Ten-Minute Blog Break - 31st January

Logo by Melany Pietersen
Nick Cross writes:
In the wake of another fortnight of turbulent international events, it seems a little self-indulgent to talk about such "small" subjects as writing and illustrating for children. But these things are vitally important - both for our own sanity as creative people and to help the next generation make better choices than those currently in power!

Sheila Averbuch - an American living in Scotland - neatly wraps both creativity and politics into her impassioned post: How Scotland could save civilization. Take that Trump!

In his day job working for an airline, Justin Davies travels to the USA frequently, and has gained his own unique perspective on the country. But his latest blog post sidesteps the politics to focus on a far more welcoming subject - the wonderful second-hand bookshops of Boston.

To complete a hat-trick of SCBWI South East Scotland bloggers, Sarah Broadley has drawn a thing! And it actually looks like another thing! OK, I admit it sounds like I'm talking nonsense, but Sarah's post about the SCBWI SE Scotland scrawlcrawl explains everything.

Blogging for An Awfully Big Blog Adventure, Rowena House is talking about endurance, in a post that resonated strongly with me. People are always saying that you should write for "the love of writing" but what happens when you need the creative equivalent of marriage counselling? Rowena has some suggestions.

Last Saturday was the start of the Chinese Year of the Rooster, and Space on the Bookshelf are celebrating the occasion with a fun post all about their favourite kidlit chickens!

I found myself nodding in agreement when reading Jennifer Moore's blog post about her problems with posh stationery, and how it can actually inhibit your creativity. She's Putting the ‘No’ into ‘Notebook’.

Last week, my wife became hysterical with laughter at the idea that my job title might change to Cloud Architect*, so it seems especially appropriate that Addy Farmer is blogging about the weather and how descriptions of it can enhance your writing. Addy's posts are always stuffed with literary examples - the ones here range from Shakespeare to The Moomins!


*It's a cloud computing thing, honest. I'm unlikely to be going up in a hot air balloon with a hairdryer any time soon.

Nick Cross is Words & Pictures' Blog Network Editor. He is an Undiscovered Voices winner and 2015 honours recipient of the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for fiction.

Nick also blogs for Notes from the Slushpile.


  1. Seriously? You're going to called a Cloud Architect? Nick Cook will be jealous! Those Scottish SCBWIs have been so busy. Lots of inspiration here. Thanks for reading everything for us!

    1. At the moment, I'm still called a "Solutions Architect", which is more likely to conjure up images of crazy chemistry experiments.

  2. Thanks for rounding them up here; already taken a look at Rowena's while having my coffee. Now back to work!

  3. So glad you're back, Nick. These posts are an inspiration! Thank you to you and all the bloggers you've rounded up for us this week.


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