From your Regional Advisor: How we've grown

Hello and welcome to the launch issue of our fabulous new blogzine, Words & Pictures!

I am so excited to be part of this amazing team of writers and illustrators, creators of children’s books, who will bring you a patchwork quilt of informative, thought-provoking articles each day.

This magazine is truly a tribute to the outstanding chapter that the British Isles has become. When Gloria Hatrick founded the British Isles region in 1995, it had 30 members.

Since taking over as Regional Advisor (Chair) in 1998, I’ve loved being at the helm of such a creative, warm, community organization. I’ve helped to facilitate and jump-start countless careers and made so many personal connections worldwide. My vision was to create a regional chapter that offered value for all its members, published and unpublished, in the British Isles, whilst still benefiting from the support network of its American founders in LA.

The SCBWI British Isles aims to support aspiring and published writers and illustrators and provide opportunities for them to network, hone their craft and develop their careers. Through this vision, SCBWI-BI has grown to a 600-strong membership and now hosts over 30 events, plus critique groups and local workshops. 

But it takes a second to realize – all of our events and initiatives are run by volunteers. It is a testament to their commitment that we have created a thriving community of writers, illustrators and industry professionals, all committed to a common goal – to get the best literature into the hands of children.

The launch of Words and Pictures is an exciting new initiative for our region – and everyone can join in! We encourage you to join in the fun, to add your views, your ideas and your contributions to make this magazine where it’s at. We aim to be the finger on the PULSE of the children’s book world and to create a welcoming, inspiring and dynamic community.

Each step of your career, whether you are published or aspiring to be so, we are here, providing the power of back-up know-how, camaraderie, opportunity and the spirit of togetherness. It is the SCBWI way.


What SCBWI does for its members:

  • SCBWI is a professional guild. It speaks as a consolidated global voice for professional children’s writers and illustrators. In recent years, the SCBWI has successfully lobbied for such issues as new copyright legislation, equitable treatment of authors and artists, and fair contract terms.
  • It keeps members up to date with industry developments through the SCBWI PULSE series of events, with opportunities to learn more about the ‘business’ of writing and illustrating, and network with librarians and booksellers at exclusive events.
  • It offers members invaluable exposure to editors, art directors and agents through one-to-one manuscript or portfolio reviews at the annual conference and retreats, the members-only Agents’ Party, and the Slush Pile Challenge and biennial SCBWI Undiscovered Voices ( competitions. 
  • It supports professional development for members to hone their craft through the Masterclass series, conference workshops and highly successful critique groups. 
  • It gives members increased visibility online with a free profile on the main SCBWI and the social networking NING websites, both of which are often a point of call for agents and editors. 
  •  It provides support and a network of like-minded people, helping to answer members’ queries through a variety of online resources, including an email forum and social networking site. 
  • It facilitates networking opportunities with professionals worldwide, including the opportunity to showcase your work at the biannual SCBWI Illustrator Showcase and booth at the Bologna Bookfair.
  • It offers numerous awards and grants. 
To find out more about the British chapter of SCBWI, visit
To sign up and find out more about SCBWI in the world, visit


  1. What a great statement of who we are and what we do, Natascha, and yes, it is amazing that SCBWI is completely run by volunteers who love the world of children's books. Thank you for all you do, and have done, and will do.

  2. Natascha, you were my very first contact point in SCBWI and I haven't looked back. Thank you for everything YOU do for our chapter.

  3. Words and Pictures is another triumph of talented volunteers putting in hours of work for everyone else's benefit. Go SCBWI!

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  5. Doesn't it just make you feel so proud to belong to such an amazing organisation? Thank you everyone and to Natascha for all your hard work. x

  6. The fact that SCBWI is 'such a creative, warm, community organisation' is a testament to its leadership.
    A deeply felt 'Thank You, Natascha'.

  7. Thanks Natascha. SCBWI Ireland is still tiny, but we look to your success for inspiration as we try to grow our membership and provide more events and support our writers and illustrators here on the Emerald Isle. Colleen :)


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