Why run a marathon when you can write for charity? #WABIAD

Last Saturday, at 6.30am, the sky looked like this:

Dawn – Saturday 6th July

Dawn – Saturday 6th July

How do I know? Because I was getting ready to head into Manly for the KSP Write-a-Book-in-a-Day challenge – all to raise money for charity!

Our team, made up of ten Northern Beaches Writers’ Group members – Leah Boonthanom, Fiona Howland-Rose, Tracey Jackson, Tony McFadden, Liz Michell, Mijmark, Zoya Nojin, Kristin Prescott, Kirsten Taylor and myself – were chilly and tired, but raring to go!

The KSP Write-a-Book-in-a-Day challenge, or #WABIAD, is a nationwide challenge designed to raise money for the children’s hospitals in each state. Based in Manly, our focus is The Kids’ Cancer Project at Westmead Children’s Hospital, a project and hospital close to many of our hearts. So we were all determined to do well.

NBWG members set to attempt the KSP Book-in-a-Day challenge!

NBWG members set to attempt the KSP Book-in-a-Day challenge!

At 8am, we received our instructions: to write a book for 11-14yr olds incorporating the following parameters:

Primary character #1: a sculptor

Primary character #2: a cleaner

Non-human character: a dinosaur

Setting: a pub

Issue: ‘over the rainbow’

Five random words: Molten, Scribble, Precarious, Encourage, Curiously.

How we did our plotting

How we did our plotting

 

Now… try writing a kids’ book (involving a dinosaur) set in a pub!

We were certainly facing a challenge. I guess that’s why the planning stage took twice as long as it should have done and we were running out of time before we even turned on our laptops!

 

Fuel to speed up a writers' brain!

Fuel to speed up a writers’ brain!

Still, once we were writing, there was no noise except for gentle tapping on keyboards. It was beautiful! We wrote over 10,000 words and a damn fine story too.

Then it was all hands on deck for editing, editing, editing. We had to scan in all the illustrations crafted by our skilled illustrators, print out the book and bind it – all before 8pm. I don’t know how we found the time to take some photos, but we did…

Editing

Editing

Illustrating

Illustrating

More illustrating

More illustrating

Scanning

Scanning

Discussions

Discussions

Binding

Binding

Done! Time to send it off. Phew!

Done! Time to send it off. Phew!

I still can’t believe we managed to send off our electronic copy dead on 8pm. Hooray! What an achievement!

So, on behalf of the NBWG team, I’d like to say a big thank you to all of our very generous sponsors, and especially to Australian Doctors International, who allowed us to use their office space on Saturday. Your support has been invaluable!

We loved writing our book “Scribbles in the Dark” and hope the children at Westmead love reading it too. We wanted to write an adventure that would give them something to think about other than why they were in hospital. How fantastic that we got to have so much fun in the process! Here’s the blurb for “Scribbles in the Dark”, which is now on the WABIAD website:

Fourteen year old Callum has long wondered what happened to his father…

Callum has lived with his grandparents above their pub in Australia’s outback since his father disappeared, six years ago. Then the rains came. Along with his foster brother Jake, Callum and his dinosaur sculpture are transported to another world, where questions are answered, and lives changed. Why is Jake scared of the scribbly gumtrees? Who is the mysterious girl? Can they ever return home?

Like Callum and Jake, we had an absolute adventure last Saturday, and can’t wait to repeat the experience next year when the WABIAD challenge runs again…

…even sooner if we can! #WatchThisSpace!

Challenge – completed!

Challenge – completed!

Zena Shapter

I write from a castle in a flying city hidden by a thundercloud. #Ditmar Award-winning author. Short fiction for now. Novels to come. Movie buff. Traveller. Wine lover. Story nerd. Book Creator & Mentor. Founder & leader of the award-winning Northern Beaches Writers' Group / ZF Kingbolt

6 Comments:

  1. I had a ball. What surprised me the most (other than actually completing the book) was that collectively we came up with a much better story than I think any one of us could have produced on our own. Makes me have second thoughts about writing being a “solitary profession”.

  2. Perhaps we were lucky we all got on so well? I, for one, would write with any of you many times over again. Cheers to ‘Scribbles in the Dark’!

  3. Zena, hi! this is a truly fabulous idea. Congratulations to you and your team. I have just finished writing a children’s book and will be selling it to raise funds for the Great Ormand street children’s hospital in London. I have a background in marketing and fundraising so to combine all these things together comes very naturally to me. I am about to put some information together for authors about ‘books that make a difference’ to promote the idea and hopefully encourage other writers to do the same.I would love to include your story as it highlights a different kind of concept and I think something that other writers could learn from. Do let me know if you would be interested. Cheers, Ruth

    • Hi Ruth! Congratulations on finishing your book! And what a great cause, too. Thank you for asking to include our story in your information pack – yes, you are welcome to use it. I’ll send you an email 🙂

Comments are closed