Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Golden Egg Academy

Today, SCBWI Germany and Austria welcomes member Michael Schultheiss. In August 2014, Michael was accepted into the Golden Egg Academy where he has been working with a mentor ever since. I asked him to share his experience with us. Take it away Michael!

The Golden Egg Academy
Golden Egg Academy Logo
Finding out about the Golden Egg Academy feels truly like finding a pot of gold in the forest! It happened as a result of my attending SCBWI Germany and Austria’s first writing retreat in Bavaria, Germany in May 2014. The setting was lovely—the Fraueninsel at Lake Chiemsee, led by author/editor Beverley Birch.

So, with some trepidation, I submitted sample pages of my current manuscript for the retreat. The result was a profoundly helpful and constructive critique by Beverley. During the retreat, Beverley mentioned the Golden Egg Academy (GEA) to me. I was intrigued by everything I heard about it. Based on her reading of my manuscript, Beverley encouraged me to apply to the GEA. 

I decided to give it a try and sent in my manuscript. To my delight, a few months later, I received an email notifying me that my work had been assessed and that I had been accepted as a new member of the GEA. 

I now am officially an “egg” as members are called. Coincidently, I received this email while I was at the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles, CA in August 2014. Learning that my work was appreciated felt wonderful. I attended the rest of the conference with a sensational high feeling akin to walking on sunshine – complimented by the weather and even more so by the inspiring presentations and the congenial crowd of writers and illustrators at the conference in LA.

Back home in Germany, I booked three workshops recommended by GEA and travelled to England three times. The workshops addressed various crucial aspects in writing and putting together a manuscript. One of the tools used by the GEA for refining manuscripts is called ‘bookmapping’. All editors who work with GEA use ‘bookmapping’ when working on a story or a full-length manuscript and getting it to a pre-publishing quality level.

In addition to the workshops, I attended one of GEA’s famous ‘Socials’, events where eggs, editors, agents and publishers meet casually in a nice setting. I was introduced to my assigned editor with whom I have been in contact ever since in the process of moving on with my work. It feels as if I have acquired a helpful guide who points out some of the potholes and other hurdles on the road to publication.

So far, GEA has given me great ideas how to improve my manuscript. I know there is much more to come: tips and tricks of the trade that will make my story ready for the book market. Meanwhile, as to my story currently in the works...that’s a secret for the time being. Check SCBWI ‘s blog regularly, and I will keep you posted on how things are going……   

The Golden Egg Academy

The Golden Egg Academy programme has been designed to offer a variety of workshops and one2one editorial surgery sessions. 

The programme is very flexible, as it is not until we understand you and your novel that we will be able to assess your needs. Once you and your manuscript have been assessed, and you have been accepted into the Academy, you will be guided towards the best combination of workshops and editorial surgeries for you. 

Our programme aims to cover most areas of writing and publishing for children, but we are always interested in your suggestions.

About GEA
We are a team of experienced children’s publishing and creative writing professionals providing inspiration, industry-led direction and networking opportunities to talented writers for children.

Led by Imogen Cooper, previously Head of Fiction for Chicken House Publishing, Golden Egg provides talks, workshops, and one-to-one editorial support. We cater for writers who wish to submit their work to agents and publishers. Golden Egg works closely with Barry Cunningham at Chicken House Publishing, and has strong links with other companies.

How it works
Golden Egg was set up to provide talented, unpublished writers with the best editorial service a traditional children’s publishing house can provide and more:
  Practical tool-based workshops
  High quality structural editing
  Well-informed industry-aware advice
  A supportive environment to share your hopes and worries

We can’t wait to welcome you to our gang! To become a member of the Golden Egg Academy your story needs to show promise and be sufficiently developed for us to help you take it to the next level.

For this reason, all FICTION applicants are required to submit a one page synopsis, plus three consecutive chapters of their choice, for review. All PICTURE BOOK applicants are required to submit one full picture book text. We will assess your manuscript and provide a short report on your writing, story arc, and thoughts on your next step. This costs £50.

Michael lives in the beautiful wine region of Southwest Germany near the French border with his girlfriend. He writes funny adventurous stories with animal characters for first readers, when he is not performing with his rock band or traveling the world.