SCBWI-BI CONFERENCE 2019: here come the dates!

Heads up, the annual SCBWI Conference is just around the corner. Co-chair Tracy Liennard talks us through key diary dates for SCBWI-BI Conference 2019

We have an exciting programme, awesome keynotes, and a host of events to choose from including workshops, 1 to 1s, speed pitching and more for you to attend.

Our keynotes this year take their inspiration from the modern, mythical and the magical. Geraldine McCaughrean, has written over 170 books including the very magical Peter Pan in Scarlet. Mini Grey winner of the Kate Greenway medal brings us her nursery rhyme inspired illustrations and Nicola Solomon will discuss three top issues for authors and illustrators.

Whether your writing is inspired by the real world or fantasy the conference has something for you. 
Volunteers are beavering away to get bookings open as soon as possible in the next couple of weeks. Check out our Twitter feed @SCBWI-BI, Facebook page, and watch out for those emails that will be flowing into your inbox.

When we publish the full programme, you will be able to book the conference and then choose your sessions. So get reading and watch out for updates as they go live.

Remember Words & Pictures will be your source for more information on our keynotes too, as well as other conference features.

But for now, grab your diaries — and don't miss the deadlines!

Friday 26th July, by 5pm — update your profile page for the Mass Book Launch

We have our exhilarating Mass Book Launch party and the theme this year is modern, mythical and the magical. Get your creative brain into gear and think of a spectacular costume that can fit in with this theme. For the launch — don’t forget to update your information on your profile page by the deadline above so we can celebrate your success in November.

Last year's Mass Book Launch cake.

Midnight, Saturday 3rd August — deadline for submitting for scholarships 

We now have our usual two hardship scholarships, one for young adult/middle grade and one for picture book author or illustrators sponsored by Margaret Carey. The hardship scholarships are for those of you that would like to attend the conference but perhaps cannot raise the funds to attend. Keep an eye on Words & Pictures for more details.

We also have some super-exciting news to announce in the coming weeks about further scholarship opportunities. You won’t want to miss this — so keep checking Words & Pictures and all the usual social media platforms!

Saturday 7th September – bookings open for one-to-ones

This is an amazing opportunity for you to have your work read by an agent or editor and to gain face-to-face feedback. Remember you need to book these and be able to meet the deadline above. 

Saturday 14th September – deadline for submitting manuscripts for one-to-ones 

Once you’ve booked your one-to-one, you need to submit your manuscript by the deadline above. 

Sunday 15th September – deadline for submitting to The Hook 

This is also the deadline for The Hook where you can take part in this Dragon’s Den style pitch to very supportive agents. You also have the chance to have a one-to-one with an agent at the end. There’s only five delegates who get to take part, so be sure to submit your application on time. 

Monday 30th September – deadline for submitting to Self-Editing for Picture Books

This workshop will use practical examples from attendees work. If you want to have your manuscript in tip-top shape then submitting your work for consideration at this workshop will help you get there. You need to submit your work by the deadline above.

Sketch of 2018 keynotes by Hannah Sanguinetti, one of last year's scholarship winners.

Tuesday 1st October – deadline for submitting to Friday Night Critique 

The Friday Night Critique is a great way to start your conference. Meet other delegates, make friends and get feedback on your work. What a great way to break the ice before the conference begins on the Saturday. Submit your manuscripts and extracts by the deadline above — so that everybody has time to read them before the conference, and then reap the benefits of reading others’ work and receiving feedback on your manuscript.

Thursday 14th October — deadline for submitting for portfolio one-to-ones

If you’re an illustrator and you would like to book a portfolio review then this is your deadline. Please ensure you have read the guidelines before you apply. There’s plenty of advice on the one-to-one review page too.  

Friday 18th October — last chance to book for the conference. Bookings close!

Please don’t miss out on the best conference of the year and book early to ensure you get to the sessions you really want to attend. Some sessions will fill up very quickly.

Friday 1st November — Night Fringe

The scrawl crawl, the Friday night meal, meeting old friends, making new ones. Friday night is all about relaxing and getting excited about the conference over the weekend ahead.

Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd November — Let the conference begin!

*Header image: illustration by Mini Grey.


Tracy Liennard has been a member of SCBWI for three years and this is her second year on the Conference Committee. As co-chair she has been supporting the speaker co-ordinators and finance function and will be hosting the speed dating session. Her day job as a civil servant involves working on the challenges of Brexit. Everything else in life seems simple by comparison. She has spent enough time drinking tea in cafe’s to have just finished writing her first young adult manuscript and also writes picture books.


Fran Price is Events Editor for Words & Pictures, the online magazine for SCBWI-BI. Contact her at

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