SCBWI-BI CONFERENCE 2017 The Hook Finalists!

Jan Carr tells us about The HOOK judging panel and introduces this year’s finalists… can you figure out who they are?

The Hook is a Dragons' 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 four agents. For 2017 we are delighted to have... Julia Churchill, Polly Nolan, Jo Moult and Angharad Kowal.

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.

We don't tell you who is 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 the finalists 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.

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!


1. Genre - Narrative fiction
2. Artist - Carlos César Roman
3. Author - Toni Morrison
4. Place to work - My home desk overlooking the neighbourhood park
5. Writing/drawing implement - A mechanical pencil (always sharp)
6. Piece of technology - My 2012 13 inch MacBook Pro
7. Internet distraction - Binge-watching Netflix
8. Piece of music - Beethoven's symphonies
9. Radio station - Jazz 88 WBGO
10. Source of inspiration - Horses!

Finalist #1 PICTURE

Dog licking

1. Genre - Fantasy
2. Artist - Patrick Nagel
3. Author - Anthony Horowitz
4. Place to work - New Town cafes
5. Writing/drawing implement - Purple metallic pens
6. Piece of technology - XBox
7. Internet distraction - Pinterest
8. Piece of music - The Human League, Open Your Heart
9. Radio station - Radio 2
10. Source of inspiration - Spotify playlists

Finalist #2 PICTURE

Huge metallic horse head

1. Genre - Adventure / mystery
2. Artist - Paula Rego
3. Author - Kate DiCamillo
4. Place to work - Out and about, mainly cafes and benches
5. Writing/drawing implement - 3b pencil, inks & brushes
6. Piece of technology - iPhone and scanner
7. Internet distraction - Instagram
8. Piece of music - Currently loving Paper Ships by Dead Man’s Bones
9. Radio station - Radio 4
10. Source of inspiration - Listening to people sharing stories & experiences

Finalist #3 PICTURE

Boats and palm tree

1. Genre – Humour, I especially love bittersweet
2. Artist - Lowry
3. Author – Impossible to decide between David Almond and Markus Zusak
4. Place to work – In my home office
5. Writing/drawing implement – I have a compulsion for notebooks
6. Piece of technology – Fitbit (nothing to do with writing)
7. Internet distraction – Fantasy/Superhero Name Generators
8. Piece of music – I Giorni by Ludovico Einaudi
9. Radio station – Alternate between Radio 1 and Radio 4
10. Source of inspiration – Walking, mostly with my dog

Finalist #4 PICTURE:

Clockwork Orange, cheese, witch and map


1. Genre - Historical adventures
2. Artist - Arthur Rackham
3. Author - Philip Pullman, Thomas Hardy, Sarah Crossan
4. Place to work - My sunny study (which also has a bath in it!)
5. Writing/drawing implement - The pen made from Irish bog oak which my dad gave me
6. Piece of technology - My memory stick, which is red and which may actually contain my soul
7. Internet distraction - Increasingly Twitter
8. Piece of music - Blondie for vacuum cleaning; Jeff Buckley for goose-pimples
9. Radio station - Radio 4. I often talk back to Radio 4...
10. Source of inspiration - My family

Finalist #5 PICTURE:

Seaweed and Guinness label in a puddle

The Hook
is organised by Jan Carr with a very special small team of readers who read all the applications to pitch anonymously and then direct Jan in the near impossible task of choosing five.

The Hook will be live on Saturday 25th November at SCBWICON17 in Winchester. An event not to be missed.

Conference bookings close on 31st October. To book your ticket yet, click here.

*Featured Image: The Hook 2016 Panel. Image credit: Sheila Averbuch @sheilamaverbuch


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. Good luck everyone, stay calm, the audience are your friends and will be there egging you on, if I can do it (last year) anyone can... though I still look back and think 'did I really do that?' Wish I could be with you, but you will all be in my thoughts.


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