Opportunities, Sheds and a Great Comedian Reads Dahl

I'm pleased to say there's been another healthy crop of entries for our second Chalkface Challenge. So grateful for Nick's Blog Break shout out! At the time of writing there's still a small window of opportunity to enter - deadline: 12pm today Sunday 15th June.

June is the month of opportunity for writers and illustrators. Here's a snapshot of our events page for June:

Click image to enlarge and click HERE to go to SCBWI British Isles events

For the first time ever we have a workshop in Southampton and with none other than the lovely Sarah Lean! In February, Sarah shared some of her excellent insights on how to achieve an authentic child voice for your story and this is the treasure she's going to explore with us in on Saturday 28th June at Southampton's coolest venue, The Art House.

Every editor or agent I've ever read is looking for VOICE. How do we find, nurture and hone ours? 

...by coming to Southampton. It's only an hour and 20 minutes from London and an hour and a half from Oxford - you could get that thing you need in IKEA, go on a cruise or share a pot of tea/ bottle of wine with me. It costs a bargain price of £22 for members and £29 for non members and includes a vegetarian lunch plus teas and coffees.

Sales pitch over, here's what happened this week...

With Sandra Greaves, we peeked into the writing shed of all writing sheds - Roald Dahl's 'little hut'. How wonderful, like the great man, to be able to step into your alternative universe at the bottom of the garden - also just like SCBWI member Lesley Moss. Does anyone else own a shed? Would you share your writing space (any kind of den counts) with us here on W&P? It would be like a literary through the keyhole - who writes in a shed like this?

The now very sadly late Rik Mayall was on our home page in the Twitter feed last week because I forgot which Twitter account I was in. Anyone managing more than one will understand the perils. But with Karen Hart's lovely retrospective on her life with Charlie Bucket it was so right. Almost as much as Quentin Blake's illustration says Dahl so does Rik Mayall's mischievousness. Here, as a small tribute to a great comedian who was often not child friendly at all, is him reading George's Marvellous Medicine on Jackanory:

Next week...

How do we do it?
It's an amazing team.

Don't forget: If you entered The Chalkface Challenge last year I'd love to know how it was for you and if anything happened next....

Happy Father's Day!

Jan Carr

Jan Carr is the editor of Words & Pictures. Her fiction is all over the place, she blogs occasionally and loves to write in magenta. You can contact her at editor@britishscbwi.org.


  1. Thanks for sharing Rik Mayall's reading of George - just brilliant.


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