Ten-Minute Blog Break - 11th March

I have emerged, blinking, into the light this week and put fingers to keyboard for my own blog again. It's a good feeling and I'm glad that our SCBWI bloggers have been just as busy, because that means the Blog Break is once again full of tasty treats!

They say that there's many a slip twixt cup and lip, and nowhere does that apply more than publishing. Miriam Halahmy is guest blogging over at Bookwitch's site to talk about a very nasty slip indeed, when her publisher withdrew their fiction list with one book of her trilogy unpublished! Read the inspiring story of how Miriam was able to push through and give new life to her Hayling Island trilogy when all seemed lost.

Given my own absence from blogging, It's a good thing that Mark Jones blogs so often. In fact, the latest installment of his Amazing Writing Advice series is all about How to Write a Blog Regularly. The funny thing is, I've looked back at his blog archive and I'm not entirely sure he's telling the truth...

Teri Terry has just been on what sounds like an exhausting tour of the UK - ten schools in five days. But Teri has recovered enough to write a tour report on how she did and also to distill her experience into a very useful list of Ten Tips for Book Publicity Tours.

While I've been wondering on my blog about how to find the heart of my story, Sue Hyams has been attacking the same problem in a different way, musing on how her stories start. Sue doesn't begin with a "what if?" concept, but instead finds inspiration in a sense of place.

Finally, here's a short but thought-provoking piece by Heather Kilgour at Big Little Tales about accidentally defining your characters' behaviour by their gender. The Joanne Harris gender test that Heather links to is priceless, and you might also enjoy Heather's earlier post on the subject of assigning gender to animal characters in picture books.


Nick Cross is a children's writer, blogger and all-round techno-ninja. In 2010 he was a winner of Undiscovered Voices with his zombie comedy Back from the Dead and currently writes short fiction for Stew Magazine.

This week, Nick is searching for "the heart of the story" on his blog and wondering what happens if he can't find it!


  1. Great selection, Nick. Thanks.

  2. Mark Jones is a terrible fibber.

    1. But how do we know if you're lying about that??

    2. Spock and Kirk blew up a computer's brain with that conundrum - for those old and sad enough to remember.

  3. Thanks for the heads up Nick and well done to everyone else.

  4. Thank you Nick! I'm glad you liked it. I think I stole the Joanne Harris gender test off Candy; it’s definitely the best one I've found so far.


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