Monday, 21 August 2017

More writing news

Following on from a previous post about what I want to write, there has been things happening in the womag land. Remember I said that I wasn't going to write for Woman's Weekly anymore? Well, it has transpired that there has been restructuring going on (rings a bell for me) and the whole fiction team have now left and replaced with one person, who people believe is a freelancer. They are not taking any new submissions at the moment, only stories from their regular contributors, until they are on top of things. I know this has upset a lot of people. I feel sorry for all involved; the fiction team and the contributors who had built up a relationship with them. I had met the fiction editor a few times when I had gone to workshops, and she was so nice. This now means that there is one less magazine out there that takes fiction.

So, what am I doing about it? I am finding other markets. I had already heard of one magazine based in South Africa that took new writers, so have sent a story to them and am waiting to hear if they will publish it as the editor has said she wants to keep it for possible use. Sounded promising. Am working on another story for that magazine. Have discovered a couple of other markets and will submit a story to one and an article to another; the latter takes stories and non-fiction about animals. My kind of magazine. Also, have decided to enter another story competition. I know which story I want to work on for that, one I have already written but needs a bit of an edit.

I will be working mainly on my children's books first, with the odd story now and then when I have the time.

So, when things like this happen, it is good to have a Plan B. Find other markets to send to. Other ways to make money.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

What is diversity in books

I always thought it meant different races and cultures eg Asian, Chinese etc and not just white characters written about. But since I've started writing about autistic children, I now know there is more to it. It can mean disabled children in books, not just physically disabled but hidden and invisible ones, too. Eg autistic children might look normal but they are not inside. Also, deafness and heart problems. They all affect people and are not visible, unless someone is wearing hearing aids.

There is another way to help diversity in writing, especially if you are an indie author like me. As well as writing about these different characters, you can choose which font to print in and how much space to have on the page, to make it easier for children with learning difficulties to read. My current children's books (The Rainbow School) has large font because I was told that was best for that age range (7-9s). When I published via Createspace, I found there were big spaces between some pages (where I had written long paragraphs which didn't fit on 1 page). I wasn't happy but then I got thinking. At the retreat in May, I sold a copy of Billy to a new friend, who bought it for her friend's daughter who was older than the target age but had learning difficulties. She liked the book. So, now I feel that even thought it wasn't intentional to have those gaps, it is a good thing to have, because it makes the books more accessible and available for a wider audience than I intended. I shall try to keep this in mind for the further children's books.

What does diversity mean to you with books?