Introducing non-fiction to children

I am over at Writing to be Read, hosted by Kaye Lynne Booth, with a most about the benefits to children of reading non-fiction and how to introduce the life long skill of research and fact checking into their lives. Thank you, Kaye, for hosting me.

Writing to be Read

In our modern world, sources of information assail us from every direction. An internet search turns up dozens, and sometimes even hundreds, of links to information on every conceivable topic. Television provides documentaries on historical events, scientific topics and numerous programmes that cover every aspect of nature. A visit to a grocery store exposes children to newspapers and magazines which share articles on a wide variety of political, social and other topics, not to mention the headlines of newspapers that glare at us from street light and other poles as we travel from home to school and other places during our day.

High school learners are provided with numerous texts and sources of additional information on each and every topic they cover in nearly all of their subjects.

The quantities of information available are huge and not all of it is factually accurate. There is a lot of inaccurate and…

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Guest post – Esther Chilton talks about getting published and her new book, Publication Guaranteed (well almost)

Today, I am host Esther Chilton with a post about her new book Publication Guaranteed (Well Almost!). Esther has a lovely blog where she gives all sorts of writing advise and assistance here: Esther also provides editing services which I have found tremendously helpful in moving my writing and my books forward towards publication.

Over to Esther

First of all, many thanks for having me, Robbie! Robbie kindly offered to have me on her blog to talk about my latest book, Publication Guaranteed (Well, Almost!).

After writing two short story collections and while working on a third, an idea came to me about starting a series of writing craft books. I’ve been a tutor for a creative writing distance learning course for over a decade and I love helping students achieve their dreams, but many of them struggle to become published in this ever-competitive world. So I thought about writing a book to help students and other writers to become published – on a regular basis. The topics in the book include readers’ letters, fillers, articles, short stories and competition writing. In the book, there’s information on market research, how to set work out and send it, as well as lots of useful tips, examples and writing exercises to spark ideas and build on writing skills, all with the aim of publication.

Here is an extract from the chapter Amazing Article Ideas. Writers often find it difficult to know what to write about and where to get ideas from:

Your own experiences

Open up any of the women’s weeklies and you’ll see pages and pages of true-life stories. These range from stories about ‘my operation’, to overcoming an illness/divorce/death in the family, to doing something special, to an amusing pet story. If you did something a little different for your 40th/50th/60th/70th birthday, you could write up your own story for one of the magazines. Similarly, a women’s weekly would love to hear how you recovered from life threatening surgery and went on to have a baby, jump out of a plane or gain a well-earned degree. Your experience needn’t be sensational. True, the magazines do feature many jaw dropping stories, but they also publish lots of heart-warming ones. 

There are plenty of other magazines that want to know about your experiences e.g. there are several cat and dog magazines, which invite owners’ stories. Or if keeping chickens is more your thing, there’s a number of smallholder magazines crying out for useful information and advice.

It’s easy to overlook your experiences and to believe no one is likely to want to hear about them. Rest assured, they certainly do e.g. if you volunteer for a charity on a regular basis or were made redundant and have started your own business, one of the women’s glossies is likely to want to hear about it.

Writing exercise

Write down five things that have happened to you – have you won any special awards? Have you helped someone achieve something? Have you or a member of your family overcome an illness? What about a dramatic career change? Did you hit your 60s and decide to learn a new skill? These are just five ideas I’ve come up with quickly and I’m sure you’ll have lots of different experiences to list – ones you can turn into an article for a variety of publications.   

If you’d like to read more, the book is available from Amazon, as an ebook. A paperback will be out later in the year.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About Esther Chilton

Esther Chilton

I’m a freelance writer, copywriter and writing tutor for The Writers Bureau. I also have my own editing, proofreading and advice service. You can find out more about it here.

My love affair with writing came about as a result of a back injury, when I could no longer carry out my job working in a bank. That injury led me to the wonderful world of writing and changed my life!

I joined The Writers Bureau as a student and since then have never looked back.

You can find out more about Esther here:

Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member Robbie @bakeandwrite

I am over at Rosie Amber’s blog today with a post about what I’ve gained by joining an on-line book club. The post is part of Rosie’s series of post celebrating 6 years of Rosie’s Book Review Team. Thank you, Rosie, for all you do for readers and authors.

Rosie Amber

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Robbie Cheadle, who also writes book reviews at Robbie’s Inspiration Blog

I have always been a reader. I read books at such a fast rate when I was a young girl that my own four library cards were not enough. I used to use my younger sister’s three library cards as well as my own [Cath was not a big reader back then and preferred to visit her friends down the road than read] and I still had to make two trips a week to the local library. That mean I read at least fourteen books a…

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#SundayStills – Perspectives on…

Terri Webster Schrandt’s Sunday Still’s prompt this week is square perspectives. Hmmm! I can’t think of any perspectives I have created with squares so I’m just going to share some perspectives photographs.

POV – surprise or shock
POV – Daydreaming
My perspective on water shortages
My perspective on imagination

You can join in Terri’s challenge here:

Music that makes me happy

A few of my blogging friends have been posting about music during this Coronavirus pandemic time in all our lives. These posts have taken various twists and turns and they have inspired me to look for some of the songs that uplift and inspire me.

My blogging friend, Steve Bottch, recently shared an amusing post about previously popular songs which would need to change their lyrics in order to crack it in our new social distancing world. You can read his post here:

I thought I would also share songs that don’t include any touching of other people.

The first song is Open a New Window from the fantastic musical Mame. I must confess that I was always a strange little girl with odd tastes. When I was very young, about 8 or 9 years old, I used to play my mother’s records on her ancient record player. Most of her records were from theatre productions she had seen when she lived in London. Mame was a huge favourite of mine and I still know all the songs.

Another record I enjoyed and listened to over and over again was Cabaret. My sister and I attended a local production of this incredible musical a few years ago. We both remembered all the words and treated all the people in the garage to our can-can version of the song, Don’t Tell Mama after the show. I don’t think Terence has ever quite recovered from that night! I remember it fondly.

This last song is one I like to sing in the car when I have to do something scary like address an audience including the media or appear on television. I find the words of this song very inspiring and, of course, Jonathan Roxmouth is knock dead gorgeous and has an amazing voice.

How do you feel about music? Does it uplift you when you feel down or anxious?