The north east has two new Network Organizers. Marie-Claire and Cathy. Here is what they say about their new role:
I am looking forward to getting more involved in volunteering for the SCBWI. I have been a member for over two years now and regularly attend events in York organised by the lovely Maureen Lynas and participate in a monthly SCBWI critique group at the Seven Stories. I have also attended other conferences and retreats and know how important it is to meet other people in the industry and share experiences and knowledge, and would therefore love to contribute to the organisation of the NE network.
I have been writing YA sci-fi and fantasy for eight years. In 2013, I won a Northern Writers' Award and I was also longlisted for the Mslexia Women's Novel competition. This was reported on by Tania Tay on the fantastic Words and Pictures website. In August of last year, I was thrilled to be offered representation by Sue Armstrong at Conville and Walsh literary agency and am now preparing my manuscript ready to submit to publishers.
Currently, I am a primary school teacher in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and have often organised school events. I am computer literate and hope that I can bring the skills I use everyday as a leader of learning and classroom practitioner to this role. I work two days a week, so could dedicate plenty of time to SCBWI during my days off, evenings and weekends.
I have been a member of SCBWI for four years and started a Newcastle critique group two years ago. This has been a wonderful way of meeting like minded people, who are at various stages of their writing and illustrating career.
I am Visitor Services Coordinator at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books so am immersed in the world of children's literature on a daily basis. It is wonderful to have a place of work that provides so much inspiration. I hope to be able to involve Seven Stories in future activities and events as part of my role of NE coordinator.
Through work I have organised, facilitated and project managed events both at the museum and out at schools and nurseries. With fellow SCBWI member, Deb Court, I facilitate creative writing and illustration workshops in schools in the region to inspire children to make up stories of their own. I write a blog of illustrated nonsense stories and network through social media.
The importance of an organisation like SCBWI cannot be underestimated when it comes to supporting emerging authors and illustrators. And indeed maintaining that support once published. (I know that I would find it much harder to write if it wasn't for the encouragement of my critique group.) I am so looking forward to being more involved in that supportive network and getting people together