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  • Writer's pictureIan Brooks

Moving Forward


Man walking on a trail with walking sticks

I had initially titled this post “Back to School” but that didn’t quite sit right with me. The thought of going backwards instead of forwards seems negative. Maybe it has something to do with my turning thirty in the not-too-distant past. The clock is ticking. Tick Tock. But it could also be a final realisation that I tend to get caught in a cycle of events. Write a book. Edit that book. Endure the nervysubmission process. Wait. Get rejected. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Ten years ago, I was on Curtis Brown Creative’s inaugural Online Writing for Children’s course. For some unknown reason I went through the next decade with the belief that it was almost enough to get me published. Of course, my writing was getting better. Improving day by day, word by word, but maybe not quite good enough.

Now I have taken the decision to go back to school. No, not back to school, to take a step forward. I have enrolled in The Golden Egg Academy’s 12 week Write Your Successful Children’s Novel course led by Imogen Cooper. The wonderful thing about the Golden Egg Academy is that it focuses on writing for children is led by award-winning editors with industry experience. It’s peeling back that curtain. Getting your foot in the door

To say I’m excited is an understatement. As part of being caught in the cycle, I forgot how to take a positive step forward. I forgot how to push to make my dream become a reality. And finally, I’ve snapped out of it and this course is a massive step in the right direction.

I am under no illusions that simply by enrolling on this course I will suddenly make the grade and get published. I realise that having it listed on a cover letter will not be enough in itself to turn an agent’s head. It will require hard work, self-revision and no small amount of learning. And they are all things I am prepared to do.

I am most excited about comparing how my current work (which I do think is strong yet has been rejected by numerous agents) stacks up against Imogen Cooper’s teachings. Where have I done the right thing? Where does my story fall short? What’s lacking? What is it exactly that is holding me and my work back from becoming a success?

The answers may become evident throughout the duration of the course. They may not. Either way, it’s my job to find them and I’m confident that even if the Golden Egg Academy isn’t the solution, it is most definitely a positive step in the journey.

Quality teaching, experienced professionals, a whole host of likeminded children’s book aficionados. The future is bright.

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