Ten-Minute Blog Break - 10th September

Prepare yourself, because we're tackling the big questions on the Blog Break this week. What is the nature of time? Can authors ever be truly happy? How many adorable crocheted owls can you fit in a story sack?

Candy Gourlay delivers not one but two great blog posts this week, scheduled around the launch of Shine. On her personal blog she describes a fantastic session she's running to mentor young writers as part of the Archway with Words festival. Meanwhile, on Notes from the Slushpile, Candy gets all reflective and analyses the nature of happiness - was she happier before she was published, rather than after? Can we actually step outside the tough publishing environment and manufacture our own happiness?

Space on the Bookshelf are offering a brilliant DIY guide this week, on the making of story sacks. These are a great way to engage young children with reading, by accompanying a fiction book with a host of related activities. Sally Poyton's made her own owl-themed story sack (with the aforementioned crocheted owls) and you can win it by entering Space on the Bookshelf's free competition.

The last time I featured Jane Heinrichs in the blog break, I described her as writing a meditation, and she's gone one better this week, with a totally philosophical post about the nature of time and the benefits of being mindful. It's a subject matter that could prove dry and difficult, but Jane's writing style remains warm, accessible and thought-provoking.

Finally, I was excited to see our SCBWI conference keynote speaker Malorie Blackman answering the Guardian's Q&A (I especially loved her response to the question about a film of her life). Appearing in this weekly Q&A column is one of my longstanding life goals, so seeing a children's author up there gave me a lot of hope for the future. Now all I have to do is write another 55 books and become Children's Laureate - wish me luck!


Nick Cross is a children's writer, blogger and all-round techno-ninja. In 2010 he was a winner of Undiscovered Voices with his zombie comedy Back from the Dead.

This week, Nick has blogged all about the challenges of tackling the 4th draft of his latest children's novel (with added cooking metaphors) - Getting in a Stew.


  1. Good luck Nick - you're well on the way!

  2. Thanks for the shout out, and in great company as ever! Glad you liked the Owls!


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