Network News: Case Studies

The writer’s life can be lonely. Often we juggle to fit in our work around a day job and /or a family until we’re earning enough from our writing to support ourselves. It’s a funny old thing - so often we write and write and write, yet we don’t know whether it will ever get out there. And even when it does, we’ll often hit a snag. Confidence levels swing up and down.
So it’s good to have some support and it’s great when that is quite local. I’ve asked five people I know value their local network to tell me exactly how being a member of a local SCBWI network has helped them. This is what they said:

Case study 1: 

 More than anything I value getting together with other writers and celebrating small successes and sharing disappointments. It’s only a short bus ride away. Some of the other members of the group have become my closest friends.

Case study 2: 

I just really value our critique group. We’ve learnt to be strict but constructive in our feedback. I know working with my network chums has helped me to make my work 200% better.

Case study 3: 

The first time I went to our local coffee morning I was scared to go in on my own. Then I spotted a couple of people who were obviously part of the group – they were talking about books as they went in. I introduced myself and I was made really welcome. I rarely miss a meeting now. Wouldn’t be without our local network.

Case study 4:

 I was thrilled to get the opportunity to speak to a visiting editor about my work. She made some really interesting points. And I didn’t have to travel all the way to London. Now I’m gearing myself up for the conference and meeting lots of other people involved in the writing industry.

Case study 5: 

I’d forgotten I can actually draw! The scrawl-crawl was a real eye-opener. Now, I really admire the illustrators amongst us, and I don’t think I’ll ever be that good, but drawing pictures, I found, really helps me to think of ideas. And there’s something about doing it in situ that makes it even more effective. I’m glad someone thought this one up.

Tempted? You must be a member of SCBWI-BI in order to join a local network, but we’re certain you’ll consider it worth it. Find out more here.

 Gill James writes mainly for young adults. She is a member of the North-West Network.  Her latest novel, Veiled Dreams, was published in July 2013.     


  1. I value the friends I've made and the skills sharing aspect of our meetings. I love celebrating success and by that I don't just mean a publishing deal, I mean lightbulb moments. When you see a person leap to another level of understanding about illustration or writing. Magic moments really.

    1. You're right, Maureen. Magic lightbulb moments are when a person changes and that's real success. The deal is just the affirmation that.

  2. Thankyou so much for posting this! As a newbie I have all those fears but at least I know I'm not alone. :-)

    1. You're welcome, Miranda and welcome to SCBWI!


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