Take pride!

Being a writer or illustrator can be relentlessly hard. But with SCBWI you're in the right place. You get to hang out with those in the know, and forge ahead on your creative journey alongside like-minded folk, sharing the ups and downs, the joys and the despair.  Better still, Words & Pictures is here to offer a guiding hand...

Sometimes it can feel impossible to keep going, to remember why you're 'going' in the first place. But keep going you must, because this is your path, the one you have chosen - or perhaps it has chosen you, since every other didn't feel quite right.

view from Waterloo Bridge last night, on the evening of London Pride

Ironically, being a creative person is both freeing and terribly restrictive. You are equally fiercely determined and yet overly-sensitive. The whims of the world are out there to trip you up, but you will happily blast them all to hell to get to where you want to go.

You will often ask yourself: How can I believe in myself? But believe in yourself you must. You have every reason to, and we're here to make sure you don't forget it. There are infinite reasons to be proud of who you are.

To help you get there, we have at least three perfect opportunities for you in the pipeline:

The first, is the next Slushpile Challenge, now fast approaching. Watch this space for the announcement in the next week or so. This is your chance to put your work in front of a top industry insider!

The second, is the opening of the SCBWI-BI Undiscovered Voices Anthology - offering a unique opportunity to unpublished and un-agented UK and European SCBWI members. The submission period runs between 1st July and 16th August - details here. Many agents have been found, and many books published on the back of being placed in the anthology. So polish your work and take the plunge!

The third fab opportunity for you, is the 8th Annual SCBWI-BI Conference, from the 21st - 22nd November. This is a must for soaking up the buzz of the children's book publishing world. There's also a chance to come along for free, by entering the Margaret Carey Scholarship - to be announced soon.

Don't forget to check out last week's rich pickings on Words & Pictures:

Monday's Writing Feature guides us through the wiles and ways of movie writing, perfectly presented by Julie
Tuesday's Blog Break brings a diverse pick of must-reads, expertly hunted down by Nick
Wednesday's comprehensive and inspirational guide to the art of plotting - what script-writing can teach you - thanks Alexa Moses, and Lou for the scoop!
Thursday's Events News describes the successful rise of Miriam Halahmy's novel, Hidden
Friday's Illustration Feature - Paul Morton shares the joy of his visit to Seven Stories Children's Book Centre in Newcastle

Nancy Saunders is the Editor of W&P. You can find some of her short stories here, and on Twitter @nancyesa

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