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.

I was sooooo thrilled to hear that our lovely Editor Jan Carr won the SCBWI-BI Outstanding Contribution Award this year. Although I wasn't surprised as she's been so amazing setting up Words & Pictures. I asked if she could say a few words for those of us who missed her acceptance speech....

Jan said: "It was a very warm feeling when Jo told me I’d been nominated for the OCA. To think that someone thought I was worth nominating was lovely. When I looked at the list of other nominees I thought there are a lot of people on that list who’ve worked so hard and been so faithful for so much longer than me, I felt unworthy.

Jan Carr receiving the SCBWI-BI Outstanding Contribution Award from
 Jane Benson McLoughlin
"Words & Pictures is great because of the Team who have all worked so hard and joined in so cheerfully with my scheduling spreadsheet obsession. Everyone who’s contributed and everything they’ve sent has been brilliant too. It’s been overwhelming, in a great way. At the party last Saturday night, as it dawned on me that Jane and Mo were talking about me, it was like being filled to the brim with melted chocolate which is a very nice feeling indeed. It was a complete surprise and I still felt unworthy because I just do what I like doing and it doesn’t seem fair to get an award for that. I’d really like everyone to get one. But I am so honoured and encouraged that people think well of me and hope I can continue to live up to that good opinion.

"Volunteering for SCBWI has been a brilliant. Everyone’s committed, passionate, encouraging and supportive. I’ve met so many lovely people – published, unpublished, authors, illustrators, agents, editors – everyone’s in it together! Benjamin said Words & Pictures was a great opportunity and it certainly is. Thank you SCBWI."

Now Julie Fulton tells us all about the Mass Book Launch...

As one of the lucky writers to have had a book (or books) published this year, I attended the Mass Book Launch party on the Saturday evening of the SCBWI conference.

Held in the Bapsy Hall within Winchester’s Guildhall it was a grand setting, although I must admit to feeling a little as though I’d had an unforeseen trip in Dr Who’s Tardis and travelled back to an early 1980s disco.

SCBWI Mass Book Launch-ers
Only being there for the evening, and with everyone else already having met up with old friends or made new ones during the day’s workshops, I could have worried about being left on my own as Mrs No-Chums.

But this is SCBWI. Members are so friendly and welcoming, it’s like being a part of one big family.

And that’s what makes the Mass Book Launch and the Awards so special.

Every person in the hall is genuinely delighted for each achiever. When Jan Carr was named as winner of the Outstanding Contribution Award the applause/cheers/grins were widespread.

As each massively launched writer stepped forward to the front of the stage to wave their new book about a cheer went up - and there were a lot of massively launched writers, but the cheering never faltered.

The whole awards section was ably led by Jane Benson McLoughlin and Mo O’Hara, or was that a cyber man and a dalek?

The rest of the evening was spent catching up with friends and schmoozing with a wide variety of industry professionals. The drinks flowed, the buffet was devoured and business cards were swapped.

Oh yes, and there was a spectacularly large and stunning cake. Did anyone else notice the cake? Roll on next year!

Julie Fulton grew up on the likes of Dr Seuss, Hillaire Belloc, Edward Lear & Spike Milligan, so it's little wonder she enjoys writing silly, rhyming stories like the Ever So series. She now lives in rural Worcestershire where, apart from trying to find more time to write her picture books and MG novels, she teaches music, reads, gardens, dances and sings. It keeps her out of trouble, usually.

Tania Tay is an ex-advertising copywriter and has been published in Sable LitMag. She is currently writing a YA romantic thriller, and is on the editorial team at Words & Pictures.


  1. congratulations all - and thanks for the updates all this week from the team. You are freaking amazing. I'm so happy I was able to be there this year!

    1. You're so welcome! And many congratulations to you for the Costa shortlist, Elizabeth!

    2. well, thank you for the congrats, too! :D

  2. Ditto! Ditto! It was a really fun evening that went on into the morning!

  3. Well done Jan and everyone else involved!


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