Our Birthday Month

We are now in our birthday month!

As you all know, I'm sure, Words & Pictures, has been going a lot longer than wordsandpics.org. It was brought to birth in 1996 by the then British Isles Assistant Regional Adviser and now multi award-winning, including Carnegie shortlisted, author Elizabeth Wein.

wordsandpics.org, the brainchild of another multi award-winning author and all round fabulous SCBWI volunteer Candy Gourlay, was born in the early hours of Monday 25th March 2013.

The whole month will have a birthday celebratory theme and I'll be picking some of my highlights, in no particular order, from the past year here, on Sundays.

As I said, they're in no particular order, but how could I not begin with my favourite webcomic of all time, Amanda Lillywhite's Duck & Bear?
A Celebratory Duck

It was so wonderful to be able to launch the new blogzine with such a brilliant idea, a writer duck and an illustrator bear, both 'nearly there'. Amanda put such thought, time and talent, illustration and storytelling, into creating the emotional but determined Duck and the quietly plodding sympathetic Bear. I love them and would love to know what happens next. Maybe in Fault in our Stars style, I'll visit and get her to tell me!

Another highlight was  Rowena House's wonderful interview with David Almond last May.  Did I say David Almond? Yes I did, the man himself. Here are just two of David's revelatory ideas that spoke to me.

"So I guess my work is going more towards (exploring) the nature of the world. What language is. What it means to be creative and how we can become more than ourselves, more than what we appear to be by being creative, by being artistic."


"Often I might know what the ending of my story is, what’s got to happen, but that isn’t enough. It’s only when you write something that you really know it."


Thank you, David, Rowena and Amanda.

I very much like the idea of a birthday month. Though I personally have decided not to have any more, a month long celebration is a much better idea than a day as fleeting as the candles on the cake. W&P's birthday month is in fact extending into April - on the 12th, as many of the team and our regular contributors who can will be gathering for a team building knees-up in Southampton - the home of team building knees-ups.

As with everything involving a list of people where no-one must be forgotten I am beset by the fear that I have. That is, forgotten someone. So if that's the case please pipe up and email editor@britishscbwi.org and come! (If you can.)

Last week there was an educational theme in two great interviews:

  • Judy Waite's YA masterclass is next Saturday and there's still time to book
  • Julia Green, course director at Bath Spa


...and last Sunday I completely lied about there being news from Southampton so next week there is! (hopefully) with blogs, celebration, and we're excited that our RA, Natascha Biebow, with Ellie Farmer from Little Tiger Press, will be introducing a new series to W&P - Ask a Picture Book Editor.

I'm off make inroads into the next WIP...

Have a great week!

Jan Carr

Jan Carr is the editor of Words & Pictures. Her fiction is all over the place, she blogs occasionally and loves to write in magenta. You can contact her at editor@britishscbwi.org.


  1. woo! many happy returns! It has been a FABULOUS year.

  2. W&P has become my favourite spot to check out every day. One click and there's always something interesting. And you've kept it up for a whole year, Jan. Fantastic!
    PS So glad David Almond interview still going strong. He was great.

    1. Thank you, Rowena!
      Everything's been great but David Almond was definitely one of my highlights!


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