EVENTS Get ready to Scrawl Crawl

SCBWI's virtual scrawl crawls provide cultural and creative inspiration. Report by Anne Boyere.  

One of the highlights of the lockdown, for me, has been the SCBWI virtual scrawl crawls. Since my friend Emma Finlayson-Palmer told me she was participating and asked if I would like to come along, I haven’t looked back.

First I joined the Virtual Scrawl Crawls group on Facebook. Alina Surnaite, the group moderator, posts all the events on the group, which is very handy when so many things are online now — I like having access to all of it but it's easy to lose track! With the group event I get a reminder just before. On the day, I go on the event page, click 'Join Event' and it takes me directly to the event venue.

Anne's sketch at the last scrawl crawl.

The seventh and latest scrawl crawl took place at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. As usual, I had forgotten about it until I got the reminder… And I had no idea about what I was going to do — sketch, write, jot down some ideas for inspiration, or just browse the different galleries and enjoy the art. At one of the previous scrawl crawls, I took inspiration from a portrait to get a picture of a character in my WIP. This time I was attracted by a painting entitled 'Bats in Moonlight'. As I scrolled along I thought I could put a few pictures together to make a short wordless spooky story.

'Bats in the Moonlight'. (Picture credit: National Museum of Asian Art.)

At the end of the event, those who want to, can share what they created or what they drew inspiration from. Debbie Edwards, Network Organiser for the Central East network, shared: “I didn't write a story, but did do some planning around this character ready for NaNo.” My friend Emma painted this intriguing picture of a corridor that could lead to all sorts of magical places.

Corridor sketch by Emma Finlayson-Palmer.

Crow sketch by Alina Surnaite.

Alina created her own version of 'Crow on a snow-covered branch' by Ohara Koson. I love seeing what others have done and the experience is a great opportunity to lose yourself in all the beautiful works of art, accessible by the press of a button.

Next time, on 21st November at 2pm, we will go to the State Darwin Museum in Moscow. How about joining us?

*Header image courtesy of Musée d’Orsay, Paris.


Anne Boyere is a writer and a breastfeeding counsellor. She won the 2018 Winchester Writers' Festival prize in Funny Fiction for her MG novel Milk Moon and was shortlisted in the Writers & Artists Writing for Children and YA competition. Twitter @AmusedNonQueen and @KidlitWriters


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

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