Happy Australia Day!

It's the morning after the night before enforced haggis eating, poetry and Scotland's national drink. Burns Night with a great dollop of poetry is a great way to manage the January blues, as is looking forward to all the other exciting events and reasons for celebration this year. Indeed, today is Australia Day - a very good reason to watch Strictly Ballroom, again.

SCBWI British Isles has some great events lined up for 2014 here.

This week it was great to have Social Sheila Averbuch's soothing voice back on Words & Pictures talking about Hootsuite. I always learn something new from Sheila. Philippa gave us a good reason to make the trip to Chichester for the Grimm Girls exhibition also on Monday. Nick's blog selection this week included some great posts, quickie and not so quickie - I was going to pick one here but I can't, so go and have a look! On Wednesday we welcomed Celia's new year 5 class to Words & Pictures - thank you to Libby, Aston, Bella, Savhanna, Jess, Cameron and Eleanor who shared their reading resolutions.

We love finding out what's been happening for SCBWI members in other parts of the world, especially in our own networks in the British Isles - it's really inspiring. If you have anything to share, please do let Gill know or respond to the survey with Thursday's post. It's easy to think that unless it's a big event it won't be interesting. It will. We all love to know what other people are doing - it's that lit-window-curtains-open-can't-help-looking phenomenon. So if you have everyone's permission, do let us know what's been happening when you've got together with other SCBWIs. A paragraph is perfect; pictures too, even perfecter. (Yes, 'perfecter' is as impossible as 110% but you get the point!)

On Friday, Philippa encouraged the artists among us to create a travel talisman for our progress through 2014 - I love the idea of taking time out to create something just for yourself, so really not only for the artists. An object, 2D or 3D, that symbolises and reminds us of our resolve for the year doesn't have to be technically perfect. You never know, it might just give us that touch of luck that we all need in this business.

And Saturday - isn't it great that a self-published book is now in schools as a result of being chosen by the National Literacy Trust. Catherine Cooper certainly shows us how it's done. Self Publishing by people like Catherine and of course, traditionally and self published, Nicola Morgan is the model we should follow if we're thinking of going it alone, (you're never alone with SCBWI). Congratulations Catherine!

Words & Pictures' mission statement is that we are representative inclusive and diverse, so I'm really pleased to point you in the direction of Inclusive Minds event on Friday February 21st at The South Bank Centre in London, part of the Imagine Children's festival. The programme for the day looks wonderful and it's free - definitely worth the train fare.

Next week our goodies include Catriona Tippin aka @proofreadingtip with some new words for the New Year - right up my street. Gemma Cooper and Molly Ker Hawn from The Bent Agency are here with some query surgery - fabulous! And it's time for a new featured illustrator!

Happy Australia Day!
A bit of a spoiler but it won't lessen your enjoyment of this brilliant film, just make you want to watch it all!

(It's exclamation mark city here.)
Have a great week!

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 editor@britishscbwi.org.

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