Lots of Stuff: Charney retreat, UKLA awards and YALC!

AAARGH school holidays have started and my time is DISAPPEARING and loads of brilliant Stuff has been happening, and there is NO TIME to blog about any of it!! And I have DEADLINES!

So, here’s my quick round-up of the past three weeks:

Charney retreat with the Scattered Authors’ Society

I love Charney. I think this is my fourth time on retreat there with the SAS, and each time I come home feeling uplifted and re-energised.

There was music in the evenings
There was music in the evenings
There was a fiendish quiz (my team came second by HALF A POINT!!)
There was a fiendish quiz (my team came second by HALF A POINT!!)
John Dougherty sang my Editing Song to an appreciative group of listeners
John Dougherty and I sang my Editing Song to an understanding and appreciative group of listeners
Me and one of my bestest author buddies, John Dougherty
Me and one of my bestest author buddies, John Dougherty

There were sessions on how a book is financed (truly fascinating, and yet terrifying), creating characters, short story writing, desert island books and troubleshooting your book. For the third year running, I made everyone look ridiculous at my improvised comedy session. And I also took some author photos for others again this year – will put them in a separate post! Thanks so much to Sheena Wilkinson and Lee Weatherly for organising – roll on next year!

UKLA Book Awards

To my great pride, Looking at the Stars was shortlisted for this fantastic award in the 11-16 category. The UKLA awards are selected by teachers up and down the country, and they deliberately look for books they can use in the class room as class readers; those books that cover issues and styles of writing that can be discussed and explored with experienced staff. I didn’t win (Every Day by David Levithan did), but it was an immense honour just to be there, and my great thanks to the UKLA team for making me so very welcome.

I got all glammed up to go
I got all glammed up to go
It was fab to meet GR Gemin and Clare Furniss!
It was fab to meet GR Gemin and Clare Furniss!
And I was UBER happy to meet the hugely talented and thoroughly nice John Hegley, who was entertaining the teachers, students and authors in the evening after the ceremony!
And I was UBER happy to meet the hugely talented and thoroughly nice John Hegley, who was entertaining the teachers, students and authors in the evening after the ceremony!

YALC

The Young Adult Literature Convention is in its second year, and you can read my report of last year’s here. This year was SO much better – not so stiflingly hot, more space, more publishing stalls, more STUFF than you could shake a stick at – and loads and loads of really passionate people, from bloggers to authors and everyone in between. I had an absolute whale of a time.

I was dressed in my ELECTRIGIRL t shirt and new mixtape skirt - dress for comfort is my advice!
I was dressed in my ELECTRIGIRL t shirt and new mixtape skirt – dress for comfort is my advice!
Look, it's Cleopatra! Otherwise known as Lucy Coats, bigging up her brand new book CLEO
Look, it’s Cleopatra! Otherwise known as Lucy Coats, bigging up her brand new book CLEO
There was a very nice seating area where you could just relax and read a book
There was a very nice seating area where you could just relax and read a book
and there were loads of bloggers - with me, Keris Stainton and Liz Kessler in the middle of the blogger sandwich
and there were loads of bloggers – with me, Keris Stainton and Liz Kessler in the middle of the blogger sandwich
Five Disney Princesses and Flynn Rider turned up too
Five Disney Princesses and Flynn Rider turned up too
Me with my fab new editor at Piccadilly, Tilda Johnson
Me with my fab new editor at Piccadilly, Tilda Johnson
Charlie Higson explains how his Young Bond books would have been even more violent if his son had had his way!
Charlie Higson explains how his Young Bond books would have been even more violent if his son had had his way!
Ex-Children's Laureate and all-round superwoman Malorie Blackman
Ex-Children’s Laureate and all-round superwoman Malorie Blackman
Lucy, Keris, Liz and Lee Weatherly in the audience for the Feminism in YA panel
Lucy, Keris, Liz and Lee Weatherly in the audience for the Feminism in YA panel
Lee and Liz
Lee and Liz
Liz is interviewed by Fluttering Butterflies blogger Michelle - more later!
Liz is interviewed by Fluttering Butterflies blogger Michelle – more later!
Down the pub with Chitra Soundar and Carnegie Medal winner Tanya Landman
Down the pub with Chitra Soundar and Carnegie Medal winner Tanya Landman
Natasha Farrant, me and Clare Furniss
Natasha Farrant, me and Clare Furniss
The moment Liz Kessler is told that two girls in her signing queue have just met and asked each other out - directly after the LGBT in YA panel. ALL THE SMILES.
The moment Liz Kessler is told that two girls in her signing queue have just met and asked each other out – directly after the LGBT in YA panel. ALL THE SMILES.

And the lovely Michelle from Fluttering Butterflies blog took video footage, not just of Liz but of me too – and they’re VERY funny. I’ll post those separately because they are worth their own blog posts!

Today I am trying to cram three days’ worth of work (and emails!) into one day, and am thrilled (and relieved) to report that I have just hit ‘SEND’ on the first draft of ELECTRIGIRL 2, which is due to be published in August of next year – yes!! OUP has commissioned a second ELECTRIGIRL book, and I COULDN’T be happier about it!

But NOW I have to get on with some Very Important Planning because I’m due to run some creative writing workshops for 8-12s at the Story Museum and I am FIZZING with ideas that I need to trap on paper!

Wheeeee!!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s