Another Top Week for Tips

It’s been a top week for tips, from K.M. Lockwood’s for Authors Working in Public and School Libraries (part 1) on Monday to Ten Top Tips and Techniques for Illustrators from Paul Morton on Friday, with Rosemary Bird-Hawkins' feature on writing workshops for kids the week before, we’re building a great resource.

All this talk of tips reminded me of my childhood Best Christmas Present Ever – a tin of Caran d’Ache 'fibralo' - felt tips. I loved everything about it – from the opening click of the tin, the rainbow inside, the smell and the feel of each pen, to the way they’d glide across the paper soaking it with colour. Lots of kids love to draw and colour and I was no exception. I'd spend hours copying Arthur Rackham’s fairy pictures or covering the page in psychadelic swirling paisley patterns, very seventies. I have one colour left from my tin. Sadly it’s not my favourite indigo blue, but the 41 year old felt tip does still work...

Another Top Tip

With the London Book Fair about to kick off, I was glad Network News this week was from London. The officially lovely Anita Loughrey has so much going on. My hope for Network News is that each region will be inspired by what the others are doing. The London goal setting brunch definitely looks like an idea that will travel.

Have you spotted our Twitter feed? We're using it as a cheeky way of importing Industry News onto the blog. I already have two noble volunteers who will 'Twitter hover' to keep the feed updated  but if you're a SCBWI British Isles member and you think that retweeting for Words & Pictures could fit into your daily schedule do get in touch or leave me a comment below.

I'm very excited that we could have our very own UK Query Sharks. Really, there is only one, and that is the esteemed Janet Reid. So what personae are The Bent Agency's Gemma Cooper and Molly Ker Hawn going to adopt? Suggestions so far are: Query Eagle, Query Vulture, Query Kitties and Query Goldfish (I have to own the last two.)  I’ll leave the decision about branding to Gemma and Molly but I hope lots of you will send them your questions, and query letters for honest but 'gentle' critique. 

Did you enjoy Rowena House’s cracking interview with Imogen Cooper? Imogen is such a good egg to be so generous with her knowledge and the academy deserves every success in their efforts to incubate shiny new writing talent. If you're unpublished, feel you're almost there,  and  haven't already, The Golden Egg Academy is well worth checking out. 

Our other big feature for the week was Sam Hawksmoor’s So You Want to Write for a Living. We worried that Sam’s honest take on the subject, might be depressing – we didn’t need to, W&P readers are a realistic bunch. I think our eyes wide-open attitude to our craft has some part to play in the SCBWI successes we celebrate every Saturday. Sam’s article is a zippy read from the heart, sobering yet highlighting the very positive advantages of keeping the day job, which aren't all financial.

Next week, as well as the usual, news, celebrations, and Nick's Ten Minute Blog Break, we have Library Tips (part 2), we welcome our first Author Guest Blogger, Bryony Pearce, and we’re having a laugh with Celia Anderson – what do kids think is funny?

Finally, on Friday, Gillian McClure will be celebrating the life and work of Jan Ormerod, sadly lost to us earlier this year. The Guardian said that Jan "brought a fresh vision to children's picturebooks with her luminous images, storytelling genius and understanding of how children behave." Words & Pictures is privileged to have a tribute feature from those that knew her.

Thank you so much for reading and I do hope there's something here that will bring you back next week!

Jan Carr

Jan Carr is the editor of Words & Pictures. Her fiction is older middle grade, she blogs occasionally and loves to write in magenta.

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