Posts Tagged 'writing tips'

Website Makeover

They say if you’re going to have a website, you need to keep it up to date. There’s nothing more annoying than visiting a favourite author’s site, only to find it doesn’t have their latest information on it (or even worse – it was made when dinosaurs roamed the earth). I’m usually pretty on top of updates, however there were some parts of my site that I was avoiding. So today was the day for it: with frilly apron on and equipped with a trusty broom and some toxic cleaning products, I swept out all the cobwebs, dusted the shelves, repainted the walls and put up some new pictures. While the design has remained the same, there’s plenty of new info:

  • I’ve updated Writing Methods, as with experience my process has changed
  • I’ve updated Illustration Techniques, since finding my artistic mojo
  • And most exciting: I’ve added a Books page (even though I have little to put there just yet)

2009-10-21

Feel free to hop off and check it out (and let me know if there are any missing links or embarrassing spelling mistakes…)

Grant Me Motivation

rabbitfaqA few months ago I attended an ASA seminar on applying for writing grants. I always expect to come out of such talks feeling motivated and ready to take on the world, however invariably it’s the opposite. Instead I leave with a head full of new information, feeling intimidated by the task before me. Call me slow, but I tend to need a day or two to emotionally digest new information.

I suppose I had reason to feel overwhelmed. Applying for grants is a lot of work. They’re wily beasts to craft – it takes practice to perfect the art and get the tone just right, and much like a novel they should go through several drafts. Then there’s no guarantee that after all that effort you’ll actually get one. Grants are coveted prizes, so there’s serious competition for them. I’m currently wrangling with my first grant application and was whingeing about it to my fiance the other day:

Me: Man this is hard work. I’m spending all this time crafting this silly thing when I don’t even know if I’ll get one!

Him: Isn’t that what you do every day with your writing?

Me: *silence*

He’s so right. Each day I willingly devote majority of my time to creating stories that I’m never really sure will see the light of day. I don’t need certainty to do that, so why should I with a grant application? In the ASA session there was a great quote from Narelle Oliver, who said that every time she even considers starting a new project, she applies for a grant. She’s not always successful, but this way it has simply become a part of her writing process. When I grow up, I want to be just like Narelle.

Now that I’ve recovered from the seminar and digested all the information, here are some tips I picked up on writing grant applications:

  • Tell a story: Treat the application like a story you’re writing. The judges get hundreds of applications to trawl through – if you start yours with a refreshing or startling tidbit about your project, they’ll be more likely to remember your proposal (and emotionally connect with it)
  • Don’t be shy: Contact the organisation running the grant and ask questions – they’re typically helpful and will guide you through the projects of yours that may be most appropriate for their grant
  • Edit: Treat your application just like a novel. Redraft that baby until it comes up to a high shine
  • Don’t give up: You may not be awarded a grant the first time, or even the first few, but each time you’ll get better at writing them and you will get there eventually

So enter the wide world of grant applications boldly: go write, apply and conquer. And if you need a whinge, you know who to come to – writing these things is tough…


About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:

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