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  • Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Anna Reynolds at 13:02 on 20 April 2010
    Julie Sykes is running the annual picture book workshop on 18th June, covering everything from how to craft a picture book to how to submit it. Picture books are also quite hot at the moment as far as agents are concerned so it's a good moment to catch the wave. It takes place at Society of Authors on 18th June (18th May is the closing date) and they use authors' work to make it relevant. They're also intimate (about 12 authors) so they get lots of attention. (385).

    There's also the one-day Savvy Writer workshop on 7th May at Society of Authors 95. It's how to save money as a writer, what to do when the mid-section of your story falls flat (a really common problem) and David Smith from Annette Green is coming to give a talk. No authors' work in this case (reflected in the price) so authors can come, put their feet up and listen to the experts.
    to find out how to book, check out http://www.cornerstones.co.uk
  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Terry Edge at 14:33 on 20 April 2010
    Children's writers here might want to also consider SCBWI. They're running various events and courses, e.g. a children's illustrators' masterclass for 25.00 to non-members: http://britishscbwi.jimdo.com/events/illustrator-series/ And their Writers' Retreat which is 300 for four days and three nights, including food and accommodation, and which features agents and writers, including Lee Weatherly (who is one of Cornerstones' tutors): http://britishscbwi.jimdo.com/events/scbwi-retreat/

  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Steerpike`s sister at 16:40 on 20 April 2010
    I agree that sounds very expensive. I've not been on one of their courses, however - perhaps they're great value for money.
  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Terry Edge at 13:27 on 05 May 2010

    I've just noticed that my first post on this thread has been removed, and without any mention of the fact. Can you please explain why this was done? I seem to recall I made the point that 385 for a one-day course was expensive; and gave some comparisons with other courses that are somewhat cheaper. Given that you have in effect provided a free advertisement for Cornerstones with this post, I think it's somewhat unsettling that any criticism - fairly made, in my view - is subsequently removed. If your purpose is to inform WW members of courses they may benefit from, I don't understand why you would remove comments from someone else who is trying to help the same members by suggesting alternative, cheaper choices.

    I know David has removed posts in the past that risk legal redress; but I can't see what the legal risk was in my post. Also, in removing it, Leila's post now appears to be criticising the cost of the SCBWI courses I mentioned, when in fact she was referring to the Cornerstones' courses.

    So, if there is a legitimate reason for censoring this thread, can I suggest you erase it entirely, instead of editing it so as to be misrepresentative of members' views.

  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Account Closed at 14:19 on 05 May 2010
    As many of you know, i am very happy using Cornerstones, they have been extremely helpful to me in the past, so this comment is nothing against them. Plus the masterclass comments were generous and useful.

    But - and this is more a comment about WW - i do find it disturbing that it would seem there is now some agreement to advertise Cornerstones' services to WWmembers,(as a result of them doing the masterclass) without posting - or indeed by removing - any relevant criticism or fair comment.

    Isn't WW supposed to be an objective forum and isn't that the beauty of it?

    Of course it is only right that Cornerstones should be able to advertise here, if they are generously giving their time and knowledge to WW members, but does this mean any criticism of them is now censored? I don't think that's helpful to anyone.

    Or is Terry right, and there is a legitmate reason for removing his comments?
  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Anna Reynolds at 16:00 on 05 May 2010
    Sorry about that- I'm a bit trigger happy some days. I was probably just thinking that as Cornerstones had been so fulsome in their critiques in the masterclass, it was a shame to be having a go at them. Their courses may be expensive but obviously no one is forced to go on them. So apologies.
  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by NMott at 18:10 on 05 May 2010
    The tone of your original comment was in very poor taste, Terry.


    There will now be a few words from the Jedward twins....
  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Colin-M at 18:39 on 05 May 2010
    Considering that Anna has apologised, I don't see why you need to wear your, "I hate Terry" hat, Naomi. You seem to put it on regardless of what he posts, but in this case the issue is worthy of Anna's apology, and possibly an ounce of respect from yourself.

    I can understand Anna being trigger happy on this for the very reasons she put, but I think it's fair for any member to suggest alternatives to editorial agencies and even criticise them (with structured reasoning) because writers learning their craft really need to weigh up whether those services are worth throwing hard earned money at.

    I have my own opinions on editorial agencies, and a whole load of reasons why writers should save their money, but threads like this worry me that my opinions are going to be sensored, so why bother?

    The bottom line, Writewords itself is an alternative to editorial agencies because it's a place to get advice and comment on your work - for a fraction of the price.


  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Terry Edge at 18:49 on 05 May 2010
    Anna - thanks for the response. Apology accepted. I agree that while Cornerstones' courses can be expensive, people are free to decide whether or not they are good value.

    Naomi: you're a Site Host. I'm a member who asked why his post was edited without his knowledge. Anna has apologised but you've now decided to tell the site that my post was in poor taste, i.e. implying that Anna in fact was justified in deleting it. So, which is it: that Anna, as she said, was simply too trigger-happy or that my comment deserved to be removed because it was in poor taste? As it happens, I don't think it was in poor taste. But since we no longer have the post in question to refer to, it's hard to say. I'm not happy, in short, that you are in effect calling me into account based on your value judgement of a comment that is no longer on this site.

  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Colin-M at 19:14 on 05 May 2010
    Perhaps someone less fiery would make a more suitable site host. It really isn't on that a recognised representative of WW clearly has a bee in her bonet about one member. This happens again and again. Naomi stirs up trouble, then seems to slip away each time she's challenged on any of her accusations.

  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Account Closed at 19:33 on 05 May 2010
    Thanks for the apology, Anna.

  • Re: Cornerstones workshops- picture books and savvy writers
    by Terry Edge at 10:37 on 06 May 2010
    Well, Colin, somewhat predictably Naomi has vanished again. I guess that's the problem with an online forum: people can throw crap at someone then disappear and not be held accountable; and if they're so inclined, simply jump on to another forum and throw some more crap.

    I don't think it's me particularly that Naomi hates, by the way. I suspect it's more the fact that I sometimes ask her to provide the evidence/experience for the advice she gives so regularly. The reason I do that is because I worry that new writers on this site will take it on board wholesale (encouraged by the title of Site Host) and could waste a lot of time discovering that the reality is not quite as prescriptive as she often makes it sound. Publishing is a bugger of a business to succeed in, and by the very nature of the submissions process, usually takes years to break into. In the meantime, writers' confidence and self-esteem can take a battering when they are continually rejected and don't know why.

    I would say an important but rarely discussed sub-text here is that some writers prefer to seek an identity and purpose more from giving advice about the industry than actually engaging with it. The danger there is that their self-created position means they need to sound authoritative, definite, prescriptive. Hence, they will make statements about what agents want and what they don't want, as if every agent is the same. They will tell you that your synopsis must be written exactly like this, because this is what editors want, as if all editors are the same. Crucially - and this is where my concern lies - they are in fact advising writers to fail, rather than to succeed. Because what any agent or editor - and here I'm going to be prescriptive - wants is to be excited by brilliant, original, funny, challenging writing; not find their spirits sinking through their currently threadbare carpets at a perfectly constructed and rule-abiding submission package that contains no spark, no vision and no magic.