Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jacqueline Wilson report

Jacqueline WilsonPhoto of Jacqueline Wilson by Anne Hogben/WGGB.

What an impressive person Jacqueline Wilson is. I suppose that's no surprise, given her achievements, but everyone at her talk at the Writers' Guild Centre earlier this week seemed to share the sense that she really is something special. She was delightfully informal and keen to help fellow writers with frank advice and lots of encouragement.

Highlights of the evening included the revelation that her first paid writing job had been for a story for the very first Jackie magazine ("No payment has ever meant as much to me as that £3!") and the story of J.K Rowling having to hitch a microphone pack to her knicker elastic before giving a reading at Buckingham Palace.

Jacqueline also spoke about how different the publishing world has become. When she started, she told us, publishers seemed quite happy to let new authors develop over three or four books without making their advances back. But now, new writers are expected to make money from the very start or else face getting dropped.

Jacqueline's latest book, Jacky Daydream, will be published in March.

Update: Guild member Frances Lynn has written an account of the event for her blog.

The next event at the Writers' Guild Centre will be an interview with playwright David Edgar on 22 February.

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