20 Years of SCBWI The North West Celebrates: Network News North West

 By Susan Brownrigg

A celebration in a book shop 

Where else would you celebrate 20 years of SCBWI British Isles, but in a bookshop? That’s where the north west region gathered in Waterstones to mark the anniversary.

Of course being Manchester there was a bit of drizzle but that didn’t dampen our spirits. Refreshed with teas and coffees we split into our crit groups – picture books, Middle Grade, Tween and YA. These sessions are brilliant for seeing how friends’ stories are developing, helping each other strengthen our writing and for holding a mirror to your own work. There is also time to chat about submissions and other goals.
Working in critique groups

 Birthday Gifts

We continued to catch up over lunch, and then it was time to swap ‘birthday gifts’. We had each arranged to pass on or buy a new book for our crit group, secret santa style. Each crit group picked a book for that age range. There were some brilliant choices, and words of recommendation swapped with the paperbacks. Everyone seemed pleased with their choices. I was certainly chuffed to receive A Million Angels by Kate Maryon, it is a novel and author I wasn’t aware of and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Book gifts

 Celebration cakes

Then we all reluctantly ate the fantastic looking cupcakes, as you know writers aren’t at all keen on cakes! We laughed in the tween group that we had all picked different designs. There were badges too – I’ve been wearing mine proudly on my coat lapel ever since. We spent the rest of the afternoon posing for group pictures and then having discussions about our favourite children’s book from the last 20 years. There were some well known selections as well as new ones that prompted the promise of more book buying/lending. Well if there’s one thing we like as much as cakes it is books!

Cup cakes!

Here’s to the next 20 years.

SCBWI Network North West

Susan Brownrigg won a place in the 2016 Undiscovered Voices anthology. She was also awarded the Margaret Carey fiction writer scholarship in 2015. Susan has completed three MG historical novels set in Madagascar, Peru and Cambodia. Her work in progress, for tweens, is inspired by the discovery of the okapi in the Congo. A former journalist and sub-editor, Susan lives with her husband in Skelmersdale, Lancashire. She joined SCBWI in 2007.

She enjoys a cup cake as well! 

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