As mentioned in our last post, we are busy BUSY with Frankfurt preparation, so we thought we'd offer some suggested reads that aren't our blog until we get back! Our fabulous authors and author/illustrators have some wonderful books just released and coming out - check out the covers and blurbs below!
Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond
Fur flies and feline friendships form as two cats of different colours
find that, with a little effort, they can be themselves and make a
Keith The Cat With The Magic Hat by Sue Hendra
Keith is not your average cat. Keith is a cat with magical powers - or
at least a magic hat. But when one day, Keith loses his magic hat he
discovers that magic is still possible. A fabulous feel-good story with
another endearingly crazy character from Sue Hendra.
The Last Tiger by Rebecca Elliott
Similar in style to Rebecca Elliott's highly acclaimed Zoo Girl
(nominated for the 2012 Kate Greenaway Medal), this story warns of what
the future might hold if we neglect our duty of care to our environment.
In a world that has been destroyed by human carelessness, a little boy
discovers the last tiger. But where did he come from? Through their
adventure together they rediscover a natural way of living, and lead the
world to a sustainable future. With striking illustrations crafted in
ink line and collage, this thoughtful yet uplifting picture book leaves a
And for teen readers:
No Such Thing As Forever by Ali Cronin
Real love. Real lives. The real thing . . . Girl Heart Boy is the irresistible new romantic series for teens, combining the romance of The OC with the realism of Skins and the sexiness of E L James' Fifty Shades of Grey - for a teen audience. Girl Heart Boy is perfect for fans of Twilight and the Hunger Games looking for their next must-have read.
Four girls, three boys, turning 18. Get set to follow their eventful final year at school . . .
Cass is Ms Monogamy. Ashley is a player. Donna is a party girl. But what
about Sarah? Her friends tease her for being uptight, but she's waiting
for The One. Now she's found him, but is he forever - or is Sarah just
his summer fling?
And the wonderful second book in the series:
Rumour Has It by Ali Cronin
Adam is Cass's boyfriend. Jack is in love with Cass. Rich is hiding a
secret. But what about Ash? Ashley has no secrets. She's a player and
everyone knows it. When gorgeous Dylan doesn't seem interested, she
pretends not to mind - but behind her playful facade, does Ashley really
want something more?
Finally, some pre-orders for wonderful early readers:
Pirate Pie Ship by Adam and Charlotte Guillain
The Pirate Pie Ship is a burly tale of tasty adventure on the high seas!
Times are changing and the pirates can no longer rely on stealing
treasure to make money so they decide to go into the pie making
business. But they soon find a rival ship has the same idea...
Zak's King Arthur Adventures by Adam and Charlotte Guillain, illustrated by Charlie Alder
A second book in the race ahead with reading series by Adam and Charlotte, and illustrated by The Bright Agency's Charlie Alder. Due for publication in Dec 2012.
Sunday, 30 September 2012
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
We are busy in the office preparing for the Frankfurt Book Fair, so apologies for the break in blogging. Frankfurt is an important fair for us, and we have portfolios and pitches to prepare - it's an exciting time!
We are also about to launch our brand new website - www.brightgroupinternational.com - which will be the go to site for all our information - blogging, announcements, news. This new site has many exciting functions and will be where we can promote the publication of our authors books, link with Amazon and independent book stores to sell the books, and focus on social media to widen our authors reach.
The new literary site will integrated with Bright Group Internationals' page - it will be an agency focused on developing children's content.
So you see it's an exciting but busy time in the Bright offices! Therefore, this is just a quick post to update on our submission requirements and agents. Our lovely literary agent, Gemma Cooper, has finished her maternity leave cover for us, and is moving onto pastures new. Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, Bright's MD, will now be focusing on the literary agency, with agent, Lauren Holowaty, returning in the new year. Below is what we would love to see in our inbox...
- A very obvious character or character lead theme that has series potential.
- Young, fun and ridiculously silly - writing with a great sense of humour.
- On the flip side of this, texts with two layers - a story at the top, and then a deeper message underneath.
- Animal main character as more appeal for international markets
- Boy Books/Boy themed - vehicles, dinosaurs, emergency services etc.
- Bedtime reads – softer, quieter, warm feeling
- Magical and beautiful – a text that warrants high end illustrator.
- New fairy tales, modern takes on fables and whimsical writing.
- A strong ‘moral’ or ‘message’ but also humour and light-heartedness to counter.
- Not too long, shorter is better (under 700 definitely, but shorter is better).
- Books that deal with the new experiences children are going through - going to school/friendships/sharing/fear of the dark etc.
- Clever play on words
- Original stories that offer something different
- Strong voice for any age range
- Books with series potential, especially for the younger market
- High concept - something with a hook that can be explained in one line
- Strong female protagonists in stories that don't feel derivative of the recent vampire/werewolf/dystopian trends
- Funny fiction for 7+ that would work well illustrated
If you think you have any of these, or something different that will wow us, please follow the below instructions and send to us!
Picture Books: Please email up to 3 stories with a few line synopsis of each. Please send these as .doc or .pdf attachments and add a short cover letter to your email.
Fiction: Please email the first 3 chapters plus a synopsis. Please send these as .doc or .pdf attachments and add a short cover letter to your email.
Author/Illustrators: Please email jpg’s or pdf’s with text and images.
All submissions to be sent to email@example.com
Please allow at least 6 weeks for a response
Thursday, 23 August 2012
Firstly, we have a new agency twitter - @BrightLiterary
This will be where we’ll tweet publishing tips, submission information, and competitions.
Go follow it NOW and we’ll wait while you do it!
So one of the things we are tweeting about is publishing tips, and we were amazed today at the retweets and favourite’ings of a tweet about Show Not Tell/Show Don’t Tell. (Thank you to everyone for that!) This got us thinking about this and we decided to write a blog post to go into a little bit more detail on the topic than 140 characters would allow.
Firstly a note: this is one of those general writers ‘rules’ and we use inverted commas because really there are no rules! You can write however you want to write and there nothing wrong with some telling in books. Sometimes you don’t want twenty words to say something you could say in three.
However, we do notice when reading submissions if a book has A LOT of telling, so this post is intended to help with spotting the overuse of telling, not to say that all telling is wrong. Hope that’s clear!
Show Not Tell/Show Don’t Tell is an editorial term used to highlight the parts of writing which tells the reader something, rather than showing it. Telling the reader information means that the reader gets to be lazy and not work out things for themselves. This can lead to the reader getting bored or not really connecting with the characters.
The tweet earlier: Editing today and noticing lots of 'was' and 'were. Remember to show not tell. Replace 'she was cold' with 'she shivered.' Much better!
Using ‘was’ and ‘were’ tells the reader something about the character, rather than showing the reader the something and letting them work out what that means. (it’s also an example of the passive voice, but that’s another blog post entirely!)
It’s probably easier to explain with more examples:
Tell: He was hot so he got an ice cream
Show: Sweat dripped off the tip of his nose as he bent down to grab an ice cream from the freezer.
Show don’t tell doesn’t just apply to physical feelings like cold/heat, it can also apply to emotions.
Tell: I was sad
Show: I buried my head in my hands and cried.
Tell: He was angry with me.
Tell: He glared at me for just a moment too long, and then stormed out, slamming the door as he left.
As mentioned above, sometimes it does mean adding words to show, but it doesn’t always have to be the case like with the tweeted example. Also, like mentioned, there is nothing wrong with any of the tell examples – it’s about using them in moderation and mixing up your sentence structures.
Another specific type of show don’t tell is ‘info dumping’. This is when you tell the reader a ton of things all in one go, rather than showing it through actions and interactions.
Tell: I walked into school to meet Lisa. She’d been my best friend since we were five and she knew everything about me.
I knew everything about her as well, like how she took her coffee and about the fact she still loved Alex even though he’d dumped her.
Show: I walked to my usual spot next to the lockers, a cup of coffee stretched out in one hand.
“Thanks chica,” Lisa said, whipping the cup from my hand. “Didn’t get time for a run last night, then?”
I looked down at my foot tapping loudly on the metal locker door. “Nope. Mum dragged me to the hospital to see Nan. I’m going to go at lunch. You wanna come?”
But she’d stopped listening. I followed her eye line to the door, where Alex stood with all his mates.
“Come on,” I wrapped my arms round her shoulders and turned her body away from him. “Let’s get to class.”
From this second example we are shown that our main character knows Lisa well enough to get her a coffee every day, and that she knows Lisa is still sore after being dumped. The set-up of meeting at their usual spot suggests a real familiarity, and the reader will assume this is something they do every day. We also are shown that Lisa knows our main character well, by her acknowledging her little tick – the foot tapping being her give away that she is stressed and hasn’t had chance to run it off, her usual way of chilling out. It’s by no means perfect and just dashed off quickly for the blog, but you should agree that it does show the relationship better, and leave the reader to do some of the work.
Finally, one other thing to watch out for is ‘exposition through dialogue’ – it’s another form of info-dumping.
An example using the characters above:
“Are you going with Billy to the dance?” Lisa asked.
“Yep. He’s my boyfriend and we’ve been going out for five years.”
“But I think Dead Beats are playing.”
“Oh no! After they kicked him out for punching the drummer last week, he’s not going to want to watch them play. Now I won’t get to wear the dress I’ve been working two jobs to pay for.”
Obviously, this dialogue reads badly in the first place with all this added information, but the main point is that if these two really were best friends, Lisa would know all this information, so it wouldn’t need repeating like this.
Exposition though dialogue is often used when characters recollect or remind other characters of things, ‘don’t you remember when.’ But this should be used carefully. Think about whether the person you are speaking to would know this, or whether you are just using dialogue for the reader’s behalf.
We could talk about this further and with lots more examples, but that’s enough for now! Do remember that this is just general advice and everything in moderation is fine. Rules are meant to be broken, but it’s good to know them anyway!
Please ask any questions in the comments and we’ll try to get back to you.