Jane Marlow on why the CMC is invaluable for children’s writers…
I’m a TV scriptwriter – lots of soap, continuing drama, that kind of thing. But after dipping my toe in the water of storytelling for a young audience by writing some preschool books, I became smitten with the genre. I wanted to jump right in. With a splash. So I go right under and water goes up my nose.
So I went on a course led by Thunderbirds/Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg writer Danny Stack about writing for children’s TV. One of the things Danny told us was go to the Children’s Media Conference. It will be invaluable. You’ll learn loads.
That’s why I’m heading up to Sheffield on July 1st. Whether it’s finding out about how publishers are engaging tech-obsessed young adults in fiction, hearing what Generation Z girls are inspired by, discovering how to harness the power of YouTube, learning how to push the boundaries of risk-taking in storytelling for a young audience, as a writer and content creator I want to be armed with that information to give my projects the best possible chance of success.
Since writing the ParkPups books and developing an interest in pre-school and young adult fiction, I have learned there is nothing soft or easy about children’s media. It’s big business and the stakes are high but as digital innovation melds with traditional media the potential is huge and very exciting.
Hearing what tastemakers and experts like Alison Stewart, Sharna Jackson and Richard Haines, for example, have to say will be invaluable for keeping on top of trends and technology. Besides, Dick and Dom are going to be there. What more could a beginning children’s writer ask for?
Jane Marlow is a scriptwriter and journalist represented by Alison Finch. AlisonFinch@jflagency.com