Network News: Wales

By Gill James
Wales is an interesting region. I’ve lived there and I know that it is often easier to go into England and then back into Wales that actually cross it. There are mountains in the way! It’s a region that has its own language, yet what is spoken in the north is considerably different from what is spoken in the south. So as a region with a network it can be a challenge.   
So it is great that we have Holly Ireland looking after folk generally and organizing the monthly get together in the south.

The Cardiff group meets the first Thursday of the month at 7:30 pm, upstairs in A Shot In The Dark on City Road. The group is friendly, Holly assures us, and members are invited to bring work along for feedback. Contact Holly on scbwi (dot) wales (at) for more information.          

Wales is an area rich in literature and folklore. There are the tales of the Mabinogi, an inspiration for many children’s writers and there are stories set in Wales such Alan Garner’s Owl Service. There are numerous literary events at all times of the year, including ones for children and children’s writers, with the added spice that often we’re talking about dual-language books.

I’d be intrigued to hear from any SCBWI members living in Wales who use any of the new technology to stay in touch. I’ve studied at the University of Wales, an institution that was pioneering in its use of video-conferencing; it had to be if it was to stay as one institution – it was too time-consuming for all concerned to make frequent trips through the mountains. Is there a place for SCBWI members to mirror this and is it useful to employ Skype, e-critique and Face Time?

I certainly feel a great affinity for this region. I first became a children’s writer myself because of some mountains that tickled their feet in the sea, just like the ones in North Wales.

Gill James writes fiction for children and young adults. Because of her contribution to Welsh literature she is a full honorary member of Literature Wales – formerly Academí, normally reserved for the Welsh and those who live in Wales. Gill has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Wales, Bangor.                       


  1. If you're a member of SCBWI the easiest way to find and connect to other SCBWI members your region is to go to the site, log in and click on 'search for members' (top right corner). Select your region, or type your county in the box, click search and hey presto! A list of other members is the same region!
    Another way to stay in touch is via your regional group on the NING network. All British Isles members should have received an invitation to join the NING network. If not, contact the BI admins or post a request on the mail groups.

  2. John, thank you for reminding us about this. it works brilliantly.
    Of course you have to be a member to access this information - another excellent reason to join.
    I've just found 7 other SCBWI members where I live, in Southampton. I've messaged them all to see if they'd like to meet up. Watch this Network News space to see how I get on!


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