The SCBWI British Isles 8th Annual Conference

Jonny Duddle, Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve to deliver keynotes at the SCBWI British Isles’ Annual Conference. Plus an exciting new ‘Industry Keynote' by David Fickling. 

The British Isles Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators announces speakers for its 8th Annual Conference. 

New Reader’s Ahoy: Stories to Treasure! 

The British Isles Chapter of the SCBWI, a professional organisation of writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people, announces a star-studded line-up for their 8th annual conference, to be held on November 21st and 22nd 2015 at the University of Winchester. Keynote speakers this year are Jonny Duddle, Sarah McIntyre, Philip Reeve, and its first ever industry keynote speaker, David Fickling

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘How to create life-long readers’. 

Research shows that people who read lead better lives. Our industry has a vital role to play in creating tomorrow’s readers in today’s children, so also has an important part to play in improving their future life prospects. This year’s programme seeks to explore how to attract and engage with new readers so to create happy, aspirational futures. 

Saturday begins with a conference first, its first ever keynote double-act in the form of illustrator Sarah McIntyre and author Philip Reeve, a winning combination about to release their third collaboration ‘Pugs of the Frozen North’. They will be followed by specialist industry panels for both authors and illustrators. Panel members will include a wide range of industry professional with one thing in common: a passion for creating stimulating stories to attract new readers. 

Published members will be able to join the now established PULSE stream and have the opportunity to discuss with other professionals issues relating to establishing and career building. Saturday afternoon will be brought to a show-stopping end by our new for 2015 feature, ‘The Hook’. Five brave delegates pitch it out to be the one to hook in an agent panel. Saturday evening’s exclusive Mass Book Launch party will give delegates the chance to celebrate members’ 2015 publications and mingle with a stellar list of industry professionals. 

Sunday will open with another first – Industry Keynote, Publisher David Fickling. David is an independent publisher with an eye for international success, being behind such publishing phenomenon as Philip Pullman’s ‘Dark Materials’ Trilogy, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ and ‘The Boy in Striped Pyjamas.’ 

The rest of the day will feature a variety of craft intensives: Writers can learn about writing the obligatory scene from Jasmine Richards, writing an animated TV Series from 64 Zoo Lane creator An Vrombaut, and writing creative non-fiction picture books. Illustrators can get involved with hands-on intensives, such how to draw short comic strip stories with Sally Kindberg to a picture book storytelling intensive with acclaimed picture book author/ illustrator David Lucas. PULSE published members can explore and develop their school visit techniques with the support of school visit veterans authors Mo O’Hara, Steve Hartley and supporting cast! And for those following a self-publishing path the conference is introducing its first ‘Sparks’ event with award winning author/ illustrator Gillian McClure.

One-to-one manuscript and portfolio reviews with agents, art directors and editors will also be offered for a small additional cost. 

The SCBWI Annual conference continues to grow and grow supporting published, self- published and unpublished authors, wherever they are on their writing journey to develop their craft, raise their profile and market their work. 

Admission to the two-day conference is £220 for SCBWI members and £250 for non-members. More information and a registration form can be found at our website.

•Author keynote by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre who work together to make hilarious and highly-illustrated adventure stories for children. Philip Reeve is the award winning author of the Mortal Engines series, Fever Crumb series, Goblins and the Carnegie winning Here Lies Arthur. Sarah McIntyre got a degree in Russian but ended up becoming the award winning author-illustrator of the Verne and Lettuce graphic novels as well as many bestselling picture books such as Morris the Mankiest Monster, Superkids, and Jampires. The Reeve-McIntyre duo are responsible for the highly illustrated Oliver and the Seawigs, Cakes in Space and the forthcoming Pugs of the Frozen North. 

•Illustrator keynote by Jonny Duddle is author and illustrator of the hugely successful Templar picture books The Pirate Cruncher, The Pirates Next Door, Gigantosaurus and King of Space as well as the children’s fiction series The Jolley Rogers. In 2012, he won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and has also been shortlisted for; Sheffield Children’s Book Awards, Specsavers National Book Awards and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. He previously worked as a pirate, a computer game designer and a character designer for Aardman Animation’s Oscar-nominated film The Pirates! He lives in Wales with his wife and two young children. 

•PULSE keynote by David Fickling. For nearly twelve years David Fickling Books was an imprint, first as part of Scholastic, then of Random House, before becoming independent. David is credited with signing up Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke, and has since published many of his books, including the multi-million selling His Dark Materials trilogy. David was behind the Goosebumps and Horrible Histories phenomenon, he published Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Jenny Downham’s Before I Die and Andy Mulligan’s Trash – all international bestsellers and big time Hollywood movies. In 2012 he launched a weekly story comic for children called The Phoenix, filled with beautiful and original artwork, exciting stories and featuring no advertising. David Fickling Books works closely with The Phoenix, sharing a mission to create stories and excitement for all children. 

•The faculty also includes: Karen Ball, Publisher at Little Brown Books, Dylan Calder, founder and director of POP UP projects, Amber Caraveo, co-founder Skylark Liteary Agency Julia Churchill, Agent at A. M. Heath, Rebecca Colby, Author, Gemma Cooper, Agent at Bent Agency, Sarah Frost, Commissioning Editor Hodder Children’s Books, Candy Gourlay, Author, Sara Grant, Author, Paula Harrison, Author, Steve Hartley, Author, Larisa Villar Hauser, Independent Author and Blogger, Penny Holroyde, Agent, Sally Kindberg, Author and Illustrator, David Lucas, Author and Illustrator, David Maybury, Senior Development Editor Scholastic Books, Gillian McClure, Author, Illustrator and Founder of Plaister Press, Janetta Otter-Barry, Publisher, Mo O’Hara. Author, Jasmine Richards, Author and Senior Commissioning Editor at OUP, Sarah Towle, Independent Author, Publisher and App Developer, An Vrombaut, Animator, Illustrator, Author, Scriptwriter and Editor. 

There is an optional critique meet on the evening of Friday 20th November, an open portfolio exhibition on Saturday 21st November and various other competitions for authors and illustrators. Delegates and invited industry guests will be celebrating our members’ 2015 publishing successes at our exclusive party and Mass Book Launch on Saturday night! 

Two scholarships will be awarded, based on need and merit, which include tuition and accommodation costs, and a 1-1 with an editor, art director or agent. 

For more information about the conference programme visit 

Booking deadline is midnight, 7th November 2015.

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