Ten-Minute Blog Break & Conference Blog Challenge

Logo by Melany Pietersen
It's that time of year again, when you're trying to concentrate on the things you should be doing, but you can't help being distracted by an imminent once-a-year event. No, not Christmas, silly - the SCBWI British Isles Conference in Winchester! And to that end, I've got a little challenge for you...

During or immediately following the conference this coming weekend, I'd like as many of our SCBWI bloggers as possible to write a short post with the title:

How the SCBWI Conference Blew My Mind!

I ran a similar challenge back in 2013, and we had 7 bloggers who joined in. Which wasn't bad, but I think you can do better this year!

Once you've written your post, please email me a link at:
whoatemybrain-scbwicon@yahoo.com with the subject:
"Conference Blog Challenge" by 9pm Monday 23rd November or tag me on Facebook or Twitter.

I will include every SCBWI member who contacts me in next Tuesday's Blog Break post.

So, on with this week's Blog Break! First up is Katie Dale, whose books were spotted in the background of The Apprentice last week by an eagle-eyed SCBWI viewer. Katie's blog post for The Edge takes the TV programme as a jumping-off point, reflecting on the sales-driven nature of modern publishing and asking: "How can we help to promote good stories that don't get big-budget marketing?"

Clare Helen Welsh is certainly doing her best to get the word out about her debut picture book, given how many school events she's attended in the last month. To help the rest of us, she's written a blog post that distils what she's learnt so far about working with children aged 5-7 years.

There's more children's event insight from Bridget Strevens-Marzo, this time from an illustrator perspective. As her blog post demonstrates, Bridget's been here, there and everywhere over the last month, dispensing fun creative challenges wherever she goes.

After the SCBWI Conference, I suppose we'll have to think about Christmas. But something good that happens this time every year is the Blackwell's Christmas Giving Tree. Nicola Morgan has blogged about the tree at the Edinburgh branch, but I know that the Oxford and Cambridge branches will also have their own trees, waiting to be laden with books for disadvantaged children. Even if you can't make it to one of Blackwell's branches, you can donate a book online here.


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.


  1. Great stuff Nick! Can I add, I'm also looking for an illustrator to do a write-up summary of illustrator events at the Conference for our Friday page. Contact John at illustrators@britishscbwi.org if you're able to take this on.


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