The ticking clock

…is such a good device and Christmas has one too - Advent!

Welcome to the December countdown, designed to build excitement rather than tension and dread. Visit W&P every day until the day itself to watch our Advent Gallery burgeon. Advent is the time of expectation that I enjoy as much as Christmas - especially 1st December when the 25th still seems far enough away to not worry that I haven't bought as much as a pair of festive socks for Mr Carr.

Volunteers, Paul Morton, John Shelley Anne-Marie Perks and Bridget Strevens Marzo are the wonderful Illustrators who are bringing you the advent images on our Illustrator Showcase site every day.

Paul, John, Anne-Marie, Bridget
Paul has liaised with all the contributing illustrators - please use the link on each post to see their other work - and devised the calendar supported by John, Anne-Marie and Bridget- thank you so much - an excellent team! While you're over on the showcase do look at the SCBWI Showcase Gallery - launched last week at the conference - as in previous years, it's wonderful!

Can you comment on on our advent images with a tweetable micro story?

December isn't all about illustration - writers we want you to join in too. Can you comment on on our advent images with a tweetable micro story? @Words8Pictures and @SCBW!-BI will tweet those that fit into 140 characters with your twitter handle and #W8PAdvent. Here's Heather's December 1st for you to go straight there and tell us a story!

Gradually we're covering the conference - if you were there, you can relive. If you were weren't, we hope it gives you a taste of what you missed and inspires you for next year.  Thank you so much for your lovely support in giving me the OCA, I'm still enjoying my chocolatey feelings!

Natascha Biebow
an incredible contribution
Malorie Blackmnan, and Catherine Rayner were glorious! I've tried to do justice to Malorie's keynote and we can look forward to Catherine's from Jion Shelbani, next week.

We also hope to bring you a celebration of Natascha's 15 years as Regional Advisor! For me, the commitment to 15 years voluntary service is truly outstanding.

Thank you so much for all our conference reporters, so far…
David - Conference Tweet Compilation #scbwicon
Nick - Conference Blog Break - I love the SCBWI conference because…
Katrina - The State of the Nation Panel
Gill - The Network Breakfast.
Bridget - The New SCBWI British Isles Showcase
Julie - The Mass Book Launch - Do look at the new Hurrah slideshow (eyes right>>>) for lots of book launch joy. If you're a mass book launcher who escaped the camera please do send me a picture of you with your book - the more unusual the setting the better!

The Mass Book Launch was tragically missing Richard Masson with his debut Boonie (Hot Key Books). Richard died on 19th November,  just days before the conference. We raised a glass to Richard at the beginning of the launch and send our love to his family at this sad time.

Next week with our growing Advent Calendar we'll have more conference reports and on Friday a new Featured Illustrator with a stunning new Christmas banner - it's perfect! In the meantime enjoy Nicola's wonderfully chilly, yet dapper, polar bear!

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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