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Positively Weekend! Why I Love to Write Middle Grade

It's weekend again! That means it's time for another Positively Weekend post! Let's be positive about the writing and publishing world.Today, I'm talking about why I love to write for younger readers, in particular 10-12 year olds. 1) ImaginationKids have a greater imagination than most adults. Yes, they perhaps can't show it as eloquently as mature people can. Yes, adults don't always understand what kids are trying to say. But their imagination is lively and unique. An adult sometimes gets upset if a child draws a picture of a battle, but more often than not this is just a story that is playing out in a child's mind. Writing for kids is so rewarding because they add their own imagination to the story.
2) Uncomplicated
To make a good children's book, you need an engaging plot and believable characters. The ethical themes and unusual dialogue is what will engage the parents and teachers, but children really only care about an entertaining story. This meth…
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Harsh Truth Thursdays - The Perils of Writer's Block

It's Thursday! So get ready for some harsh truths about writing and publishing.This week, we are talking about that divisive of all writing topics: writer's block!



Writer's Block is when, for no explicable reason, a writer loses their productivity. Some writers believe that it exists, others are certain it does not.But, here's the harsh truth: writer's block does exist. There are times when a writer struggles to write a single page. When people say it doesn't exist, what they usually mean is "you can do something about it". To say writer's block isn't real takes away from of the skill of an author. It is the author's skill to work through writer's block.So, here are a few ideas to help you work through this very real predicament:Just sit down and write. You might write a load of rubbish, but you're going to edit your book anyway, so don't worry! Get that chapter down and, by the time you've written a few hundred words, you&…

Positively Weekend! 5 Things I Love About Indie Publishing

It's Saturday! And, it's not just any Saturday for me, today is the first day of the October holidays! Bear with me while I calm down a little...Right, I'm back. So...every Saturday, I will be posting a "Positively Weekend" blog, sharing the positive sides of publishing and writing. I'm also doing a Harsh Truth Thursday which does the opposite! Because, yes, there are both sides to the publishing coin.So today, to kick off the weekend, I'm sharing the 5 things I love most about indie publishing. Indie publishing is a publishing company that is smaller than the big-wigs of the industry. They use their company funds to publish books, and don't expect any money from the author. However, they don't always pay an advance.Crowvus is an independent publisher. We are a very small publishing company which is growing every year. Initially, there was a strange wibbly line between whether we classed as an indie publisher or self-publisher, but the more we do,…

Harsh Truth Thursdays - the Predicaments of Self Publishing

I thought it would be fun to upskittle the apple cart, and provide a few harsh truths about the writing and publishing industry every Thursday. My goal? Well, to educate people about the difficulties that self-publishers face, and to provide some emotional support to the folk who are driven mad by it!
Yes, this is a cross owl! Photo by Elliot Connor from Pexels Want a bit more positivity? Then come back on Saturday for "Positively Weekend" blogposts.Before I start, we need a bit of background on Crowvus. Crowvus Publishing began as a co-operative of different authors, each publishing the other's work. We don't publish our own but, up until 2020, we weren't open to submissions. Then a wonderful thing happened! We became successful!Because of our success, we were then able to open up submissions to other authors, only one at a time. So, we are an independent publisher, and not really classed as self-publishers anymore. But we are so aware of the difficulties facing s…

Why are Weasels Always the Baddies?

This topic was requested for the Crowvus Youtube channel by Judith Crow, Empress of the World andlover of weasels.I really should have filmed/written this months ago, but seeing as today is World Animal Day, it seems like the perfect opportunity. So...let's break down why weasels are portrayed as the baddies in so many books and films!
First of all, here's a disclaimer: weasels are not always shown up as the antagonists. One of the most fantastic Twitter accounts to follow is Celestine and the Hare where you can follow the antics of Baby Weesus and other characters.One of the main stories where weasels are presented as the bad guys is, of course, The Wind in the Willows. The weasels of the wild wood take advantage of the situation when Toad gets himself arrested. They take control of Toad's rather large house, but are eventually beaten by the 'goodies'.Judith also gets upset when watching the third Hobbit film "The Battle of the Five Armies" when one of th…

Michaelmas: The Start of Story Season

 “I was visiting a friend in the borders one Michaelmas and we happened upon a hiring fair. A place called Hazeldine. I found a charming boy to be a page for you, Mother. Whatever happened to him?”- I found a relevant quote from Dance With Me, our next release, which is coming out on 22nd October this year!
Michaelmas is a great day for inspiration and storytelling.Traditionally, it was one of the days when hiring was conducted, and the school term started. All these opportunities that people had to gather together and share stories about whatever had happened since the last time they saw each other. (We’ve got less of those opportunities this year, but technology still allows us to share our stories and news with people further afield.)You can read all about St Michael chasing the devil to Earth in Susan’s latest blog post. The feast day actually belongs to St Michael and all angels, especially his fellow archangels – Gabriel and Raphael. Some traditions observe a fifth – Uriel. There…

Book Review - Mysteries and Misadventures

Thank you Judith Crow for writing this book review.
Mysteries and Misadventure - Tales from the Highlands by Aaron Mullins


I do like short stories. There’s just something about having the option to dive into a book for five minutes and emerge having completed an entire story.

Aaron Mullins' Mysteries and Misadventures is a collection of short stories which are inspired by the area we live in. It always helps when you can put yourself in the place where the stories are set but, never fear, Aaron has a genuine gift for descriptive writing which allows people from any place to put themselves in the settings he skilfully creates.

I regularly do the “first read” of the Crowvus Christmas Ghost Story competition, meaning that I can be reading over a hundred supernatural stories in a very short space of time. That makes me choosy and means I come at any such stories with a very critical eye. Mysteries and Misadventures does stand up well in this light. Again, that descriptive writing is what …