From Hilary Robinson, author of Spells and Smells, shortlisted in 2001/2002
"Rejection is part of life. If you have a dream, persevere. Don't give up"
From Kes Gray, author of Eat Your Peas, winner in 2001/2002
"Stay aged 8 as long as you possibly can! Have a love of life and silly things and enjoy your writing.
"A picture book has to follow a certain format, usually 12 two-page spreads, a twist at the end and a good title. If you bear that i mind you've a much better chance of getting it right!"
From Jeremy Strong, author of My Mum's Going to Explode, winner in 2001/2002
"If you want to be a writer don't give up trying.
"Always try to make your story as good as it can possible be -- abnd then make the next story better."
From Tony Mitton, author of Fangtastic Raps, winner 1999/2000
"Read, read, and read - especially when you're young.
"Read - get loads of ideas about how poems and stories can work.
"Read - get lots of ideas about different styles of writing.
"Read - find out what you really like reading and have a go at writing that sort of thing yourself. Don't worry about being a copycat. Most writers start by copying a style they like.
"Then write, write and write... and it never gets easy, even if you;'re a successful author, you don't write perfect text each time."
From Hiawyn Oram, author of Just Dog, winner 1999/2000
"Always write about something you know very well - write from your heart. Write about something that's happened to you, or something that REALLY amuses you or that you feel PASSIONATE about.
Trust yourself - if YOU like it, other readers will like it too!"
From Alan Macdonald, author of Beware of The Bears, shortlisted in 1999/2000
"Write stories - the more you write the better you get.
"Show your writing to someone whose opinion you respect (teacher, aunt, librarian).
"It's important to go back and redraft - the first go doesn't always work. Get something down and then make time for the second stage, to redraft.
"It can be disruptive to edit as you go along, so a word-processor is good to get all your ideas in one go and then go back and edit it.
"I like to see it on paper, so I print it out to read, and then redraft."
From Jonathon Long, author of The Duck Who Had No Luck, winner, 1999/2000
"Write about your pets, or start with a title, or wite about the things around you. (of course I just write stories that are silly and funny!)
The harder you work at it, the better you get."
Advice to young illustrators, from Gwyneth Williamson, illustrator of Beware of The Bears, shortlisted in 1999/2000
"Be inspired by your art teacher.
"At first I wanted to do fine art, not graphic design. I started being an illustrator so I could draw pictures and still make a living. As an illustrator your pictures have a purpose.
"Keep drawing, look at different areas of art, different options like graphics, or drawing, pattern design, textiles.
"Build a portfolio. Look out for the breaks!"
More advice to Young Writers
Kids on the Net