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  Advice to young authors and illustrators

 Claire Rosemary Jane |  Joan Aiken |  Philip Ardagh |  Val Biro |
 Malorie Blackman | Quentin Blake | Mark Burgess | David Clayton |
 Helen Cresswell | Peter Dickinson | Berlie Doherty | Anne Fine | Kes Gray |
 Pat Hutchins | Robert Leeson | Jonathon Long | Jan Mark | Alan Macdonald |
 Roger McGough | Barbara Mitchelhill | Tony Mitton | Miriam Moss | Hiawyn Oram  Philip Pullman | Hilary Robinson | Ragnhild Scamell | Nick Sharratt |
 Jeremy Strong | Rhian Tracey |  Chris White |  Gwyneth Williamson | Jacqueline Wilson

(Please note that the authors have contributed their comments but are not able to answer questions from readers unless they specifically say so below.)

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Roger McGough

Just think, you can write something that nobody, ever, anywhere has written. It all comes from inside your head — that magical computer. I think that what we write comes partly from our imagination, and from the books we have read, the films we have seen, the stories we have been told, even the music we have listened to and the paintings that have moved us.

The trick of writing poetry is to give the poem room to write itself. Keep an eye on it, help with its rhymes if it wants to rhyme. If it has made its mind up to be a sonnet, then make sure it has 14 lines. The best poems are always the ones that surprise the writer, the ones where you are impatient to get to the end in order to find out what happened.

Good luck!

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