Literary Birthday – 23 January – Cathy Hopkins

Happy Birthday, Cathy Hopkins, born 23 January 1953


  1. There will always be people for and against you, and its pointless wasting time trying to win over some of the people who are against you. Spend time with people who are for you. Those relationships are worth it.
  2. Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it.

Cathy’s Top 10 Writing Tips

  1. Use your five senses when writing a scene: sight – what a place looks like, how it sounds, how it smells, any tastes? And lastly, how it feels.
  2. Write every day. Don’t blab your story out to everyone. Only show it to those who will give constructive criticism.
  3. Create a sympathetic character that readers will like. Think about what they want more than anything in the world. Then think about lots of things that can get in their way. Then there’s your book.
  4. Raise questions early on in your book and delay the answers to make readers want to read on to find out what happens.
  5. Carry a notebook, as you never know when inspiration will strike.
  6. Write like you speak. Don’t throw anything you write away as years later, it may spark something off.
  7. Write the kind of stories you’d like to read.
  8. Write the first draft freely without judging it then rewrite with the rational/logical side of your brain.
  9. Read a lot.
  10. Never give up. Persevere through rejection. Loads of famous novelists had their books rejected first time round but were successful because they didn’t give up.

Cathy Hopkins is an English novelist, best known for her teenage books Mates, Dates series.


by Amanda Patterson

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