chapter books · giveaway · My Writing · Uncategorized

Publication day giveaway!

Homework on PlutoThis weekend I’m celebrating the release of my new junior fiction title, Homework on Pluto published by Maverick, and as part of that I’ll be giving away a free signed copy to the lovely readers of this blog.  To take part, just comment on this post and I will choose a winner at random on 15 May by printing them out and putting them in a hat.  (A sou’wester probably, judging by the weather at the moment…)

Junior fiction or chapter books are great fun to write.  Here are my tips:

  1. Write to the right length.  6-10,000 words are what you are aiming for.  So think in terms of 6 chapters of 1000 words each to give you a rough outline.
  2. Keep it punchy.  You’ve got a lot to fit in to make a complete book work within this small space, so don’t waste words on lengthy descriptions or long dialogue exchanges.
  3. Write a series.  Readers this age (around 6-10) love series.  Conversely, your first book should be able to stand alone, just in case it doesn’t get followed up.  And you only need present one book to the publisher, as long as it has series potential.
  4. Create memorable characters.  Think Mr Gum, Horrid Henry, Flat Stanley… The character is the book.
  5. Utilise humour.  Don’t be afraid to be silly.  Silliness is underrated.

Homework on Pluto is available to order from all good bookshops, The Book Depository or Amazon.


23 thoughts on “Publication day giveaway!

  1. Hi Lou. Your post about Homework on Pluto has inspired me to reinvent a story I wrote years ago which is just the type of book you are talking about in length and style with some memorable characters. I wrote it as the first in a series but received a nasty response from the company I sent it to which resulted in the book being archived away. I am sure now is its time and I plan to start working on it in the next couple of days. Thank you for convincing me to bring it out of hiding. Good luck for the future.
    Jilly Henderson-Long

    1. That’s brilliant, Jilly! And looking at something again after a time put away is really beneficial. I hope it goes off out into the world again with new vigour!

  2. I love this straight forward list of tips, Lou. I have written this length of book for teen quick reads, but forgotten about junior readers. Also having an objective of 6 or so 1000-word chapters makes it sound so do-able. Thank you. And very good luck with the book.

  3. Congratulations Lou! I hope your new book is a great success. Your posts have been really helpful in encouraging us wannabe writers not to give up. Thanks.

  4. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your advice! Have been admiring your work from afar. If you plan to visit Canada some year in the fall get in touch. I have been managing the kids events for Kingston WritersFest for the last five years and may do so for another few years.

  5. Thank you for this interesting post. Very useful and easy to follow advise. Congratulations and good luck with the book.

  6. Congratulations on your new book. Don’t put me in the draw as we were the lucky winners last time for Snugglewump, my kids and i loved your book. And we will be looking out for your new one:-)

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