Die Hard meets Rainbow Magic for a Young Adult Audience

Ok, the title of this post has nothing to do with what's coming up, but did it get your attention?  Rebecca Frazer from Orchard Books was a little excited by it at the writers' retreat at Dunford House. If anyone's inspired, go ahead.
I had an emotionally charged, cake-filled weekend but did I manage to find some headspace? In the end, yes. It took a couple of days, but a one to one with Rebecca and the prospect of the Sunday night ‘pyjama party’, where we read something we’d written that weekend, forced me to face the fact that the WIP was too unwieldy. It was time to start again. I wrote 750 words before dinner on Sunday that have set me on a much better trajectory. The challenge now is to find the headspace to keep up my 750 word daily target and I’m falling behind already. Help.

This week who would have imagined Sara Grant’s long journey to published and prize winning author? She guest blogged for us on Monday. Even with a ‘fried brain’, Nick still found some treats for us in the Blog Break on Tuesday – I particularly loved Undiscovered Voices winner 2012, Rosie Best’s posts on the six places in London that shaped her novel Skulk - out in October. Celia Anderson and her very helpful year 5 and 6 children looked at story openings on Wednesday, following on from Alex English’s first line feature, last week. Check in next Sunday for a brand new W&P competition featuring, in this first pilot run, Celia’s year 5 and 6’s. Intrigued?  Sunday.

The Bluebell Wood at Dunford House.

On Thursday, when The Network News spotlight was on Central East, I was with other Southampton SCBWI’s making our own piece of Network News, which means there’ll be a double Network News post this Thursday. On Friday, Anne-Marie's 'what I did on my holidays’ report from the Highlights Advanced Illustrators’ course made me want to be an illustrator, particularly “Every attendee is assigned a rustic cabin to themselves” Sounds wonderful - I’d have no trouble finding headspace in one of those.

Check in next Sunday for a brand new competition...

 If you’re a SCBWI member, you may have seen an email from Natascha that we’re looking for a new celebrations editor. Our wonderful Kathy Evans is moving to a new role within SCBWI, which means she can no longer bring SCBWI joy to our Saturday Celebrations. If you’d like to be involved in Words & Pictures and specifically, you think you could follow in Kathy’s footsteps, I’d love to hear from you.

I think I like the tree trunks almost as much the bluebells.
May is Undiscovered Voices month but I might call next week, Dave Cousins’ week! Nicky has interviewed Dave with Jane McLoughlin and Bryony Pearce on how their Undiscovered Voices wins changed their lives and I’ve been talking to Dave about his UK and Europe Crystal Kite win for 15 Day’s Without a Head.

'blue flowers in a blue jug'
Next week, Elizabeth Dale helps us cope with rejection because, as I was reminded at the retreat, publishing is an industry of rejection. Sheila helps us get our heads around hashtags and we have some illuminating Ask a Publisher answers from Sara O’ Connor at Hot Key. Plus on Friday, it’s all change with a new featured illustrator, and a shiny new banner – check in for our new look to find out who it is.

Hope you like my bluebell pictures. I'm off to declutter my head.

Wishing you all productive weeks,

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.


  1. Mmm looks like a great week to come on W&P. Hope you find your headspace, Jan. You're doing a spectacular job inspiring the rest of us!

  2. Ditto everything Candy said, Jan - you're amazing!

  3. You've just described Rambo Magic! I've been trying to get someone from Orchard or Working Partners to publish it for aaaaaages ;-)


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