Most of our young writers have been working hard over the past few weeks, completing their competition entries for various challenges coming up. Some find the first draft the hardest part of the process whereas others struggle when it comes to editing and redrafting the same piece over and again until it is perfect. There is a line that is drawn to reach that perfection and I have had to pull the reigns on some of my students who don’t know when to stop.
Searching for that perfection in writing is, to some degree, pointless. I can hear many of you disagreeing with me but hear me out on why I think this way.
Perfection is subjective: every reader brings their own perceptions of what they want to see, feel and engage with in any written piece. I have felt the despondency of watching my tutors tear my writing apart because they hate the genre I have chosen or because they expect my characters to survive when someone is bound to die in my story! Every piece I submit is written and redrafted to the point of turning itself inside out, trying the avoid the pitfalls of poor writing. Yet, I still feel that sting when the reviews come in. At the same time, those that enjoy the genre I write in thoroughly engage with the piece and enjoy the trauma of losing a favourite character, feeling the loss is an essential part of the realism of the story. In the same way, when I am preparing my young writers for competition challenges, I make sure they are aware of what the editors want. That is important. Some may have strengths in the form of writing submitted whereas others keep second guessing themselves. My role as a mentor is to ensure that each writer enjoys the process of creating their piece. I am there to encourage them, to follow the guidelines and set tasks to edit the piece so that the requirements are effortlessly covered during drafting and redrafting. It is my purpose to ensure that no writer feels burn out, especially at such a young age, just from writing a competition piece. Yes, it is a competition. Yes, we do have to bring our best, but it is not worth all the prizes in the world to discourage a young writer from believing in their own voice and style just to enter a perfect piece.
This is part of the ethos of EDS Writers Club and after last week’s pressure of submitting our competition entries, I am going to make sure my writers have fun this week to remind them of the many reasons why writing is wonderful. One day, in the distant future, it is my dream to see the names of one of my writers up there with the likes of J.K. Rowling, Roald Dahl, Cressida Cowell, and so many more accomplished authors. Well, that is the dream, anyway. Their love of writing about the places in their imaginations and their ability to create those new fantastic worlds is what will get them there – that will be the perfection we are searching for.
Encouraging our children to learn through lockdown has been a challenging process. From online lessons to socially distanced picnic meet ups – we have tried it all! Listening to their needs, we’ve discovered that writing prompts are not enough. Temptation has turned most children to televisions, social media and gaming instead of learning, writing and creating. We have had to do more with our sessions to capture their attention and keep them enthused. Here is what we have done to provide our young writers with enough inspiration to keep writing…
Continue reading “Young Writers Want More!”
After a wobbly start to Scat’s re-launch, thanks to C19, Scat has finally found firm footing for his return. Ready to face his readers with a new cover and a revised version of his book, this wily feline feels confident that more children will enjoy his fabulous tale.
Bullying affects everyone. It’s not easy to overcome the sense of helplessness you feel when you are bullied by someone. Nor is it easy to understand that some bullies have their own terrible tales to tell. Scat follows the path of vengeance against his bully but soon learns that there are consequences to every action.
Watch Scat’s story here and share it with your family and friends.
What would you do if you were Scat?
Order your copy of Scat the Black Cat here.
The Bracknell Forest Library Service are loading new videos of books read by their authors for your enjoyment during lockdown. I was lucky enough to be included in their line up with my book, Space Dust. If you recall, this little adventure was written for the Library Service during last year’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Writing a book is one thing; recording it without my comical faces or extreme hand gestures was near to impossible! Add to that the intermittent sounds of Millie, our dog, joining in the recording and you have a video of Space Dust.
If you’d listen to watch the story, click on the pic below:
If you’d like to buy your own copy, paperback or ebook, click on the pic below:
I had great fun introducing the Writers’ Club to the children at Wooden Hill Primary School today. They have a treasure trove of storytellers who were incredible at helping me pull a story together from broken bits of information – what I like to call ‘broken telephone storytelling’!
I look forward to meeting the new club members next week.
Welcome back to Space Dust’s journey across different blogospheres. A big thank you to Cecily for hosting us yesterday.
Today, we have stopped off at my blog so that I could share a bit more about the book with you and, maybe give you a snippet of the next book! Continue reading “Blast Off with Space Dust”
I’ve just received another review for Space Dust and I have to share this reader’s incredible post. She had taken the time to analyse every aspect of the book, giving her point of view of what the book tried to portray.
This reader gets me!
21 September 2019
Oh what a beautiful book for children from 3 to 11, and if you want to know my honest opinion, I loved it too and read it out loud to my husband who mmm mmm’d (that’s good!).
Eloise de Sousa has a way with words. When I started reading I had a little lump in my throat but soon I was excited on the adventure with Big Ox and Little One, whose Mummy had left without even a goodbye! The theme of space is so relevant as our youngsters learn more about the Universe. The story gathers pace with Little One looking for his Mummy on the adventure that Big Ox has taken him on in a canoe with his “absolute favourite spoon”. They travel passed planets and Eloise has incorporated some real life information about Venus and Saturn, and “Neptune’s glassy cloud” in a subtle way.
Beautiful flow, rhyme and rhythm, as mentioned by other reviewers. Repetition is just right. Imagination is second to none – “sea horses swimming in creamy mushroom soup, Or spring onion beams for them to perform their daring loop-dee-loops” … can you just see it?
I love how sensitive Little One is when he tells Big Ox he is “very sorry if I sound like I don’t care”; but then sees how down Big Ox is by his remark. Little One quickly wants to get Big Ox back to his happy self by suggesting they continue their travels where he may see his Mummy.
Very sensitively written. I love how the story calms down towards the end as sleep overtakes Little One but we know that there are more adventures with Big Ox and Little One to follow.
The illustrations are brave and bold and love that they are by the author herself.
I’m so pleased that I have bought a few of these books for the young people in my family as well as close friends. I’m sure they – and their parents – will enjoy.
Well done Eloise de Sousa!
A huge thank you for all the wonderful reviews coming in. I’m so happy you are enjoying the book with your families.
Do keep sending in your pics and reviews. I will be choosing a lucky reviewer to receive a special Space Dust gift soon.
I have been remiss in sharing some exciting local events with you where I will be reading my latest book, Space Dust.
So, without wasting words, here are my diary events for the next few weeks. Do come along if you can and join in the fun, creative activities at these events.
6th August- Story time at Ascot Heath Library
7th August – Story time at Great Hollands Library
13th August – Story time at Crowthorne Library
14th August – Story time at Whitegrove Library
15th August – Story time at Sandhurst Library
19th August – Story time at Harmanswater Library
22nd August – Story time at Binfield Library
Please click on the links to check start times.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
It has been the long awaited sequel to Cecil the Bully and Spoilt Miranda. At last, their friends will be getting a chance to tell their own tale of meeting the infamous Ms Crow and her deadly stare.
Without further ado, I present:
Snotty Norman and Spotty Sally Find Fame
Now that the year 6 children of Arden White Primary School have enjoyed their summer holidays and forged new friendships outside the confines of the school grounds, we meet them again as they start their first day at Evelyn Winsborough Academy – a school with a reputation for aggressive behaviour and truancy.
Little do they know that the school has had a major overhaul over the last year. With sparkling new classrooms and hi-tech gear to keep the children occupied (and monitored), Mr Dank, the Head Teacher, expects a high standard of behaviour from the newbies. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t know what’s coming his way as the notorious Arden White crew start their new year causing chaos down the clean halls and run riot over brittle-backed teachers.
Join the young ruffians as they encounter Ms Crow again in a comical calamity that leaves the teachers huffing and the children puffing to get out of her way!