Have you lost the fun in writing? If your answer is yes, you are not alone. Tizzie Frankish is helping us to find fun again in our four-part series. In this second week, she is finding fun in proposals.


With the first challenges in ‘My Year of Finding the Fun Again!’ completed and a mojo that was no longer missing in action, I was ready for a different challenge. In between drafting pitches, I cast my net wider into the writing seas in search of creative opportunities (beyond my usual writing lane Young Fiction/ Middle Grade) and I came across a weekly newsletter by Sian Meades-Williams called Freelance Writing Jobs, which was overflowing with writing work. 

After a few weeks of tentative reading, and a lot of ‘No, I couldn’t do that's!' and a fair few ‘That looks great, but I’m not sure I cans’,  I finally found an ‘Ooh maybe I could’ and decided that I definitely would. I had nothing to lose and a lot of fun to find! This particular call out was for a Writer in Residence for a National Park, with a focus on Climate Change and biodiversity, and while I am by no means an expert on this, the circular economy of reuse, recycle, reinvent are common themes in my manuscripts so the premise of showcasing green solutions through fiction was a familiar one. 

The aim of this brief was to inspire positive change on climate emergency through the creative arts, and required us to propose what we aimed to deliver through the residency, what work we would produce, and any public engagement workshops to be delivered during this time. The idea of this had my writing mojo a’movin. Climate change... check. Workshops... (I have created lots of these for schools) Check. And the most perfect hairy characters I’d recently written a story about... check, check, check!


I proposed a children’s hybrid fiction book called The Hairies: Nature Rangers — Creatures with Climatitude. The Hairies are creatures amalgamated from endangered animals/creatures (a hedgehog body, a red squirrel tail, horseshoe bat wings and the antennae of a bearded false darkling beetle). I loved bringing these beauties back to life and was excited about them all over again. So much so, my brain went into excitement overdrive, and I proposed an Eco Club, Eco Zines, an interactive sustainability trail, Hungry Hairie recycling bins, and a variety of Eco-Installations and this was before we even got onto the workshops (exploring Biomimicry, anyone?). And yes, I fell down the research rabbit hole WAY too often and it was a classic case of overpromising for the budget, but this was ALL FOR FUN, remember so it didn’t really matter. 

I loved the freedom to create without one eye on the end goal. Needless to say, I’m NOT the current Writer in Residence at the Brecon Beacons, however one of the appointed writers will actually deliver A CHILDREN’S BOOK - Eeeek! (minus Eco Club, Eco Zines, an interactive sustainability trail, Hungry Hairie recycling bins, and a variety of Eco-Installations, obviously :)


Buoyed by the huge buzz I got from writing my first proposal, I went big for the next one. And when I say big, I mean STRATOSPHERIC! I only decided to pitch one of my story ideas as a children’s TV series for... wait for it... Nickelodeon. (Even typing that sentence has made me laugh — who did I think I was Francesca Simon?) In all seriousness, this wasn’t about getting the gig, it was about a set of characters crying out to be used in a different format. We (me and my shouty characters) were going to have fun with this and that’s what we did.


The brief required a pitch proposal/presentation with visuals aimed at a specific Nickelodeon demographic, and included six key elements - a Logline; Overview; Main Characters (goal, wants, motivation, fear, flaw, conflict); The World, and Episode Springboards. Cue frantic researching of current shows to determine where my characters and storyline idea would fit best. 

The fun in this project was in the bending and shaping of ideas to fit specific categories, and with this came another level of creativity, which I thrived on. I created a power point (yes, I had to learn all the whizzy stuff pretty quickly!) including visual images of characters to illustrate my own characters (Dennis the Menace and Walter take a bow!) and I pitched four additional episode springboards (potential show ideas/storylines).

Now, you don’t need me to tell you the outcome of this opportunity, (which is ​ irrelevant - honest!) but this experience was probably the most excited I’ve EVER been while developing an idea outline and I'm wondering if it's the visual elements which elevated the creativity. My brain is very unpredictable and while linear outlines mostly work for me (book bible, anyone?), I was fizzing with excitement while doing the same process visually. So, not only was this opportunity great fun, but it has also shown me a non-linear way of outlining a project. Win-win!


I can highly recommend playing around with existing characters for different formats as both of these experiences brought such excitement, and they also allowed me to develop my characters in ways I hadn’t thought of before, and created a whole new set of plots for them to play in. 

If you have any questions about finding the fun in proposals, please comment below and join me next week for the upcoming articles on Finding Fun in... different types of fiction/non-fiction, and the following week for Finding the Fun in... different forms of fiction.




  • If you want to try your hand at other creative opportunities, sign up to newsletters that collate wider writing opportunities beyond your current writing lane as you never know what jobs/commissions might be right up your street. Sian Meades-Williams produces an absolute gem of a newsletter which lands in your inbox every Thursday


  • If, like me, you want to write fiction that ‘entertains and informs about green solutions, inspires green behaviour and raises awareness of the necessary transformations towards a sustainable economy’ Green Stories is a website set up to promote just that and has regular writing competitions where you can hone your skills (and have FUN trying!)

  • Don’t lose sight of the process. If you want to measure your success by OUTCOMES, do so only by those within your control, such as your creative OUTPUTS.


  • Have a go at writing proposals just for the fun of it (and please let me know how it goes) or maybe apply the Nickelodeon ‘six elements’ pitch technique of - Logline; Overview; Main Characters (goal, wants, motivation, fear, flaw, conflict); The World; and Episode Springboard, to help plan your next fiction story.


“Find the game you like to play — not just to win but because it clicks with you differently.” ― Ali Sohani


*Header image: Shannon Ell & Tita Berredo





After spending most of her time BC (Before Children) travelling and studying or travelling to study, Tizzie Frankish settled back in her hometown of Coventry (UK), with her partner and teenage sons. She has a 20-year career in education and currently works as a Specialist Support Tutor across two universities in the Midlands, where she coaches neurodiverse learners, and she gets a fascinating insight into all the subjects she hasn’t got around to studying (yet!). She has also guest-lectured on a creative writing degree, specialising in writing for children.

Find Tizzie on Twitter: @tizzief 

1 comment:

  1. Love this little series, Tizzie! Some great ideas for discovering/rediscovering fun.


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