Ten-Minute Blog Break - 28th October

Attribution is an interesting subject in publishing. The writer is often credited as the sole creative force, but what about all the editors and designers behind the scenes? And what if the book is illustrated as well?

Attribution certainly became a big issue for Sarah McIntyre, when her book Oliver and the Seawigs was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, but only her co-creator Philip Reeve was listed for the award. You don’t need me to tell you that Sarah did not take that lying down, as her crusade to change the submission rules proves!

I know I featured the fight against Liverpool City Council’s plan to close eleven of its libraries last week, but:
A) You can never make enough fuss about library closures
B) I was much taken by Paula Rawsthorne’s letter to Mayor Joe Anderson, which argues the case for public libraries both from the heart and the head.

To live your creative life fully is to accept a constant process of evolution. To that end, I’m very much enjoying watching Maureen Lynas (who I once saw as primarily a writer) spreading her artistic wings. Her Klimt-inspired Red Riding Hood is a lovely image.

Marie Basting is getting in touch with her inner small person this week, in a bid to perfect her voice and point of view. Prepare to tie a towel around your neck as a makeshift superhero cape when you dive into her blog post.

Finally, a couple of SCBWI bloggers are focusing on the importance of reading to improve your writing. K.M. Lockwood provides her own take on the Kathleen Hale story about stalking book reviewers (which appeared in the Guardian recently). As a writer and a reviewer, K.M. gives a very positive perspective on the perks of being a reader. Elsewhere, I found myself nodding in agreement with Vanessa Harbour, as she complains about some writers of children’s fiction, who somehow think it’s appropriate to claim that they don’t read other children’s books. Not big and definitely not clever!


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 - much food for thought. It seems inconceivable that someone aiming to write for children would spurn reading children's books! You certainly can't learn how to play a musical instrument, and play well enough for others to want to listen, without first having a deep love of the music itself...

  2. Thanks for including me Nick. i'm very much a work in progress artistically but absolutely loving the exploration of technique and materials. And thinking of the image is leading to more story ideas.


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