Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Here We Go

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It's May 1, Tues morning, and I'm settling down to write my first blog ever.

I've been a little nervous about the prospect of writing to a "live" audience several times a week over a period of a month, I admit. I write books for children -- from non-fiction to novels to picture books to graphic novels -- and it can be months but is usually years before they are published and only after many, many editorial revisions. When I write magazine articles, although compacted, the process is the same. It is reassuring to have another pair of eyes on a manuscript, another thoughtful mind reviewing, suggesting alterations, making corrections before the words hit the newsstand in their final form several months later.

Now this, this blogging ...

In March, anticipating my upcoming writer-in-residence position at Open Book Toronto, I had the thought that I could write the blogs in advance and then post them throughout the month of May -- that way I'd be prepared and could try to have something intelligent and thoughtful to contribute on a consistent basis. However on reflection that seemed to go against the very cool sense of immediacy and timeliness that we expect from a blog. When I read a blog, I feel the writer is expressing thoughts that are leaping from mind to keyboard and then being shared without much second thought or review. I like the openness and mutuality that implies.

So that's what I'm going to try to do. Be frank, be fresh, and offer you my thoughts as they come. No editor has my back on this, and my mistakes are my own. A little unnerving, yes. Unnerving but so exciting because I am considering myself as your "host" this month.

I'm going to invite you into the world of children's books and introduce you to many of the people who live there. For example, I'll post interviews with a successful publisher of children's books, an experienced editor of children's books, and a librarian who has the low-down on the best children's comics and graphic novels. I'll ask several writers to share how they get their ideas for writing children's non-fiction. I'll speak with a writer who is committed to working to increase literacy worldwide and to a woman who began a school on a garbage dump in city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

And along the way, I hope to answer any questions you might have about writing for children or direct them to the people who can. Please send them along and feel free to comment on anything that intrigues or interests you. It is going to be an exciting month of May!

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Susan Hughes

Susan Hughes is an award-winning author whose books include The Island Horse, Case Closed?, No Girls Allowed, Earth to Audrey and Virginia.

Go to Susan Hughes’s Author Page