Preview: Write On

Posted on: Monday 22 June 2020 4:21pm by Jasmine Richards

Jasmine Richards, Writer and Director of Storymix, on writing for more than one platform…

Write On has a Chat area in the Children’s Media Conference Facebook Group. Delegates can use it to leave messages, ask questions and discuss.

I’ve been a writer of children’s books for well over a decade now. My 9-12 fantasy-adventure novels are published by Harper Collins in the US and are about to go out on submission in the UK.

In the last year, I have started writing for screen on the fifth series of PJ Masks and it has struck me how transferable that craft of writing is between screen and books. In my head, there was always a much wider divide. Don’t get me wrong, I still have lots to learn about this world of children’s film, tv and games and that’s why I’m so pleased to be invited to speak at CMC this year and make connections.

When not writing books or for screen, I run a company called Storymix. We are a packager – but in the publishing trade you might hear lots of other phrases for what we do – book production company, book incubator or IP development company. Storymix has a particular focus on creating joyful and exciting book series that have Black, Asian, Middle Eastern or Mixed-Race characters at their heart. As a black woman, who is a mother and also a former publisher, I see Storymix as a key strategy to improving representation in children’s books and beyond.

A book packager combines the skills of writers, illustrators, storyliners and editors. Packagers either pitch their in-house projects to publishers or are commissioned to develop a publisher’s project. Lots of publishers now do their own packaging in house and are therefore on the look-out for writers for those publishing strands.

You will have heard of long-running series like ‘Rainbow Magic’ or ‘Goosebumps’. These were developed by book packagers and behind the pseudonyms are freelance writers. These writers will work to an outline and you will often have multiple writers on a series. It’s not that different from working on a kid’s TV property.

Packagers are not often talked about, but they are a less crowded section of the book industry that need writers that are good at writing to a brief. Writing for a packager can be a great stepping stone towards getting your own books published and can provide a steady stream of income for many years if you are writing on a long-running series.

At Storymix we are actively looking for writers of colour to help us bring our projects to life and so do drop us a line if you are interested in writing for us – you can reach me on jasmine@storymix.co.uk

 

CMC 2020 Previews

Jasmine Richards

About the author

Jasmine Richards

Children’s Writer and Storymix Founder

Jasmine has written over a dozen books for children, including Keeper of Myths published by Harper Collins US. She is a scriptwriter on season 5 of 'PJ Masks' and a writer for Charisma AI, a storytelling platform that creates interactive stories.  Jasmine is also the founder of Storymix, a packager… Read more