Tuesday, June 30, 2009

(Giving our kids) A REASON TO WRITE

In April 2009 I had an email from a high school teacher, asking if I could suggest a source for one of my books. The book in question was a handbook for teachers, outlining writing workshops to use with schoolchildren. I suggested some bookshops, but no one seemed to have stock. Having had no luck sourcing copies from the publisher, I decided to write a completely new book on the same subject.

"Just a small book," I assured myself. "One about 6-7000 words, like your picture book writing workshop."

Blithely, I set to work.

43,000 words and many mini interviews later, the first draft of Reason to Write was done. Now came the hard part, deciding on a title. I found that using the short version Reason to Write, gave people the wrong impression. Almost everyone thought this was a book for adult writers who wanted to be published. No, no, been there, done that. Then they thought it was a handbook for children to use. No, no, haven't done that yet, but probably will. What is it then?

It's a handbook for adults who want to help children with their writing. Got it? Yes, they had it, but I couldn't explain that to potential customers, could I? Reluctantly, I decided the book needed a subtitle.

Many were suggested and considered. A handbook for parents. Yes, but it's also for teachers. A handbook for teachers. Yes, but it's for parents too. A handbook for teachers and parents. Too long.

Children's writing. Yes, but it sounds as if it might be for adults who want to write for children.

Child writers. Yes, but that sounds like a study of children who are writers.

Helping children write. Yes, but that could be about actual writing lessons.

The more subtitles I considered, the more I realised no subtitle of a reasonable length could explain the book's content and purpose. Finally, I hit on the idea of a subtitle that came first. How would that look?

Oddly, it looked OK. That's why the book is called (Giving our kids) A REASON TO WRITE.

Phew! Now the title was out of the way, I had to think about publishing... and that's another story. Tune in tomorrow! And, if you want to see, preview or buy the book itself as a PDF or paperback, follow the link. Reason to Write

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