Ten-Minute Blog Break - 21st October

Is there life after Amazon? Is your library the place to find love? Is Iggy Pop a fairy story? Is there any end to these rhetorical questions?

You'll have to read this week's Blog Break to find out...

If I was surprised that Iggy Pop was asked to deliver the BBC's John Peel lecture, then I was even more surprised to see someone applying Iggy's thoughts to the subject of children's illustration! But John Shelley's blog post does a great job of drawing provocative and intelligent parallels between the modern music industry and the UK children's illustration market. Anyone born after the 1980s may need help with that "Kajagoogoo" reference, though...

Sadly, the battle to save libraries looks likely to be one we're going to be fighting for a while. The latest flashpoint is Liverpool - where eleven libraries are soon to be closed - so Vanessa Harbour has written her own Love Letter to Liverpool Libraries to support the campaign.

Orion Childrens' Editorial Director and soon to be literary agent Amber Caravéo is no stranger to Words & Pictures. But this week, Space on the Bookshelf have grabbed her to talk specifically about developing series fiction, and how she works with authors to hone the finished product.

One of the reasons that authors like me shy away from self-publishing is all the research involved. Investigating book formats, layout, cost and distribution really eats into the time available for writing. But Larissa Villar Hauser is still boldly going through the self-publishing process and feeding back loads of useful info and stats along the way.

Storytime is a major new monthly children's magazine that has popped up on supermarket shelves recently. Like many others, I was wondering what it was all about, so I'm very grateful to Catherine Friess for her detailed review. I also checked Storytime's website, and although they aren't taking writing submissions at this time, they will look at illustrators' portfolios. More details here.


A SCBWI member since 2009, Nick Cross is an Undiscovered Voices winner who currently writes children's short fiction for Stew Magazine (September issue out now).

Nick's most recent blog post takes a look back at a year of Stew Magazine stories and teases out the common threads that bind them. What's the Story?


  1. thanks Nick. Can always rely on you to direct us to some interesting reading...

  2. Thanks for the link to the Storytime submissions info.


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