Stories Really Are Everywhere!

Has it ever occurred to you how similar Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is to The Hunger Games?  Two stories each set in a bizarre and brutal gaming arena that follow a group of young people as they're gradually picked off, observed by detached and largely callous adults?

Back in June we celebrated Charlie's 50th birthday (perhaps in 2058 W&P will be doing the same for Katniss). The Guardian, much slower on the uptake, celebrated yesterday with the publication of a missing chapter.

It's reassuring to be reminded that even for the legends, stories do not always spill onto the page fully formed. The trick, I suppose, is making them appear is if they did.

Mo O'Hara's cave-dwelling Hercule Poirot was fabulous this week and Miriam Halahmy's post featured by Nick in the Blog Break was so inspirational. Stories really are everywhere, even in Hayes!

Another inspirational Blog Breaker was Julie Day.  If you're a Tuesday reader,  you might have missed Julie's comment to say that she was paid for her visit to Bexley Library. For a self published author this is a brilliant affirmation. Anyone eschewing the whole getting past the gatekeeper rigmarole (or just keeping their options open) and is equally inspired by Julie's example, should consider upskilling at Jane Clarke's London Masterclass on Saturday 13th September. Check out Alison's pre masterclass interview with Jane and read through to the great recommendations in the comments. This class, obviously will also be very useful to the traditionally published - debuts or experienced authors looking for new ideas.

A last minute switcheroo in the illustrators' camp meant that we can still look forward to Bridget's overview of the French and US magazine market, posting next Friday. So, in the last few days of our 'story' month, we had the first ProCATsination from the wonderful Jion Sheibani! So exciting to have a new comic in W&P!

Congratulations again to Swapna and Clare for their success in the Greenhouse Funny Prize - first and second prize to SCBWI members, how wonderful is that! Congratulations too, to two lovely friends of SCBWI, Amber Caraveo and Joanna Moult, who broke the news of their new agency this week - Skylark Literary. 'Skylark' launches officially in November; Amber and Joanna will be at the conference and perhaps, before long, some SCBWI members may find themselves on board.

Next week, with Bridget, there's Ask a Picture Book Editor with Natascha and Ellie and to launch our Month of Motivation the Marvellous Bekki Hill!

I'm off to root around for a copy of yesterday's Guardian (probably a collectable) and to make sure all my early drafts are easily discoverable in two thousand and something or other (just in case).

Hope it's a fun 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

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