Ten-Minute Blog Break - 14th March

Logo by Melany Pietersen
Nick Cross writes:
Happy Mother Tongue Day! That's if you're in Estonia, of course. If you're somewhere else, I'm afraid it's just plain old March 14th.

Still, never mind, because I have lots of great blog posts for you. (but none in Estonian. Sorry)

Juliet Clare Bell has been running a very special school project where she teaches children how to use mindfulness to improve their life and writing. But how can she help herself to be more mindful when she's writing at home? The answer will surprise you.

Candy Gourlay published a couple of terrific linked blog posts on diversity, prompted by her role at the teachers' conference Reflecting Realities: British Values in Children’s Literature. The first post (which was originally shared on Facebook before being added to Candy's blog) prompted lots of discussion about cultural identity and social privilege. The second post on Notes from the Slushpile is more reflective, examining how Candy found her own voice both inside and outside the books she grew up reading.

Illustrator Sam Zuppardi has blogged about his new website, which I like very much. By dividing his work into separate pages of black-and-white and colour illustrations, Sam has created a really striking layout that shows off his work to its best advantage.

On Story Snug, Catherine Friess reviews SCBWI-BI author/illustrator Kate Pankhurst's fab book Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World. How can you go wrong with a title like that?

Mark Gorton has been, shall we say, "enthusiastic" about the release of his debut self-published children's novel. This enthusiasm translated into a raft of blog posts about the publication process, and a blizzard of status updates on the SCBWI-BI Facebook page that drew the ire of several members including me! Duly admonished, Mark has throttled back on his posting schedule while continuing to update his blog. The self-publishing series on Mark's site is well worth a read if you want to know about the ins and outs of publishing via Amazon, and he's very open about all the gory financial details!

How many times do you read the same book? Once, twice, many times? Lorraine Cooke has pennned a blog post on the joys of rereading your favourite children's stories.


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 - his most recent post finds him Living in the Past.


  1. Thanks for including me, Nick. I loved Clare Bell's post and need that mindfulness RIGHT NOW. Lorraine, so fortuitous, I'm re-reading Once by Sarah Crossan this minute. It's like a mental and emotional massage. Now I'm off to check out Sam, Catherine and Mark's websites. Always a joy to read this column.

  2. Throttled back? Such was my misery at being told off I have decided to become an amalgam of J. D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon and seek nothing but invisibility. In fact it's not even me typing this.


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