NEWS Masterclasses new faces


A huge and warm welcome to the masterminds behind this year’s Masterclasses. Words & Pictures editor Gulfem Wormald introduces two new faces.


Andrew James

I’ve taught for fourteen years and have covered most subjects in my time. Before that, I worked in TV production and initially wanted to be a scriptwriter, until I realised that prose was more satisfying. I’ve been trying to write and learn my craft for fifteen years.

In 2018, I graduated from Goldsmiths’ Children’s Literature MA, where I had the most overwhelmingly positive experience and was also lucky enough to meet the wonderful Sara Grant. It spurred me on to do a PhD (or rather attempt to write the proposal for one) and Sara introduced me to SCBWI. It’s taken me a while, but I now feel that I’ve found my niche in children’s literature and, in particular, middle grade stories. And despite being desperate to leave the Lake District, where I grew up, it's now become the setting for almost all of my writing.

Since moving to London with my husband, I’ve been a member and co-organiser of Greenwich Writers. Over the last seven years, I have organised many events, so I’m thrilled to have joined SCBWI and, as a volunteer, to continue to organise more specialist events for children’s writers. The team have been incredibly welcoming and have invested a great deal of time in supporting me, and I can’t wait to share more wonderful events in 2022. We’ve got loads of exciting things planned. 


Paul Webb

I wrote my first novel — a young adult LGBTQ+ comedy — during the first lockdown and felt very smug about it. Since then, I’ve not written much else, so I suppose that’s what I get for feeling smug. When I started writing, I didn’t have any writing friends and knew nothing about the publishing industry. Like a good millennial, I learnt everything from YouTube.

A work friend introduced me to someone who’d just found an agent and that person introduced me to Greenwich Writers which is where I met Andrew (it really is who you know). The support of a writing group has been invaluable. It’s provided me with lots of opportunities, including getting involved with SCBWI. I’m thrilled to volunteer with them and am looking forward to organising events to help you with your writing, not least because it gives me yet another excuse to procrastinate with my own.

My day job involves helping underrepresented groups to access higher education so I’m particularly interested in working with people who might not otherwise have access to writing and publishing opportunities. I’m looking forward to meeting you all soon.

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