Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Blazing a Trail

Sandra Greaves 

Book trailers are increasingly important marketing tools for authors. So how do you go about making one? Sam Hepburn chose 15-year-old film student George O’Regan to create the trailer for her latest YA crime novel, Chasing the Dark. Sandra Greaves talks to them both about the fine art of trailer-making. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 29th April

What does it take to get a book published? Is it simply a matter of persistence and luck? Can we writers/illustrators influence the process at all, or should we just get out of the way and let the gatekeepers decide?

Monday, 28 April 2014

Q & A with Fantasy Writer, Robert Paul Weston

Robert Paul Weston is the internationally award-winning author of several fantasy novels for children and young adults, including Zorgamazoo, Dust City and The Creature Department series, written in collaboration with the special effects company, Framestore (Gravity, Avatar, Where the Wild Things Are). His novels have won prizes in Canada, the United States, and Germany, including the California Young Reader Medal, the Silver Birch Award, the Children's Choice Award, and German Audio Book of the Year.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Chained to the Kitchen Table

The sky is grey and raindrops are splashing on the patio so the best place to be is here at the kitchen table or scoffing meatballs in the IKEA restaurant. Strange what appears really attractive when you're chained to the table until you've finished telling everyone what they may have missed this week and what's on offer for next.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Hurray for the Crystal Kite Shortlisters and Don't Forget to Vote!

The annual Crystal Kite Award is a peer-given award to recognize great books from 15 SCBWI regional divisions around the world.  Last year the award for the UK and Europe was won by Dave Cousins with 15 Days Without a Head. This year our region is the UK and Ireland and the award will be won by one of the lovely ladies pictured below. Many Congratulations to Elizabeth Wein, Candy Gourlay, and Teri Terry!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Featured Illustrator: Jaimie Stevenson

For this month's Featured Illustrator we welcome Jaimie Stevenson, a developing artist based in Bedfordshire with a distinct range of work focused towards picture books. See more of Jaimie's charming work in the Featured Illustrator Gallery.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Network News: North West – a writer on a scrawl-crawl

Who would have thought it? Late march in Rainy City (aka Manchester) and warm enough to spend a substantial part of the day outdoors. That’s what happened when the SCBWI North West Network group went on a scrawl-crawl at the end of last month.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

World Book Night - Just Do It Anyway


April 23rd, Shakespeare's birthday and death day, and Cervantes death day, is the night of giving away books. Book-giving is a very good idea as I strongly suspect most of us readers of Words & Pictures have far too many but mostly because reading is a very good idea.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 22nd April

Hello Scoobies, I hope Easter brought you lots of chocolate/non-fattening alternatives. My thanks go to Nicky Schmidt for holding the fort last week, though my being away was (of course) all part of a secret plan to feature on the Blog Break myself!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Sunday Revelations and Round-Ups

Isn't it wonderful to have the lovely Beverley Birch smiling on the front of our blogzine, beamed across from Notes From the Slush Pile? Notes... is our Guest Blog. If you're part of the SCBWI Blog Network and your posts are often of especial interest to published authors or illustrators (we label these PULSE) please do get in touch.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Balu's Basket is out now!

It's always lovely when a W&P team member has a success. Here's Chitra, our writing competitions editor who does a wonderful job organising The Slush Pile Challenge with her new bi-lingual picture book.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Children's Books and Medieval IIlumination

As an illustrator and medieval historian (or so my university degree claims) I love all things pictorial and historic. So what better way to make my debut as an SCBWI illustration feature writer than to talk bout the brilliance of medieval illuminated manuscripts. From new contributor Heather Chapman

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Events: What’s not to love?

A big Words & Pictures welcome to our new ARA, Stephanie McGregor! Steph has a special responsibility to oversee our events all over the British Isles - no mean feat. Here she is to introduce a new monthly feature posting on Thursdays which will highlight events coming up across the country in the following month.
Over to Steph…

Keith Gray's sell-out Edinburgh workshop tackles Strong Beginnings

by @suzebain

Where are you on the writer’s pyramid? Are you a ‘wannabe’? Full of ideas? Prepared to rewrite?

Keith Gray, author and passionate advocate of young people’s books, issued that challenge at 'Strong Beginnings & the War of Attention," a sell-out workshop organised by SCWBI SE Scotland’s network.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Virtual Authors

Jonathan Emmet

Virtually visiting a school in Atlanta
Much has been written recently about the benefits of authors and illustrators visiting schools and how such visits are seen as an effective way of promoting reading for pleasure to children. A Society of Authors report published in 2013 noted that schools recognise the benefits of author visits and that most schools would like to hold more, but that lack of funding prevented them.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 15th April

Your erstwhile Blog-Breaker, Nick Cross, has decided to skive off for the week, and I’m here in his stead. It’s only a small change really, we’re just adding a “Y”– Nick for Nicky… I was a little concerned that it might be a quiet week on the blogs, with little to give you in your ten minute blog break, but I’m delighted to see that our stalwart SCBWI bloggers are blogging diligently.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Sunday, 13 April 2014

What a lovely day!

We had a lovely time yesterday. There was food, fizz, cake and chatter - people meeting for the first time or catching up in real life after an age!   It was so lovely to see everyone and especially to welcome Angela Cerrito, SCBWI’s Assistant International Advisor…
In my back garden.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Minty Fresh Success !

Christina Banach

Christina Banach is our lucky champagne toast recipient today! Her debut, Minty is out this week from Three Hares Publishing  and I'm sure we'd all like to congratulate her and wish her the best of luck!

Christina lives in Scotland with her husband and their two rescue dogs. Her debut novel Minty is set in and around Fife, and features the picturesque coastal town of Elie, one of Christina’s favourite places on the planet.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sketchcrawling in Manchester

SCBWI BI North West held its first sketchcrawl day event last month at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Manchester.

Children's book illustrator/author Lynne Chapman led our group of 12 people, including illustrators, designers, teachers, students and writers. We had the use of MOSI's wonderful Learning Loft as a base on the top floor of the Great Western Warehouse. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Titles and characters: choices with marketing in mind

Catriona Tippin

You’ve written your book. You’re researching your social media strategy. Here are some tips on spotting marketing problems at the proofreading stage – a heads up on how your title and your characters’ names translate into website (domain) names and hashtags. 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 8th April

With the London Book Fair in full swing, the future of publishing is inevitably a key point of discussion. But as fascinating as that subject is, it's good to see our SCBWI bloggers getting on with the main business at hand - writing stuff!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Ask a Picture Book Editor

What makes a good picture book topic?

So last month we challenged you to tell us what you think makes a good picture book topic. I’m sad to say that nobody picked up the gauntlet – very possibly because it’s a tricky topic to tackle! But don’t worry! That’s what we’re here for!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

People, you know who you are, I AM doing my homework

Now that Bologna's Bologna'd, it's time for London to do the Book Fair thing. The London Book Fair is this coming week and I'm sorely tempted to go if only for the Dragon's Den style pitching event on Thursday. I'm sure I could learn a thing or two.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Muncle Trogg love hits Germany... And congrats to Kim for an Honorary Mention!

This week, congratulations go to Janet Foxley for the latest news on Muncle - or Munkel - Trogg who has found success in Germany. Then we celebrate Kim Lloyd who won the Honorary Mention for the Margaret Carey Scholarship.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Walter Crane and Mythology in Children's Books

Walter Crane
Illustration is all about ideas and inspiration which can be turned into a theme relevant to the story – whether it is for a children’s book, painting or editorial illustration.

From her list of inspiring illustrators Chloe Yelland has selected Walter Crane, who demonstrated a unique focus of fairytale combined with mythology, specifically Greek.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Linkedtwitfacetumbletube - From The Other Side

 Nicky Schmidt

A while ago I posted a piece about social media on my blog and how the business of building a platform, when you don’t have a book to market, is an exercise in play and procrastination. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 1st April

It's April the First, and I was tempted to write an entire Blog Break full of spoof posts this week. However, as there was no round-up last week that seemed a bit unfair. Plus, I'm not sure my brain's working well enough to do something like that!

Slush Pile Challenge - April 2014

We are pleased to announce the April 2014 Slush Pile Challenge.