Wednesday, 10 November 2010


I was talking at the SCBWI Professional Series evening last Friday a lovley evening, great folks to talk to. I mentioned that the SCBWI Winchester Conference was one of the highlights of my year. It is special to me and here's why. Below is a blog post from November 2007 when I was still on the road to publication. If you're feeling a little disgruntled, down-hearted or deflated today. Take heart. Read this. It does happen. It really does!

Well! Where have I been and what have I been up to? I hear you ask!



I've been to the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators writer's day. It was brilliant. You probably guessed from my last post that I'm awaiting a decision and to be honest, it was beginning to get me down a bit. the jaundice was creeping in, bitterness and all those negative little thoughts, chipping away at me.


No Longer!!!


What a fab weekend. David Almond was the speaker and he gave some fascinating insights into his progress as a writer and about how he writes. (Very organic and brainstormy, throw all your story arcs away!) (Not sure if I can quite do that but...)


He talked a little about waiting and about the bitterness and envy that can build up and kill the fun of the game that is writing! Game? Yes...it's fun. It's meant to be fun! I'd almost forgotten that...almost...


And when he had finished talking, I realised that I was sitting next to Imogen Cooper from Chicken House. we got chatting about this and that, Victorian London and Undertakers...the usual you know...(am I glad I'd practised my 20 second pitch).


And then I met some bloggers, including Jude and Anita.


And then Candy Gourlay told everyone about the joys of using the internet. Which was ace cos I realised that I'm doing some things right!


And I chatted to someone about picture book text, which was curious.


And then David Almond did another talk, there were other workshops available but I like his work and he told us how he gets all that jumble that is in his brain into straight lines on the page. It's fun!


And then a panel of editors shared their insights into what they look for in a new writer, what makes a 'dream' novel, tips for approaching them and other publishers.


Then I drove home, four hours (long drive by UK standards...apologies to those in the New World who drive that far everyday just to get a newspaper!) and something struck me (metaphorically speaking of course, I was driving on the correct side of the road and everything)


I am going to be a writer...a published writer...


It will happen.


I'd never really thought this way before but I saw the light on the Newbury Bypass!


It may not be tomorrow or next week. Maybe not for a long while but it will happen!


And that makes me very happy!

I can't wait for this weekend and Winchester again!

6 comments:

Candy Gourlay said...

aww ... you saw the light in the newbury bypass! and now boy have you made up for lost time! see you on friday!

kathryn evans said...

Oh Jon, so good to read, can't wait to see you xxx

Savita Kalhan said...

So funny - I blogged about SCBWI Winchester on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure today! I'm a new member and didn't find out about SCBWI until well after I had been published! (My head was stuck in the sand when it should have been on the internet!)
Look forward to meeting you and everyone else at the main event!

Elaine AM Smith said...

Yeah! Isn't it a great moment: the one when optimism wins out over adversity and hard work?

The last time I saw the golden rays extending down from the heavens it had quite a different, but profoundly life changing affect on me too. But that, as they say, is a different story... but not one I'm prepared to write - yet.

verilion said...

I vaguely remember reading that post Jon and feeling excited for you (and jealous that you had had all that time with David Almond). And now I find I'm quite excited about some book called The Demon Collector. I wonder if it'll be any good ;)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I'm so proud of you, Jon.

Have a great time!!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore