In this Christmas message, Words and Pictures co-editors, Claire and Ellie offer some tips on how to have a creative Christmas break and say thank you to the people who made Words & Pictures brilliant this year.

Merry Christmas everyone! This has been a big year for Words & Pictures and as your co-editors we’d like to start of our Christmas message with a huge thank you to the whole Words & Pictures team and all of our readers for making our job a truly rewarding one.

Everyone deserves a little break over Christmas, so we will be signing off from today and returning in the New Year with plenty of new and exciting content. To tide you over until 2018, this issue offers you an insightful interview with Chris Riddell discussing the Mr Underbed vs Moz the Monster controversy, a spin on the debut dance floor with newbie author Coo Clayton and a sneaky peek at a few agents’ Christmas lists to see what stories they’re hoping to find in their stockings on Christmas morning. And from us, a few tips on how to relax over the Christmas break but still keep your writing/illustrating mind sharp….

1.     Read

Christmas is for reading. Or is it family? Giving back? Presents? No, it’s the best chance to sit down with a good book and escape reality for a while. Or go one better and give someone a book this Christmas. There really is nothing better than gifting a whole world to someone at this time of year.

2.     Find inspiration

Writers and illustrators must be avid observers, and Christmas really is the best time for people-watching. Whether it brings out the best in the people around you or the worst, take a step back and watch everyone interact. Who knows, you might find a villain in eccentric Uncle Tony to match up against your new middle grade hero, or a quick sketch of Granny Dot asleep in the armchair with a glass of sherry might inspire a new picture book story. Don’t let you creative cogs rest completely over the Christmas break!

3.     Put pen to paper

We all need a break this Christmas season but that doesn’t mean we can’t find the joy in our craft. Take a break from your manuscript or put aside your latest storyboard and have some fun with something new. Let’s face it, we’re all going to be getting stationery and art supplies in our stockings, Christen them with some fun festive sketches or with a Christmas short story. You’ll keep your mind sharp and you’ll return to your work in progress with fresh eyes and maybe a new perspective.

However you spend your Christmas break, we hope it is full of joy. Thank you again for providing some fun and inspiration in a very strange 2017, here’s to brighter things in 2018. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

From Claire and Ellie x

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