Author: Yasmin Finch

Post From Panda – magical reading practice for Reception

It’s been a rollercoaster of a year and we’re still not done yet! I’ve launched Post From Panda – magical reading practice for children in reception. A real letter is delivered every week via Royal Mail. Where did Panda Post come from? When my 2 boys learned to read it was such a special time. It was like, my baby’s growing up. It’s such a massive life step. And I wanted my role in it to be the best it could be. I realised quickly that school worked them really hard on the phonics. All that learning they were working SO hard at day in day out. Monday through to Friday. At home I realised that they needed a serious dose of magic. A moment where the hard work paid off. And that does of magic would keep them going, keep them trying, keep them working on those tricky words and split diagraphs! Reading practice needed to be something they wanted to do. Reading practice could be something that they asked to do, not me …

New! School Visits

UPDATE: I currently can’t take on any more school visits. Please check back for when I’m available again. Thanks! x   I’m excited to say I’m now available for school visits. I LOVE getting children enthusiastic about stories, writing and reading. I’m an experienced youth worker and can deliver a full range of workshops, activities and events for your school. I’m also fully DBS checked and a primary school governor. Amazing assemblies Wonderful workshops Creative crafts and exciting adventures in writing Fees £350 for a full school day, including an after school book signing. A full day usually consists of one assembly and 3 workshops, but I can be flexible and work to your requirements. £200 for half a school day Travel: 45p/mile or train fare as appropriate. For more more information and availability email me today.      

Mr Mustachio, Summer and Me

MR MUSTACHIO has been a long time coming. He started as a joke with my kids, whenever they drank milk we’d call them Mr Mustachio because of their milk moustaches. One day, as we were mucking around on the kitchen floor, it hit me what a great picture book character he would make. I ran upstairs and the Mr Mustachio story started. Then, in summer 2014, the manuscript was a runner-up in the Greenhouse Funny Prize. I picked up the news at the end of a 32 mile bike ride on a windy Northumberland beach. I flicked open my email on my phone and there were two bits of news that day pinging in. One was Mr Mustachio and the Greenhouse win and one was that I’d finally been awarded my PhD and could officially use the title Dr Yasmin Finch. With life-changing news on the wind rolling in from the North Sea, I could see why the ancient celts looked for God on these shores.     Later in the autumn of 2014, when the nights had drawn …

Meet Mr Mustachio Illustrator Abi Tompkins!

I always knew when I wrote Mr Mustachio he would be a darling, but when Maverick Books appointed Abi Tompkins as illustrator I had no idea what magic was about to commence. He’s tall. His coat is made from camel hair (it’s like wool, but camel wool). And my, look at that moustache. Abi’s joining us in Top Secret News today to give us a sneaky peek and talk to us about Mr M. Our picture book won’t be out until next year, but work is well under way and it’s looking great! Our editor Kimara Nye (who’s got her own picture book out too!) keeps forwarding beautiful sketches to my inbox. Abi’s work is full of dreamy characters and fizzy colours. I could look at it all day long. Her website’s here if you want to have a look around. Abi, this is your debut book too isn’t it? Tell us a bit about how it’s going. Hello! Yes, this is my first book and I’m very excited about it all. As soon as I got …

A Win at Winchester!

Really excited to announce that my picture book BOO-KIN, MORE MILK, AND THE MISSING MUMMY! received ‘Highly Commended’ from the judges at Winchester Writers’ Festival 2015. The Picture Book Category was judged by the lovely bunch at Little Tiger Press and I’m thrilled that they liked my manuscript. They said I had, “fresh narrative voice… fantastically fun moments… great characterisation” Looking at the titles in the final 6, there were clearly some fab entries. Well done to everyone and an especially big congratulations to Alice Vinten for winning 1st prize!

Picture Books for a Digital Age

On Saturday I went along to SCBWI author masterclass Picture Books for the Digital Age with the amazing Eric Huang from madeinme. Fabulous content, great people and great food. The next one is 16th May 2015: Books that sell and sell well. Can’t wait!  

SCBWI Prize

Wow. It’s like Christmas has arrived early. I’ve been awarded an ‘Honorary Mention’ for MR MUSTACHIO in the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Margaret Carey Scholarship. More info here.

Greenhouse Funny Prize 2014

My picture book text MR MUSTACHIO has been awarded third place in the Greenhouse Funny Prize. “a quirky, strong text, and an utter joy to read” Greenhouse are a leading agency and it’s amazing to have such great feedback from them about something I’ve written. They said MR MUSTACHIO was a “quirky, strong text, and an utter joy to read.” Can’t quite believe it. Need to frame that e-mail and put it on my desk. Update: 28.08.16 Mr Mustachio is published!  

WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Interested in writing for children? If you’d like to write for children there are lots of amazing websites which can help you along the way. Writers & Artists is a mine of info, like this great article How To Create A Fantastic Picture Book or this great list of Writing for Children: Tips and Advice. Or you could watch Barry Cunningham on youtube. He discovered Harry Potter, so he definitely knows what he’s talking about. If you’ve only got time to read one piece of advice read this: How to Write a Picture Book. When Step 1 is “Gird Yourself” you know they’re cutting to the important bits. There are funny pictures to sustain you too. “Gird Yourself”