Ten-Minute Blog Break - 15th September

Logo by Melany Pietersen
I don't know about you, but I do my best thinking away from my desk. With a demanding full-time job, I have very little time (and energy) in my day to write, but that does also mean that I have long gaps in which I can come up with great ideas! But are we allowing our children the same space in which to be creative?

Freedom to Think is a great new campaign that emphasises the importance of free time and daydreaming for today's overstimulated kids. Dawn Finch writes a thought-provoking post for Awfully Big Blog Adventure, introducing the campaign and exploring the positive effects of letting her own daughter off the leash.

Dawn pops up again, as the chair of a panel at the New Visions Children's Book Conference, which Candy Gourlay attended. Candy has written a terrific summary of the conference, and a second post covering Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon's keynote speech.

Sarah Broadley wasn't joking last month when she said the Edinburgh International Book Festival would be her "home from home." Her round-up post takes in over 15 events and runs the gamut from Tom Gates to Jesse Jackson via Doctor Who!

Back in 2013, I included a link to Space on the Bookshelf's 3D review of Anthony McGowan's novel for struggling readers Brock. Now the site is taking on the follow-up Pike, posing some interesting questions about the challenge of sequels to Anthony himself and Barrington Stoke Managing Director Mairi Kidd. There's also a review of the book.

Finally, I wanted to leave you with a wonderfully honest quote about creativity and inspiration, taken from a recent career-spanning interview with legendary film director Ridley Scott. Ridley talks about seeing Star Wars for the first time in 1977:

"By the time the movie was finished, it was so stunning that it made me miserable. That’s the highest compliment I can give it; I was miserable for week."

So what did Ridley do at this point? Did he give up films and go back to being a commercials director? No way, Jose - he rose to the challenge and made the classic Alien.


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 The Drowners can be found in issue 9 of Stew Magazine.


  1. Great Ridley Scott quote, Nick!

    1. It's nice to be reminded that even those people we think of as great and unimpeachable "artists" suffer from the same insecurities and negative emotions that we all get from time to time.

  2. This post is very informative for grammar loving people. I literally know apostrophes with names ending in s which is quite helpful and interesting for the several projects.


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