Margaret Carey Scholarship ~ apply now!

Desperate to come to the annual SCBWI conference in November but resources are tight? Then the Margaret Carey Scholarship might be for you. 

Set up in memory of Margaret Carey, a much-valued SCBWI-BI volunteer and recipient of the inaugural SCBWI-BI Outstanding Contribution Award, there are actually two scholarships to be won.

One will be awarded to a fiction writer, and the other to an illustrator or picture book author. Worth up to £490, each scholarship covers the cost of the conference, including a 1-1 manuscript critique with an editor, art director or agent, accommodation, and a grant towards travel to Winchester, where the conference takes place.

A panel of anonymous judges – all of whom work in the publishing industry – will select on both merit and need, and winners will be notified towards the end of October. If you have already booked the conference and win the scholarship, you will be refunded the conference place and money will be paid towards your travel and accommodation.

Last year Words and Pictures celebrated the success of Kim Hutson and Ali Oxtoby who won the 2014 scholarships - take a peek here, if you missed it. Here’s how attending the conference benefited them:

Quotes from 2014 Winners

Kim Hutson (Fiction category)

Kim Hutson
“Winning the Margaret Carey scholarship has done so much for me. I never in a million years thought I would win when I entered. Not only did it mean I had the opportunity to attend the conference, but it really boosted my confidence as a writer. The conference itself was a wonderful experience. I met some fantastic people and learnt so much at the seminars, talks, critiques and even at mealtimes!

Directly because of this, I am currently working with an editor from a publishing house on my book (hopefully for acquisition!) and have had interest from a big-name agent (fingers crossed!) 

The competition was actually the catalyst for me finally becoming a paid-up SCBWI member, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

Ali Oxtoby (Picture Book/Illustration category)

Ali Oxtoby
“The main benefit of winning the Margaret Carey Scholarship 2014 was the confidence and validation it gave me after years of hard (but enjoyable) work and many, many rejections. It made me feel that I was actually starting to get somewhere. Such periodic injections of hope are vital for a writer's wellbeing! The conference itself was a joy. 

The main benefit of winning...was the confidence and validation it gave me after years of hard (but enjoyable) work, and many rejections...The invaluable 15 minute one-to-one with a particular publisher... is a chance not to be missed!

Filled with fun, writing development workshops, courses on how to handle life after publication, inspiring talks by published authors who started out just like us, the chance to network with industry professionals (not as scary as it sounds), meeting up with old friends while making new ones and experiencing first hand that we are not alone in this sometimes isolating business.

Finally, the invaluable 15 minute one-to-one with a particular publisher, which is a chance not to be missed! So if you are thinking of applying but finding lots of reasons why not to, for example, 'Someone else's need may be greater than mine', then stop thinking and JUST DO IT! Good luck!”

If you’d like to be in with a chance for this year, polish your opening 1500 words, picture book text or illustrations and SUBMIT. You have until midnight Sunday 16th August to enter.  

For all the information you need, please go here 

The very best of luck.

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