Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Ten-Minute Time Machine

This week, the Ten-Minute Blog Break celebrates its second birthday. I wanted to do something a bit different to mark the occasion, so I hope you'll join me for a very special trip back in time...

Monday, 30 March 2015

Collaborating on a Picture Book: the Gingerbread Man Rap

What do you get if you mix up a traditional tale, the instruction to retell it in rhyme, and a group of SCBWI members at a workshop? Well, actually you get a pretty good piece of writing, but not without some serious head-scratching along the way.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Happy Birthday Words & Pictures

Two years ago, a shiny brown acorn dropped from a wise old oak and began, vibrantly, to grow. Words & Pictures.org was this healthy acorn, and the many years of its printed parent, the deeply rooted oak. 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

around the world with scbwi

Have you ever wondered what SCBWI members are up to across the world? Each month we will be globe-trotting to take a look. This is a perfect chance for us to keep in touch with our SCBWI neighbours. First stop: Miri & her team in ISRAEL

Friday, 27 March 2015

Featured Illustrator Catch-up

How time flies! As Words & Pictures celebrates it's second anniversary as a web magazine, here's a look back over the past year's Featured Illustrators.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

How to perfect your agent or publisher submission

Nicola Morgan

Nicola Morgan’s ‘Perfecting your Agent or Publisher Submission’ workshop was held in Edinburgh on 14th March 2015. 

Linda MacMillan attended the event and reports back for Words & Pictures. 

Network News: SCBWI Ireland Social Event in Galway - Ballet Dancing Alligator & Inspiration Ice Cream

We had a great first SCBWI Ireland meeting in Galway on March 22nd. It will undoubtedly lead to another in the summer, and we’re aiming for a field trip in the autumn!  

Illustrators Eva Byrne (Sligo) and Kieran Ryan (Galway) joined Helena Kilty and Declan Clarke, both writers from Galway. Liam Clarke (the young writer in the photo and co-author of Max Stone) joined us after his drama rehearsal. 

We were very lucky to have JenniferJue-Steuck (writer, whose new book, Inspiration Ice Cream, is out in July) join us from California at our inaugural meeting. Jennifer gave us a great sense of connection with the wider SCBWI network, a flavour of just how much an Irish chapter could do, and how much we can learn from our European and U.S. colleagues.

Left to right: Helena Kilty, Jue-Stuek, and Eva Byrne 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Love Your Local Library

Katrina Charman

Wokingham Library

As part of our Libraries month, I chatted with my fabulous local librarian, Elizabeth McDonald who is the Reader Development Officer for Young People and Families for Wokingham Borough Libraries and one of the Carnegie Kate Greenaway judges this year. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 24th March

Something I love about our marvellous SCBWI bloggers is the sheer breadth of topics they cover. Where else would you get to read about virtual Easter egg hunts, performing hamsters and book chapter biscuits all in the same column?

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Whose idea is it anyway?

One of the fundamental aspects of being a story-teller, is that we're all fishing for ideas from the same pond. At any given time, this pond will be filled with a thick sediment, the stuff of life - laid down and set to ferment over generations. A great pond of the human collective subconscious, if you like.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

A Joyous Cat with Five Tails by Alison Gardiner

Alison Gardiner entered our January Slush Pile Challenge set by Gemma Cooper (The Bent Agency).  

Alison was one of the winners of this challenge with a chapter from her book Alchemy and she tells us why she has five tails now and it is purrfect.

Friday, 20 March 2015

ProCATsination, by Jion Sheibani

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

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Exciting re-launch! LONDON Industry Insiders: Kids Book Quiz & Industry Schmooze.

The London Professional Series is 

re-launching as 


Network News: stop press - some great events coming up in the south west

South West Spring Inspiration: Upcoming Events

Coming soon to Exeter: workshops with two Carnegie Medal winning, highly acclaimed authors: Tim Bowler and Philip Reeve.

Network News: North-West – Workshop and Critique Session

Wooden panels, writers and Steve.

By Gill James 
We were very privileged to be able to use a room at the beautiful John Rylands library, Deansgate, Manchester. There is something quite appropriate about a group of writers working surrounded by wooden panels and old books. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Proofreading Tips: Ex Libris, Et Cetera

Catriona Tippin

J K Rowling’s use of Latin as a source for dozens of spell names, from Accio to Wingardium Leviosa, was imaginative and fun. The aim here is to remind you of a selection of Latin words and phrases in everyday use, all worth getting right. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 17th March

I had two ideas for blog posts last week, but wrote neither of them. Why? Well, there was a SCBWI social, a book launch, I wrote a short story and worked on another creative project plus my full-time job. So I'm very glad that there were others who found the time to put fingers to keyboard!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Not all shelves and shushing

An Inspiration post on Libraries

Libraries aren't just about books. They are almost the only public space we have left which don't like our wallets more than us.  – Matt Haig

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Fictitious mothers - how real are they?

Apropos of Mothers' Day, when I started thinking about the most memorable mothers in children's fiction, I soon realised I wasn't the only one interested in the subject. Do a search in Google, and you'll find many a list of the good, bad, and down right terrible. 

So which mothers can I recall? And how real are they, anyway? 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Moving in the Right Direction by Jo Thomas

Jo Thomas entered our January Slush Pile challenge set by Gemma Cooper. Jo was one of the two winners of this challenge with her submission of a chapter from Betsy Beeble Has No Beard and she explains why this win tells her she is moving in the right direction.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Pictures Mean Business: Historic Moment!

Brilliant author-illustrator, maker and shaker Sarah McIntyre deserves a big round of applause from Scoobie illustrators and all author-illustrators for alerting the Bookseller to the anomaly that illustrators were not listed alongside writers as co-authors of children’s books.  See below for what a hashtag #picturesmeansbusiness can achieve in a short time.
Sarah has kindly allowed
Words & Pictures to include an extract from her blog about this. But there is more to do.  Click here to find out what!
And let’s all keep watch and use #picturesmeansbusiness

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Itch That Must Be Scratched

Alex Craggs
The creative itch can only be scratched...

Sometimes life takes aim and craps on you...

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 10th March

Yikes! I had a lot of blog posts to read through this week. Should I blame World Book Day, or bloggers coming out of hibernation for Spring? Either way, there's much good stuff below the fold...

Monday, 9 March 2015

Ask a Picture Book Editor

How to Submit Your Picture Book Professionally!

Part 2 - Cover Letters

The Do’s and Don’ts 


Sunday, 8 March 2015

Hoarder of words

I took the plunge three days ago, and threw out a neatly stashed pile of unread sections from the Saturday Guardian. I'd squirrelled these away, because, I thought, they are full of possibilities. One day I will read them all and discover a world of inspiration.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

A collective illustration celebration!

Today we're celebrating exciting illustrator news from across the many and varied membership of SCBWI's fabulous illustrators & volunteers. Have a read of their recent successes, right here.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Featured Illustrator: Olivia Palmer

This month's Featured Illustrator is Olivia Palmer. A versatile artist based in South London, Olivia is the fifth winner of SCBWI's 2014 Undiscovered Voices anthology. Check the Featured Illustrator Gallery to see the full range of Olivia's work.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

International Publishing Opportunities with Marianne Vilcoq and Bridget Marzo

Image by Bridget Marzo
 Illustration Masterclass 21st March 2015. Have you ever thought of exploring wider markets for your artwork outside of the UK? Then this is the Illustration Masterclass for you. 

Network News: London - a London member tells us how his network helped him

Tim Collins is a member of the London network.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Debut Author Series: Eve Ainsworth

Nicky Schmidt

The Learning Curve - Insights from Debut Authors  

For many the road to publication is long and fraught. For others, a publishing deal comes relatively easily. Those who are still trudging the path may find it hard to imagine what it’s like to be a debut author, and authors with a few books to their name may only dimly recall the original experience. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 3rd March

So it's goodbye to grim, cold February and hello to slightly less grim, slightly less cold March. But Spring is coming, right? Read the Blog Break and let those creative buds bloom!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The world of libraries

If you want to learn about a place and its people, spend a day in the local library. Libraries are a microcosm, a watering hole for people from all walks of life. Believe me. They will all, at some point, cross the threshold.