Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Marketing: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

By Alison Baverstock 

Just before Christmas I attended the SCBWI conference in Winchester and yesterday I went to another conference in Cambridge.

On the way back I was daydreaming on the train (a favourite thing to do) about the experience.

Lincoln Book Festival 2010: Janetta Otter Berry

Gill Hutchinson reports on a talk on Diversity and Inclusion given by Janetta Otter-Barry (pictured left) of Frances Lincoln at the Lincoln Book Festival on May 15th 2010.

Creative Minds: How much is too much?

Writers such as Melvin Burgess (pictured) have attempted to push open the boundaries of what is considered acceptable and have faced mixed reactions, writes Stephanie Williams. He has become the writing equivalent of Marmite – you either love him or hate him!

London Book Fair 2010: Take me to the Book Fair

The London Book Fair was a bit of a sad spectacle this year, with so many exhibitors prevented from flying in by aeroplane-stalling volcanic ash from Iceland.

Undiscovered Voices: What a Discovery!

Nobody can dispute the success of the previous Undiscovered Voices anthology, the winners have gone on to accomplish great things and I’m sure this second set of writers will do just the same.

So how did the concept come into existence? And what does the new selection of writers think about their success?


Hello, everyone, and happy summer!

The first half of 2010 has been a busy time for the SCBWI-BI with lots of events and good news from our members.


From the Autumn Winter 2010

Welcome to what I hope is another great issue of Words & Pictures!

We will take a look at the winners of Undiscovered Voices; review the recent London Book Fair and explore how much is too much as far as sex is concerned in young adult novels; not forgetting the introduction of the new Book Review section.


From Autumn Winter 2010 

I was born in London and studied textiles at Loughborough. Having had a varied career working as a freelance designer for English Eccentrics, and an agent selling textile designs in London and New York, I have also lectured in design at several London colleges and produced designs for Lambeth council.

VOX SCBWI: My Strengths and Weaknesses

From Autumn/Winter issue 2010

We asked members: What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I’m always pushing myself to write better and therefore I’m a compulsive reviser. I need to know when to stop! Paeony Lewis

Over the years I have seen my greatest weaknesses turn into a strength. I had a passion to write for children but life got in the way. Finally I got my youngest two off to nursery and reception and sat down to write the stories in my head.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

From brief to book - trials of a non-fiction writer

By Claudia Myatt

Fiction writers work inside out – from idea to story to pitch to publication.  Non fiction writers usually work the other way round, from an idea that starts inside a publisher’s head.  You have to get inside the subject, make it your own, learn about it and make it fun. 

Sunday, 5 December 2010

'In Conversation' Illustrator Masterclass Event

Despite the snow and ice that had disrupted travel earlier in the week and the presence of lots of London Christmas shoppers illustrator members and non-members came to hear Ben Norland, Art Director from Walker Books, and author illustrator Viviane Schwarz talk about their working relationship at the last Illustrator Masterclass Series in 2010 on 4 December at St George's in Bloomsbury.

Viviane speaking about her book, Shark and Lobster's Amazing Undersea Adventure. Both Ben and Viviane spoke about how an illustrator's ability to write greatly increased their odds of being published as there are degree courses turning out illustrator's every year but very few courses that teaches how to write picture books.

Viviane speaking to illustrators at the tea break.

Everyone surrounded the table during the feedback session given by Viviane and Ben on the book dummies brought in by attendees.

An example of Viviane's world building for her latest book. She made the sketch on the left based on a 'set' created by toys and other materials in her studio.

Ben and Viviane 'performed' Vivian's latest book written by Alexis Deacon, available for sale in July 2011. Ben and Viviane spoke about how a picture book needs to be read aloud and is a performance.

More from the book by Alexis and Viviane, A Place to Call Home. When asked if Viviane starts with her characters, she said that she begins with 'place' - 'builds the house' then populates it. She often makes 3D models of her characters like a sock puppet. She even shares her puppet making as you can download from her website patterns to make knitted cats from her book, There are Cats in This Book. Ben added that in his opinion there are three important elements to every picture book: Consistency of character, sense of context and place and a sense of humour.