BLOG BREAK Performance, Productivity and Picture Books

Nick Cross presents his fortnightly selection of must-read blogs.

Welcome back to the Blog Break. You'll notice a small change this week in the form of a brand new logo, as illustrated by yours truly! I'd like to say that no biscuits were harmed in the making of this logo, but unfortunately my children ate them after I'd finished the drawing (which was still better than eating them before I'd finished).

OK, onto the blog posts. I really enjoyed Claire Fayers' report of the performance skills workshop she attended, which has lots of good advice for writers planning school events. Oh, and also a mystery element about why everyone was asked to bring a spare pair of socks...

"Gentle Productivity" is the guiding principle for Liz Flanagan, who's been inspired by Jenn Ashworth’s recent 100 Days of Writing project, to take on the challenge herself. The idea is that you simply turn up for your book every day - no word counts and no judgement, just your presence. Here's Liz to tell us more.

Clare Helen Welsh ran a "design a character" competition at Leigham Primary School, Plymouth and was so inundated by entries that she roped in some writer & illustrator friends to be the judges (including SCBWI-BI authors John Condon, Chitra Soundar and Lucy Rowland). Find out who won in Clare's blog post.

Fairy tales are a perennial subject for children's books, which might make you wonder why they haven't run out of steam by now! Sophie Anderson's post examines the reasons for their enduring popularity, and offers her seven top tips for writing your own fairy tales.

How do we help children cope with fear? Chitra Soundar, who has a new picture book on the subject, gives us some tips in her post for Picture Book Den.

Finally, it's a well-deserved victory lap for Rowena House, who launched her debut novel The Goose Road recently. After the endless blog tours and social media promotion, Rowena says she's run out of words, but she still manages to find enough for this celebratory blog post.


*Feature image: Blog Break logo by Nick Cross

Nick Cross is Words & Pictures' Blog Network Editor. An Undiscovered Voices winner, he both writes and illustrates for children, and was honours winner of the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for fiction.

Nick also blogs for Notes from the Slushpile. His most recent blog post charts his ongoing Adventures in Illustration.


  1. Great list as always, Nick. And so pleased you made it to the party.

  2. A good mix of blogs and love the picture. My two favourite biscuits!


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