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