Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Berlie Doherty - Carnegie Prize Winner

As always it was fascinating to listen to how another writer works.  And since Berlie has a considerable track record in writing for children, she merits serious attention.

I've never thought of writing for children, but Berlie views it as simply one thread in her writing career.  Her advice is to try as many different styles and genres of writing as possible.  Short stories, to make you value the power of concentrating your ideas; plays to strengthen your dialogue; radio to make you paint pictures.

Nothing is wasted and she showed us how when she described a lost purse incident which she aimed first at being a short story then turned it into a book as the story grew. 

Success aside, Berlie was full of commonsense and her own misgivings.  Tackling an adult novel took her out of her comfort zone afte years of writing for children and produced the same anxiety about 'is it good enough' that we all feel about our writing.

Her path started in a local way, via newspaper submissions as a child, through local radio stations.

A delightful conversation of a session.

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