I still clearly remember the day in August 2016 when an advertisement popped up on my Facebook page for a short course “Writing Fiction for Beginners” with tutor Tina Shaw. It changed my writing life for the first time. I had been wasting time down one of those Facebook rabbit holes. I called it “taking a quick break” from the non-fiction book I was working on.
That “quick break” tempted me so much that I enrolled for this course, holding my one short story idea in my heart. In May 2017 I received my graduation certificate, having published my story “95 Bushels to the Acre” on Amazon.
At the time, I still had work to do as the co-author of Wired for Sound – The Stebbing History of New Zealand Music. But I needed to be writing for myself too. Writing short stories became the creative salve for the heavy lifting that researching, writing and editing a social history book entails.
My published short story had a little girl as its central character and I kept thinking about the potential in the points of view of the other characters. I kept thinking that learning to write for children would help me wrangle those thoughts into stories for a new readership.
I still clearly remember the day in April 2019 when I enrolled in the “Writing Stories for Children” course. It was my birthday present I’ve ever bought for myself. It has changed my writing life for the second time.
By this time, Wired for Sound was almost finished and Bateman Books were keen to launch it. Having stretched my journalistic skills to their limit, I needed a new creative challenge to inspire me.
“Writing Stories for Children” with Janice Marriott has been everything and more. It has transported me back to my childhood and gave me new insight into memories I never knew I’d made.
I’m in my mid-60s and this is the perfect time for me to pursue this new kind of writing. My three children are adults now and I don’t yet have any grandchildren. But I can touch and feel the world that I inhabited as a day-dreamy kid. This course has given me a new perspective of my own life and all that has got me to where I am today. Thank you all!
Digging deep into a child’s point of view on everything is my greatest joy. Learning to write unfettered after a lifetime of non-fiction writing is my greatest challenge. Around the corner of every paragraph, there is so much more for me to learn.
I’m reminded that stories don’t write themselves. That half a story is no story at all. That rejection is part of the writing journey. That a story filed away from unseen eyes is a wasted opportunity. And if it takes 20 drafts to get a story to a publishable standard, then so be it.
Now thank you to all who’ve bothered to read to the end of this. Good luck with your journey. It’s back to mine, draft five, for me.
Do you want spark a child's imagination?
Develop a full time career or part time hobby as a children’s writer. Writing stories for children can be a enjoyable income earner, with a lifetime of royalties.