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Cover Story…

WhiteWaterWriters focuses entirely on the writing.  We concentrate on tight plotting, solid characterisation and consistently good prose.
One of the effects of this is that covers end up being a little bit last minute.  Our policy in general is that we work with teachers to find a way of designing covers that fits their resources and how they like to run a class. So in general we end up with a wide range of different ways to put together a cover.
For several of my A-level groups, we’ve worked with the art department so that while we had ten writers forging a narrative out of raw imagination, they had a couple of artists of the same age in charge of a cover.  The artists would drop in at the start to get a rough idea of the tone, come back with a couple of ideas on the wednesday, and then turn on up Thursday with a high resolution scan of the finished result.
For younger groups we quite often have the kids draw some ideas out over night and then vote – the winner’s design is pottered over to an art teacher with a spare couple of hours and photoshop…
In general the cover is a fun distraction and is one of those things that is a fun back and forth between teachers and kids… (the cover is one of the few parts were we let teachers get involved).
However as White Water Writers starts to take off some of our processes are changing.  Now that the book sprints are being run by volunteers rather than, well, me, I’m keen to take as much stress off their plate as possible. And it turns out that the cover is one of those sources of stress. So what we’d like to experiment with is making the cover part of the briefing. Not the writers aren’t just getting a brief that says

You are to write a young adult (teen) fantasy novel. It will be set in the UK in the present day and in a fantasy world of your own design. It might be an alternative historical/fantasy time-frame (steampunk) or it might be futuristic (Speculative, Dystopia) or it could be entirely high fantasy (magical realm).

they are getting a brief that says
You are to write a young adult (teen) fantasy novel. It will be set in the UK in the present day and in a fantasy world of your own design. It might be an alternative historical/fantasy time-frame (steampunk) or it might be futuristic (Speculative, Dystopia) or it could be entirely high fantasy (magical realm). Your front cover will be this image: 
Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 22.23.56
 
So make sure that your characters, fashions, scenery and tone match up. 
So if you are an artist, and you’d like to get involved with a cool voluntary project, and see your work on the cover of a book, then we’d be interested in speaking to you about exactly how that would work.  Please contact us on contact@whitewaterwriters.com.
The image used as an example is licences under a creative commons licence and can be seen at http://albertopoloianez.deviantart.com/art/Lluvia-de-Confeti-57847881 with thanks to the author. 

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