FROM YOUR EDITOR SCBWI-BI Outstanding Contribution Awards 2018

Words & Pictures Deputy Editor, A M Dassu is delighted to share this year's Outstanding Contribution Award winners. A HUGE round of applause for them and all other SCBWI-BI volunteers!

SCBWI is an organisation built and run by volunteers, and it is only because of their goodwill that we have such a successful chapter. Our volunteers are a generous bunch  whilst writing, editing, illustrating, and generally building their careers, they also give their time and expertise to help others within the organisation. At this year's SCBWI-BI Conference, volunteers from each department were given an Outstanding Contribution Award for their efforts and dedication. It was emotional watching people we all know and love recognised for their hard work and we were delighted for them! WELL DONE ALL OF YOU AND THANK YOU!

And without further ado, here are this year's well-deserved winners:



For the past two years, Claire has led our online magazine and the Words & Pictures team, helping to re-shape it during its re-launch. She has harnessed her years of experience and skills in publishing, to support and drive innovation. Now with a clearer focus, it’s easier to search for and find your favourite articles, and even browse through the archives.

Claire is super-organised, instituting a rolling schedule planned well in advance. Yet somehow, Claire always manages remarkable flexibility to cover those last-minute important announcements or ad-hoc events. Everyone knows what they’re doing – which is a good job, because Claire has at least doubled the size of the W&P team! She has social media sewn up, from the W&P Facebook page, to the W&P Twitter account and now the weekly W&P round-up Mailchimp that goes out to members. Words & Pictures really is the flagship initiative for SCBWI British Isles. The numbers are growing and growing and we couldn’t be prouder. Pure hard work, innovation and dedication. Thank you, Claire!


Anita Loughrey has served as our Membership Coordinator for too many years to count! She remembers times when we didn’t have the networks or even online sign-ups  when keeping on top of membership admin was not for the faint-hearted. Anita is often the first welcoming contact for new members, sending out the welcome pack and answering their queries about SCBWI. She works closely with the Networks and Events Organisers to provide updated monthly membership lists and follows up on renewals. As many will know, she also served for quite a few years as the Networks Coordinator for London and the South East, forging many personal contacts with members too. Anita is a shining example of a volunteer who is willing to tackle admin with all-important reliability and always with a smile.



Patrick Miller came to volunteering for SCBWI through the Illustration Critique Group. The Illustration Team loved and encouraged his artwork and growing career, and he gave back as a valued member. Patrick is always ready to help out with new and helpful suggestions, and support other illustrator members. As part of the Undiscovered Voices team, Patrick jumped right in to assist with the running of the competition. He served as one of the ‘Getting Discovered’ portfolio reviewers, offering great suggestions to help short-listed illustrators curate an eye-catching portfolio. As if this wasn't enough, he took on the Conference Illustrator Liaison role with gusto, working with the conference team to pull together an amazing Illustration Programme at the Conference.



Julie Sullivan, Features Editor, is a stalwart of Words & Pictures. Despite being in a different time zone from the rest of us  and always travelling  she stays abreast of developments and offers to step in whenever needed. She is reliable, dedicated, flexible and a wonderful person to work with!



Our South East Scotland network was already pretty awesome when Sarah Broadley took the throne, but rather than rest on her laurels, she has somehow managed to make it even better with a varied programme of events and meet ups that have ensured SE Scotland is the kid-lit capital of, well, Scotland. Super-dedicated, super hard-working and super-talented, this world needs more Sarahs. If only she’d stand for Prime Minister!


Each of our networks works slightly differently, and the work of our South East coordinator, Jane Haryott, has perhaps not been as high-profile as that of some of the other network organisers. However, despite the difficulties presented by geography, Jane has been there, working hard in the background to connect members, keeping them informed and involved and coordinating the plethora of critique groups that take place in the South East. With a calm and committed approach, Jane is usually the first to show her support to any initiative. Likewise, the world needs more Janes.



Benjamin Scott has been a vital part of the Undiscovered Voices team for the past five years. Not only is he dedicated and hard-working, but he also brings an amazing creativity to the process. He thinks ahead and endeavours to improve the process and product. He was instrumental in creating and maintaining the Undiscovered Voices website. He’s passionate about helping his fellow writers and illustrators and always goes the extra mile to support and assist them in any way he can. It’s an honour to work alongside him. Thanks, Benjamin!



Over the past two years, the Agents' Party team, made up of Terri Tremble and Kathleen Isaac along with the assistance of Sara Grant, have built upon this popular, annual event, creating a polished, organised and very professional evening. This year, ticket sales soared, but the team still managed to keep the pitching queues under control, giving everyone the chance to chat with agents. We even have a queue of agents asking to participate now! It truly is a team effort:

Terri led the team’s ever-popular Agents' Party Mailchimp campaign, ensuring the event sold out months in advance.

Kathleen led the team’s efforts to move the event to a more financially viable location, improving on the catering options and budget constraints.

Sara provided the team with a concise, well thought-out running order for the evening, giving it a professional quality for those involved and a relaxed environment for the party goers, not to mention her topnotch hosting skills. Sara is always wiling to go the extra mile to help fellow authors!



Philippa Francis has been a member of SCBWI since 2009 and has thrown herself into all aspects of the SCBWI world. Philippa is a member of the Twitter Team, which has gone from 5,000 followers to almost 9,000 in less than two years. The Twitteratti do like a bit of consistency, a reply here, a retweet there – radio silence isn’t a great look. It is consistency and dedication that has made the SCBWI-BI Twitter Space a real hub of connection and support. And come hell or high water, Philippa makes sure Super Twitter Woman is at the heart of things on the two days she tweets for SCBWI! Philippa also writes regularly for W&P as K M Lockwood. From features to events, which just shows how proactive Philippa is in the community. Philippa embodies what SCBWI is all about. You get out what you put in. If SCBWI is a family – then Philippa is the Momma.



Addy Farmer and Liz Miller have organised the writers’ one-to-ones at the conference for oh, so many years. From booking the BEST 1-1 reviewers, to receiving the mountain of mail, distributing manuscripts, organising timetables and policing the clock. But maybe even more importantly, they have both been at the door of the 1-1 rooms to give a confidence boost, a consolatory hug, a celebratory squeal and a nice cup of tea. And there have been matches made in heaven ... or publishing contracts at least. After this year they are stepping down, leaving some big shoes to fill. We are indebted to them for all their hours of hard work and for being so dedicated to helping other writers too.


Sue Wallman is the Margaret Carey conference scholarship coordinator. She single-handedly orchestrates lining up the judges, organises a team of judges to review the numerous fiction, picture book and illustration submissions, and oversees the judging and announcement of the winners. She is involved every step of the way to ensure that the winners are warmly received and made to feel welcome at the conference itself. It is a huge amount of work and we are super grateful!



Candy Gourlay is that one-of-a-kind volunteer: generous, enthusiastic, uber-talented and so giving. Along with Mo O’Hara, member of the PULSE team, she is always forward-looking, seeking out any initiative that SCBWI should have to better service its members now and in the future. Candy never says it can’t be done, but rather thinks about HOW it can be achieved and then makes it happen. She also skilfully participates and moderates our Facebook group, reaching out to and mentoring new talent and freely offering advice about all kinds of topics, including techie stuff. Recently, at short-notice, she jumped in and brilliantly interviewed Lauren Child at the Manchester Children’s Book Festival on behalf of SCBWI, and at the 2018 conference helped facilitate the school visit SLAM.



For the past 18 years, Anne-Marie has quietly and dedicatedly built up the SCBWI-BI’s illustration programme, including masterclasses, the picture book retreat, conference programming and exhibitions with the help of a fabulous team of volunteers. THANK YOU!


And last, but certainly not least, our Regional Advisor, Natascha Biewbow was given a wonderful, rightly deserved tribute at the conference for her dedication to the British Isles SCBWI chapter and her recent MBE from Her Majesty The Queen. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house! Natascha took over TWENTY YEARS AGO as Regional Advisor (Chair) when there were only twenty members, meeting every other week in London. Under Natascha’s leadership, the membership has grown exponentially and we now have TEN thriving regional networks, our weekly online magazine, Words & Pictures, an annual conference, the bi-annual Undiscovered Voices project, plus regular national and regional events for both published and unpublished members, and of course we can't forget the hundreds of critique groups (face-to-face and online), scrawl crawls and regular socials. So many of us have made progress with our writing, become published, and made wonderful friends because of SCBWI. We really can't thank her enough! THANK YOU SO MUCH NATASCHA!

(I picked a really good year to attend the conference didn't I?)



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

Some of our upcoming volunteer vacancies are:

• Illustrator Events
• Illustrator Contributors W & P
• Networks Organisers: London; Central West; Central East; North East and South West
• Webinar Event Coordinator
• Events: Industry Insiders
• Conference team

Look out for job descriptions for these in one of our January 2019 Words & Pictures issues.


A. M. Dassu is Deputy Editor of Words & Pictures. You can contact her at
You can also find her on Twitter @a_reflective and Instagram @a.m.dassu

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