Hard at work, with Luna
Hard at work, with Luna

I am passionate about storyshaping and helping authors and illustrators to create the book that inspires them.


I like to blog about the craft of writing picture books:

To Rhyme Or Not To Rhyme
What Motives Your Character?
The Rule of Threes

Ten Really Cool Openings

A Universal Theme

How to Write a Blockbuster Picture Book - the Breakout Premise

Plot Twists that Zing!

Show Don't Tell
Endings That Stay With You

Writing in Real Time: Living in the Moment

Three Clever Ways to Build Up Your Climax
Illustration Notes - Should You Have Them?
Why Reading Picture Books Really Matters

Naming Your Picture Book Characters

Why Are Picture Books Soooo Short? (Word Count)

Learning to Wait – Childhood Training for Becoming a Picture Book Author
Openings with a Promise – the Emotional Journey of Your Character
Step-by-Step Picture Book Writing In Layers
Ask a Question – Write a Story
The Writer's Busman's Holiday
Digging Deep to Find Your Character's Emotional Journey

My 10 Step MARKETING Plan
How to Catch a Reader: Make Up Cool (Fibs!) Stuff
Five Tips for the CREATIVE PROCESS
The Process of Illustrating Non-Fiction Picture Books

The Habit of LIBRARIES Matters: How they Shape Lives
Top 5 Tips for a SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR TOUR
Building Kids' Bookshelves - One (More) Book At a Time
The Creative Process: Making the Story Your Own
The Bookshelf of Life: How our Reading Journey Shapes our Writing
To Be or Not to Be an Author: Is being an author FUN, TIRING OR COOL?

Don't Be Afraid to DOODLE: Fresh Inspiration for MARKETING and CRAFT
WRITING (Picture Books) as a BUSINESS

Make Way for ART: Picture Books Ideal for building VISUAL LITERACY
Can I REALLY Be a Writer? FOMO is Slowing Me Down

Ask a Picture Book Editor

 

I have teamed up with Ellie Farmer (Commissioning Editor at Little Tiger Press) to blog for SCBWI's Words & Pictures' monthly Ask a Picture Book Editor column, where you can ask us anything you’d like about picture books.

 

See our blog posts here:

 

About us and our favourite picture books

What Makes A Good Picture Book Topic?

Child-Centred Characters

Voice, Tone and Pitch

Plot and Basic Structure

How to Nail Your Hook

10 Steps to Publication Part 1

10 Steps to Publication Part 2

What Makes a Lasting Christmas Book?

Some Tips About Illustrations for Writers & Illustrators
How to Submit Professionally - Overview

How to Submit Professionally - The Cover Letter
How to Submit Professionally - Picture Book Illustrators
What Makes a Good Cover and Title
Acquisitions and What You Can Expect Next
Self-Promotion 1: Building Your Online Presence
Self-Promotion 2: Building Your Offline Presence (school visits etc)
Bookfairs and Why they Matter
How Many Pages in a Picture Book?
12 Top Tips for Picture Book Writers/Illustrators
Harnessing Your Creativity: Ten Techniques to Springboard New Story Ideas
Cracking Characters
Does Your Plot Read Like a List? Episodic Plots

How to Make Your Plot Pack a Punch
Beginnings: Why the First 50 Words Must Grab Editors

What Makes a Great Ending
What Makes a Picture Book Great

Visually Compelling & Successful Picture Books: the View from the Art Director's Desk
Going Beyond the Book: Interactive Picture Books

How to Write Picture Books that Make a Point (and Pack a Punch)
Story Magic - Turning Traditional Tales on their Heads and Asking 'What If?'

Picture Books That Make Us Laugh

What Makes a Lasting Christmas Book
How to Make Your Picture Book Prose Sing: Be SPECIFIC!

Wonderfully Useful Refrains: Why Patterns Matter
Keep it in the Family – Stories Celebrating Diverse Families

 


"One of the books I have worked on with Natascha has won a prestigious award, and another shortlisted" – Georgie Birkett, Is This My Nose?

Storya narrative, either  fictitious or true,  designed to interest, amuse or inspire 

Shape  to fashion or form, mould, create or give character to