The Hook Finalists!

The Hook is a Dragon's Den style pitching event where five SCBWI British Isles Conference delegates each have ten minutes to introduce themselves, pitch their work and receive feedback from a judging panel of five agents. The agents choose the most promising delegate then that delegate chooses their ideal agent from whom to receive up to an hour's one to one.

The London Book Fair ran a similar event in April - it was gripping and I'm convinced this will be too!

We don't want to tell you who's pitching in The Hook because we want you to come and watch them with big encouraging smiles! But we do want to give you some clues about who they are. SO we asked them for their favourite genre to read, artist, author, place to work, writing/drawing implement, piece of technology, Internet distraction, piece of music, radio station, and source of inspiration - the same ten for each pitcher.

How do you compare?
Do you have a 'pitch twin' in The Hook?

The agent panel will be asking them about their writing journey and their work so here are the interesting nuggets the agents probably won't have time to find out. We also asked them for a photo, not of themselves but of something they'd like to represent them - revealing! And there was a ban on pictures of books we take it as read that we all like books!

Pitcher the First...

1. genre to read: Magical Realism
2. artist: Lee Price
3. author: Emily Bronte
4. place to work: bed
5. writing/drawing implement: charcoal
6. piece of technology: Macbook Air
7. Internet distraction: Facebook
8. piece of music: Ramona by Bob Dylan
9. radio station: Radio 4
10. source of inspiration The sky.

Pitcher the Second

1. genre to read: Anything fantastical that takes me out of my everyday world.
2. artist: I don't know enough about art to answer this, but I love children's book illustrations.
3. author: Anne McCaffrey
4. place to work: home
5. writing/drawing implement: Just discovered disposable fountain pens - light and fast, but I worry about the ecological impact.
6. piece of technology: QWERTY keyboard
7. Internet distraction: Yes, always!
8. piece of music: Too many to list, but my favourite singer is Phoebe Snow.
9. radio station: Radio 2
10. source of inspiration: The bath, the toilet, the world I see when walking the dogs.

Pitcher the Third

1. genre to read: Picture books with humour and lots to look at
2. artist: Richard Scarry
3. author: Allan Ahlberg
4. place to work: I have a studio at home but I sometimes shake it up by working from the sofa or kitchen table.
5. writing/drawing implement: Staedtler 0.05mm black fineliner
6. piece of technology: The good old scanner
7. Internet distraction: Anything to do with food
8. piece of music: My taste varies from Disney soundtracks to Muse and anything by Giorgio Moroder!
9. radio station: Variety is the spice of life. So probably radio 6.
10. source of inspiration: A wealth of happy memories from my fun and colourful childhood.

Pitcher the Fourth

1.genre to read: science fiction
2. artist: anyone who's mastered stained glass
3. author: Philip Reeve
4. place to work: library
5. writing/drawing implement: laptop
6. piece of technology: voice recognition
7. Internet distraction: Twitter
8. piece of music: I'M AN AFRICAN by Baba Brinkman
9. radio station: Radio 4
10. source of inspiration?: listening to kids talk to each other

Pitcher the Fifth

1. Genre to read: Non-fiction
2. Artist: Friedensreich Hundertwasser, his art and his architecture.
3. Author: Nigella Lawson, I love the way she describes food in infinitesimal detail.
4. Place to work: In my spare room which I’ve turned into a study.
5. Writing/drawing implement: A biro, as long as it’s not one that gets blobby bits of ink collecting on the nib.
6. Piece of technology: My lap-top and tablet combo, I can be typing into one and Googling on another.
7. Internet distraction: Well, the whole of the internet is a terrible distraction but You Tube has to be the worst with its ‘up next’ feature.
8. Piece of music: Nina Simone, Feeling Good
9. Radio Station: Radio 2
10. Source of Inspiration: Everything is inspirational as long as you’re willing to think about it.

Don't forget to tell us if you have a 'pitch twin' in the comments.

To see 'The Hook' as it happens, book for the conference here. Bookings close on 7th November - that's less than 3 DAYS! Hope to see you there!

Jan Carr edited Words & Pictures up until last Christmas. Finding herself at a loose end last January, she responded to the conference call! She's co-chairing #scbwicon15 this year with the wonderful George Kirk and very much hopes you'll come!


  1. What a cunning article! I think I've guessed a couple of these, but we shall see on the day. Perhaps pitcher number 1 is actually Sirius Black?

    1. Thanks Nick!
      That's me 'as cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University'!

  2. Can't wait! Best of luck to you all, you brave contestants you!


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