NEWS New Faces

There have been a host of new volunteer recruits across SCBWI British Isles. This month, we welcome new faces in our Scotland region, and at Words & Pictures HQ.


Caroline Deacon — new Network Organiser for Scotland


Writing is the best job in the world and an ideal occupation for someone like me who gets easily bored.


I’ve worked as a waitress, a chambermaid, a soft toy stuffer, a swimming pool attendant and a ski guide. I’ve sold coffee, cakes, jewellery and life insurance. I once spent two weeks decorating Father Christmas’s house. But always, always at heart I’ve been a writer.


I can’t remember exactly where and when my enthusiasm for writing started, but there’s a picture book, created when I was three years old, which I like to think demonstrates an early instinct for story telling.


(It reads as follows: page 1: A man drinking all his milk. Page 2: A man drinking all his milk UP. Page 3: A good man)


Caroline Deacon sitting on a bollard

Caroline Deacon.

I love to have several projects on the go at once. I know a novel is working when I catch myself worrying about the well-being of my characters as if they were my children.


Books have to have heart, and if I can’t make the reader cry and laugh, then I haven’t done a good enough job.


I like the outdoors;  mountains, seasides, forests, but I also love cities, especially old buildings with stories to tell. I’m also one of those proverbially busy people. I ran the Highland Literary Salon for several years, and I’m currently on the board of Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s Writing Centre. I live in Edinburgh with husband and cat writing muses Bertie and Gateau, and am happy that my grown up kids all live nearby. I’ve had five non-fiction books published, but am now writing fiction. My agent is Lindsey Fraser at Fraser Ross Associates.


Onie Tibbett — new Network Organiser for Scotland


Being part of SCBWI over the past few years has been such a wonder. I’ve made brilliantly creative friends and I’ve learnt so much. The camaraderie and support of this embracing network have given me the confidence to prioritise my writing and develop my ideas, and I’m enormously grateful to the volunteers who keep everything running behind-the-scenes. Being one of the SCBWI Scotland Network Organisers for 2022-23 is my way to give something back.

Caroline Deacon (left) and Onie Tibbett.

[Picture credit: Yvonne Banham]


In my ‘day jobs’ I wear a few different hats. I’m a life celebrant with Agnostic Scotland; I’m co-director of KnotStressed Therapies, an Edinburgh-based business; I run birth and baby courses; and I volunteer at a community woodland. My background is environmental education and conservation science. I once spent three months in Madagascar studying lemurs and the first book I wrote was a Middle Grade eco-fiction adventure.


Writing is something I’ve always done and will always do. It’s how I process emotions and make sense of the world. Left unchecked, I write prose and poetry inscribed in nature, dark myths and stories steeped in folklore. Currently, I’m working on a spooky historical YA crossover novel. I’m a self-confessed pantser, secretly envious of my plotter friends. I’ve promised myself that if I pull off the complex dual timeline narrative in my work in progress, I’m going to buy myself a packraft.


Onie leading a Handfasting on a hill.

[Picture credit: Sanne Gault]

I learnt early on that I need to live near trees and water. When I’m not marrying people or writing, I’m mostly found hiking or cycling with friends in the East Lothian countryside near where I live, or travelling around Scotland in my camper van with my husband and daughters.


Eva Wong Nava — new Events Editor


Eva was born on a tropical island where a heraldic animal spurts water. Her ancestors braved monsoon winds sailing from the Middle Kingdom to British Malaya to plant roots in Southeast Asia. When the winds changed, her relatives sailed again and found another home somewhere in the western hemisphere, braving snow storms and hail.


Eva has done many things in life, but writing remains her most favourite thing to do. She combines degrees in English Literature and Art History, and writes stories that explore identity, culture, and belonging by adding a dash of magic. She has written an award-winning middle-grade novel (Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, 2018) and several fiction and nonfiction picture books. And she has forthcoming picture books to be announced. 

picture of Eva Wong Nava

Eva Wong Nava.

Eva writes across age groups. Her debut YA is a historical fiction published by the Penguin Random House group. Eva has been a speaker at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content on writing diverse books and representing under-represented voices. She has spoken to parents and children in the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Singapore about how crucial it is for children to see themselves in the pages of books.


Eva is the co-founder of Picture Book Matters, a mentoring platform for aspiring picture book creators in and from Southeast Asia. She established The Writing Essentials to offer editorial services such as sensitivity editing and author coaching. Eva is passionate about how her culture, heritage, and people are represented in books, films, and media. She has lived here, there, and everywhere, but she calls the Land of Albion home. Eva lives in London with her family, two scampering squirrels, and a regal fox.

*Header image by Tita Berredo.


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