EVENTS SCBWI-BI Conference is back!



Hear ye! Hear ye! The SCBWI-BI Annual Conference is back! Catherine Whitmore keeps us up to date with all things annual conference.


Why Manchester? Why Not?


The pandemic taught us many lessons. Some, we may wish never to use (multiplication of fractions being amongst mine). But for many of us SCBWI volunteers, we learned, quite quickly, that the way it has always been done, is not the only way.


Online meetings?


Weekend online conferencing?


Well-being evenings?


Why not?


Last November, as planning season rolled around and the team looked at the 2022 program, the question of conference loomed. The elephant in the zoom room. Changes in the administration at Winchester University had made the conference, as we knew it, unlikely. We knew that online conferences had been popular, but, quite honestly, we were all ready for a hug!


And so, the challenge was laid. A conference please, but not quite as we know it.


Honestly, as we are finding out, reinventing the wheel is tricky. We’re learning just why it has taken a pandemic to change the conference format.


But guess what – Manchester is quite at home with revolution. Quite comfortable with it, to be fair. We invite it in for a brew. Manchester is home to the industrial revolution, ground-breaking music movements (you’re twisting my melon man), the Pankhursts, the world’s first computer, and, most relevantly for us, Manchester Metropolitan University.
MMU has long been a supporter of the North West SCBWI network, providing us with event rooms and promotion for our events. 

It runs a renowned MA in Creative Writing for Children and an Illustration school (which has taught and/or employed a good few of our members), and supports community schemes to give opportunities to the diverse and overlooked communities in Manchester. MMU shares SCBWI’s values.


The Steering committee were thrilled that we’d found our home. Next, I had to pull Marie Basting out of retirement and convince her that we could make our dream of a Manchester conference a reality. Marie won’t mind me saying that numbers scare the BMX out of her, but luckily she has found her conference-soulmate in Alison Gardiner. Together, they are working hard behind the scenes with a team (that you will meet over the coming weeks in a series of articles), to make this debut a success.



What can you expect?


All the things you would expect from a SCBWI conference!
Workshops, panels, opportunities to speak to and meet industry professionals, a bit of a do on the Saturday night. ​
But, in the words of one of our famous sons, Tony Wilson, ‘This is Manchester. We do things differently here...’



Catherine Whitmore is the Assistant Regional Advisor (Networks) of SCBWI British Isles Region.

Marie Basting and Alison Gardiner are Conference Co-Chairs of SCBWI British Isles Region.


Gulfem Wormald is the Editor of Words & Pictures. Contact: Twitter: @GulfemWormald

1 comment:

  1. When and where are the tickets available? Can a none-SCBWI also come?


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