Saturday, 30 November 2013

Hip Hip Hurray for Jan and the Mass Book Launch-ers!

If you're feeling a bit of a party pooper for missing the SCBWI Mass Book Launch last Saturday never fear! Here's your turn to celebrate with the mother of all cakes... while we congratulate Jan for her Outstanding Contribution Award, and Julie Fulton gives us the full report of the evening. All photos courtesy of Candy Gourlay and Lisa Tweedie.

Friday, 29 November 2013

2014 Illustrator Showcase launch at the Winchester Conference

Bridget Strevens Marzo
Detail of Alex Wilson's submission
The Illustrator Showcase this year at our SCBWI BI Winchester Conference was the most successful yet in drawing attention to the incredible illustrator talent
in the British Isles. For the first time ever, prints of the works displayed were for sale at a fixed £25 per print, all profits going to the Philippines Typhoon Appeal, grouping all major charities in the Disaster Emergency Fund

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Network News: Network Breakfast, Lighting the Spark Conference, Winchester, 2013

Gill James 

A bright and clear autumn Sunday morning. Light floods into the restaurant block of University of Winchester’s King Alfred campus. The view from here is breath-taking but we don’t notice it all that much: there is other work to be done. Never mind that yesterday was a fulfilling and exciting day, full of lots of interesting tips and treats, followed by a glorious party where we celebrated members’ success and further enjoyed the opportunity to meet industry specialists in a relaxed setting. Never mind that we are all excited about the future but a tad tired as well. Never mind all of that – members of network groups, and not-yet-but-soon-to-be-members are out in force.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

State of the Nation Panel: It's a Mad World

 By Katrina Charman

Nicola Morgan
The State of the Nation panel was held on Saturday morning at the conference, and was chaired by award-winning author, Nicola Morgan, sporting a pair of fabulous spiky red boots! The panel consisted of Imogen Cooper from the Golden Egg Academy, Templar's designer and paper engineer Nghiem Ta, picture book writer and founder of Plaister Press Gillian McClure, multi award-winning Young Adult author Teri Terry, and winner of the 2010 Brit Writers Awards, Catherine Cooper. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Malorie Blackman: Writing from the heart and selling from the head

Malorie Blackman
Conference Writing Keynote Speaker 2013
It was a joy to listen to National Treasure and Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman at SCBWI British Isles' Annual Conference in Winchester this year. She came to the Writers' Day in 2004, chaired the Undiscovered Voices 2012 judging panel and this year 2013, gave the writing keynote on Saturday morning in her wonderfully warm, relaxed and honest style. A joy.

Conference Blog Break

Thanks to everyone who has told me about their SCBWI-BI conference blog posts so far. I'm happy to keep this post updated over the next few days, so do send me a link to

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Conference Goers - All a Twitter

David Richardson

There will be reviews and articles from the SCBWI Winchester Conference on the Words & Pictures blog over the next week. But to give us an early flavour of the events of the weekend, here is a compilation of some of the tweets from eager and happy conference goers.

Greetings from Winchester!

It's the conference weekend, Yay!
On Twitter we're #scbwicon
And SCBWI Bloggers, are you up for the Conference Blog Challenge?
So looking forward to why you love the SCBWI conference on Tuesday!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Congratulations Katie Dale!

With the Mass Book Launch at the SCBWI Conference in Winchester this evening it's going to be a great day for celebrations all round... But for those of us that can't be there, we can still sip a glass of bubbly, dig into a slice of cake and shout "Hurrah!" for Katie Dale. She just won the Stockport Mad About Books Award for Key Stage 4 for Someone Else's Life, and her second book, Little White Lies launched last month.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Graphic Novel Publisher – Myriad Editions

Brighton-based publisher 
Myriad Editions is an independent producer of the acclaimed ‘state of the world’ infographic atlases, and since 2005, publisher of original literary fiction and graphic novels.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Volunteer for SCBWI

Did you know that everything that we do at SCBWI British Isles is run by a team of talented and energetic volunteers?  We asked them why they do what they do. They were so enthusiastic, here are just some of their answers...

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Ask an Agent - with Gemma Cooper and Molly Ker Hawn, from the Bent Agency

Are you looking for a query critique from those in the know? Or do you have a question you've always wanted to ask an agent? Each month, agents Gemma Cooper and Molly Ker Hawn from The Bent Agency are offering just that.

This month, they answer more of our readers' burning questions and critique a query.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Ten-Minute Blog Break & Conference Blog Challenge!

Before I start this week's Blog Break, I'm pleased to announce something a little special for next week, the Conference Blog Challenge!
Read on for details of how you can get involved...

Monday, 18 November 2013

Lighting the Spark

A touch of seasonal inspiration from Philippa R. Francis 

I have ‘stolen’ the title from the conference – but you don’t need to be going to Winchester get something out of this theme.

Sunday, 17 November 2013


Only a week to go until the conference and I expect everyone is tip top ready now, especially after the tip top tips Celia collected for us last Wednesday. I know I'm …

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Launching The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales

This week we are celebrating SCBWI illustrator Amanda Hall's stunning work in The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales. Amanda collaborated with author Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, and the book was published in September by Barefoot Books, and launched at the Jewish Community Centre in North London last month.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Tiny Pencil - Birth of an ArtZine

Spine and cover detail from Issue 1. Cover art by Nick Sheehy.
Launched in early 2013, Tiny Pencil is an independent anthology artzine and forum featuring all graphite art, illustration, and comics from established and emerging artists all over the world. Previous and upcoming featured artists include Renee French, Luke Pearson, Yoko Tanaka, Nick Sheehy, Inca Pan, Allison Sommers, Jack Teagle, Sandra Dieckmann and many others. 

Founding Editor and Creative Director Amber Hsu discusses the realization of a collaborative project born out of a passion for pencils and printed matter.  

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Network News: SCBWI South East Scotland is Go!

M Louise Kelly 
We have lift off!  On Saturday 26th October SCBWI South East Scotland met for its inaugural workshop and what a launch it was.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Preparing for the Conference

 By Celia J Anderson

The social butterfly!
As November 23rd approaches at speed, I’ve been running through the essential preparations for my first ever SCBWI conference. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 12th November

Due to a scheduling mix-up on my part, we came about this close to not having a Blog Break this week. But it's OK, because no-one needs to know. Oh, wait - did I just say that out loud?

Monday, 11 November 2013

It's amazing what goals you can achieve over brunch


Miriam Craig, who hosts the midweek goal-setting brunch in London, tells us what they get up to and how it all works....

For most of this year SCBWI-ers have been meeting once a month on a Thursday morning to discuss their writing and illustrating aims, set goals for the future and find out what they have achieved from the previous month. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Hurray it's November!

It's that time of year again when last minute nose to the wall people like me have to make something up for the Friday Night Critique - one of my favourite bits of the SCBWI British Isles Conference.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Summoning up Success!

Dancing shoes on today people because it's time to do a happy jig for one of our very hardworking volunteers. Benjamin Scott, former Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI, has signed with Gillie Russell at Aitken Alexander Associates!


Friday, 8 November 2013

Featured Illustrator: Nicola Patten

This month's Featured Illustrator is Reading-based artist Nicola Patten. A graduate of University College Falmouth, she was one of the Undiscovered Voices illustration winners in 2012. Access the Featured Illustrator Gallery to see a broad range of her portfolio work.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Network News: North-East - Line by line by line by line editing with Sara Grant in York

Maureen Lynas 
The lovely Sara Grant visited our NE group in York a couple of weeks ago to deliver a workshop on line by line editing. I’ve asked her if I can share just one of the brilliant exercises that she made us do she had prepared.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Lil Chase: crafting a great book is 70% editing

After an inspiring SCBWI South West workshop with author and Working Partners editor Lil Chase, Lesley Moss and Rowena House talked to her about her two novels - Boys for Beginners and Secrets, Lies and Locker 62 - and the importance of editing when crafting a great book.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 5th November

November has arrived, and with it the chance to blow up your back garden for Guy Fawkes Night, grow a moustache for Movember or write 1,666 words a day for NaNoWriMo. But I'm a spoilsport who's doing none of these things. Instead, I've been reading your blogs!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Ask A Publisher - Q&A with Sara O'Connor, Editorial Director at Hot Key Books

Publishing expert, Sara O'Connor returns with another set of answers to your questions this month. This time she's focusing on New Adult, switching genres as a writer and offering her tips on how to get a job in publishing. 

There'll be a break during December, but please continue to send your questions in and Sara will answer these in the January Ask a Publisher Q&A.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Agony of Choice

I have realised this week how much I love to have people to 'do' for me. We have someone to do the garden it's not very big but I am rubbish at it and someone to decorate the hall - so much woodwork - and when we had to record all the telly we wanted to watch, I often appreciated the video recorder watching it for me too.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

An Ever So Black and White Celebration

This week we’re celebrating the launch of two wonderful picture books. Alice Hemming’s The Black and White Club and Julie Fulton’s Dorothy-Jane Was Ever So Vain - the third in her popular Ever So series - were both published by Maverick in September. 

Friday, 1 November 2013

Picture Book Basics - Character Dynamics

In the third part of a series on Picture book Basics we're looking at characters. Successful Picture Books, especially those for younger children, can hinge on the design of it's cast. So what makes a great character? Here are just a few ideas to explore.