Hey Ya!

It’s been a week since CYA later alligator and there’s still a lot to get my head around. After Jackie French’s masterclass on chapter books, we had a showcase of writers who had success with one of CYA’s many competitions. Dee White, Kathryn Apel and Kim Miller got to share their journey and new books. They all spoke about having a little luck and a lot of persistence.

I had a blast with Mark Gurthie’s cartooning class. My drawings have never gone past stick figures, but Mark gave us lots of spare paper and erasers, along with some friendly advice. I really admire cartoonists and with the recent boom of the graphic novel, there’s plenty of cartooning work out there.

After lunch, I had the double whammy of Brian Falkner and Scott Monk, two awesome authors who are both brimming with confidence. Brian only confirmed what Jackie said eariler, half of the room will fail as writers. *eeekkkkk* 

I guess that’s what makes being published so satisfying. It’s proof that you’re definitely very, very, very GOOD.

Brian spoke about ideas, letting it grow in your mind like an oyster covering a grain of sand with pearly stuff. The result is a pearl of a story! He also spoke about emotion. You should be feeling things as you write. You should care about your stories, otherwise who will? It’s so true. If I’m not laughing at parts of my stories, then I know it’s rubbish or under-developed.

I’m a huge fan of Scott Monk. His story of how he became a writer is one full of rejection, rejection, hope and more rejection. It’s inspring stuff. Then he threw himself over to us, as we hacked into his brain. He has a remarkable knack for writing teen boy novels without swear words or explcit love scenes. He says swearing is lazy way for writers to work. I’m uncomfortable with swearing too, though I am baffled with authentic teen dialogue without any cuss words, um do teens ever say ‘jolly good’ anymore 😉

Next…my second book, mmmm which project will I persue? Stay tuned…

About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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