Network News: Featuring Sheila Averbuch and Louise Kelly, South-East Scotland Network

This week, Sheila Averbuch and Louise Kelly, network co-ordinators for South-East Scotland, tell us about the SCBWI activity in their area.

Who are you?

We recently started up the South East Scotland Network. SCBWI had had a presence in Scotland in the past but there's not much been going on for a couple of years so we thought it could be good to revive it and bring it into the SCBWI BI fold. We currently meet third Thursday of the month for support, information exchange about writing and local authors/writing events and sometimes critiquing, but the format of meetings is evolving as we find out what members want. We'll get other events off the ground soon (we're still newbies!) so all ideas welcome.

Has being a member of a SCBWI network helped you with your writing

YES! It's great to know you're not alone, and get encouragement and informed comment and critique on your work. In fact it was Louise attending some SCBWI North East (England) Network scrawl crawls and critique days that convinced her that having a local Network was a good idea. We also really appreciate the wealth of experience that SCBWI members are willing to share with each other about the publishing industry. Neither of us are published yet, but we're taking notes as we watch what other members are doing to promote and market. We've already started laying our own foundations      for example by making relationships with local indie booksellers and taking advantage of social media.

Which network activities do you value the most?

The discipline of meeting regularly keeps us and our writing on track and we're looking forward to making contact with other local SCBWIs too! The online community is fantastically supportive, but we've both found the face to face meetings have given us renewed energy in our work. The other valuable thing has been developing a trusting and supportive critique relationship. This takes time, but worth its weight in gold.
Would you recommend belonging to a SCBWI network to other writers?

See above! Of course.

Sheila Averbuch lives in East Lothian in Scotland and is working on Space Kids and the Spy from Planet 12, a sci-fi adventure for 9-11's. She holds an MA in journalism from Stanford University and a BA from Harvard University in American History & Literature. Sheila is managing director of the content services agency ENNclick. She contributes social media how-to videos to Words and Pictures.

M Louise Kelly lives in Edinburgh and is working on Rules of Sail By, a YA comic coming of age novel set in Valparaiso, Chile, the Antarctic and Scotland. She's also written for 9-12s. Louise gave up a permanent position lecturing in Psychology and Linguistics to follow a portfolio (patchwork) career: writing fiction; working as publicist for Nicola Morgan; teaching Neuropsychology for the Open University; and being a University Dyslexia Adviser. Some of these pay money!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Kathryn. We're really open to ANY and all suggestions for how to expand Scbwi in Scotland, so do get in touch. There are already some really active members here, so I think it's going to be great.

    2. Start it and they will come! It's so good that you've volunteered to get the group up and running, it'll be a lot of fun. See you Saturday!

  2. I am happy to host a meeting in Perth sometime! I think I'm going to miss seeing you at the EIBF. But I keep recommending the SCBWI to everyone who asks!

  3. Thanks Elizabeth. When are you around the festival BTW, I'm there quite a bit over the next week. Would be nice to meet if you've got time.

  4. It was lovely to meet up with Sheila on my trip one to Edinburgh this August and say hello to Elizabeth on trip two! So sorry to miss Louise and Maureen - a trip three would be going too far!

    Congratulations, Sheila and Louise, on getting the South East Scotland Network up and running!

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