Ten-Minute Blog Break - 16th July

After me complaining last week that there wasn't enough new blog content, suddenly there's too much! Still, as problems go, it's definitely one I can live with...

Nicky Schmidt has popped out of her foxhole to write a blog this week, and the results are as invaluable as ever. Following up on her earlier posts about brands and author platforms, she takes a sharp look at the use of social media for author marketing. Are those tweets actually reaching your readers, or are you simply hanging out with your friends and calling it work?

You may think that dystopian is dead, and the end of the world is so over, but nobody seems to have told the readers that. On the Demention blog, Claire Merle highlights an annual blogging event called Dystopian Domination, which is into its 4th year and showing no signs of running out of steam. We may all be going to die, but at least dystopian fiction has a bright future!

Jane Clarke is blogging this week about a phenomenon she calls DARN-it-dipity. This not-at-all-made-up word describes the awful sensation you feel when you come up with a fabulous new concept, only to discover that someone else has beaten you to it. It's perhaps most acute for picture book authors, who have to think up very bold and simply-rendered story ideas, but I'll bet there's quite a few high-concept novelists who've fallen foul of it too.

With Undiscovered Voices 2014 open for submissions, it's great to hear from some former winners. Sharon Jones's debut novel Dead Jealous has just been published by Orchard, so Sharon is sharing a blog post with her agent Jenny Savill to tell us how Undiscovered Voices literally changed her life. Meanwhile, Jane McLoughlin (one of the 2010 winners) reflects on life a year after the publication of her debut At Yellow Lake. Bruised by the closure of the Frances Lincoln children's fiction list, Jane nonetheless finds room for optimism in this tough writing life.


Nick Cross is a children's writer, blogger and all-round digital guru. In 2010 he was a winner of Undiscovered Voices with his zombie comedy Back from the Dead.
For his latest blog post, Nick considers whether it's a case of Bang Goes the Story for popular cinema, and how children's books should react to the trend towards ever-bigger spectacle.


  1. thanks for the shout-out, Nick. As for darn-a-dipity, darn, I relate to it so well! I blame the collective unconscious for leading us all on the same merry romp!

  2. I was particularly inspired by Jane's optimism. Thanks again, I count on this round-up.

  3. Thanks for including my post, Nick. Candy, I don't always feel optimistic, but then I stop and think about what I've been able to do since At Yellow Lake, and how much the experience (the writing, the editing, even the publishing pitfalls) has taught me. And how much fun I've had!

  4. Thanks from me, too , Nick, great to see my post on the list. Loving the ref to 'collective unconscious' Nicky - and your post is a timely reminder of what I should be doing. Jane McL, wise and inspirational words, as Candy says. Good luck to all those submitting to UV this time round.


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