Ten-Minute Blog Break - 22nd April

Hello Scoobies, I hope Easter brought you lots of chocolate/non-fattening alternatives. My thanks go to Nicky Schmidt for holding the fort last week, though my being away was (of course) all part of a secret plan to feature on the Blog Break myself!

The ever-prolific Sarah McIntyre has a very practical post about picture book layouts this week, using the roughs from her own There's a Shark in the Bath to illustrate the process. And if that's whetted your appetite, you can find a whole lot more advice in our Words and Pictures Picture Book Basics series.

By coincidence, Sarah's Verne and Lettuce is one of the graphic novel recommendations for those unfamiliar with the form, which Katriona Chapman lists at Big Little Tales. Those new to comics may also find the free booklet Raising a Reader helpful, as it explains all about how to navigate those tricky panels and word balloons.

Katie Dale is investigating the Patron of Reading scheme over at The Edge. After finding out all the positive things that Patrons do for their assigned schools, Katie quite fancies becoming one herself (as do I now I've read the article!)

Something that I definitely won't be eligible for is the WoMentoring Project, which asks professional literary women to help up-and-coming female writers. But K.M. Lockwood has volunteered, as she tells us on her blog.

Finally, the piece of writing that resonated most strongly with me this week was Robert Muchamore's article for the Guardian. His description of a horrifying descent into depression, insomnia and psychosis mirrored my own (slightly milder) experience from a few years back. Staying awake for four days might sound rock and roll, but trust me, it's no fun at all!


A SCBWI member since 2009, Nick Cross is a former Undiscovered Voices winner who currently writes children's short fiction for Stew Magazine.

Nick's most recent blog post was about creative ambition - should you always Reach for the Sky?

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