Ten-Minute Blog Break - 21st May

It started as a bit of a slow week in the SCBWI blogosphere, with a lot of people clearly still recovering from the SCBWI retreat! Luckily some great posts have popped up in the last couple of days, so I do have plenty to discuss...

Talking of the retreat, I'm hoping we'll get a report on Words & Pictures about it in due course. But in the meantime, Julie Day blogs about the weekend and on being brave in reading out her work, and showing it to others. Actually, there were a lot of brave people at the Sunday night read-through, and the quality and diversity of the writing was phenomenal. I know my heart was hammering like mad as I tried to calmly read off my laptop screen!

Jo Wyton weighs in on the gay marriage debate with an impassioned post about sexual diversity in YA. She discusses the different approaches in the US and UK book market and highlights a book with the gloriously provocative title Two Boys Kissing. I couldn't even begin to work out how to structure a book about two characters kissing for 32 hours, but I'm really glad someone's tried.

Amanda Lillywhite's daughter was lucky enough to win a trial subscription to The Phoenix comic, and Amanda analyses the first copy to drop through her letterbox. I have to admit to being hopelessly biased here, as my family have been subscribers to The Phoenix from day one and we even keep all our back issues in a special binder (we especially like the very funny Star Cat).

Finally, in what seems to be turning into the "guest post slot", we have a couple of great contributions from Cathy MacPhail and Cliff McNish. Cathy blogged for the edge about handling dark and gritty subjects in teen books, and she's certainly not one to turn away from some incredibly harrowing plotlines. Cliff's piece on deepening characters is structured as an extended conversation between himself and Candy Gourlay, and contains oodles of good stuff. So go read it already!


Nick Cross is a children's writer, blogger and all-round digital guru. In 2010 he was a winner of Undiscovered Voices with his zombie comedy Back from the Dead.
Read Nick's latest blog post, a very serious look at some Common Writing Disorders. And we'll have no sniggering at the back, do you hear?


  1. Cowabunga (thanks for my word of the day Candy Gourlay) that's a good round-up. Took me a bit more than 10 minutes but I've enjoyed reading them all.
    Nick, you have all the issues of the Phoenix comic? I am deeply impressed by your commitment and the amount of shelf space you must have in your house :-)

    1. It's very geeky isn't it! But the binders are pretty space-efficient, actually. I'm not really bothered about collecting The Beano (which is our other regular comic) but The Phoenix is beautifully produced and feels a lot less disposable.

  2. Thanks for mentioning my blog. Now I know that it is read.


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