We asked a few of those fabulous conference committee volunteers about why they volunteer and what SCBWI means to them.
|Marnie Riches - Conference Chair|
But events-management is not for the faint-hearted. You have to be super-organised, energetic and importantly, have the ability to bring a project to fruition, from vision to end product.
By 2009, I had started to write seriously for children. A literary agent advised me to check out the Manchester writing scene. I discovered my local chapter of SCBWI. Attending my local crit group galvanised me into pursuing writing seriously as my new career – a vocation that will almost certainly fulfil me and sustain my passion and interest for the rest of my life. When my Time-Hunters deal came along, therefore, (I penned the first six books of the series for HarperCollins Children’s under the pseudonym, Chris Blake) I decided I’d had enough of Lottery and Arts Council funding applications. The day-job bit the dust. Ace! Or was it? Being self-employed and working from home is wonderful. I have always liked being the boss. But what you forget is that working from home can be terribly socially isolating.
Over time, I found myself turning into that stereotype of the anti-social author; silent, chained to a laptop and motionless, but for typing and scratching myself through week-old pyjamas. So in early 2014, when Natascha Biebow approached me and asked if I’d like to volunteer for SCBWI, I agreed to chair the SCBWI Annual Conference. I knew I could help to put on a fantastic programme, offering something for everyone. I couldn’t wait to meet my committee. And I was not disappointed. They’re a great bunch of fun-loving, talented and committed people. I have no doubt that the conference in November in Winchester will reflect our collective energy and skill. Most of all, I am proud to be putting my name to an event, which promises such quality and variety.
|Candy Gourlay -- Volunteer Extraordinaire!|
I love seeing an idea turn into a reality -- and this year I had the delicious challenge of curating the Pulse programme for our burgeoning numbers of published members!"
I wanted to learn the craft of story writing for children and was recommended SCBWIs. Since my first event, a social in London in 2012, I have been inspired by the enthusiasm and knowledge of the members.
Attending three conferences in two years I realised these amazing events were put together by volunteers who gave their time and efforts willingly. I knew it was time to step up, make my own contribution.
As much as I LOVE writing, it is solitary; spending all day in my own imaginary world talking to characters from my own mind isn't that great for my sanity. This is why I volunteer; to meet and work with other like-minded lovely people and to preserve what's left of my sanity! It’s also a way of paying back for all the opportunities that SCBWI has opened up for me, plus further my knowledge of the industry.
Pals, inspiration and boundless possibilities for a creative life. Everyone should join the SCBWI - it's good for you.
If you're interested in becoming a volunteer for our fabulous organisation, check out the current list of volunteer vacancies and how to apply here.