FROM YOUR EDITORS SCBWI-BI Outstanding Contribution Awards 2017

We're thrilled to be able to share with you this year's Outstanding Contribution Awards which were announced at the Conference. A huge hurrah for these and all the other SCBWI-BI volunteers!

SCBWI is an organisation built and run by volunteers. We depend on our members to share their time, effort, dedication and expertise to make SCBWI-BI the inspiring, inclusive, supportive community we love.


(Member Services)

Lou Cliffe-Minns has hit the ground running even before she knew she had the role of ARA Member Services. Her catching enthusiasm and can-do attitude have made a massive difference in helping to organize the re-vamp of Words & Pictures, recruiting a new team of volunteers and making them feel loved. She's been forward-thinking in implementing the Twitterchat programming, she's looked out for new opportunities everywhere and has flagged up issues before they became a problem. She has generally made herself indispensible and been on the ball all around!




Bridget Marzo is one of our longest-serving SCBWI volunteers and we are so lucky to have her living here in our region. For many years, she was the International Illustrator Coordinator, running events in France and later the two-day pre-Bologna Children’s Book Fair SCBWI conference with Erszi Deak. What is striking about Bridget is that she is always willing offer guidance, listen, problem-solve and get stuck-in. Since Bridget’s return to London, she has made things happen! Alongside Anne-Marie Perks, she helped get the current Picture Book Retreat off the ground, galvanized the Illustrator Masterclasses, served on the Conference Committee as Illustrator Liaison, helped in the early stages of writing up and running the UV illustration competition, and judged on the Portfolio Intensives given to the final shortlist. But this year, in particular, Bridget has made the first bi-annual Exhibition possible through her tenacity and innovative thinking in securing a free gallery space and at long last providing our illustrator members with a note-worthy showcase


Trish Phillips has been working on the Illustration Masterclasses committee for over six years, organising the annual Portfolio Intensives. Her professionalism when contacting and working with the art directors and agents who review the portfolios for the Intensive is admirable. She is friendly and approachable. She always makes sure everything runs as smoothly on the day. Trish has also facilitated a wonderful Self-promotional Masterclass, teaching interesting and inspiring pop-up techniques, co-facilitated an intensive Drawing Drama Masterclass with Anne-Marie Perks, and has been very helpful to new illustrators trying to figure out how to get started and put their illustration portfolios together.


Az Dassu has embraced the role of Words & Pictures Events Editor with a super-positive and professional attitude. She is always on top of schedules, flexible, enthusiastic, creative and reliable. When she hits any kind of snag, she manages to come up with a solution quickly and efficiently, never leaving the editors in the lurch!


It’s grim up North, or so they used to say. That was before Marion Brown and Catherine Whitmore took the North West by storm, building a vibrant and supportive SCBWI community where writers and illustrators can thrive. Partnering with organisations such as the Manchester Children’s Book Festival and the University of Central Lancashire, this pioneering duo has worked hard to bring a fantastic range of high-profile events and opportunities to the North West while also giving members the opportunity to strengthen core skills through critique and shared learning.


Jenny Glencross brings an incredible array of children's publishing experience to the Undiscovered Voices team. She's worked as a commissioning editor, collaborating with some of the biggest names in UK children's literature. She willingly shares her expertise and insights with the Undiscovered Voices team and our writer and illustrator finalists. From the moment she joined the team, she has made a significant contribution to this project. She has been instrumental in expanding our promotional outreach for the previous and current anthologies and fundamental in organizing this year's kick-off event at Hachette's roof-top space. She is a dedicated team member who accomplishes every task with unbelievable grace, charm and intelligence. All that as well as the most lovely, genuine person you'll ever meet. SCBWI and Undiscovered Voices are so lucky to have her.


Long-standing volunteer Tania Tay has made an outstanding contribution to putting the London Industry Insiders series back on track, pulling together a fun and relevant programme of events to give our members an insight into what is going on in the publishing industry. She's recruited new volunteers, held regular team meetings to guide them on programming, spearheaded the organisation of events, and kept up the dynamic London network buzzing as well.


The unflappable Elaine Cline has been keeping Words & Pictures' Slush Pile Challenge going seamlessly for several years since she took it on from Chitra. Her professionalism in contacting agents and editors to secure fabulous opportunities for our members to get noticed and plucked out of the slush pile is admirable. She meticulously administers the competition, keeps the team informed and reports for Words & Pictures. Because of her hard work, many members have received invaluable feedback on their work!


Jonny Wood, web-guru extraordinarie, has been instrumental in sorting out both the conference website and bookings this year. Generous with his time and expertise, no query is too big or small for Jonny – even when he is working from afar in Canada and Iceland. He has helped the committee to set up a new SLACK communication platform to get this conference organized, and is keen to push forward ideas that will benefit SCBWI in the long-term.


The PULSE award for this year goes to the ‘Bootcamp Gang’ Sara Grant, Mo O’Hara and Candy Gourlay, who have once again put in countless hours to bring support and exciting programming to our published and self-published members. The Author Bootcamp is an innovative all-day event that provides authors with information on how to promote their books absolutely everywhere. Generous, innovative and enthusiastic, SCBWI-BI is super-lucky to have them on our team.


Everything SCBWI offers is run by volunteers. We're always looking for all sorts of help, for big and small roles.  You don't need any special skills, though if you have some tell us about them! If you have a little bit of time and are enthusiastic, we want to hear from you. To find out more about volunteering for SCBWI contact your local Networks Organiser or our Co-Regional advisor Natascha Biebow at

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