Lots of stuff to tell you today! First up, my Writers HQ Coventry retreat this Saturday still has a few spots left. I‘m not running the June date and there’s no August retreat.
Applications are now open for my @writementor mentoring and editing online course.
I’m doing a panel at Waterstones Nottingham next week. I’ll be talking about my time at the Uni of Nottingham, writing while studying and diversity in fiction.
I’m also doing an event at Cymera Festival in Edinburgh in a few weeks with Tom Pollock.
And if your child is in years 5-9 in the West Midlands, my Spark Young Writers group in Rugby is about to open to submissions for next year.
And a bit further off, but my writing diversely day course at Cambridge University’s ICE is taking bookings, with an amazing discount if you’re a teacher.
I’m also doing a video talk at the Write Mentor online conference Wow-Con.
All my public events are here.
The Starlight Watchmaker is up for pre-order on my etsy shop, and the sets of book letters should be shipping next week for everyone who has pre-ordered one.
And if you can’t wait for my writementor mentoring course, I have a free slot for an editorial critique next month due to a cancellation. Usually I’m booked up a few months in advance so this is pretty rare.
You may be wondering how I have chance to write these days, if I’m doing all this. Yeah…. I don’t know either. 😅
Surprise! I have a SECOND BOOK coming out this year!
The Starlight Watchmaker is a novella about a lonely android watchmaker at an alien academy, and the pompous Duke who drags him out of his attic workshop. It’s coming out in paperback in July with Barrington Stoke, and it’s designed to be really readable for struggling readers.
I had so much fun writing this, as I basically combined all of my favourite things into one story. There are hints of Binti, Jeeves & Wooster, Starfleet Academy from Star Trek, Saga, Howl’s Moving Castle and The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. It’s full of sentient volcanoes, bicycle-riding-butterflies, clockwork birds and golden gears and cogs.
I can’t wait to tell you more about it over the next three months – first off, by showing you the gorgeous cover next week!
Wealthy students from across the galaxy come to learn at the prestigious academy where Hugo toils as a watchmaker. But he is one of the lucky ones. Many androids like him are jobless and homeless. Someone like Dorian could never understand their struggle – or so Hugo thinks when the pompous duke comes banging at his door. But when Dorian’s broken time-travel watch leads them to discover a sinister scheme, the pair must reconcile their differences if they are to find the culprit in time.
A wildly imaginative sci-fi adventure from YA star Lauren James, particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+.
The Starlight Watchmaker is a 20,000 word novella which will be published in paperback and eBook by Barrington Stoke on 16th July 2019.
Popping in for a quick announcement! I’m going to be teaching a day course at University of Cambridge this November called ‘Write the one percent: creating diverse, inclusive fiction’. More info here. If you work in a UK state school you can get a 50% bursary on the tuition fee!
During the course of this day-school, we’ll explore the key concepts of diversity in writing and consider why it’s important for writers of all kinds to make their work inclusive. We’ll define some of the most under-represented identities and uncover the common pitfalls in writing about them. How can we avoid stereotypes and inaccurate representation? Thoroughly researching an identity before writing is key, and together we’ll look at how to do that. Through a creative writing exercise, you’ll come to realise to what extent a new perspective and identity can bring real depth and richness to your writing.
10:00 The basics of diverse fiction
11:45 Writing outside of your own experience
14:00 Respectfully writing about sexuality and race in prose
15:30 Discussing political and social issues in fiction
16:45 Day school ends
Also, The Quiet at the End of the World was in this week’s Waterstones Weekly newsletter, which I was DELIGHTED by!
And for any speedy readers who have already finished reading The Quiet at the End of the World, I just posted a deleted scene where Lowrie and Shen steal an antique carriage.