Saturday, 31 October 2015

Success for Suzie Wilde

By Charlotte Comley

If you haven't heard of UNBOUND, you would be wise to check it out! Submitting to them certainly helped Suzie Wilde.
Suzie writes;

After the success of The Wake (Bookseller book of the year 2014) published by UNBOUND, I decided to submit to them. I loved the innovative mix of traditional publishing and crowd funding. I don't have the energy or skill to do the whole self-publishing thing, especially as my artistic side wants a beautiful edition as well as a professionally edited debut novel. I'm lucky enough to have not only been accepted, but am being editied by Liz Garner, daughter of my hero Alan Garner.

I was fully-funded in just two months, a record for a first-time author with Unbound, and The Book of Bera will be published in 2016. It's YA/Crossover Viking thriller, with a fantasy element. I began researching and writing it in 2010 and have written several children's books before submitting this one. I wanted my debut to be the best I can do.

Friday, 30 October 2015

The Art of the Johnstone Twins

Dean’s Gift Book of Fairy Tales
The illustration of Anne and Janet Grahame Johnstone was as familiar to the generations of children that grew up in the 1950s, ‘60s ‘70s and ‘80s as the work of Mabel Lucy Atwell had been to the generations that preceded them. Peter Richardson, illustrator and editor of quarterly magazine Illustrators, describes their career.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Script Writing for Children's Television workshop - Event Report

Kate Scott

Fancy spending your Saturday watching CBeebies, writing jokes and eating cake? 

Alex English and some other lucky SCBWIs did just that on a fantastic workshop with children’s author and script writer Kate Scott

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Opening Lines with Joanna Moult from Skylark


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

Joanna Moult from Skylark Literary kindly joins us to offer feedback on the opening lines submitted by our brave SCBWIs ahead of the panel event ‘Hooking in New Readers’ at the Winchester Conference. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 27th October

Logo by Melany Pietersen
The life of a writer is not all fun and frolics - I have been staring at my manuscript literally all weekend and fear that I may have lost the ability to string together a coherent sentence. So please excuse me if I start typing

Monday, 26 October 2015

Manga making... for writers

You may be wondering why this post is not on Friday, for illustrators. Well, it's because this post is about writing... but with pictures. As it turns out, even a writer who 'can't draw' can learn a lot about storytelling from doing it with pictures. And I should know! I can't-draw with the best of them–

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Take the plunge!

The conference is almost upon us. If you're still undecided whether you want to or should book and come along, then read on.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Featured Illustrator: Jane Porter

Our Featured Illustrator this month is London based creator Jane Porter. After beginning in editorial, Jane later followed her passion for drawing and began pursuing a career in illustration. Already with several successes in publishing, her first picture book as both writer and illustrator is released through Walker Books in 2016. See more of her work in the Featured Illustrator Gallery.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Industry Insiders MG & YA event, at the Savoy Tup on Wed 23rd Sept

Non Pratt, Jenny Rees & Mandy Rabin

I could write this event report with one word: 


Not enough detail? 

Clare Furniss, award winning author of The Year of the Rat, spoke of her journey to publication, including meeting her agent at a SCBWI agents’ party. She began writing her novel about four years prior to submitting it, saying, ‘It doesn't happen quickly, even when you're an overnight success.’ 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Proofreading Tips - Metaphorically Speaking

Here’s a look at some similes, metaphors and idioms. 

When proofreading your work in progress you may find you are fonder of your metaphors than your reading public is going to be. Be guided by your crit partner, crit group, editor and/or anyone whose opinion you value (no family members, of course). If your imagery trips up the reader it needs smoothing out. Psychological research has revealed we’re hardwired to appreciate metaphor, though. So keep them well-placed and ringing true, while remembering to avoid cliche and to use sparingly. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 20th October

Logo by Melany Pietersen
It's only a month until the SCBWI-BI Conference in Winchester - how did that happen! Every year it seems to be a long way away and then suddenly looms on the horizon. So, if you haven't booked yet, there isn't long to do so - click here for more details.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Out of the mouths...

In this month's inspiration piece, K. M. Lockwood looks at the things children say.
How can we use these to good effect - and what do we need to consider?
As usual, there are a few ideas for you to try out at the end.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Deadlines are good for you

This isn't about procrastination. This is about why deadlines are essential. Like things that are good for you. You may not like them; but you need them.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Open Sketchbooks (part 2)

Sketchbook of Frida Kahlo
In a further selection of illustrator sketchbooks for this month, SCBWI members have been working on everything from leopards to lions and everything in-between!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Who are you pitching to? The Hook @ Conference '15

Are you gearing up for your spot on The Hook at this year’s conference? Or just looking to get the lowdown on this year's excellent line up of agents? 

So, what makes a good hook?

Let us help you with your homework. 

Here are the splendiferous agents who will be on the panel for The Hook with their wise words and the lowdown on what they’re looking for… 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Writers' Minds - Sally Nicholls

Illustration - 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, 13 October 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 13th October

Logo by Melany Pietersen
I seem to have written a lot this week, so I'll keep the introduction as short as...

Monday, 12 October 2015

Ask a Picture Book Editor

Bookfairs: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

Saturday, 10 October 2015

2015 Winners of the Margaret Carey Scholarship

We are thrilled to announce the two winners of the Margaret Carey Scholarship. Awarded in memory of children's writer, illustrator and SCBWI volunteer Margaret Carey, the award is judged on a combination of writing merit and need. 

Friday, 9 October 2015

Open Sketchbooks (part 1)

Many thanks to all our illustrator members who generously responded to this month's call-out for sketchbook pages. Here's the first instalment of selected images - more to come shortly! 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Creating Exceptional Picture Books with Jude Evans – Event Report

Jude Evans in Action
Photo by Cathy Bee

Well, that was possibly the best £27 I’ve spent in my writing career. 

A whole afternoon of picture book writing wisdom made wonderfully accessible by the lovely Jude Evans from Little Tiger Press. Plus a pub lunch. What more could a picture book writer ask for? 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Debut Author Series: Mike Revell


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, 6 October 2015

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 6th October

Logo by Melany Pietersen
I was briefly tempted this week to seek out a bunch of posts on the very subjects that I advised you not to blog about yesterday. However, that would have been petulant, and in any case our SCBWI bloggers seem to be busy following my advice and posting about much more interesting stuff!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Social Media for SCBWI: How Not to Blog

Everyone, it seems, tells writers they need a blog, or at least a website. You have probably already decided whether you want to or not. If you decide against it, that's that!

There is a lot of advice out there telling you what to write if you do start a blog. But what about things that you might not think of? Are there traps bloggers fall into, or common mistakes to avoid?

The writer of Words and Pictures' own popular Blog BreakNick Cross, reads hundreds of blog posts a year. He agreed to give us a list of a few things you probably shouldn't do. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Congratulations to Philip S Davis

I am delighted to share Philip's good news. Philip's book Destiny's Rebel is the result of his hard work and refusal to give up. Here he describes his journey to publication, and offers hope to those still trying for the elusive deal. (Charlotte Comley)

Friday, 2 October 2015

Picture Book R and D's

'A Very Top Secret Mission'
(Templar, 2015)
It's easy for illustrators to underestimate how much research and development picture books may require, ideas can evolve through several stages before reaching the final published version. This week, Sue Eastland explains how her debut picture book A Very Top Secret Mission grew from concept to completion. 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Network News: North West - meeting Skylark a personal view

We’re having some superb meetings now in our North West network group – thanks to the hard work of Catherine Whitmore and Marion Brown our great coordinators.
Last Saturday 25 September was no exception when we met Amber Caravéo and Joanna Moult, of Skylark literary agency.

SCBWI BI Conference: One-to-Ones - Portfolio Reviews for Illustrators

Calling all you illustrators out there! 

As you’re busily booking your place at this year’s awesome conference, please take a few moments to read through these notes if you are considering having a portfolio review