flourish & Blogs on 26 April 2017.

  I love picture books. In bookshops, I stand in front of the children’s section like a 1950s kid, seeing a display of colour TVs for the first time. I love the immediacy of the story, how quickly you get ‘hit’ by it – the lettering, the cover, the characters, the art. The only thing about picture books that makes me grimace is that people assume; a) they are easy to write b) that anyone...

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Is Writing For Children Easier Than Writing For Adults?

Posted by Flourish & Blogs on 5 April 2017.

By Niamh Garvey   I’ve often gotten the impression that some people think it’s easier to write a children’s book, than to write one for adults. Do they think that children are an easier audience? That you can get away with mediocre writing because kids don’t know the difference? Sure, anyone can write the next Harry Potter, can’t they? Wrong. Writing for children is as hard, or harder, than writing for adults in so many...

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