Hurray it's November!

It's that time of year again when last minute nose to the wall people like me have to make something up for the Friday Night Critique - one of my favourite bits of the SCBWI British Isles Conference.

Last year I made the mistake of writing something that read like I knew what was going on. Not a bit of it and I've spent the year trying to figure it out, helped considerably by a lovely SCBWI friend. This year I'm hoiking out something I started at the retreat in May, which has a much clearer trajectory, however I only have about a 1000 readable words so work must be down before I send out everyone's excerpts this evening, because yes, this year, at the last minute, I have a group! So exciting to be a conference volunteer.

It was great to read about former ARA, Benjamin Scott's success this week and how he attributes much of that to volunteering for SCBWI. If joining SCBWI is a fast-track to opportunity then volunteering for SCBWI even more so. Go Benjamin! And the sacrifices some of those volunteers make, Nick Cross this week, as he does every week has eschewed the usual November delights - Nanowrimo, growing a moustache and playing with fire, to choose the best from the SCBWI blogosphere.

 November Delights
Other volunteers have been busy too - with Sara's permission, Maureen Lynas reported on Sara Grant's recent visit to the North East and her verb exercise - well worth inflicting on your WIP. I  did finish mine but am letting it rest while I try to suppress the usual feelings of this story is mad. I'm greatly reassured that crafting a great book is 70% editing - Lesley Moss and Rowena House's interview with Lil Chase this week is excellent. As is the latest Ask a Publisher with Sara O'Connor - Sara has some great advice for people wanting to get into publishing and thoughts on the latest genre 'new adult'. If you haven't already, check out our new featured illustrator, Nicola Patten's portfolio and look out for poor Dave! I love that picture!

Next week, among other things, Celia Anderson is preparing for the conference, news is flying south from M Louise Kelly and Sheila Averbuch in Scotland and I'm really looking forward to reading some more from Amber Hsu about Tiny Pencil.

Ok, off to sort out that Friday night,
Have a good week everyone!

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. You can contact her at

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