Ceylan Scott on writing ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN

Posted by Jazz on Thursday May 17th, 2018

It's Mental Health Awareness Week, and so Ceylan Scott has stopped by the blog to talk about her experiences writing her debut novel On a Scale of One to Ten. (more…)

Get Your Bake On

Posted by Jazz on Friday August 11th, 2017

The second novel in Laurel Remington's delicious Secret Cooking Club series, Confetti & Cake, is out now! Laurel has stopped by our blog to chat about why she loves The Great British Bake Off (who doesn't?)!
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NaNoWriMo Nov Day 24: Cathryn Constable

Posted by Jazz on Thursday November 24th, 2016

Today it's the turn of the wonderfully talented Cathryn Constable, author of the bestselling wintry adventure The Wolf Princess and her stunning new novel, The White Tower. (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 23: Sarah Rubin

Posted by Jazz on Wednesday November 23rd, 2016

It's day 23 of NaNoWriMo November! And joining us today on the blog is the wonderful Sarah Rubin, author of the Alice Jones mysteries Sarah is no stranger to NaNoWriMo, and you can check out her awesome blog post about everything she's learned from taking part here. But for now, here are her top 5 tips for aspiring writers!  (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 21: Sophia Bennett

Posted by Jazz on Monday November 21st, 2016

We're nearly at the end of NaNoWriMo! With just over a week to go, here are some tips from acclaimed author (and previous Times/Chicken House Competition winner) Sophia Bennett to get you to the finish line ...  (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 20: Dan Smith

Posted by Jazz on Sunday November 20th, 2016

Today Dan Smith – author of no less than FOUR Chicken House books, including Big Game and his most recent novel, Boy X – has stopped by the blog to share his top tips for aspiring writers.

What would be your five top tips to budding writers?

1. Read, read, read. If you’re not a reader, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll never be a writer.

2. Write, write, write. It sounds obvious, but you’ll never be a writer if you don’t write anything - and, like many other things, writing takes practice.

3. Write with confidence and assurance and let your imagination run wild. Write the kind of book you would want to read.

4. Don’t wait for inspiration. Just write.

5. Be yourself and don’t spend too much time listening to advice from other writers.

For those hoping to take part in NaNoWriMo or enter the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition, what would be your best tip for writing something every day?

Just write. Don’t give up. Writing is hard work and there will be times when you don’t feel like it, but you need to find a time, sit down, and write. The words you put onto the page might be the most awful rubbish you have ever written (or they might be the most excellent) but they will be words on the page and you will be closer to your goal. Words on the page can be reshaped or deleted during the editing process, but no writing is just a blank page. So don’t ever give up.

Enter the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition to be in with a chance of winning a £10,000 publishing contract! 

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 18: Lucy Strange

Posted by Jazz on Friday November 18th, 2016

Today the author of the stunning The Secret of Nightingale Wood, Lucy Strange, is sharing her top writing tips for all aspiring writers.  (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 17: Natasha Farrant

Posted by Jazz on Thursday November 17th, 2016

Next up is Natasha Farrant, author of the Pride & Prejudice-inspired Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice, sharing her top tips for writers!

What would be your five top tips to budding writers?

1. Read extensively. Other writers are your best teachers.

2. Always have pen and paper (or other note taking device) handy. You never know when inspiration will strike.

3. That said, writing is a discipline. Sitting around waiting for inspiration never finished a novel. You need to put in the hours. It also helps to develop a routine.

4. Leave some time – at least a week, preferably a month – between finishing and re-reading. When you do re-read, be prepared to be ruthless. Accept that you will never get it right first go.

5. Read what you have written out loud. You will be amazed how much it helps.

For those hoping to take part in NaNoWriMo or enter the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition, what would be your best tip for writing something every day?

Be disciplined.  Set yourself a target number of words every day, and stick to it. Even when it feels like you’re writing rubbish, stick to it. Bad words are better than no words at all and anyway, this is just the beginning of the process: the real work starts with the rewrites!

Enter the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition to be in with a chance of winning a £10,000 publishing contract! 

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 15: Louise Gornall

Posted by Jazz on Tuesday November 15th, 2016

We're halfway through NaNoWriMo November! Today it's the turn of Louise Gornall, author of the fantastic Under Rose-Tainted Skies, to share her top writing tips!  (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 14: Catherine Doyle

Posted by Jazz on Monday November 14th, 2016

Today the fantastic Catherine Doyle, author of the deliciously dark Blood for Blood series, shares her top writing tips ... (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 13: Alyssa Sheinmel

Posted by Jazz on Sunday November 13th, 2016

Today it's the turn of Faceless author Alyssa Sheinmel to share her five top writing tips for aspiring authors – take it away, Alyssa!

What would be your five top tips to budding writers?

1. Read. Read writers who wrote the type of writing that you’re trying to do yourself.

2. Read. Read writers whose work you look up to, whose stories might be very different from the stories you’re trying to tell, but who tell their stories so well that just reading them feels like a writing lesson.

3. Read. Do research on the story you’d like to tell – read articles, essays, interviews, the works.

4. Read. Pick up something a friend or teacher recommended that you’d never have thought to pick up otherwise – an author you’ve never heard of, a genre you never thought you’d be interested in.

5. And if all else fails ... Read. I honestly believe that every single thing I’ve ever read has taught me something about how to tell a story: books that I’ve loved and books that weren’t necessarily my cup of tea. Novels and non-fiction. Essays and articles. Even – and I really mean this – textbooks. Ideas can come from the most unexpected of places.  A textbook taught me to insert humor into a dry topic. Magazine articles have prompted (sometimes completely unrelated) story ideas. Novel after novel has shown me beautiful and unexpected sentences. Essays have improved my vocabulary. For me, the essential thing isn’t always what I’m reading; sometimes it’s just enough that I’m reading. It’s still (and I suspect always will be) the piece of advice I most often give to myself about writing: just sit down and read.

For those hoping to take part in NaNoWriMo or enter the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition, what would be your best tip for writing something every day?

For me, I find it’s incredibly helpful to set a manageable goal for the day. That way, if I exceed my goal, I feel great, but even if I only just barely meet it, I still have the satisfaction of completing my day’s work. This can be a word-count-goal, or a chapter-goal, or just a getting-through-a-scene-goal – whatever feels right to you.

Enter the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition to be in with a chance of winning a £10,000 publishing contract! 

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 12: Chris d'Lacey

Posted by Jazz on Saturday November 12th, 2016

We're 12 days in to NaNoWriMo now so those novels should be starting to take shape! If you need a bit of an extra boost, check out the top tips from Chris d'Lacey, author of The Unicorne Files series.

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NaNoWriMo Nov Day 11: James Nicol

Posted by Jazz on Friday November 11th, 2016

Happy Friday! As a start-of-the-weekend treat the lovely James Nicol, author of The Apprentice Witch, has only gone and shared his writing advice – perfect for those hoping to do a NaNoWriMo sprint this weekend! (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 10: C.J. Skuse

Posted by Jazz on Thursday November 10th, 2016

Today the fabulous C.J. Skuse is stopping by the blog to share the 5 things she thinks every new writer should know ... (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 7: M.G. Leonard

Posted by Jazz on Monday November 7th, 2016

One week of NaNoWriMo is already gone! If you're in need of some extra inspiration, check out these writing tips from the bestselling author of Beetle Boy, M.G. Leonard ...  (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 5: Ally Sherrick

Posted by Jazz on Saturday November 5th, 2016

Day 5! Today Black Powder author Ally Sherrick is stopping by the blog to share her words of wisdom.  (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 4: Laurel Remington

Posted by Jazz on Friday November 4th, 2016

Today it's the turn of last year's Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition winner (and now published author of The Secret Cooking Club!): Laurel Remington! (more…)

Passing the Crown

Posted by Jazz on Monday June 13th, 2016

Laurel Remington won the 2015 Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition with The Secret Cooking Club, which will be published by Chicken House in August 2016. Here she tells us what her publishing journey has been like, and her advice for the final five. (more…)

M.A. Griffin's top 5 writing tips

Posted by Jazz on Tuesday April 12th, 2016

We are super excited to share Lifers by M.A. Griffin with the wider world this month. An atmospheric noir thriller set in future Manchester, Lifers is packed full of high-octane adventure and tension, and is perfect for fans of The Maze Runner. Here, M.A. Griffin shares his top tips for aspiring writers ... 
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Sophia Bennett on Love Song's most important page

Posted by Jazz on Saturday April 9th, 2016

Out this month is the wonderful Love Song by Sophia Bennett, author of You Don’t Know Me, The Look, and the Threads series. Told with Sophia’s trademark warmth and authenticity, Love Song explores every teen girl’s dream: going on tour with the world’s biggest band. Well, every teen girl except for our heroine, Nina ...  (more…)