Written by Little Star Writer Millie, age 10
On Monday 24th October, myself, Charlotte and Lucy went to Usborne publishing house for the day, as we won a writing competition with Little Star Writing.
It was an amazing day. We met a lovely fiction editor who was called Becky and she showed us the different departments within Usborne, followed by a tour of our amazing office for the day!
At 11am we did an activity called ‘choosing a cover’. We looked at a variety of new novels and different ideas, and after much discussion we came to a conclusion on each one. During this activity we had a few big publishers sitting in with us. Occasionally they joined in and defended our ideas and asked us questions on our explanations and thoughts. They were really inspiring people and I found them extremely interesting.
The next activity was ‘writing a cover blurb’. We were handed proof copies of new novels and we had to write a blurb for them. We created a blurb for them by quoting lines, making notes and trying to make our few sentences as gripping as possible. I can’t believe they could be used in these amazing new novels and we could have the chance of having our writing on the back of a book!
The next activity was ‘proof reading’. We learnt the ways to represent spelling errors, punctuation errors , and grammatical errors. We also learnt the symbols for how to mark new author’s work and how to send it off.
Next we had a delicious lunch where we met Rebecca Hill, Will Steele and Stevie Hopwood. We asked a lot of questions like, ‘do you have a routine of how you select books each month? Like if you had two great thrillers in the same month but you needed one thriller and one adventure story would you turn one down or take on both?’ We had a brilliant time and we got to know the publishers and designers and they got to know us.
We then saw an amazing copy cover of a new book that the designers were working on. They showed us the stages of design and the different copies they had tried, and then the final copy, which was a foil design.
The next and final activity was to write our own ‘press release’. We had a huge discussion on how to send off a press release and what you should put in it / what information you should give away / what information should be secret from everyone until the book is released. Then we pitched the book in a sentence and finally we had to say goodbye to Usborne…
Note from Mel: We'd like to say a HUGE thank you to Usborne for allowing us to take over their office for the day. Millie, Charlotte and Lucy said it exceeded all of their expectations, and I heard the words, 'I'm definitely going to work in publishing when I'm older' at least three or four times. Everyone was so friendly and really made the girls feel at home. At the end of lunch they even chose to go back upstairs to 'work' when given the chance to chat for longer over cupcakes and muffins! What an incredible opportunity for them - thank you Usborne!