SCBWI-BI CONFERENCE 2017 - Meet the Committee

The SCBWI-BI Conference 2017 organisers are busy planning an exciting program for you. There are many SCBWI members giving up their time to ensure all strands of the conference are a success. A M Dassu tells us more about them and what they do.


Susan Sandercock – I’m one of the Co-Chairs of the committee. This year, I have particular responsibility for overseeing aspects of the programme, such as the PULSE/SPARK sessions, The Hook and the Friday Night Fringe. I am also responsible for raising sponsorship funds, liaising with The Bookseller and organising printed materials.

Becky Tudor – I'm one of the Co-Chairs, so I help to oversee everyone else doing their jobs so fantastically! This year, I have particular responsibility for strands such as the programme (with the exception of the PULSE/SPARK sessions), front of house, the Friday night critique and one-to-ones.  

Writers’ Programme

George Kirk – This year I am Speaker Coordinator for authors. That means I am responsible for inviting speakers to deliver the writing strands of the conference. I ensure they have everything they need and know exactly where and when they need to be on.

Illustrators’ Programme

Patrick Miller – I'm the conference Illustrator Liaison. I'm pulling together speakers, session leaders and 1-1 portfolio reviewers from the best of the biz to hopefully give illustrators and author-illustrators, unpublished and published alike, a meaningful, fun and productive conference.

Clare Tovey – I am the conference Illustrator Speaker Liaison, helping to ensure we have exciting speakers and workshops for illustrators, and that everyone has all the details they need. Volunteering works brilliantly for me because I am slightly shy, and having a job to do helps!


PULSE events are directed towards published members, and SPARK events are for delegates who are choosing the many different strands of self-publishing options. There is so much crossover between these fields that this year these strands are being combined at the conference.

Mo O'Hara – I've been working with Candy Gourlay to develop the PULSE event aimed at our published members. This year Sarah Towle joined the team and we are linking some of the sessions as PULSE and SPARK. I’d love to hear your ideas for PULSE events.

Sarah Towle (,, – I am thrilled to give back to the SCBWI community as Co-Chair of the PULSE/SPARK conference strand. Sessions – ranging from craft to website design to marketing – promise to address the needs of traditional and self-published authors and illustrators, alike.

1-1s and Portfolio Reviews

Liz Miller – I'm the 1-1 Coordinator for Fiction. I invite agents and editors to do author reviews, match delegates’ work as carefully as I can, and will be on hand to calm nerves on the day!

Addy Farmer – I'm helping Liz with the writer 1-1s. I'm SCBWI to the core and love how stories bring us all together in one big energising conference. I'll be there this year to help you find your 1-1 way.

Paul Morton – I run the pre conference Sketch Crawl on the Friday afternoon, and also organise the Illustrator 1-1 reviews. This means that I liaise with the reviewers and make sure your work ends up in front of them so that they can offer constructive feedback.

People You May Need For Events During The Conference

Suzie Wilde ( – Front of House Coordinator - put simply, I'm the go-to person for everything over the entire weekend. I'm responsible for making everyone feel welcome, safe and important, whether speaker or debut attendee. I am in constant touch with the University events team and make on-the-spot decisions when things (inevitably) go a bit pear-shaped.

Camilla Chester – I am new to the Conference Committee and am in training as Front of House Coordinator. The role involves knowing where everyone should be and when, making sure everyone has the right information and dealing with the general administration during the actual conference. Gulp.

Dom Conlon – I'm the University Liaison which means I deal with all the onsite things from organising which sessions go into which rooms, to choosing what we all eat and catering for special dietary requirements. I arrange all the print materials too.

Jan Carr – I organise The Party, The Hook and The Friday Afternoon Fringe. For the party, this involves confirming the venue, booking the entertainment and ensuring there’s enough food and drink to go round so everyone can celebrate our members’ new books at the Mass Book Launch! Email

Clare Bell – I oversee the Friday Night Critique and the meal that follows it, and I'm also the person to contact about the Mass Book Launch. Details will be posted well in advance for all these conference events and I'll be checking my SCBWI email
Email from then.

People You May Need Before The Conference

Jonny Wood – I'm Bookings Co-ordinator for a second year running. I’ll be the one helping you book onto the right sessions and breakouts for the conference. I’m also offering my technical skills to the conference team behind the scenes.

Sue Wallman – I'm the conference Scholarship Coordinator and manage the Margaret Carey Scholarship which enables two SCBWI members (British Isles only) to come to the conference who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it. It's judged equally on financial need and writing merit.

Alice Hemming – I was unable to attend the last couple of conferences but I still helped co-ordinate the Outstanding Contribution Award. This year, I’m happy to be back at the conference and helping with a couple of bits and bobs including OCA and Mass Book Launch webpage.

*Feature image: Mass Book Launch at the 2012 Conference. Image Credit: Candy Gourlay


A. M. Dassu is a member of the Words & Pictures editorial team, she manages the Events team and SCBWI BI events coverage.
Contact her at

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