Yesterday, 22nd June 2021, I did my first live school visit in 15 months at the wonderful Tor Bridge High in Plymouth. It wasn’t quite what we’d planned, the delay to ‘Freedom Day’ meant we couldn’t do whole year groups assemblies but instead, were a more intimate library full of 30 young people at a time – and it was WONDERFUL.
It’s been a miserable covid year but I’m double jabbed and things are, at last, looking up. I am not going to dwell on the misery, I am going to celebrate!
I have two new talks in addition to Self Esteem & Social Media – and an updated post-covid version of Reading and Resilience , I also have What Women Are and Empathy.
You captivated all the students with four fantastic workshops full of energy, enthusiasm and passion – Joanne Bowls, librarian
See here for more information and details on how to book me for your school or college. I can’t wait to visit!!!
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!
The original letter Kathryn Evans wrote to all school children.
Dear Children wether you are off school (or not!) ,
I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with a way to help the thousands of you now suddenly off school for who knows how long. A big part of my job as a writer is going into schools and talking to young people about the themes of my books and creative writing. I already miss the challenging questions, the cheeky interruptions, the INCREDIBLE ideas and enthusiasm.
Last night, I was writing to some of my Book Pen Pal schools with a heavy heart. My role in that organisation is to recommend books to encourage children to read for pleasure. I love being part of it but I felt I couldn’t recommend a book that so many children would not be able to get hold of – schools and libraries have closed and not everyone has spare cash, for books, especially now so many are temporarily out of work.
My book pen pal suggestion, earlier in March, was The Diary of Anne Frank. I read it recently and was struck but how completely ordinary it was and yet completely captivating. I really felt I knew that young woman, through her writing, and it’s such a precious document of a horrible time. It gave me an idea.
Instead of reading a book, let’s write one. Together. All you need to do is keep a diary of all the ordinary and extraordinary things that will happen and I’ll figure out the rest.
You will be heard. Stay well, much love Kathryn
PS If you want to know what book I would recommend through all this though, it’s another diary! Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging – guaranteed to make you laugh!
One of my author visit talks is all about beauty standards through the ages and how social media can make us place unrealistic expectations on ourselves that can have a detrimental effect on our mental health.
Trying to be perfect is poisonous.
And yet, I love social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I belong to some great communities on those platforms and I’d really miss them in my life. It’s not the social media that’s the problem, it’s the content that’s pushed in our faces. We often can’t avoid the adverts that are sent to us, here’s one that made me spit with fury:
This lovely young woman’s photograph is not real. Her skin has been smoothed and tanned, her hair colour enhanced and her teeth whitened. I am 100% sure she looked completely fine before this image of perfection was presented to the world. The effect? We feel we can’t show our real selves because we just don’t match up. How horrible. What happens when we want to go out? Are they working on a Facetune for real life? Probably. If it makes money. Because that’s what it’s all about – making money off your insecurities.
If you want to play with filters, and some of them are really fun, use ones that are obvious and give Facetune a big ole poke in the eye. And follow some people who’ll make you feel better about yourself. Here are my top five six Instagram accounts that are good for your mental health!
@CelesteBarber – this woman is hilarious – her account parodies images of models and celebrities and she makes me laugh EVERY DAY. Improve your life. Just follow.
@lewiscapaldi– cute, funny, real, honest. I LOVE HIM. His stories are brilliant. He’s a bit sweary sometimes but, lets face it, so am I. His posts are pure joy.
@the.naked.farmer – it’s not what you expect. And it is. All of life embraced.
@alwynhamilton – author of Rebel of the Sands, absolute icon for positive body image – her stories are just fab!
@mattzhaig – well known for his books about mental health, his feed is full of positive affirmation but also the reality of coping with anxiety.
6. I have to include Karen Ball @didyoumakethat for her fantastic series of photographs with a stranger – it’s joyous!
Add your favourite accounts in the comments and share the love – you can never have enough positive influences. And if you want to follow me, I’m @KathrynEvansInk
It is January the 3rd 2019 which means I can officially say I have a book coming out THIS YEAR. It’s taken me long enough – it’s been three years since More of Me came out in the UK but I handed in my copy edits on Christmas Eve. I made some fairly major changes to the end, even though it had already gone out to some lovely people to read.
The fabulous author of The Extinction Trials, S. M .Wilson gave me my very first Beauty Sleep review:
Read a brilliant book this weekend Beauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans A fantastic story which reads like a feature length episode of Black Mirror, with just enough creep factor to keep you on the edge of your seat! Loved it!
I’ll probably still want to tweak it a bit forever but…
I’m actually really pleased with it 🙂
Laura was dying. There was no cure for her illness. So her family decided to grasp a desperate last hope – Laura was frozen until she could be cured.
But what happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years? Your best friend is middle-aged, your parents presumed dead. Could you find a new place to belong? Could you build a new life – while solving the mystery of what happened to the old one?
Dark secrets lurk in the future of the girl from the past…
I’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.
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!
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….
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. 🙂
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 ))
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… 🙂
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!
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
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.
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.
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.