Isabel Thomas:

Great advice about science writing from the Wellcome Trust

Originally posted on Wellcome Trust Blog:

With the deadline for the Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize fast approaching, we thought we’d continue our “How to” series with some tips on how to avoid common mistakes.

Akshat Rathi is the science and data editor of The Conversation UK and has seen his fair share of writing submitted for publication. Here he identifies some of the common mistakes, and shares his advice on how to avoid making them in the first place… 

In science writing, like in life, checklists are useful. Here is one for you to avoid common pitfalls as you sculpt your submission to perfection.

told you once11. Are you overstating or exaggerating?

The most exciting thing about science is that it can have great implications for the future. It is very easy to use these implications as a hook to draw readers. Writers of press releases and promoters of their own work (even if they are respected scientists) can often overstate their case to…

View original 741 more words

Originally posted on AUTHOR ALLSORTS:

This weekend, I threw a party for 30 five-year-olds. Call me naive (and many parents did) but this was the plan:

Scan 5The reality was less Oranges and Lemons, and more like riot control.

At least I had plenty of time to think about this blog, as I re-rolled 105 metres of toilet tissue (first rule of riot control: never suggest playing ‘wrap the mummy’).

I was equally naive when imagining life as a full-time writer.

In my head, writing was The Perfect Job to fit around children: serene days at my desk; short breaks for coffee and chores; an early finish for the school run.

In reality, life feels just as frantic as it did when I commuted to an office. Writing eats time, and the more you give it, the greedier it gets. I sit down, become absorbed, and suddenly the day is over. Sometimes, it was over…

View original 291 more words

Originally posted on AUTHOR ALLSORTS:

I’m pretty good at throwing away clutter, in the interests of feng shui and less to do at the annual dusting.

The attic, though, is under different jurisdiction, and piled high with rubbish mementos. Luckily, moving house six times in six years has given me plenty of excuses to sift through and find things like the first book I ever wrote. Or at least, the first one I bothered to staple-bind.

DSC02338

A dog visits a zoo. But the cover only hints at the peril that will unfold…

DSC02339

The plucky parrot saves the day, they all get an ice cream and catch the bus home. It’s no Just Jake. But I thought the back cover was quite revealing:

DSC02341

ISBN, series promo and priced in three territories… I’m not surprised this seven-year-old ended up in publishing.

Headshot Isabel Thomas writes non-fiction and fiction for children and teenagers, published by DK, Pearson, Collins, Raintree…

View original 21 more words

My City Safari series has just published, and to celebrate I’ve written a guest blog for Project Wild Thing. It’s full of ideas for engaging children in urban wildlife spotting, and you can read it here.

ImageImageImageImageImage51vXkjngGbL

The books are published by Raintree and they introduce 4-to-6-year olds to the hidden lives of urban animals… with clues to help you discover who’s living near you.

If you’re lucky it’ll be this dude:

Image

 

 

I had big plans when I started this blog. But plans don’t always work out.

Exhibit A: you spend ages planning a Christmas like this:

vintage_christmas_morning_picture_5

And, inevitably, you get this:

Xmas 2013

The plan to post about my new books on publication went just as smoothly. So, 11 days into 2014, a belated hello to my books that published in 2013!

Hardbacks: The Dealing with Feeling series (Raintree) was great fun to create, drawing on the experiences of children I know. The scenarios are brought to life by Clare Elsom’s expressive illustrations.

51fOvNYd1dL._SX385_ 51oTnyAKiIL._SX385_ 51e40gg9PxL._SX385_ 51iZBKacroL._SX385_ 51whtpLOeEL._SX385_ 518MqnmAI1L._SX385_ 51yO36S+vVL._SX385_ 51n-Z0DquRL._SX385_

E-books: Lonely Planet’s Not-For-Parents Activity Pack is 48pp of KS2 activities for teachers to use alongside Lonely Planet’s awesome Not-for-Parents titles, plus a great double-sided classroom poster.

Lonely Planet Poster

Paperbacks: The first four titles in the Bloomsbury Transport Collection published in 2013, and my author copies quickly found new homes with my sons’ friends. They feature brilliant retro-style artwork, which is predicted to be one of the big trends in children’s publishing this year. My First Book of Cars, My First Book of Trains, My First Book of Trucks and Tractors and My First Book of Aircraft (A&C Black) will be joined by four new Transport titles in 2014.

51k7V5RKXkL._ 51F2qHJOCCL._ 51Ji9sYGbdL._ 51Eyq1K9k1L._

Raintree published seven of my 2012 titles in paperback in 2013: five books in the eye-popping Extreme Animals series and two Astronaut Travel Guides, featuring interviews with real astronauts. Last but not least, my Wayland Radar: Top Jobs titles – Stuntman, Celebrity Photographer and Fashion Stylist – published in paperback.

9781406237764 9781406237795 9781406237788 9781406237771 9781406237801  51i9adT9boL._SY445_  51iK7BuG24L._SY445_  61O2sy6IsuL._SY445_

Watch out for news of my 2014 titles around this time next year…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,000 other followers

%d bloggers like this: