SCBWI-BI CONFERENCE 2018 It's all about the team

AJ de Montjoie introduces some of the new members of the conference team and who you need to contact if you have any questions.

Back in November last year, I was pondering joining SCBWI. I followed many authors and illustrators on Twitter and they were great advocates for the organisation. With that in mind, I took the plunge and joined. A couple of months later, there was a call for volunteer co-chairs for the conference. I am not sure what possessed me, but I thought, "I can do that, it’s my day job and I have some time …"

One slightly nervous Skype interview with Natascha Biebow later, I was invited to join the team. My fellow co-chair, Tracy Liennard was going through exactly the same process and when we finally "met" over the phone, we immediately bonded over a shared experience … neither of us had been to the conference before! Luckily, the conference is not left to our devices, it’s about the combined efforts of some wonderful people, who are continuing to shepherd us through our first year. You can contact Tracy and me at

Co-chair AJ de Montjoie
Co-chair Tracy Liennard

Writer’s Programme

George Kirk is our amazing speaker coordinator for the writers. She’s also been an invaluable source of information and such a support for Tracy and I. She’s helped us put together an amazing programme and there will be more from George in a week's time as she has been busy interviewing our keynote, Tanya Landman

George Kirk

Illustrators' Programme

Patrick Miller and Clare Tovey have put together an amazing programme for our illustrators and author illustrators, this year, led by our Keynote, Benji Davies. This year we are also privileged to have some top industry professionals to the conference thanks to their hard work, including speakers who can offer the best possible advice about how to succeed in the world of illustration.

Patrick Miller

Clare Tovey

Pulse/Spark Programme

Two fabulous volunteers have been looking after the events for our published members. Mo O’Hara and Sarah Towle gave Tracy and I our first real challenge of the conference, would we be up for doing something a little different? So, it’s thanks to them that we have the wonderful KidLit TV lined up for you, opening up the prospect of video marketing, along with an inspirational key note in the form of Nick Tucker.

Mo O'Hara

Sarah Towle

1-1's and Portfolio Reviews

Liz Miller leads the reviews for writers with help from Addy Farmer. Both of them have been working very hard to bring the best agents and editors to the conference. Liz has also been brilliant at ensuring the very popular Speed-Pitching and The Hook came together. Both she and Addy can help you on the day with your 1-1 reviews. Don’t be nervous - sign up!

Liz Miller

Addy Farmer

Paul Morton organises the 1-1 illustrator reviews. Like Liz and Addy, he works hard to match you with the right reviewer. Paul also organises a Sketch Crawl on the Friday afternoon of the conference, if you arrive early.
© Paul Morton

Our onsite event team

Camilla Chester is our onsite guru of everything. If you have anything you need to know over the conference weekend, Camilla will be on hand to support you. She also keeps an eye on the volunteers too. So, you are likely to find Tracy or me or both of us, following Camilla around, as we’re new to this as well!

Camilla Chester

Dom Conlon is our University Liaison and is the person who deals with all the food and dietary requirements. It’s also thanks to Dom, that our wonderful programme is printed for you.

Dom Conlon

Zoe Cookson has stepped up this year to help us with The Hook and The Fringe. She’s full of energy and is working with other members of our volunteer team to ensure things run smoothly. Email

Zoe Cookson

Anna Cole is running the party, with help from Tania Tay. Anna is busy coordinating all the invites and working closely with Tania for a superb event, where we can all get our glad rags on and dress up for our Travelling Through Time theme.

Anna Cole

Tania Tay

Clare Bell is organising everything to do with the Friday Night Critique and the Mass Book Launch, so if you have any questions about either of those Clare can help.

Clare Bell

Team members you may need before the conference

Sean Noonan is our amazing bookings coordinator and I have to thank Sean personally for all his help with getting the programme and website sorted before the launch. He put up with some pretty silly questions! However, if you have an issue with your booking, please contact Sean.

Sean Noonan

Sue Wallman manages the two Margaret Carey Scholarships for the conference. These are vital to encourage those who maybe don’t have the funds to come along and be a part of our wonderful event. Do contact Sue if you have any questions.

Sue Wallman

Alice Hemming is supporting Tracy and me with the website and will be working on the Mass Book Launch page, so keep an eye on that as it starts to go live!

Alice Hemmings
Of course, this isn’t the whole team, there are others who are working really hard to make sure you have a fabulous experience. We are both really grateful for all their help and energy. One final thing, Tracy has no idea I have written this, she is on a wonderful interrailing experience across Scandinavia this summer, so if I have misrepresented her, firstly she will never know and secondly, I can always apologise later.

See you all in November.

*Featured image:

AJ de Montjoie is Co-Chair of the SCBWI Conference. Find out about her, Tracy and the other volunteers on the conference pages, here.

Fran Price is part of the editorial team at Words and Pictures, the online magazine for SCBWI-BI, and is Events Editor. Contact her at

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