How old do you need to be, to be an author?

At Emu Ink, we believe that as soon as you can write you are an author…

You are the author of the alphabet, then your name, then your news copy and, as the years go by, of short stories and, for some of you, even full books!

We love publishing the work of children and it is because of our experience with it, that we set the following programme up.

Writing is a beautiful way of expressing yourself and using your imagination and it is such a rewarding experience to see your work in print.

We believe that if you put your mind to it, if you work at it and put your best efforts in – then you too can produce work worthy of publishing.

So what are the criteria for producing such work?

First of all you need a strong manuscript. With fiction it needs a good plot, a well-managed story and strong characters with a satisfactory conclusion.

Never leave questions unanswered. For non-fiction you need a good story and a talent for telling it.

The following programme is aimed at helping you with succeeding in producing a short story that is fit for inclusion in your very own book. It is a series of lessons and exercises, that will take you through the process of becoming a real published author; and at the end of it you will be holding a book with your name in print, in your hand.

The programme can be worked through at any time within this term, but our recommendation is that you take a lesson and exercise load, once a week for four weeks. This gives plenty of time for working, editing and finalising before getting your file back to us for print.

This week the lessons will include idea generation, story starters, characters and themes with exercises on character profiles and story maps.

Week two will have you learning about introductions, plots and storylines, point of view and dialogue with exercises on both dialogue and tenses.

In week three we will look at the body of your story and how it is progressing, the development and portrayal of relationships between characters as well as suspense, a twist and blurbs. Exercises will include those on synonyms and blurbs.

Week four, the final week, will focus on your conclusion, editing, proofing and then submission and cover. Exercises will help you work on your editing and your proofing.

Once you have worked through the course as a group, it is up to you to shape your story, to work through your writing and ensure that it is the best that it can be. You also need to ensure that it is fully edited and proofed, before you submit your final copy to the teacher.

If you find you need a little extra time, or reminders on the lessons that you worked through during the day as a class or group, you can log back into the members’ area of the site and go through them again - as many times as you like.

Once your story is ready – or you may have chosen to write a poem or just a thought to submit to the book – you will need to email it to your teacher, who will then email all of your stories in a single word document, to the main contact.

The main contact will then add all of them to the main file and send back to us. At this point the process of the layout and design of your book, before it goes to print, begins.

You will, at this stage, be on the verge of becoming real published authors and all that will be left for you to do is to plan your launch event!!
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