Ten-Minute Blog Break - 23rd December

Is there anybody out there? I wouldn't blame you all for being frantically busy in the run-up to Christmas, but I hope you'll find a few minutes to join me for the last Blog Break of 2014.

Nicola Morgan has written a lovely post about Christmas spirit, and how it means different things to different people (and not always in a positive way). Nicola's own Christmas seems to involve a lot of food, booze and books, which sounds just fine to me!

While Nicola is full of Christmas spirit, Marie Basting has got the fear. Specifically, she's experiencing some significant self-doubt after meeting other writers in the flesh at the SCBWI conference, and realising that they're all really good! But Marie won't be kept down for long, and her post examines the cyclical nature of self-doubt.

For those seeking to polish their craft during those empty days between Christmas and New Year, a couple of our bloggers are here to help. Vanessa Harbour is looking at dialogue this week and considering its best uses within your story. And, following her post about evaluating picture book ideas a few weeks ago, Kate Peridot is now focusing on developing your chosen idea. In this week's post, she's looking at the typical structure and layout of a picture book, and how to map your idea onto it.

For last-minute gift ideas, you can't beat Space on the Bookshelf's A Book in Every Stocking series. Writers, editors and illustrators (including Sara Grant, Sarah McIntyre, Anita Loughrey, and, erm, me) suggest the children's books they'd like Santa to leave in their stocking this Christmas.

I'm convinced that Candy Gourlay wrote My Year in Books 2014 just to make me jealous. How else to explain how many more wonderful books she seems to have managed to read than me? Clearly, I need to set some reading targets for 2015!

Merry Christmas and see you in January,


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

Nick has delved into his archives for the third year running, and found some wonderful lost lunacy for your reading pleasure. Check out The Museum of Me - The Lost Years.


  1. Thanks for including my post in your Christmas round up, Nick. Merry Christmas to you and to all our Ten Minute Blog Breakers x

  2. I find your plan to be quite amazing. I appreciate you sharing this excellent post. You should give the game getting over it a try because it is pretty appealing.


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