I hope you like shameless self-promotion, because this blog post is one huge puff piece about the new SCBWI British Isles Words & Pictures site, and how it couldn't possibly exist without my invaluable expertise and input.
Actually, I hope this post won't be like that at all, and you have my permission to give me a slap if I get too big for my boots. With a staff of 50 volunteers involved with Words & Pictures, I'm a pretty small cog in the overall scheme of things. I do hope, though, that my role of Blog Network Editor is a significant one because I get to highlight and sing the praises of other SCBWI members, in a similar way to Kathy Evans, our Celebrations Editor.
So what does the Blog Network Editor actually do? Well, it's my responsibility to maintain a list of SCBWI BI member blogs and bring those blogs to the attention of Words & Pictures readers. For the launch of the site, we decided to start small, so I've invited a cross-section of 20 bloggers to participate in the SCBWI Blog Network. The guiding principles of Words & Pictures are to be representative, inclusive and diverse, so the blogs cover a range of disciplines within writing and illustration, and their creators come from a range of social backgrounds. I found my own preconceptions being challenged during the process – where else but in children's writing could white males be considered a minority group?!?
My other job is to actually read those blog posts and pick my favourites for inclusion in a weekly feature on the Words & Pictures site called Ten-Minute Blog Break. The idea behind this is to offer readers a guide to the essential blogs they should read if they only have a ten-minute tea break. Or coffee break if you prefer – like I said, we're very inclusive in Wordsandpicturesland ;-)
Don't worry if you're a SCBWI blogger who's not included in the first wave – that doesn't mean anything about the quality of you or your blogging, just that I didn't have enough space to include you. As the site finds its feet, I'll be slowly expanding the list to include everyone. I'll also be including notable links from around the web in my round-up posts, so that could include your blog if you've written a really good post.
I feel the new Words & Pictures is a really significant step in the evolution of SCBWI British Isles. As a site open to everyone (not just SCBWI members) it's a fantastic marketing tool and shop window, demonstrating the benefits of SCBWI membership and promoting our members' wonderful books. And it's also a place for members to hang out and discuss the topics of the day, enter competitions, learn about better writing and contribute to the growing well of knowledge that is SCBWI British Isles. Much of the praise for this should go to head honcho and Editor Jan Carr, who has taken on a ridiculously complex job and very much made it her own, motivating a large group to deliver a really good looking site full of fabulous content, a site that will continue to grow as time goes on.
Words & Pictures launches this Monday 25th March, when you'll be able to find the site at www.wordsandpics.org. My first Ten-Minute Blog Break post will be live on Tuesday 26th March and every Tuesday thereafter. And have no fear, this blog will continue every Friday.