Reasons to join SCBWI (part 3)

This week The Bookseller announced a new competition to write a short think piece about what it really means to publish now that anyone can do it. We can all turn into published authors in as much time as it takes to find our IBAN number but the drift and blurring of roles is now working in other directions too.

The next in the SCWBI's London Professional Series: Poacher turned Gamekeeper, is dedicated to those publishing professionals who moonlight as writers. Non Pratt, Robin Stevens and Phil Earle will all talk about their double lives on Tuesday 5th November. If you want to find out more about the panellists Space on the Bookshelf has pre-interviewed all three and Robin has already blogged here.

You might think that publishing pros joining very marketable celebrities in writerdom is just a tad unreasonable. What's the poor pre-published writer without an equity card or a key to the executive washroom at Random House to do? We could feel a little aggrieved but this only goes to justify the existence of organisations like Book Bound, whose launch we celebrated yesterday. If a writer or an illustrator can afford to pay for specific professional guidance, this is a very efficient way to raise the quality of your work above the slush pile and the mass of self-published material.

Of course another way is come to the next, very affordable, SCBWI London Professional Series event, Poacher turned Gamekeeper. And yet two other excellent ways are to join SCBWI and read all the useful posts in Words & Pictures!

This week's useful posts included an Agent Confidential with Bryony Woods, and an illuminating list of easily confused words, false friends, from proofreader Catriona Tippin. Catriona will be with us again in the new year with a series of monthly proofreading posts - they will definitely be worth bookmarking.

Just for you, Layn
On Friday, Mike Brownlow started a very interesting discussion on Anthropomorphism in picture books.
I love these posts that inspire equally interesting comments and ace lines like "I'd hate to think I'll never see another chicken with a handbag." Thank you Layn Marlow!

And if you needed another reminder about the value and usefulness of SCBWI events read David's report on Tips from the Professionals also posted this week.

Next week, Gemma and Molly are back with Ask an Agent, there's inspiration from K.M. Lockwood and coming soon, we hope that a profile of a very special book-loving child, with autism and learning difficulties, will help us creators make reading even more pleasurable for children and young people with complex needs.

And did you see? The Blog Break is 30 weeks young! Congratulations, Nick, on bringing such an indispensable column to maturity. So of course that means Words & Pictures is mature too, hurray!

Happy 31st week everyone,
Jan Carr

P.S. Don't forget your entry for the Slush Pile Challenge. Closing date 31st October.

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

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