Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Alphabet Soup Goes to Comic Con

Alphabet Soup logo by Paul Morton
Nick Cross writes:
I've just about recovered from my trip to the MCM Comic Con at the weekend, located at the Excel Centre in London's Docklands. No matter how many times you've been before, this cavalcade of comics and cosplay is always an overwhelming experience. Let me share with you the sights, sounds (and occasional smells) from a Mecca of fandom!

Monday, 30 May 2016

Save the date! Come to the SCBWI UK Conference this year!

The SCBWI British Isles Conference dates have been announced: 19-20 November in beautiful Winchester. Time to write it into your diary and make plans to come!

To whet your appetite for this not-to-be-missed opportunity to meet editors, literary agents, and your fellow SCBWI-ers/ites, and to learn, write, draw, pitch, talk, have fun, and... eat cake, we asked this year's conference coordinators and volunteers what their favourite part of the conference is. 

Saturday, 28 May 2016

An exciting month for Philip Davies

Philip S Davies had an exciting April 2016. The month started with a new Two Book Contract arriving from publishers Books to Treasure to release the sequels to Destiny's Rebel, namely Destiny's Revenge in September 2016, and then Destiny's Usurper in the autumn of 2017 to complete the trilogy. The manuscript for Revenge came back with the publisher having thoroughly enjoyed it and asking for no major re-writes (phew!). 

In the meantime, Destiny's Rebel was released as an e-book for Kindle on 15th April, and voted one of the four British Isles Finalists for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award. Philip also found time to speak in the Blackwell's Marquee at the Oxford Literary Festival on Saturday 9th April, and to appear on a half hour local television chat show on 13th April. 

If this sounds like the sort of writer's life that you would like, then Philip says: "Please keep going, because if I can get this far, then so can you!" 

The book buying link for the Kindle edition is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01D2FWADE

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Noodling out your story by M. Louise Kelly

 Earlier this month SCBWI Southeast Scotland was lucky enough to host Elizabeth Dulemba as she delivered an event for picture book writers and Illustrators. It was the first event Elizabeth had done for us and the first we’d run on picture books. It sold out WAY ahead of the date. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Opening Lines with Anne Clark


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

We are excited to welcome Anne Clark from Anne Clark Literary to Opening Lines this month. Anne has taken time out of her busy schedule to offer professional feedback on the opening lines submitted by our brave SCBWI members. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Darkness and delight

On this day in 1935, Susan Cooper was born in Buckinghamshire. If you have any interest in fantasy, you will know the name and the 'The Dark is Rising' Sequence. Even if you have yet to enjoy all five, you almost certainly will have encountered works influenced by her creations.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Masterclass Report: David Lucas

© David Lucas, from This is My Rock (Flying Eye, 2015)
On 7th May SCBWI welcomed David Lucas to the House of Illustration. It was the second session of the 2016 Masterclass series. This session focused on the art of story creation. 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Network News: south east Scotland

Lindsay McKrell
Member Lindsay McKrell, a previous winner in the New Writers Awards, has  been named on the longlist for the prestigious Times Children's Fiction Competition, run by Chicken House.

Well done, Lindsay! Lindsay reports that the competition was the spur she needed to finish up work on the project, called LILY WICKED. See the full longlist here.

Event Report: Publish or Perish by Kim Hutson

Kim Hutson looks at what could happen in the children's publishing world by 2020

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Proofreading Tips - Plots (and some dates)

Plots (and some dates)
Now and then a writer decides to embed a future date into their work. In 1949 George Orwell looked towards Nineteen Eighty-Four. The first Back to the Future film aimed for 21 October 2015, and in his 1985 novel, Galapagos, Kurt Vonnegut uses 9 May 2016 for a pivotal plot point. 

So to mark that date’s passing I’d like to share a video of curmudgeonly Kurt explaining the shape of stories…

Monday, 16 May 2016

Ask a Picture Book Editor

What makes a good picture book great?

Like all good picture books Dangerous!, by Tim Warnes, is deceptively simple. 

The story goes like this . . . 

Mole loves labelling things. Then one day, he finds a strange thing. A lumpy-bumpy thing. A lumpy-bumpy thing with snippy, snappy teeth! What will Mole label this strange thing? Why, it’s DANGEROUS of course . . . or is it?

Friday, 13 May 2016

BLOCK, by Sally Kindberg

This week we launch a new monthly comic strip series by a prolific illustrator, the amazing Sally Kindberg!


Sally Kindberg
Read Sally's Blog here

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Event Report: London Book Fair (2) by Kim Hutson

Last week we saw London Book Fair 2016 from the perspective of Janey Robinson. This week, Kim Hutson talks about the three events she enjoyed the most  at one of the biggest publishing events of the year. 

Network News: south east

Hello from the South East!

There’s loads going on in our area so we thought it would be great to share it with you.

Whether you are already a member of one of our groups or you’re new to SCBWI or you’ve been a member for a while but haven’t had the chance to meet other members yet, we’d love to hear from you.

We hope to meet you soon!

Jane and Anita

May 2016

Jane Haryott and Anita Loughrey
Joint South East Network Organisers


P.S. If you have any questions or suggestions, email us at southeast@britishscbwi.org
or come and say hello on Facebook at our SCBWI South East page.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Writers' Minds - Piers Torday

Ilustration: 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.


My 10 year old’s favourite series is written by this month’s author on the Writers’ Minds couch. He said, ‘Mum, you seriously need to interview Piers Torday. Hunt him down, Mum.’ 

Monday, 9 May 2016

The successful ones persist

Eighty percent of success is showing up. Woody Allen

The best way out is always through. Robert Frost

You go on. You set one foot in front of the other, and if a thin voice cries out, somewhere behind you, you pretend not to hear, and keep going.  –Geraldine Brooks

Friday, 6 May 2016

Featured Illustrator: Bee Willey

This month's Featured Illustrator is Suffolk based Bee Willey. Having grown up in France and travelled widely across the world, Bee's work includes several distinguished books with a distinctly international sensibility. See more of her finely textured illustrations  in the Featured Illustrator Gallery

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Event Report: London Book Fair 2016 by Janey Robinson

Janey Robinson reports from The London Book Fair 2016

What business does a writer have at the London Book Fair? None. A better question might be how relevant are writers at the London Book Fair? Very. This goes for illustrators too. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Debut Author Series: Sue Wallman

Cover Design:
Sean Williams

The Learning Curve - Insights from Debut Authors 

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. 

So what is it like? Does life change? Do dreams become reality and with a deal to your name does it all become plain sailing? And what is the process from slushpile to contract to published novel actually like? I asked debut author, Sue Wallman, about her journey to publication.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Competitions for children's and YA book writers, open now

Open contests for children's and YA book writers

Is your children's book manuscript ready to send off? Are you sure? Then here you go: a list of competitions and agents who are open to submissions RIGHT NOW.