Last Week on W&P

How was your Children's Book Week? No longer having school age children, I did not spend last Sunday night scrabbling around for costumes - which was nice. But Children's Book week did lead me to have a good look around Booktrust - from books in food banks to the Letterbox Club and the Best Book Awards - it's brilliant. Do consider donating.

So heartened this week by Janet Foxley's brilliant older debut post, (by they way Janet, hope it was a lovely birthday!). If I ever do, and I must face the fact I might not, I will certainly debut 'older' and reading about Janet's experience and Dick King Smith et al has given me renewed hope.

Sarah Odedina was brilliant on Ask a Publisher. Listen again here. We're asking all our publishers more or less the same thing and for some questions they're all answering more or less the same thing. 'Voice, voice, voice' is the typical answer to "What do you look for in a submission?" but when we ask "What's the one thing you wish every author would do?" So far, after ten recordings, every answer has been different. Sarah's wish is that every author would read their book aloud. Listen again here, to compare with Venetia (Macmillan) and Liz (OUP).

This was the first year I had to miss The Winchester Writers' Festival,  so I was very grateful to Charlotte Comley for her gathering of top festival tips . I so wish I hadn't missed The House of Illustration, Illustrators' Fair - thank you Heather Chapman for your 'newbie' experience and inspired by Nick's Blog Break I'm determined not to miss, as soon as I have the opportunity, a visit to Keswick Pencil Museum. I'm not quite a 'pencil nerd' like Layn Marlow, although they are my preferred writing instrument, and I do love the 2012 film Sightseers which a features the museum. Sightseers is a very black, very funny, definitely not child-friendly comedy - google it!

The next Slushpile Challenge is UP - thank you Chitra! It's a fabulous opportunity for Picture Book Writers from Lauren Pearson at Curtis Brown! We love to celebrate success and even better when it's something extraordinary as it was yesterday for Helen Watts whose book One Day in Oradour has won an 'Extraordinary' award in the Southern Schools Book Award.

Next week with blog breaking and celebration, we can look forward to:
  • Ask a Picture Book Editor with RA Natascha Biebow and Ellie Farmer
  • Nick Cook's first school visit
  • News from Southampton (that's me, yay)
  • 'Ways into Publishing' for Illustrators
This is one of those weeks when I'm really stuck for a title - you can tell can't you?

 Hope it's a happy 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


  1. I forgot to mention Sightseers! I was disappointed that no-one got murdered with the giant pencil, though...

    1. I've got a giant pencil… and a camper van and I like knitting ( a bit) and other half has a ginger ish beard!
      ( to understand this reply readers you need to see the film!)

    2. I'm going to be really careful about dropping litter in Southampton now ;-)


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