Monday, 31 August 2015

The Buzz–Interview with NA author Marnie Riches

Image Credit: Whizzy Barr
The Buzz – An interview with Marnie Riches, author of award-winning NA fiction The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die and The Girl Who Broke the Rules. By Larisa Villar Hauser. (For an explanation of the origins of NA, see last week's Buzz!)

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Hungry for words

When the literacy campaign Read On Get On was launched this time last year, it reported that the UK was headed towards a literacy crisis where 1.5 million 11 year olds would be unable to read properly by 2025. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

It's raining picture books and poetry!

Today we celebrate as SCBWI member, Rebecca Colby's, third picture book MOTOR GOOSE is to be published by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan US. 

Friday, 28 August 2015

Featured Illustrator: Julia Woolf

This month's Featured artist is London based Julia Woolf. Major studio film animator, illustrator and picture book creator, Julia has a richly experienced career spanning both sides of the Atlantic. See more of Julia's work in the Featured Illustrator Gallery.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The SCBWI British Isles 8th Annual Conference

Jonny Duddle, Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve to deliver keynotes at the SCBWI British Isles’ Annual Conference. Plus an exciting new ‘Industry Keynote' by David Fickling. 

The British Isles Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators announces speakers for its 8th Annual Conference. 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Opening Lines with Shelley Instone Literary Agency


What grabs the reader's attention? What immediately draws you in and makes you want to read on? 

Launching our fantastic new series, Shelley Instone Literary Agency offers feedback on the opening lines submitted by our brave SCBWIs. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 25th August

Logo by Melany Pietersen
The author photograph is a surprisingly contentious thing. I can remember being advised (ten years ago!) to get a set of official photos ASAP, so I wouldn't look too old in them - I feel that ship has now sailed. Yet, I've also experienced great confusion when meeting authors who looked nothing like their youthful photos.

Monday, 24 August 2015

The Buzz– Everyone's talking about... New Adult literature

The term New Adult literature was first used by St Martin’s Press in 2009 when they requested submissions for books aimed at the ‘older YA’ market. In one of those publishing-world alchemical phenomena that nobody understands or can explain, the term stuck, and six years on, the idea of NA fiction is growing … or is it?

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Shouting Loud or Talking Differently

It seems as if we're living these days with a kind of Philip Pullmanesque daemon fixed by our sides. Except this isn't a svelte animal reflection of our inner characteristics, more a ubiquitous digital umbilical cord. I mean, how many of us now walk out of the door without a device of some kind keeping our minds oxygenated by the world?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Dogs, Doodles, Dinner Ladies and a Dream Come True!

Today we are celebrating the success of South West SCBWI member, Claire Barker! Claire is an author currently living in North Devon, enjoying the fruits of her hard labour as the second book in her series for middle grade children is published with Usborne.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Measuring Up to Magazines

The growth of independent publishing has also seen increased entrepreneurship in magazines for children. Reinforcing retail sales with strong subscription support has enabled new publishers to produce individualistic magazines that avoid ties to advertising or mass market. Storytime is one such new publication for children, and SCBWI member Alex Wilson was one of the first illustrators approached to work on it. Storytime was also his first magazine commission. Here are his experiences.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Proofreading Tips - Onomatopoeia

Tee hee. Ha ha. 

It’s August, time for something silly. 

What’s not to like about words which sound like or suggest their meaning? 

From a teaching point of view it’s unfortunate that, of all figures of speech, the one most easily understood by children has such a challenging name and spelling. Contrived from the Greek onomat (name) and poiein (making), it can be further complicated with a typographical ligature for o and e. So, font permitting, there’s onomatopœia (boom tish). 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 18th August

Logo by Melany Pietersen
Tick tock, tick tock - the Ten-Minute Blog Break waits for no-one, least of all me! So at the end of a very busy Monday at work, I find myself scrabbling to get these last few words on the page. I really hope I don't run out of time to finish this sente...

Monday, 17 August 2015

Keeping on trend

Ray Davies - a dedicated follower of fashion

The phrase 'keeping on trend' makes me immediately think of clothes. My mind's eye zooms in on a fashion victim - a slave to the vagaries of the latest craze.To be 'trendy' has always had a pejorative tone to me - but in the context of publishing, I may be unfair. 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Closing Today! UV 2016

Closing today! This is a unique opportunity for SCBWI BI members. Go on - you could be in the anthology Undiscovered Voices 2016.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Report - Picture Book Retreat

This year's SCBWI Picture Book Retreat was once again an inspiring and packed weekend for illustrators and writers in the relaxed setting of Holland House in Worcestershire. Paul Morton was there for the first time. Here's his report.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Skylark Literary Agency Tour - Q&A


For SCBWI members living outside of London, it can sometimes feel like opportunities to meet industry professionals are few and far between. So when agents Amber Caravéo and Joanna Moult, of Skylark literary agency, suggested they’d like to get out of the City and into our SCBWI Networks we rolled out the red carpet.

Amber talks here, to Marie Basting, about her tour of the networks and offers some great advice on how to get an agent excited and make your submission stand out. 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Writers' Minds - Tim Bowler

Image Credit: Whizzy Barr

Ever wondered what makes a writer tick? What cogs of creativity whirr to bring stories to life? We take a peek into the minds behind the craft and probe for creative rituals, routines and inspiration hunting. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 11th August

Logo by Melany Pietersen
We're right in the middle of holiday season, and there's always a danger at this time of the year that everyone is too busy enjoying themselves to write blog posts! But this is also a good time to dig a bit deeper for buried treasure or to catch up with posts that I've previously overlooked.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Ask a Picture Book Editor

Tooting Your Horn – The importance of self-promotion

This blog post is split into two parts and comes with tips and advice from Jessie Sullivan, Marketing and Publicity Officer at Little Tiger Press. 

This month we’re going to talk about how to build your profile online. 

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Small Big Celebrations: David Fennell

David Fennell signs with an agent!

In 2014 I attended the SCBWI retreat and wrote the first chapter of my YA spy adventure, Sleeper. I completed it almost one year later with six drafts under my belt.

I pitched it last month to David H Headley of the DHH Literary Agency. He was interested and asked me to meet with him and another agent colleague to discuss it further. The day after he asked to represent me. I have now signed with him as my agent. It was so unexpected, but I am delighted.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Mudpie Mo, by Anna Violet


Anna Violet is a freelance author-illustrator based in Manchester.  Check her portfolio website here, and her blog here.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

SCBWI Panel Event - How to Survive Being Published

The slings and arrows of publication 

by M Louise Kelly 

Ever dreamed of being published? Of course you have. That's why you're here, right? It'll be a dream, all your troubles over, plain sailing…. erm, I think it's time for a reality check. Our SCBWI panel at the Edinburgh International Book Festival event, 'How to Survive Being Published,' are just the folk to help guide you through the process and show that while it's not a dream, it doesn't have to be a nightmare, either. 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Debut Author Series: Tatum Flynn


The Learning Curve - Insights from Debut Authors

by Nicky Schmidt

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, 4 August 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 4th August

Logo by Melany Pietersen
It was genuinely once in a blue moon this week (last Friday to be exact), and that seems like a good opportunity to do something a bit different. So this week's Blog Break is primarily devoted to début bloggers, with a brace of SCBWI British Isles members who haven't featured in this column before.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Social Media for SCBWI: Twitter Chat: How to Use Hootsuite & Tweetdeck

What is a Twitter chat? It's when lots of people "talk" live via Twitter, finding each other with a hashtag, at a specific hour– for example, #UKMGchat, #UKYAchat, #kidlitchat, #yalitchat, and so on. Twitter chats are different from normal hashtags, which simply let you connect with other people who use them, but who are not necessarily online when you are. Some useful hashtags for writers are: #FF for Follow Friday, where people suggest other Twitter accounts to follow; #mswl, where agents say what their manuscript wish lists include; #amwriting, which allows you to meet other writers online, #wip (also lots of illustrators), #askagent, #poets, #writers, etc. A longer list is here.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

What not to say

My eye has been caught recently by the twitter hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter 
triggered by Joanne Harris. 
Here follows a selection of the ones that I thought resonated most ...