Ten-Minute Blog Break - 11th August

Logo by Melany Pietersen
We're right in the middle of holiday season, and there's always a danger at this time of the year that everyone is too busy enjoying themselves to write blog posts! But this is also a good time to dig a bit deeper for buried treasure or to catch up with posts that I've previously overlooked.

Louise Cliffe-Minns' family sketchbook project definitely falls into the latter category. I have to admit that I felt rather overwhelmed by Louise's resolution (inspired by Chris Riddell) to draw with her family every night for a month and to blog the results. But now that the experiment has reached a successful conclusion, the beauty of the blog format is that we can browse through the results at our leisure (although a quirk of the Blogger format means you'll have to start reading at the bottom of the list).

The SCBWI Picture Book Retreat seemed as inspiring as ever, and I remain jealous of the fact I couldn't attend because I don't write picture books! But don't take my word for it - Loretta Schauer has written a short blog post about it for Big Little Tales, and linked to three further posts by Julie Fulton, Sue Eves and Lynne Chapman to provide other perspectives on the weekend.

Catherine Friess is hosting an interview with Scoobie author Rebecca Colby on her Story Snug blog. Rebecca talks all about the genesis of her latest picture book It’s Raining Bats & Frogs, as well as the illustration and publishing process.

Suspense is a tricky thing to maintain in a story, so it's helpful that David Thorpe is blogging all about it at Awfully Big Blog Adventure. David has some interesting ideas about using flashback to play with the narrative structure and propel the reader through the story.

Finally, it seems like not a week goes by without the tireless bloggers at Space on the Bookshelf serving up a brace of posts. This month, however, they're pulling out all the stops to present a summer of themed interviews and features, celebrating classic children's books. Sally Poyton explains the idea behind it, and then the first interviewee is Queen of the Zombie Goldfish Mo O'Hara (with many more to come).


Nick Cross is an Undiscovered Voices winner and has recently received the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award, for his short story The Last Typewriter.

Click here to read Nick's latest blog post for Notes from the Slushpile. His children's short story Hacking History can be found in issue 8 of Stew Magazine.

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