SCBWI-BI CONFERENCE 2017 Why Should I Attend?

Are you thinking about going to the conference but you’re not sure? Are you hearing all the buzz but don’t know if it’s your thing? Don’t worry – conference co-chair Becky Tudor is here to help you out.

Is the conference right for me?

I think the answer to this links in with the reasons why you joined SCBWI in the first place. Was it because you want to chat to like-minded individuals, share your passion for writing or illustrating children’s books, make connections and learn how the industry works? Then imagine all of that condensed into one weekend! The conference is full of workshops, talks and opportunities to meet with people who will help to further your writing/illustrating ambition. Check out our programme page for all the details of what’s on offer. Remember too that loads of enlightening conversations happen when chatting to other delegates. SCBWI members really are mines of information!

But what if I don’t know anyone?

We know it can be a bit daunting walking into a venue full of people. Some will have been to the conference before (which means there’ll be lots of delegates and volunteers to ask if you’re unsure of anything!), but there will be loads of newbies too. The main thing to remember is that everybody is there because they love children’s books! What better thing can there be? There’s always something to talk about! Plus, there are loads of opportunities to get to know people. We’ve created a webpage especially to help SCBWI newbies which outlines lots of ways to get involved and meet new people.

Will I get a book deal out of it?

I’m afraid we can’t necessarily guarantee that! What we can guarantee is the opportunity to meet industry professionals. If you’re feeling up for it, you can chat about your work, or you can book a one-to-one to get your manuscript or portfolio reviewed professionally. The Speed Dating Breakout and The Hook are also sessions specifically designed to allow delegates to pitch their work. Then, who knows what can happen! Delegates have certainly had success stories in previous years. Just remember that industry professionals are also people so don’t pitch to them in the bathrooms!

Where should I stay?

Winchester is a popular city, especially when the conference is held because the Christmas markets happen at the same time. We would therefore recommend that you book accommodation sooner rather than later. We’ve given you further information about accommodation on our FAQs page which also tells you a whole load of other useful things about the conference.

OK, you’re starting to persuade me but you’re the Conference Co-chair. Surely you’re biased?

Well yes, I probably am! But I was new once too. I’ve been to three conferences now (2017 will be my fourth) and I’ve loved every one. If you don’t want to take my word for it, ask other SCBWI members. Everyone is very friendly on our facebook page and the committee is also happy to answer any questions that you have. Take a look at the Words and Pictures article which introduces us all to you.

I hope I have persuaded you, and I hope to see you in November! Remember, if you’re still unsure or anything, drop the other co-chair Susan or me an email at We’ll be glad to help!

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

RM Tudor is the Co-chair of the Conference Committee. Becky became a member of SCBWI after meeting Candy Gourlay at the Oxford Literary Festival, and she has never looked back. Following the publication of Becky’s first children’s book, Box 1571, she volunteered to be on the conference committee, where she has been print materials and university liaison, speakers’ co-ordinator for writers, and co-chair. After being a teacher for nine years, Becky now spends most of her time writing geographical resources, as well as children’s fiction. She loves latin and ballroom dancing.
Twitter: @RM_Tudor


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

1 comment:

  1. I won the Margaret Carey Scholarship in 2013 and have been back every year since. Fantastic weekend making friends with like-minded people and leaves you feeling equipped and inspired. I wouldn't miss it


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