There have been a host of new volunteer recruits across SCBWI British Isles. This issue, Stephanie Cotela welcomes Hazel Hitchins and Corryn Webb, the new Co-Network Organisers for Wales.

Hazel Hitchins


Hazel Hitchins


Hazel lives in South Wales with her husband, two children and neurotic cat, (is there any other kind?), Marbles. When she's not writing about angry fairies or haunted houses, she enjoys writing supernatural stories for grown-ups under the name Siwan Freeman.

Hazel took on the Network Organiser role because stories matter.

She knew when she was seven, writing about a family that adopted a stray cat, (spoiler - it turned out to be a lion cub). She knew a decade later, taking Creative Writing classes at university. She even knew for a short time after she graduated when she'd spend spare evenings scribbling away, sending comedy scripts off to the BBC, (another story), or writing snatches of what would surely be the greatest novel ever written. And then…

She forgot.

Life took over. She got a 'proper job' writing insurance policies. It was not the writing life she'd envisaged - they don’t have a Booker Prize category for ‘Best Insurance Document’, she checked. Fortunately, the call of writing has always been too strong for her to ignore for long and a few years ago, with her children both in school, she decided to take the plunge. She left the heady world of Financial Services Compliance and committed to writing - part of which included joining SCWBI and ultimately volunteering as Co-Network Organiser for Wales.

She's a firm believer in the adage “a rising tide lifts all boats”. She loves hearing the success stories of others. She believes it's easy to underestimate the impact a supportive, creative community can have. Writing and illustrating are solitary activities, but being a writer or illustrator doesn’t have to be. She's learnt so much from her SCBWI comrades - regardless of where they are on their journey. They have helped her to become a better writer and she hopes, in some way, she's helped them.

She took on the Network Organiser role in the midst of the pandemic when our primary focus was to keep people engaged and inspired. Now, as we come out of that phase, she's really looking forward to instigating face-to-face meet ups, seeing some of those Zoom faces in person and enjoying the beautiful Welsh countryside she's lucky enough to have on her doorstep.

Corryn Webb

Corryn Webb


Corryn is a Welsh freelance illustrator and designer sandwiched perfectly between the rugged mountains and frigid seas of North Wales.

She has been illustrating children’s books exclusively for over three years and has been fortunate to work on over 20 books, (and counting), with various wonderful authors. She is in love with the whole process and extremely grateful to call this work. She loves to linger in pools of imagination so, when she gets a new manuscript to read with new characters to meet, new adventures to embark on and magical kingdoms to explore, well, it’s a good day!

She works closely with her husband, who is also freelance as a children’s book designer and formatter, in their dinky home studio, closely monitored by their children, rescue dogs, cat and a plethora of flora.

She has always been creative. If she's not drawing or writing she can be found making absolutely anything or tending her ever-growing indoor jungle. She is actually in the process of combining the two into a card game based on magical indoor plant characters.

She is absolutely fascinated by the beauty, magic and mythology of Wales which regularly inspires her freelance work and her own art and writing. She is on the neurodivergent spectrum and presently undergoing diagnosis for ADHD and Autism. She's also a member of the LGBTQ community. Representing both communities is very important to her.

She joined SCWBI to support her writing endeavour as she started to write her first middle grade graphic novel which she's now finished several times. She would never have gotten this far without the amazing support she's received here at SCWBI, in her regional group and in her fantastic graphic novel crit group. She's excited to take on this role and work with Co-Network Organiser Hazel Hitchens and become more involved in all things SCWBI.

* Header image: Tita Berredo

Stephanie Cotela
is the new Network News/Events Editor for Words & Pictures magazine.

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