Properbook: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Writing for Children and Teens

Time and date

Thursday 14 July 2022

11:00 am

12:30 am

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In July, West Cork Literary Festival hosted a Proper Book session in association with Children’s Book Ireland and Sarah Webb. In this 90-minute session Sarah Webb, Aoife Murray from CBI, Gráinne Clear from Walkers Books and authors Deirdre Sullivan and Mary Watson discussed everything you’ve ever wanted to know about writing for children and teens. A podcast of this event is now available until Monday 21 November.


Would you like to write for children or teenagers but don’t know where to start? Have you written a children’s book and are wondering what to do next? This practical, focused event is for you – part of the #ProperBook series of events and workshops for new and emerging children’s writers and illustrators.


Discover why you don’t need illustrations to submit a picturebook, how long a middle grade novel (age 9 to 12) should ideally be, and what the current trends in children’s books are (and why writing directly for the market is to be avoided). Gráinne Clear, Senior Commissioning Editor at Walker Books will talk about what agents and publishers are looking for when it comes to children’s books.

Hear experienced children’s and YA writers – Deirdre Sullivan and Mary Watson – talk about how they first got published and give tips for new writers on finding your voice and finding the right agent or publisher for you. Plus Aoife Murray from Children’s Books Ireland will talk about how CBI can help and support new writers and illustrators.

Come with questions and leave with answers!


Children’s Books Ireland is the national books organisation of Ireland. Through their many activities and events they aim to engage young people with books, foster a greater understanding of the importance of books for young people and act as a core resource for those with an interest in books for children in Ireland. One of their missions is to champion every child’s right to excellent books and live literature events and support the artists who make that goal possible across the island of Ireland.


The accompanying photo is by Ger Holland and it was taken at a previous Proper Book event with (from left) Chris Judge, Michael Emberley, Sarah Webb and Mary Murphy in the dlr Lexicon, Dún Laoghaire.



Gráinne Clear

Gráinne Clear is a Senior Commissioning Editor at Walker Books. Before this she was Publishing Manager and Art Director at Little Island Books, an independent Irish children’s publisher. She has...

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Aoife Murray

Aoife Murray holds an MPhil in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin. She has worked at Children’s Books Ireland since 2011 and is currently Programme and Events Manager at the organisation....

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Deirdre Sullivan

Deirdre Sullivan is a writer and teacher from Galway. She has written seven acclaimed books for young adults, including Savage Her Reply (Little Island, 2020), Perfectly Preventable Deaths (Hot Key...

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Mary Watson

Mary Watson grew up in Cape Town during the apartheid years and did her Masters in Creative Writing with André Brink. She won the Caine Prize for African Writing in...

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Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb is an award-winning children’s writer and creative writing teacher. She runs creative writing clubs for children and reviews children’s books for the Irish Independent. She programmes children’s book...

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CCC Library & Arts Service
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Creative Places West Cork Islands
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