SCBWI Members Scoop up Awards, Deals and Debuts!

Mo O’Hara celebrates the debut of her first book while Nicola Robinson, Ruth Eastham and Rosemary Hayes are delighting in award nominations and Liz De Jager and Rebecca Colby sign their first deals! Is there enough champagne in the whole of Britain for so much celebratory joy?!

Mo O'Hara and her big brother once brought their pet goldfish back from the brink of death. Happily this did not inspire her to become an Evil Scientist. Instead, actor, writer and storyteller Mo wrote My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish and Macmillan published it on February 28th!

Mo O'Hara
Mo grew up in Pennsylvania, USA, but now lives in south-east London. An active SCBWI member for about five years, Mo’s been a previous Masterclass Series organisor and has served on the conference committee. Hoorah for Mo and the hilarious Frankie! 

 From zombie fish to Monster Machines.  Nicola Robinson’s picture book The Monster Machine has been shortlisted for the 'Read it Again!' Cambridgeshire Children's Picture Book Awards. Nicola is thrilled to be included as the award is for a debut picture book where writer and illustrator are the same person. 

 Nicola is a freelance illustrator based in Nottingham, working mostly in the world of children's books, her work includes cover art for YA, popup books, colour and black and white illustrations for interior spreads and more. Monsters, animals, dragons and other creatures with teeth and claws are favourite subjects. Working in both traditional pen and ink and watercolour, Nicola also uses digital techniques to create her illustrations. Don’t forget to check out our Illustrators page.
 Photo: Tim Simpson Photography

Rosemary Hayes
 Meanwhile there’s more award news for former Carnegie nominee Ruth Eastham and Rosemary Hayes. Rosemary’s book Loose Connections has been shortlisted for the 2013 James Reckitt Hull Children's Book Award while Ruth’s second book, The Messenger Bird has been nominated for the Redbridge Libraries Book Award 2013. Ruth is already on an astounding number of shortlists including the Warwickshire Book Award, the Essex Schools Book Award, the Sefton Super Reads Book Award and the East Sussex Book Award 2013. 
The Messenger Bird was also chosen by Booktrust UK as a title for the nationwide secondary schools’ BookBuzz programme. What a fantastic achievement both of you! 

Liz de Jager
From debuts and awards to deals. Liz De Jager has signed an amazing THREE book deal with Tor Books. Liz grew up in South Africa but moved to the UK in 2000. Liz signed with agent Juliet Mushens in August 2012 and after two sets of rigorous edits, they went to the market in mid-January. The end result was an auction leading to an incredible three book deal with Tor UK, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. 

 Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency sold Rebecca Colby’s first picture book, IT'S RAINING BATS AND FROGS, to Feiwel and Friends, a Macmillan US imprint. Before writing for
Rebecca Colby
children, Rebecca inspected tights (pantyhose to the American speaking world), taught English in Taiwan, travelled the world as a tour director, and worked as a librarian. Born in America, Rebecca now lives in North Yorkshire. Rebecca is one of ten crazy poets on The FunEverse - we look forward to seeing more of her crazy writing in picture book form. 

 SCBWI is proud of you all! How can we not be inspired? Back to your desks everyone – Success Comes By Writing and Illustrating!!

Kathy Evans is Celebrations Editor for Words & Pictures. She is South East Network Coordinator with Mariam Vossough and is represented by Sophie Hicks at Ed Victor.


  1. What an absolutely fabulous post. It's great to see all of the success in one place so we can shout hurrah to everyone. Hurrah!

  2. Ah! That's a lovely post - and I love My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish

  3. Yep, congratulations Mo, Nicola, Ruth Rosemary Liz and Rebecca!
    And congratulations Kathy for collecting everyone together so splendidly in this 'party on a page' post. This is what SCBWIs all about!

  4. Congratulations everyone! Brilliant to read about your good news :)

  5. Hurrah for all the happy news!

  6. Ain't it marvellous! Well done you all!

  7. Whoop! So much happy news! Congrats everyone :)

  8. Congratulations Everyone!

  9. That's fantastic news for a bunch of fantastic people. Well done all!

  10. Brilliant! Huzzah for one and all!


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