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World Book Day Author’s Writing Tips & A Chance to Win A Set of Books

World Book Day is on Thursday and BG is very excited about dressing up at School and spending her £1 Boom Token.


Building on the success of last year’s The Biggest Book Show On Earth, World Book Day 2014 sees the launch of an exciting and brand new pre-recorded TV show format. Available online for the whole of March it includes all the wonderful World Book Day authors and illustrators.

Schools, parents and children across the nation can register to register, log on and enjoy watching it together at a time that suit.

Compared by CBBC’s Dick and Dom, the show features World Book Day authors and illustrators.

Biggest Book Show

Some of the World Book Day authors have kindly shared some top tips for budding writers and illustrators:

David Melling

People always ask me what the best writing tip I’ve ever been given is. my knee-jerk response to that question is: do a little each day. It’s very important. Kids often ask me ‘how do you do that?’ when I draw, and it all comes down to a little each day. It’s like learning to play a musical instrument or a sport. You don’t pick up your tennis racquet one day and be volleying, hitting winning shots the next. The more you practice the better you get, and that’s the same with writing and drawing.

I also always keep note and sketchbooks, an idea might come from one simple illustration. I’m constantly drawing and redrawing these characters as they evolve. With Jack Frost, I was very conscious that I wanted to do a proper ‘Once upon a time…’ picture book so there’s no set rule or pattern but I always use the note or sketchbook as a starting point.

Alex T Smith

Some tips for drawing and writing:

Don’t assume that professional illustrators always know how to draw – I had to learn to draw bicycle a couple of years ago. Even pros have to learn and practice!

Always remember that when drawing you aren’t imitating life – your drawings don’t have to be realistic! Claude’s eyebrows are above his head, you wouldn’t see that in real life!

When I’m writing I might do some tiny doodles about how it would work as a book spread to help me keep track of my ideas. I really get going with the pictures when the text is complete. I’m always very keen on the idea that if you can say something with pictures then go for it.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer and an artist?

Yes, always. I’ve always loved books and luckily came from a very bookish family. I’ve also always loved drawing. I can remember the very first picture I drew – I was very very young and I was sitting at the dining table on my mum’s lap and I drew a teddy bear. It was really just a couple of very wobbly circles and a bit of scribble but I knew it was a teddy bear and told my mum exactly what was going on in my picture. From then on I was hooked and have had a pencil in my hand pretty much all the time since then!

Emily Gravett’s Top Five Writing Tips

1) Often I find that just getting to know my character will give me ideas for a story. I begin by writing down and drawing everything I know about them on a sheet of paper.

2) To get a really good resolution for a story I like to brainstorm. To do this write down your challenge or obstacle in the middle of a sheet of paper then as quickly as you can write down as many ways as you can think of to solve your problem.

3) Ending your story – Sometimes it’s worth writing down a few different endings for your story. Some happy, some sad, some funny. Try them all out. Most of the time one of them will leap out at you as the ‘right’ ending.

4) It’s good to write down ideas as you get them (or they tend to vanish). I use my sketchbook, but I also have a box to put more chunky ideas in. Even things that might spark ideas like packaging, buttons etc.

5) Finally, I think it’ important to keep re-reading aloud what you have written. Reading aloud helps you hear the rhythm of your story, and highlights any snaggy areas that need work.


The books your child can buy with their book tokens this year are:

Hello, Hugless Douglas!, David Melling (Hodder)

Emily Gravett’s Little Book Day Parade, Emily Gravett (Macmillan)

Barry Loser: I am not nit a Loser, Jim Smith (Egmont)

Fun With the Worst Witch, Jill Murphy (Puffin Books)

A Laura Marlin Mystery: The Midnight Picnic, Lauren St John (Orion)

Horrible Histories: Terrible Trenches, Terry Deary, illustrated by Martin Brown (Scholastic)

Middle School: How I Got Lost in London, James Patterson (Young Arrow)

Jack Pepper, Sarah Lean (HarperCollins)

Rock War: The Audition, Robert Muchamore (Hodder)

The Boy in the Smoke, Maureen Johnson (Hot Key Books)

World Book Day Books

I have a set of these books to give away to one lucky winner.

To enter just follow the instructions in the rafflecopter widget below:

Closing Date: 18th March 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway