Monday, 31 March 2014

A Brief Guide to Time Travel by Sam Hawksmoor

I’ve always loved Time Travel stories and movies such as Twelve Monkeys or the recent Looper. I love the paradox and all the complexities. The Butterfly Effect was a pretty good attempt at showing just how impossible it all can be to go back and ‘fix’ things, and more importantly they didn’t obsess about the machinery to do it. He just focussed his mind and suddenly was there. Quantum Leap and Time Tunnel (not to forget The Philadelphia Experiment) spent a great deal of time on the mechanics of getting there. As Bruce Willis as Old Joe says in Looper ‘I don't want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws’.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother's Day Angst

It's Mothering Sunday in the UK, today - who are your favourite fictional mums? Some of mine are the wonderfully fickle and cringefully embarrassing Mrs Bennet obviously, the kind heroic story-writing Mrs Waterbury of The Railway Children and the extremely capable 'Mum' from The Oxford Reading Tree's early reader Mum to the Rescue.

If you were choosing a fictional mum who would she or, let's not be rigid about this, they or even he be? 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Book L(a)unch

What’s the difference between a Book Launch and a Book Lunch?

Once upon a time, in the year of 2013, I got an email from the warm and friendly Steve Bicknell of Maverick Books. His email said I was invited to a book lunch. Do I get to eat books for lunch, I wondered. I’m not that kind of monster. I do read books, I eat lunch and I could do both together. But eating books? That was a bit dry for even me, the vegetarian. Granted they were made of plant produce. But was the ink vegan? I digress.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Featured Illustrator: Portia Rosenberg

This month Featured Illustrator welcomes Portia Rosenberg to Words & Pictures. Through imaginative pencil drawings, Portia has developed an expressive narrative style reminiscent of classic illustrators. See more of Portia's art works in the Featured Illustrator Gallery.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

How to Make Money from Writing and Illustrating for Children

Discover Story Centre Stratford London
On Thursday 13th March I went to a Masterclass in "How to make money from writing and illustrating for children" at the Discover Story Centre in Stratford, London.

The Masterclasses are run every year as part of their Big Write event and can be a really useful way to learn about publishing. I joined a room full of hopeful writers and illustrators downstairs for this final masterclass of the year.

Judy Waite's London Masterclass - Growing Pains: Writing for Young Adults

©John Shelley
What lengths are you prepared to go to in order to tap into your teenage protagonist’s mind and find their voice? Would you:-
  • Run away up to London dressed as a teenage boy?
  • Audition for a part in a boy band?
  • Get locked up in a police cell?
All of these have been tried and tested by award-winning author Judy Waite!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

World Book Day becomes 'I Wrote A Book Day' in Pencaitland

Sheila Averbuch

What happens when you throw a writer with no classroom experience into the odyssey of writing a "whole-school story" with 36 primary school children?

For us it was Hazel and the Pirate Family, a story devised and illustrated collaboratively by all nine classes of our local primary school. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Everyone is talking about 'Unspeakable'!

This week the Celebrations Team is delighted to announce that UNSPEAKABLE, the outstanding YA debut by Abbie Todd, is set for publication by ATOM next Spring.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Picture Book Basics: Pop-Ups

Last month, pop-up book virtuoso Trish Phillips showed some of the processes involved in designing her distinctive three dimensional books for children. Now, especially for our Picture Book Basics series, she turns to the nuts and bolts on how you can plan and build pop-up books of your own. Ready with scissors and glue? Over to Trish!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

March Dare

Andrew Weale

We welcome picture book writer Andrew Weale to Words & Pictures with some excellent advice. Over to Andrew...

I’m a March baby, by star sign a fish. This traditionally means that I am creative, and my head is usually to be found somewhere in a cloud. However, I’m not all fluffy. I have a daring, determined streak too.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 18th March

Believe it or not, the Blog Break will be a year old next week. Sometimes (usually Monday lunchtime with an empty blog post in front of me) that year seems to have lasted an age, and other times it seems to have passed in a heartbeat. Either way, it's been quite a ride!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Creature Feature the First: The Griffin

Ken Lymer
In our first instalment of a new Words & Pictures feature on creatures of myths and legend, we focus upon the griffin.

The griffin is a fabulous creature of myth with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. It has been drawn upon in stories and tales by writers and artists since ancient times and remains a source of inspiration for today’s generation of talents.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Serendipity, Soothing and Other Lovely Things

It's been a lovely week - Catherine and I have been recording our first podcasts in Oxford and London with some very interesting people - all very exciting. If you scour Twitter you can find out who they are but I'm going to hold back and leave a small element of mystery here on W&P.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Friday, 14 March 2014

Photoshop Brushes Part 1

Photoshop is one of the cornerstones of digital art, so ubiquitous there can be few illustrators who've not experienced the software at some stage in their career. Paul Morton this week offers the first of two features on customising brushes in Photoshop to create unique textures. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Network News: Plotting and Pacing in the North-east

Maureen Lynas
Meeting up with the NE regulars is always fun but it was great to see some new faces too as we gathered in York on 1st March for my workshop on The Seven Steps to Plotting and Pacing.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 11th March

I have emerged, blinking, into the light this week and put fingers to keyboard for my own blog again. It's a good feeling and I'm glad that our SCBWI bloggers have been just as busy, because that means the Blog Break is once again full of tasty treats!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Now We Are One

Birthdays and other Celebrations in Storytelling 

©John Shelley, from Outside In, Frances Lincoln 2010.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Two More Birthday Top Picks!

Have I made inroads into the next WIP? No - I've been too wrapped up in The Great British Sewing Bee but that's another story...

Did everyone have a fabulous World Book Day? Or week even? I'm into children's classics at the moment. On #WBD I finished Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time - a psychadelic adventure in time and space to search for a missing father and started E. Nesbit's, The Enchanted Castle, where a group of children find a mischievous girl who accidentally turns herself invisible with a magic ring - sound familiar?

Saturday, 8 March 2014

The Skull in the Wood shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize!

Get ready to dig into a big fat slice of cake this week, as we celebrate with Sandra Greaves, author of the chilling contemporary ghost story The Skull in the Wood, which has been shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children’s Book Prize 2014. 

Friday, 7 March 2014

The Cambridge Summer School for Illustration

With the summer season of courses and schools for book creators fast approaching, Margaret Sturton looks back at her experiences at last year's Cambridge Summer School for children's illustration at Anglia Ruskin University.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Network News: South East... and a surprisingly high score from Southampton

Southampton FC seem to be doing ok at the moment - they're still in the premier league which means they must have been scoring goals…

Exactly like SCBWI So'ton.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

It's Party Time for the Undiscovered Voices!

The launch of another volume of Undiscovered Voices is always a moment for great celebration. Twelve writers and five artists – all unagented and unpublished - find their work suddenly thrust upon the publishing world, and the publishing world responds with eager interest.

The launch party itself has become a hotly anticipated event, made even more special because it only happens every two years.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 4th March

Oh my, there were some terrific blog posts this week. What to pick? What to leave out? What to have for lunch? The life of the Words & Pictures Blog Editor is filled with so many difficult choices...

Monday, 3 March 2014

Ask a Picture Book Editor

Ellie and Natascha are delighted to join our Ask a Picture Book Editor column, where you can ask them anything you’d like about picture books. 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Our Birthday Month

We are now in our birthday month!

As you all know, I'm sure, Words & Pictures, has been going a lot longer than It was brought to birth in 1996 by the then British Isles Assistant Regional Adviser and now multi award-winning, including Carnegie shortlisted, author Elizabeth Wein., the brainchild of another multi award-winning author and all round fabulous SCBWI volunteer Candy Gourlay, was born in the early hours of Monday 25th March 2013.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

A meeting at the SCBWI-BI conference gives Cath Howe a flying start!

This week we're delighted to announce that Cath Howe is up, up and away with the amazing agent Anne Clark, of the Anne Clark Literary Agency! She is looking forward to a real creative partnership and says thanks to SCWBI for all the warm support, courses and workshops.