Season of Change by Haulwen (Halloween) Nicholas

Season of Change by Haulwen (Halloween) Nicholas

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A (very) New Egg reflects on her first tentative steps joining the GE Academy

This is my favourite time of year.

It starts with my autumn “tingle”, when I feel the first gentle breath of cold in the air, its gentle caress that makes me shiver and shudder with anticipation.  I love the sense of excitement – colourful leaves, ripening fruits and darkening nights. Of Halloween, bonfires and the expectation of Christmas. It always feels like a time for change, and for me this year has been just that, because I was accepted to be a member of The Golden Egg Academy.

January started me off.  I realised I needed to sort myself out.  Did I want to be a published author or not?  I had one book written, one started, other ideas noted down, with loads more fighting to get out onto the page.  I’d been contemplating sending in my manuscript for a year, but lacked the courage to do so. I finally did and can honestly say it’s the best decision I have ever made.

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I received my acceptance email from Vanessa Harbour (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Winchester and one of the GE team). It was an amazing feeling, to feel acknowledged by someone from within the industry.  I was grinning like the Cheshire cat, but it still didn’t feel real. I quickly booked on the first course, but to my dismay April was fully booked and May I was on holiday, so I booked on the August event and patiently waited for the day to arrive.

In June I pledged to dedicate one whole weekend a month to my writing. I sorted my office and concentrated on my second manuscript.  The months flew by and it was the day of the Mapping your Novel course. I was nervous and excited to meet everyone, but there was no need for the anxiousness as everyone was lovely. The day itself went quickly and I came away with so much information, that I was buzzing for weeks.

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From that moment on, my life has been a whirlwind.   I realised I needed to be on Twitter so I could network with my fellow Eggs.  My first #GEAQA (Golden Egg Academy’s Twitter Q&A, every Monday night 7:30 – 8pm) was a mad-dash of flying tweets and fascinating information.  It was amazing.  These people, I realised, were asking the questions I wanted answered and it reinforced my desire to be part of this amazing community of industry professionals and aspiring children’s writers.

GE is three things:

* Expert editorial advice from industry professionals;

* Help with practical tools to make the story construction process more efficient; 

* A wonderfully open and inclusive community of writers all rooting for each other and offering advice and support;

In September I finished my BookMap©. It’s such a useful tool and makes so much sense to me. It has already highlighted to me areas I need to improve, but again I must be patient and wait until I meet my editor in November. I’m excited and slightly daunted by the idea of meeting Maurice Lyon, but looking forward to receiving his critique.

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I’ve been on a Golden Egg Spooky social, which was so much fun, it was great to be with other writers. I also have the Action and Dramatic Tension Workshop coming up in October, my first experience of a GE workshop.  Through these first couple of months I have also had the wonderful support of fellow Golden Egg, Kay Valley, who’s been our GE Buddy since our group went on that first Book-mapping course.

My life has completely changed since my first course in August.  I’m openly telling people of my writing, instead of hiding in the closet like I was some stigmatised old witch, and because of this more doors keep opening. It’s a truly amazing feeling, I finally feel like I belong and my autumn tingle…  Well that’s even more special this year.

Some see Halloween as a time for change and new beginnings and it is for me. I’m now a writer, an incubating Egg and a person who has changed for the better.

Best wishes from a very Happy Haulwen!

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