Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 30th September

Is it really the 230th September already? Oh wait, that's a typo (goes back and edits title). I was sure September hadn't been that long! In fact, it seems to have flown by - helped, no doubt, by lots of quality blogs to read.

Monday, 29 September 2014

The Value and Distraction of Research

By Sue Hyams

My name is Sue and I'm addicted to research. There. I've said it. With me, research knows no bounds. There is no time that I can't fill with research.

I'm currently writing a story set in the late Victorian period. Although it's fiction, I like to be as accurate as possible, and this is where the research comes in. I recently signed up for an online course – Investigating Victorians with the University of Oxford – which took me away from my writing for ten weeks. Was that time away wasted? Nope. Was it worth it? Oh, yes! You see, research can lead to finding just the right detail that not only lifts your story off the page, but also gives you a real understanding of the conditions of the time, and that can only inform your story.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

From Your RA: Conference Special

Only five weeks to go before the SCBWI BI annual conference in Winchester!

Whilst, I’m mentally packing my bags – what should I wear to this year’s party? Gads, must sort a Halloween-themed frock of some kind; mustn’t forget the Crystal Kite (it weighs a ton!) and must find time to write a speech at some point – mostly I’m SO excited about what we’re offering.

Excitement is Building

Here on the sofa at W&P Towers, excitement is building as we're about to enter our conference month. Yes folks this year the 2014 conference fringe ( The Friday Night Critique) is on Friday October 31st, spooky!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Margaret Carey Scholarship Winners and Honorary Mentions 2014

Margaret Carey was a talented writer and illustrator and an  Undiscovered Voices winner in 2008. For many years, she organised events for both authors and illustrators in SCBWI British Isles with verve and passion. Her volunteering and amazingly generous spirit was recognized in 2010 when she received the inaugural SCBWI British Isles Outstanding Contribution Award. 

This Conference Scholarship was set up in memory of Margaret’s life as a children’s writer and illustrator and her large contribution to SCBWI British Isles.

Friday, 26 September 2014

ProCATsination, by Jion Sheibani

click to enlarge

Jion's Illustrator Showcase Gallery is here, She can be reached at jionsheibani@gmail.com
Click here for her personal website.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Tights, Flu-jabs and Paper plates - All part of enjoyable school-visits

Chitra Soundar
Jane Clarke

Going back to school? It can be a scary place especially if you are going to meet adorable cherubs from Reception to the “I’m almost a grownup” Year 5, 6 with all their questions and inquisitiveness - all in one day.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Agent Confidential: Tom Witcomb

Name: Tom Witcomb

AKA: The Man in Black 

Agency: Blake Friedmann Literary, TV & Film Agency

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 23rd September

Although it's time-consuming to read so many blog posts each week (SCBWI people do write a lot!) I always learn something new. So I hope that you too will pick up some glorious pearls of wisdom from this week's Blog Break...

Monday, 22 September 2014

Author Masterclass: Writing Picture Books with Pippa Goodhart

Pippa worked as a bookseller, as a publisher’s reader, and as a teacher of young children before starting to write books for children. Over the last twenty years she has had over ninety books published, ranging from picture books, through early readers, to novels for junior school age. Perhaps best known are her award winning picture book ‘You Choose’, and the Winnie the Witch storybooks which she writes under a pen name. See her website: www.pippagoodhart.co.uk for more about her and her books.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Harvest Time

A few days ago I had a brilliant opening sentence.
But I didn't write it down and even under the shower this morning (don't think too hard about that) it didn't come back to me.  So I'm convinced of the importance of writing things down, immediately. It's what we have iPhones for, for heaven's sakes.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Exhibition Success for John!

Many, many congratulations today for  W&P Illustration Features Editor and very hardworking illustrator, John Shelley!  Most of us try to take a little time off, down tools and get away over the summer. Not so Mr Shelley. This summer he certainly escaped the UK but to solo exhibition frenzy in Tokyo and Yokohama. And it didn't stop in Japan; at home John had some more exciting news.

Meanwhile, here's a flavour of John's summer...

Friday, 19 September 2014

Exploring Other Income Streams for Illustrators - Branding and Licensing with Helz Cuppleditch

An area that has always attracted children's illustrators who wish to expand their market beyond books is Branding and Licensing. Recently Helz Cuppleditch, a veteran of working with the licensing trade, gave an in depth presentation to our Illustrator Masterclass, as Anne-Marie Perks reports.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Proofreading Tips: Lorem Ipsum and the Quick Brown Fox

Catriona Tippin

All about filler text 

Here’s a facility you may not know you have at your fingertips – placeholder or filler text. If you’re trying out a font or drafting a page layout you could find you need a sample of random text. Most word processing programs offer the option to type =lorem() and then press enter and have some garbled Latin appear. 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 16th September

I'm sure I wasn't the only one buoyed up by Jan's super-positive editorial at the weekend. And there certainly is plenty of good stuff out there if you know where to look, as this week's Blog Break once again proves.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful

For ages we've been hearing that we're in a very tough market, people who might have been snapped up ten years ago, are very much unsnapped in 2014. But this week there were three pieces of news that declared loud and clear that children's books is where it's at.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Author's Published Works Outgrow her Bookcase!

We are delighted to celebrate with the very lovely Anita Loughrey Super SCBWI Volunteer, organiser of London* and much published author!

A few weeks ago Anita revealed on Facebook that the Loughrey household had a furniture issue. Namely that Anita's published works had outgrown her bookcase. If that's not something to celebrate I don't know what is. Over to Anita...

Friday, 12 September 2014

Featured Illustrator: Anna Violet

For Featured Illustrator this month we spotlight Manchester based artist Anna Violet. A familiar presence in SCBWI and contributor to Words & Pictures, Anna's tactile and vibrant illustrations are rendered in a wide variety of materials including watercolour, ink and collage, all tied together with her own idiosyncratic style. See the Featured Illustrator Gallery for more examples of her work.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Using Story Apps for Inspiration

Hello, my name is Helen, and I'm a bit of an iPad app addict. And shhh, don't tell anyone but 95% of the apps I own are for children! I really enjoy sharing them with my son (6) and daughter (4). So much so that since 2012 I have been writing reviews on and off at my blog CAppTivated Kids. (I've just started blogging again, if you fancy a visit.)

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 9th September

I'm aware that the same names crop up fairly frequently on the Blog Break, so I'm going to try this week to highlight posts from bloggers who we haven't heard from in a while.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Mixed Motives

An inspiration piece by K. M. Lockwood

Agatha Christie -
writer of 91 novels,
 not to mention the playscripts.

This month's theme is Motivation and Challenge. I want to break it down into the two parts to begin with, and against all alphabetical protocol, I'll go with Motivation first.

Ask a Publisher, Amber Caraveo, Editorial Director, Orion Children's Books and Indigo

Recorded June 20th 2014
in London at Orion Children's Books

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Getting Out There

Welcome to the month of Motivation & Challenge - and you should be after reading Bekki Hill's post on Wednesday. Solid practical advice on how to get your arse in gear - did I just say arse? Yes I did.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Results - The Slushpile Challenge July 2014

A Diamond-Studded Success for Sarah Baker!

Huge congratulations are on the cards today for Sarah Baker on signing with Bryony Woods from the Diamond Khan & Woods Agency.

‘Angela’s Ghost’ is Sarah’s first book, a middle-grade time slip tale, which she describes as A Monster Calls meets The Secret Garden; the story of a troubled twelve-year old suffering from survivor’s guilt after the death of her family and how she gets through this with the help of a boy from 1898 France.

Criminally, Sarah says she hasn’t yet had much chance to share her wonderful news. She says, ‘referring to 'my agent' in conversation is still relatively new, shiny and thrilling. I haven’t had much of an opportunity because I'm at home busy editing and in all honesty, the cats aren't that interested.’ So we asked Sarah to share her journey to representation with us at Words&Pictures, the perfect way to celebrate your success, Sarah!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Children’s Magazines and the Working Illustrator

One page of an 11 spread story,
Doudou du Loup,
for Belles Histoires Oct 2012
© Bridget Strevens-Marzo
Illustration is not only for books! With broad experience of working internationally in a wide range of published media, Bridget Strevens-Marzo looks at opportunities to work for children's magazines in this country and overseas.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Goal Setting

Bekki Hill

10 Rules for Goal Setting 

The way we set goals can make a huge difference to how hard or easy our journey to achieving them is and even to whether we accomplish them or not. Using the following ten goal setting rules can help make your journey smoother and increase your chances of success. 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 2nd September

Hello! I'm here and I'm fine. Better than fine, actually, due to a whole lot of SCBWI love sent my way over the weekend. So that's enough about me, because it's time to focus on what you clever people have been doing this week...

Monday, 1 September 2014

Ask a Picture Book Editor

Our blog this month is all about

  • You’ve found your theme, you’ve sculpted your characters and honed your voice. 
  • You’ve put pen to paper and structured, and crafted your story into something that you want to share with an agent or a publisher! 


The next big step is getting it noticed.