Writing Advice

Online Summer Creative Writing Workshops with Kathryn Evans

ADULT PLOT & STRUCTURE WORKSHOP 13TH AUGUST BOOK NOW

I’m an award winning author of books for teens, part of the BBC teach series for English and an experienced workshop tutor. This summer I’ve taken my workshops online so if you have a budding writer in your family, why not sign them up for the first one? Ideas, Plot & Structure. There are 2 age groups 9-11 and 12 to 16. Places are limited and it’s only £12 for 90 minutes of inspiring, fun and informative teaching!

Book Here!

DBS checked. Free, confidential places for disadvantaged children.

Writing Advice

Beauty Sleep Wins Crime Fest Award

I’m a tiny bit proud of this one… washed my hair and everything.

Writing Advice

Kathryn Evans Goes Online

Covid-19 has stopped me from doing something I love. I can’t visit schools, I can’t be part of festivals, I can’t share my love of books and writing anywhere where I might be part of spreading the virus.

While I desperately miss getting out and about and meeting readers in person, I am now offering author visits through Kathryn Evans Online.

It’s a new service, I can’t promise there won’t be teething troubles, but it’s competitively priced and designed to flex with challenging timetables!

From video hire, to live workshops and Q & A’s , I hope I have something to offer that will enable young people to continue to have an enriched learning experience with as little trouble and expense to the organisers as possible.

Let me know what you think, point out the glitches, share your ideas!

KATHRYN EVANS ONLINE

Writing Advice

Why Writers Need Friends.

kathy-evans-8101422-smallI’ve been looking through my ideas file for the next thing I want to work on, and  found something I want to share with you, especially if you are an unpublished writer feeling like it’s never going to happen.

It’s from 2010,  the early days of Facebook and it mattered to me so much, I  screenshot the thread and saved it.

I posted:

  Kathryn Evans would like to feel a little more positive about the possibility of ever getting a book deal but, shall instead, be grateful for what she’s got. Honest.

I hope the lovely people who replied don’t mind me sharing their responses, here are a few of them – I’ve redacted their names just in case!

Jxx

It’ll happen, you’re a talented writer! I remember thinking that at Miriam’s Winchester workshop the year before last!

Yesterday at 12:06 ·

Mxx

me too! :o)

Yesterday at 12:07 ·

Jxx

It will probably happen when you least expect it……

Yesterday at 12:10 ·

Axx

And you are allowed a grrrrrrrr in the meantime…..

Yesterday at 12:36 ·

Jxx

oh most definitely… should we have a group ‘grrrrrrrrrrrr’ for you?

Yesterday at 12:37 ·

Kathryn Evans

Group ‘grrrr’ much appreciated and thanks guys……it was something Cxx said about 3 out of 300 subs from agents being accepted by an editor last year… from agents…..I know the talent level out there is phenomenal – which IS great for children’s literature but, but, but….

Yesterday at 13:11 ·

Exx

The book I spent 19 months writing has had 7 rejections to date so I can sympathise Kathryn. Every reason under the sun given from – it’s got a boy as the main protagonist (God forbid!) to – it’s too issue driven and not my usual light comedy. It does start to get me down sometimes but as you say, it’s important to be grateful for the royalties that keep my affloat while I’m waiting! Keep smiling. 🙂

Yesterday at 13:41 ·

Nxx

I will join with you in ggggggggggrrrrrrrrrr-ing! Especially when I hear people wittering on about “trends”…

Yesterday at 14:13 ·

Txx

I wish I could make you feel better but I can’t, except perhaps to say, I’m sure it will happen and I love Shem  and when it does happen I want a signed copy and an interview for my blog and an invite to the book publication party and… well, here’s a virtual hug in the mean time (( xx ))

Yesterday at 14:20 ·

Exx

Positive attracts positive. When you send it out visualise it being accepted. Hold the positive thought in your mind and believe. It works for many things including parking spots!

Yesterday at 14:26 ·

 

Nxx

I wouldn’t stress about probabilities – I mean what was the chance of you getting an agent in the first place? But I absolutely share your frustration. Grrrr, indeed.

Yesterday at 14:39 ·

Lxx

You’ll get there, Kathryn! It’s just taking longer for everyone’s manuscripts to find a home. So many editors have lost their jobs that it’s making them gun shy. But they still need books to publish… 🙂

Yesterday at 15:10 ·

Dxx

You will get there. You ARE getting there. Me too and we shall each have our books in stores at the same time! I shall see your titles and you shall see mine. We shall each have little endcaps. Pact? Intend it, baby!

Yesterday at 16:50 ·

 

Jxx

oh I know i can’t say anything knowledgeable about publishing (except there are some mad ones out there because Dylan and Mouse hasn’t been published yet) but….as soon as it happens, I’ll be first in the queue at Waterstones!!xx

Yesterday at 17:49 ·

Bxx

It’ll happen.
Bx

Yesterday at 18:12 ·

Mxx

We know the odds are stacked against us, but we still do it. Just keep swimming xxx

Yesterday at 18:20 ·

Lxx

and i’ll be right behind you Julie saying in a very loud voice “‘ of course Kathy and i go WAY back….we were at Uni together you know!!”

Yesterday at 19:51 ·

Kathryn Evans

LOl – oh you lot are fab –  ….. I so badly want an editor. There, I’ve said it, they make good books great. Yep Mxx, just keeping on swimming :O)

Yesterday at 20:07 ·

 

Pxx

Kathy. “Hi!” Just logged on for the first time today. The editor Cxx is referring to is, I believe, J-H-W and I’ve no reason to doubt her if she claims that she only went for 3 out of the 300 agency-submitted manuscripts… but if every editor chooses a different 3 out of 300, what’s to say that one of your manuscripts won’t be one of them? You have talent. You have an agent and you have perseverance. A winning combination, I reckon.

Yesterday at 22:13 ·

Kathryn Evans

Dxx – most of the time I do, honestly, just now and again, gah! You know…Pxx you are a nice man :O) I hadn’t actually thought that – some of those 300 would be subbed elsewhere, true enough x

Yesterday at 23:11 ·

 

Cxx

oh but i think your writing does stand out. it’s just a matter of finding the right editor … i think getting that yes isn’t like a love-in, the editor has to fall head over heels for all the right reasons. i know people who are disappointed with their writing life because they are taken on for the wrong reasons (eg commercial ideas, exploitable). i have to say though that i felt exactly like you did last year.

4 hours ago ·

Kathryn Evans

I shall print these comments off and stick them to the inside of my brain x

 

I did print them off, and they kept me going until the right manuscript, and my super agent, Sophie Hicks, cracked it.

 

More of Me was published in 2016, my next novel comes out early next year – I’m still not supposed to talk about it but it won’t hurt to tell you that Shem, one of the characters mentioned above, lives again – different story, same boy. Nothing is ever wasted – which is why I’m going back through my old files and why you, if you are still trying to break through, should keep going.

Lean on your friends, join a writer’s group, if you’re a children’s book writer or illustrator join SCBWI,  try and bump over the disappointments and revel in the highs. I’ve said it so many times but if you are a writer, you have no choice so you might as well get on with it and try and enjoy the  ride. Your pals will help. They really will.

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Most of my lovely CHi-SCBWI group!

Writing Advice

Top Tips for New Writers

By Kathryn Evans

School visits are always over too quickly – here’s a little motivational video for the fab writers I meet when I’m out and about 🙂

And here’s another on developing characters!

Feel free to ask questions!

Writing Advice

Editing- Five Steps to add texture and depth to your novel.

Some of you may know I am part of the Notes From The Slushpile blogging team – once  upon a time, all of us were in the slush and we blog to share what we’ve learned along the way. Here’s my post about editing…it’s also a bit of a gif fest – thank Giphy! Continue reading “Editing- Five Steps to add texture and depth to your novel.”

Books, For Readers, More of Me, Writing Advice

The SCBWI Crystal Kite Award 2017

By Kathryn Evans

Sometimes, when you start on a journey, there are certain dreams that seem ridiculously  beyond your reach but you dream them anyway because they just  keep you going.  And sometimes, ridiculously, no matter how far beyond your reach they seem,  those dreams can come true.

SCBWI_Crystal_Kite_Seal

 

The Society of Children’s Book writers and Illustrators is an organisation I’ve belonged to for years.  Through SCBWI workshops and critique groups I’ve learned my craft, and as a volunteer I’ve grown a hugely supportive network of friends and colleagues.

SCBWI members are a mix of published and unpublished writers all on a journey to produce the best work they can and I think that shows in the standard of entries for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award.  It’s  a peer-given award to traditionally published writers and illustrators ,  recognising great books from 15 regions around the world.

Here are the  shortlisted titles  for the UK and Ireland in 2017 – I’ve read and loved them all – anyone of them would be a worthy winner.  In fact, if you’ve gaps in your To Be Read pile, take them as recommendations.

patrice - CopyPatrice Lawrence – Orange Boy

A gritty urban thriller with a powerful family drama at its heart – Winner of the Waterstones Prize for Older Children, Shortlisted for The Costa Prize.

 

 

Peter Bunzle – Cogheart cogheart

A steampunk tale of ambition, pursuit and revenge – The Guardian.  Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Branford Boase Award.

 

eugene - CopyEugene Lambert

‘A thrilling YA sci-fi adventure reminiscent of Hunger Games and Star Wars … a fantastic page-turner with great characters in Kyle and Sky’  Booktrust

 

Ally Sherrick blackpowder

A gutsy  adventure-packed tale of the Guy Fawkes story told from 12 year old Tom’s point of view as he struggles to save his father in a world that’s against him.

 

 

lyingSue Wallman

In intense psychological thriller selected for the Zoella book Club and  a really brilliant page turner.

 

 

 

And  in case there is still space on your bookshelf, here are some previous winners…

2016

Teri Terrmindgamesy – Mind Games

A complex and futuristic thriller that, even at a hefty 433 pages, will leave you wanting more…another stunning example of Teri Terry doing what she does best (The School Librarian)

Teri has won so many awards I can’t even list them all.

 

2015

ratClaire Furniss – The Year of The Rat

Beautifully written and emotionally charged debut about love, loss and families. Would appeal to fans of Annabel Pitcher. (The Bookseller)
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase, Longlisted for the Cilip Carnegie Medal

 

 

And  the 2017 winner…

Me.

Well… More of Me by Kathryn Evans

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Buy at Hive or Amazon

Dreams really can come true if you just don’t give up.

More of Me by Kathryn Evans, winner of the 2017  Society of Childrens’ Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite Award for UK and Ireland.

Pinch Me.

 

The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

20 Author Rejections

From SCBWI British Isles Members.

It’s the 20th anniversary of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

SCBWI

It’s the only largest organisation for published AND unpublished writers in the world and I’ve been part of it for years. Holding hands with fellow writers as we climb through the snowdrift of rejection letters to publication has kept many of us going.

So to celebrate 20 fabulous years this year, the utterly wonderful Candy Gourlay thought it would be cool to share some of those rejections – and boy were there a lot to choose from! Members donated them left, right and center and here they are to inspire you to keep going. Quite a lot of the donated rejections came from authors who are published now…but they shall remain anonymous, as indeed, will the agents and editors from whence they came…

P.S. No agents or editors  were (C)harmed in the making of this video.

P.P.S. We love our agents and editors. Especially the ones who said YES!

P.P.P.S. And the ones that didn’t, they’re so often right…but not always…

The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

Second Book Syndrome

Well Meaning Pal ( WMP) “Hey Kathy, how’s the new book coming along?”

Me: Look at this thing I did on Instagram.

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WMP: So the new book..?

Me: Yeah, sorry, I’ve got fencing training, and I don’t want to be late…

 

WMP: I heard it was much easier to get a second book published.

Me: WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO MUCH?

Thank god for writer friends on Facebook reminding me I am not alone. I love you. You are all fab. And hey, it’s not QUITE that bad (now.)

Last week I wanted to put a brick through my computer.

Now, I’ve just started on the fourth draft, the one where I tweak all the relationships, and you know what?  It’s not rubbish.  I like it. Some of it, I really like.

Of course that’s today. Tomorrow I might be reaching for the brick…

Brick

 

For Readers, The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

A Week in the Life of an Author

 

 

The craziest of train journeys; a wonderful day with librarians and a short lived but highly productive afternoon at the SCBWI writer’s retreat… Continue reading “A Week in the Life of an Author”