Ten-Minute Blog Break - 2nd July

As you know, we try to be as diverse and inclusive as we can on Words & Pictures (and in SCBWI more generally), so I'm pleased to kick off the Blog Break with a couple of great posts dealing with diversity issues.

Candy Gourlay reports back from the Asian Festival of Children's Content in Singapore, highlighting the issue of the disproportionate amount of Western children's literature in Asian markets. The problem, it seems, is partially caused by a lack of confidence amongst Asian authors, one that Candy sums up as follows: "How could I become an author, I used to ask myself, I have never seen myself in the characters and narratives that I have discovered between the pages of a book." Luckily for all of us, Candy gave herself "the permission to write" and the result was Tall Story and the forthcoming Shine.

At the edge, Bryony Pearce has her own take on the thorny issue of racial diversity in fiction. Her new novel The Weight of Souls has an Asian heroine, a choice that Bryony had not considered in the least controversial. Suddenly, people are excited to read the book because of the Asian characters, and Bryony is a little terrified about whether she's done them justice!

Let's move from racial diversity to publishing diversity, because there are several of our bloggers exploring alternatives to traditional publishing at the moment. Lorraine Gregory blogged a two-part summary of a recent Children's Book Circle event on self-publishing here and here. Taking things even further, Larissa Villar Hauser has decided to jump into the world of self-publishing with both feet and document her entire process through a new blog.

Finally, it's time take a closer look at the Fickling family. David Fickling should be very familiar to SCBWI members, having brought his exceptionally loud voice and exceptionally red bow tie to many SCBWI events. But what about his wife Caro and his children Tom, Will and Rosie? Well, they all work together to bring The Phoenix comic to life, and the Guardian conducted a unique interview with them over the weekend, rendered entirely in comic form.


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, in which he explores Creative Frustration. Is frustration always negative, or can it help push us to new creative heights?


  1. Thanks again for a great blog overview - and a mention! Wow Briony's piece is fascinating!

  2. Another collection of gems, Nick.
    Nowadays, I just wait for you to tell me what to read. You have that power!


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