Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 28th February

Logo by Melany Pietersen
Nick Cross writes:
What goes on within the mind of a writer? If we could travel inside, Fantastic Voyage style, would we see thousands of neurons firing in orderly sequence or just a load of Numskulls running around, randomly throwing letters into wheelie bins? Our first blogger offers us the next best thing - a journey into her notepad...

Monday, 27 February 2017

Debut Diaries–One Year On: Kathryn Evans

Afternoon Tea with Tizzie

Welcome to Debut Diaries–One Year On, where SCBWI-UK members share their highs (hopefully lots of these) and lows (hopefully less of these) of the post-publication year. 

This month, Tizzie welcomes Kathryn Evans, author of the Carnegie-nominated More Of Me, to join her for Afternoon Tea.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

FROM YOUR EDITOR Carnegie Snubs BAME Authors

Last week, the Carnegie Medal longlist was announced and not a single black, Asian or minority ethnic author made the cut. Words & Pictures Co-editor, Ellie Brough, discusses the response to this snub.  

Saturday, 25 February 2017

2016 SCBWI Spark Award for Denise Deegan

We’re very excited that writer Denise Deegan, a member of the SCBWI Ireland chapter, has won the 2016 SCBWI Spark Award for her young adult historical novel of love and war, Through the Barricades. The picture book winners are writer Kara Levin and illustrator Vlada Soshkina for Soldier.

“These are both excellent examples of self-publishing, which we hope will help raise the bar on this aspect of our field.” - Lin Oliver, Co-Founder of the SCBWI

Along with the Spark book seal, each winner has opportunities to promote the book through the SCBWI and to attend a conference tuition-free! SCBWI Irelands Regional Advisor, Colleen Jones interviewed Denise for Words & Pictures.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Meet the Illustration Committee!

SCBWI is full of heroes who sacrifice their time and energy to keep things running. Some volunteers can appear quite anonymous, working busily behind the scenes, and the Illustration Committee is no exception. So we asked all 10 members to get their pens out, sketch a self-portrait and explain a little of what we do, and why we do it. 

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Special Events Feature: 'We Need to Talk About Cultural Appropriation' Event Report

“We Need to Talk About Cultural Appropriation” said the invite, the event sold out in 24 hours and people certainly lined up for the chance to do that. Nick Cross attended the highly anticipated discussion and reports back:

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

How to Grow a Trilogy: Fran Price interviews Claire Fayers

From unpublished to three-book deal, Claire Fayers' authorial story so far is the stuff of dreams. She won Undiscovered Voices, was picked up by an agent and a three-book deal swiftly followed. Her first book, The Accidental Pirates published last July, was Waterstones' Book of the Month and has been shortlisted for the FCBG Children’s Book Award alongside Michael Morpurgo and Mark Lowery. Fran Price caught up with Claire at her allotment in Cardiff.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Network News: London Thank you Karen Taylor

The new year brought more change to the networks with organiser Karen Taylor stepping down from her shared role as London coordinator. Working alongside Tania Tay, Karen has delivered a variety of events and socials in the capital, one of the highlights being this year’s 2Oth birthday party, where members enjoyed charades and games, a poetry competition, and even got to showcase their work on a cupcake. Always friendly, enthusiastic and responsive, Karen has been an absolute pleasure to work with and she’ll be missed by all in the networks team. I’m sure there are many of you who would like to join me in thanking Karen and wishing her the very best of luck in the future. While we’re sad to say goodbye, she assures me that she won’t forget her SCBWI friends and we’ll still see her around at SCBWI events. Hooraah! You can read more about Karen and her role in the networks below.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Ask a Picture Book Editor

How to Write Picture Books That Make a Point (and Pack a Punch)

The news is full of stories about political upheaval and uncertainty. We find ourselves bombarded by tales of aggression between counties and we witness images of mass migration as people travel in search of a better life. It can be hard to find ways to broach and breakdown such tough subjects with children. It’s also increasingly important to help children understand the changing world around them.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Who do YOU think deserves £450,000 for services to children's literature?

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is the world’s largest children’s literature award – and YOU have a chance to influence who wins it. Words & Pictures Co-editor Claire Watts explains how. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

CELEBRATIONS Justin Davies Hooks an Agent

Those people who attended the 2016 SCBWI conference will be familiar with 'The Hook,' a nerve wracking competition! Writers stand up in front of a panel of agents and a audience of hundreds of people and pitch their book. Justin didn't just win the competition, he managed to hook an agent as well.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Illustrating a Museum Exhibition

Curator’s Office
Seeing our work in galleries is one thing, but how about designing an entire museum display? Anna Violet has been working with Bolton Museum on the presentation of a new exhibition for families. Here she tells us about the fascinating new display.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Special Events Feature: Q&A With Children' s Literary Agent, Joanna Moult

Joanna Moult, co-founder of Skylark Literary Limited, talks to Events Editor A.M. Dassu about her role as a children's literary agent, her wish list and what she looks for in a submission.

Most SCBWI members in the UK have heard of Skylark Literary Limited. It is a boutique agency with a small list of carefully selected clients. But did you know that Skylark currently have only thirteen clients and are actively looking for new talent?

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Proofreading Tips: What's in a Name? Part Two

Header courtesy of

Age Appropriate Names?

The SCBWI Conference Fringe chat on character names included a look at character age and popular names for various birth years.  If you want your characters’ names to reflect their ages it might be worth doing your homework. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 14th February

Logo by Melany Pietersen
Nick Cross writes:
Happy Valentine's Day! I hope it has brought you many boxes of chocolates and black-and-red cards that look a bit like Twilight book covers (but hopefully not any actual Twilight books, because they're rubbish). Anyway, it's time to put all that pesky romance to one side for ten minutes, and enjoy another Blog Break...

Monday, 13 February 2017

Source for the Goose

By K. M. Lockwood @lockwoodwriter
The title of this month's Inspiration Piece is not misspelled. In a change from the usual, this article focuses on creators and their sources of inspiration. Where you get your ideas from can be contentious . . .

Sunday, 12 February 2017

How to get the most out of London Book Fair as a writer or illustrator

The main hall at London Book Fair
This year SCBWI members are entitled to a special discount to attend London Book Fair. If you're 'umming' and 'ahhing' about whether a visit to LBF is worthwhile, then umm no more. Words & Pictures Co-editor, Ellie Brough shares her top tips for getting the most out of the fair as an author or illustrator. Get your burning questions answered and then check your inbox for your special SCBWI discount. 

Saturday, 11 February 2017


Tim Collins
Two Exciting New YA Titles for Reluctant Readers 
 I'm pleased to announce the publication of two new exciting YA reads for reluctant readers. Tim Collins' exciting titles Paradise and Delete are sure to excite.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Featured Illustrator: Esther Garcia Peces

This month's Featured Illustrator is Esther Garcia Peces. Originally from Spain, Esther has lived and studied in the US, and now here she is in the UK, with her illustration debut as a winning contributor to the 2016 Undiscovered Voices anthology. See more of her work in her Featured Illustrator Gallery

Thursday, 9 February 2017

School Visits Skills Share with Benjamin Scott and Helen Moss - Report

Helen Moss, Shelley Miller and Benjamin Scott.
On 28th January 2017, about twenty SCBWI members joined Helen Moss and Benjamin Scott at Cambridge Central Library for an insightful skills share session. Kate Wiseman attended and reports back on the day.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Writers' Minds: Frank Cottrell Boyce

Writers' Minds
Image Whizzy Barr
Frank Cottrell Boyce is an award winning writer, his novel, Millions, won the Carnegie Medal and was made into a film directed by Danny Boyle whom he collaborated with for the London Olympics opening ceremony in 2012. He’s gone on to write a series of successful children’s books, including The Unforgotten Coat which won The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and is also a successful screenwriter with the films 24 Hour Party People and Hilary and Jackie to his name.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Ellen Phethean - ‘Creating Believable Characters’ Workshop Report and Interview

Getting ready to create believable characters 
On a cold January day at York Library, Ellen Phethean gave an insightful 'Creating Believable Characters' workshop to a keen set of North East Scoobies (along with a few guests from North West region). Dawn Amesbury reports back on the event and shares her inspiring and in depth interview with the poet, novelist and playwright.   

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Kate Poels West - Winner of October 2016 Slush Pile Challenge

Image result for Picture of kate poels west
Kate Poels West

Kate Poels entered our October 2016 Slush Pile Challenge set by Hellie Ogden from Janklow and Nesbit UK.

Kate won this challenge by demonstrating she was able to produce a first chapter and synopsis of a story that left Hellie crying out to read more.  Hellie was open to any ideas and genres but was looking for something fresh with a crazy original voice and plenty of heart. 

Kate tells us why she entered the competition and all about her experience of discussing her submission with Hellie.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Romantic Medievalism In Fairytales

Alice and the Duchess (Tenniel)
SCBWI member and researcher Chloe Yelland takes a look at some of the influences that affected nineteenth century children's illustrators

Thursday, 2 February 2017

'We Need to talk about Cultural Appropriation' Event Reading List

Events Editor, A M Dassu shares a list of articles ahead of the highly anticipated SCBWI Pulse event, We Need to talk about Cultural Appropriation.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Justin's Debut-Dance Ball: Patrice Lawrence

Illustration by Louisa Glancy
Welcome to Justin’s Debut-Dance Ball! A virtual party to celebrate SCBWI-BI members’ debut publications. This month, Justin welcomes Patrice Lawrence, author of the Costa short-listed Orangeboy to his ball, and invites her to take a turn on the dance floor, whilst he asks the questions only a newly-published writer can answer!