Letting Go and Losing Control

One week to go until the Chalkface Challenge deadline! Open to all SCBWI British isles members brave enough to subject their work to the ultimate test – what do the kids think?

As we approach one competition deadline, we can announce the winner of our other competition…. Anne Clark chose Gerald Killingworth’s paragraph pitch for his middle grade novel as the winner of our first Slushpile Challenge. Ta Da! Gerald will be letting us know more and how he gets after his 121 with Anne. We’ll post this with Anne’s comments  and tips on pitching with a brand new slushpile challenge for a different age range on June 30th.

Line of the week for me was “I use a dip pen and a bottle of ink because it gives me less control, I like that.” from Anna Violet's interview with Helen Stephens. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about letting go in my writing and it was Helen’s remark that turned the notion of ‘less control’ from a negative into a more positive thing - how losing some control isn't something that happens to us - we can decide to to do it. I’m in first draft territory right now and while some days the word count is slow,  I’m enjoying the voyage of discovery.

I also enjoyed reflecting with K.M. Lockwood on the word retreat on monday - it felt like a moment of calm before the week got a grip. Nick did us proud yet again with his blog break and there was more agent insight from Molly and Gemma followed by North West's strange relationship with Waterstones in Network News. It was brilliant timing to be celebrating with Alex and Ruth- members who've found success at a SCBWI event straight after Linda's masterclass write up.

Next week Alex English talks to Teri Terry and Candy Gourlay about the perks and pitfalls of appearing at Festivals,  Penny Kendal interviews Sophie Mckenzie and with the announcement due for the winners of the Greenaway and Carnegie prizes due on Wednesday 19th June, we'll be concentrating on The Greenaway Prize  on Friday.

Because I've decided to 'let go, here are two picture books that have been on my mind while I've been mulling my WIP and indulging in some blue-sky free thinking. The first I loved as a parent - Shirley Hughes' Colours from her Nursery Collection...
'fluffy white clouds floating by in a great big beautiful bright blue sky'
and the second as a child, Helen Stephens' How to Hide a Lion reminded of this one...

and I also noticed that Roger Duvoisin is one of her influences, like Helen's, this lovely lion is so wonderfully big! Both fairly random but while my head is in first draft WIP land there are only so many things I can connect in a coherent and logical manner.

Don't forget your 750 words for the Chalkface Challenge - 1pm next Sunday is the deadline.

Have fun!

Jan Carr

Jan Carr is the editor of Words & Pictures. Her fiction is older middle grade, she blogs occasionally and loves to write in magenta.

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