This month, Network News Editor, Janey Robinson, highlights the Scotland Network

Ten networks and their volunteers power SCBWI across the British Isles. Find out the latest from our northernmost region, Scotland, with the help of Network Organisers Elizabeth and Justin and their inspiring community of SCBWI members.

Name: SCBWI South East Scotland recently went national! We are now SCBWI Scotland.

Counties: We cover every part of Scotland: lowland, highland and island, including the Outer Hebrides in the West and Shetland to the far North.

Key Contacts: Network Organisers, Elizabeth Frattaroli and Justin Davies, plus Regional Contacts Maisie Chan in Glasgow, Jenny Skene in Aberdeen, and Barbara Henderson in Inverness. All can be contacted via

Event Highlights:
  • A Synopsis Skillshare, where we thrashed out the joys and despairs of writing the perfect synopsis.
  • A Scrawl & Scribble Crawl to the new V&A in Dundee.
  • In May we held a hugely popular agent & editor 1-2-1 event, giving 32 members the opportunity to have their writing critiqued by industry professionals.
  • In August SCBWI Scotland is chairing two events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival as well as hosting the festival’s first ever Scrawl & Scribble Crawl for children. 

Member News: The first half of 2019 has been incredibly successful for SCBWI Scotland!

New Publications and Representation:
  • Debuts from: PM Freestone, Shadowscent; Justin Davies, Help! I Smell a Monster; and Sylvia Hehir, Sea Change.
  • Other book launches: Sophie Cameron, Last Bus to Everland; Moira McPartlin, Star of Hope (The Sun Song Trilogy); Lindsay Littleson, The Titanic Detective Agency and Guardians of the Wild Unicorns; Jill Calder (with Miranda Krestovnikoff), The Sea; Morag Hood, Aalfred and Aalbert; Alison Page, The Tattoo Toorie
  • Members who have announced new agents this year: Tita Berredo; Sarah Broadley; Caroline Deacon; Jill Calder; Rachel Davison
Book Festivals
  • SCBWI Scotland was brilliantly represented at the Wee Write Festival in Glasgow earlier in the year with Lindsay Littleson, Morag Hood, Michelle Sloan, LJ MacWhirter and Victoria Williamson all taking part in either the main programme or school events.
  • Jill Calder and Justin Davies both recently appeared at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose.
  • Edinburgh played host to the recent Cymera Book Festival which featured a brilliant array of science fiction, fantasy and horror writers including LJ (Liz) MacWhirter, PM (Peta) Freestone and Moira McPartlin from SCBWI Scotland.
  • Barbara Henderson (Punch) and Lindsay Littleson (A Pattern of Secrets) took their Victorian-themed books on the road throughout Scotland.
  • Coo Clayton appeared on the BBC Scotland Channel to discuss the importance of reading with your children.
  • Maisie Chan appeared at the National Writers Conference in June speaking on the Overcoming Obstacles Health and Wellbeing Panel.
  • Pauline Mackay opened a multilingual children’s library in Inverness where she’s covered a wall with characters from her Wee MacNessie books. 
  • Jill Calder will shortly be heading to Pakistan with the British Council as part of a worldwide tour of the Drawing Words exhibition curated by Lauren Child.
  • Wendy Jones is soon to take Bertie the Buffalo on tour in the USA. 
Highlighting a member: Meet June Graham, one of our newest members. 

Image © Scottish Book Trust
"I studied physics and worked as a climate scientist in Canada and Switzerland. When we moved to the Isle of Lewis ten years ago, I joined a writing group who encouraged me to take writing seriously. Much to my delight, I received a Gaelic New Writer’s Award this year to develop a children’s novel. I’ve joined SCBWI to help me improve my writing and make contact with other children’s writers. I write children’s fiction in Gaelic, it helps me see things from a child’s point of view. Here is an article I wrote for Scottish Book Trust on how writing in Gaelic helps me see things from a cat’s point of view. I am currently working on a novel for 8 to 11-year-olds. It’s called The Foreign Feline and is written from the point of view of a Swiss cat. He is very happy until his family uproot him and take him to a windy Scottish island where the other cats are nasty to him. Convinced that his family will come to their senses and join him, he sets off for Switzerland, but gets the ferries mixed up and travels around the Highlands instead. The story is inspired by my own Swiss cat who disappeared for two years after we moved to Lewis."

A notable literary location: 

SCBWI Scotland and SCBWI North West at Moat Brae
We recently went on our first SCBWI Scotland road trip to Moat Brae in Dumfries along with the SCBWI North West Network. 

The house and gardens are said to be the inspiration behind Peter Pan, where a young JM Barrie played pirates with his friends who lived there. 

Saved from demolition several years ago with hours to spare before the bulldozers moved in, the house has been turned into a National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling by the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust.

Volunteer Updates: 

Earlier this year, Peta (PM) Freestone took on the role of our first Pulse coordinator with the aim of running regular meetings and workshops for our growing number of agented and/or published members. Peta joins our fantastic team of critique group leaders who continue to provide SCBWI Scotland members with a source of support, friendship and invaluable peer advice. 

We’re also pleased to announce that Zeshan Akhter is taking on the role of our Picture Book Group coordinator, replacing Hannah Sanguinetti who is moving to Italy shortly. Thank you Hannah for all your hard work! 

Finally, a special mention for Glasgow based member Stuart White who is doing amazing work with his #WriteMentor initiative. Many SCBWI members across the UK are benefitting from the various #WriteMentor programmes, and many more have put themselves forward as mentors and workshop leaders.

Scotland Network Fact:

According to a recent and highly scientific poll of our membership, children's writing and illustrating in Scotland is fuelled by tea, and not, as some might suspect, by Irn Bru.

The header image is by Catherine Lindow. Catherine lives and illustrates in a Fife seaside village. She is fond of drawing towns and places and the people who may or may not live in them. Drainpipes, vexed dog walkers and the odd bit of sprouting leafiness are among her favourite subjects. Instagram: @catherixx

Janey Robinson is the Network News Editor for Words & Pictures. A SCBWI member since 2015, Janey mainly writes picture books with YA fantasy a more recent passion. She lives in North London but escapes to wide open spaces whenever possible, particularly places where you can see the Milky Way on a clear night. Twitter: @sjlrobinson

1 comment:

  1. What a super roundup of the news from Scotland. Aren't we doing well!


We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.