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Mumsnet /Walker books bedtime stories competition - winners announced. Now read the blog from Walker book editorial team about creating the book.

(160 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Sep-12 11:42:28

Do you secretly have a book inside you? Would you like to see it published?

Enter the Walker Books/Mumsnet writing competition and your story could be included in an illustrated gift book of Bedtime Stories for the under-sevens. For your chance to be considered, submit your original manuscript of up to 1,500 words by 30 November 2012.

Over the next month we're going running some Q&A sessions and webchats with children's book authors and will keep you posted about this on this thread

Chocchip88 Thu 04-Oct-12 15:41:34

Thanks for clarifying

KrispyCakehead Thu 04-Oct-12 16:43:10

Marking place

notactuallyme Thu 04-Oct-12 16:59:11

No, gave up completely following some health stuff for one of the dcs, finally got some time and writing something completely different. September saw me get back into it. Baad luck, its timinmg a lot I think

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 04-Oct-12 17:36:59

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. It's such a worry when they are unwell. Keep writing though.

I didn't really gel with the editor when I met her so I think it was that. She was quite hard to talk to IYKWIM.

notactuallyme Thu 04-Oct-12 19:04:03

Thanks sybil IDKWYM! def need to find someone who loves your stuff and 'gets' it. I've set up a little group of mates with children - it's really helping as they tell me what needs to be dumbed down/ is boring/ works in places etc.

Hopezibah Thu 04-Oct-12 20:26:05

I would have loved to have a go at this...i'm not too worried about the prize money aspect as if my story was good enough to be picked then I would be really happy that there are going to be children (other than my own children) who are enjoying the story. BUT - it would be nice for the authors of each story to at least be acknowledged in the book and to be able to tell people that it was their story. So does that clause mean that we can't even tell anyone or a future publisher etc that it was our work? Please could you clarify mumsnet - thank you! x

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 04-Oct-12 21:47:16

The authors will DEFINITELY be acknowledged as the authors of their story in the published anthology.

Sorry if that wasn't completely clear in our earlier post.

lisad123 Fri 05-Oct-12 07:32:11

Marking place x

notactuallyme Fri 05-Oct-12 07:47:39

I'm going to enter (once my little group of testers tell me what they think!) But just to check. - no theme, and no specific format for the Word doc (dble spaced etc)
Thank you!

handbagCrab Fri 05-Oct-12 09:18:50

I don't know why there's needs to a be a clause to say mumsnet owns the story in perpetuity and can do as they wish with it in order to edit it a bit? I'm sure I've seen similar stuff where it says the competition organisers reserve the right to edit the work, which would mean the same thing as you want?

It does seem very 'signing your life away' for the chance to have a short story in a children's book!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 05-Oct-12 12:14:32


I'm going to enter (once my little group of testers tell me what they think!) But just to check. - no theme, and no specific format for the Word doc (dble spaced etc)
Thank you!

No - there's no specific theme and no specific format for the word doc. We wanted to leave this open to you and remember the word count is the max, so can be anything up to 1500 words.

Lovefruitsandvegs Fri 05-Oct-12 12:50:06

Mumsnet, should we write it in prose or in rhyme?

notactuallyme Fri 05-Oct-12 20:31:59

Thank you! Submitting next week .

TheCunningStunt Sat 06-Oct-12 10:07:16

I'm gonna give this a go too. Doubt I will get anywhere but it's a challenge for me to get back into creative writing. It has been far to long.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Oct-12 09:51:52


Mumsnet, should we write it in prose or in rhyme?

No rules - apart from it being 1500 words or under and suitable as a bedtime story for a child aged up to seven.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Oct-12 10:10:47

We're running a webchat on Friday with children's author Sally Gardner, who's latest book Operation Bunny, is October chapter book of the month. Feel free to pick her brains for ideas on how to write a successful children's story. We've also got Q&As lined up over the next couple of months with Patrick Ness, Anthony Horowitz and Shirley Hughes and a webchat with Lauren Child. We'll keep you posted on this thread.

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Wed 10-Oct-12 18:36:21

To be honest it's still a good opportunity...even with those conditions. One of my first professional "gigs" was a sketch show which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4....I wrote reams of stuff over two series (along with the rest of the team) and signed away ALL rights as is the norm' with the BBC.

I got paid about a thirty quid a sketch and expenses for travelling to London... and this was only a few years back.

I can't use those sketches again but I can (and do) use my experience with the BBC to get plenty more work as a writer.

If you've not been published in children's fiction before (and it's not at all easy) this is a good way to "break in".

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Wed 10-Oct-12 18:38:29

It's a very short story...hardly a novel. As a writer, you need to realise that it's a very competitive profession and one story in a children's book isn't actually worth a lot in terms of cold, hard cash.

coco51 Fri 12-Oct-12 10:06:18

I was quite excited by this but then looked at T&C Any organisation that seeks to deprive writer's of their rights should be avoided like the plague. Imagine if JK had sold her rights in HP....

EmpressOfTheSevenScreams Fri 12-Oct-12 10:17:17

Have you read the thread, Coco?

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Fri 12-Oct-12 10:21:36

Coco that would include the BBC then? grin I've signed off reams of comedy sketches to them!


BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Fri 12-Oct-12 10:22:13

Plus....we're talking a short, bedtime story for inclusion in a compilation....hardly Harry Potter!

notactuallyme Sat 13-Oct-12 09:59:03

I have another question! Just noticed that there will be a shortlist of 20, and mumsnetters will vote for the ten to be included. Bearing in mind all the 'favourite mumsnetter' threads etc 'on which i never feature is this going to be a popularity contest a la cutest baby competitions when whoever has the most facebook friends wins?

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Sat 13-Oct-12 10:50:32

There are judges notactually it's not a voting thing.

notactuallyme Sat 13-Oct-12 10:59:43

The judges choose the best 20 and then mumsnetters voe for the best ten that go in the book.

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