SCBWI-BI CONFERENCE 2022 Agent & Editor 1-1's

Our SCBWI-BI Conference Committee Writer 1-1 Coordinator, Camilla Chester has been hard at work organising an impressive line-up of agents and editors offering professional reviews to authors & author/illustrators.

Camilla Chester met her first agent, Laura West, through a face to face event.

It’s time to start thinking about the SCBWI Conference and I can feel the excitement building. I’m totally thrilled that the conference is being held at Manchester Metropolitan University this year on 19 & 20 November. Not only is the conference happening face-to-face, but there’s a slightly different, fresh feel to the whole event.

I was delighted to be asked to join the SCBWI Manchester Conference Team as the Writer 1-1 Coordinator, and have been working hard behind the scenes to pull together an impressive line-up of agents and editors offering professional reviews to authors (and author/illustrators). I’d love it if you joined the party!

The huge difference this year for 1-1s is that the technical genius behind the booking system has now enabled you, the conference goer, to choose your own agent/editor and your slot time. You can check the availability of the person you would like to see and select a time that doesn’t clash with a talk/workshop that you don’t want to miss.

If you’re after an agent 1-1 then you can pick from: Becky Bagnell, Alice Williams, Arabella Stein, Penny Holroyd, Katie Blagden, Jo Williamson and Zoe Plant. These agents are all genuinely looking for talented writers. Penny and Alice are also interested in Author/Illustrators. Many people find their agent through a face-to-face event – I did! The relationship with a good agent is much more than your work, it’s a connection between two professional people and, if it works, can last an entire career.

An agent 1-1 is win/win because even if they don’t think your work is for them, they’ll be able to offer you valuable feedback. You can only benefit from their professional eye on your writing. 

But perhaps you’re already signed with an agent, or perhaps you’re not quite ready to submit your work to agents. Maybe you’re looking for a purely editorial critique, in which case you have a fantastic line-up of editors to choose from: Bella Pearson, Kesia Lupo, Tilda Johnson and Lil Chase. All hugely experienced professionals and keen to read your work – you’ll benefit enormously from a 1-1 with any of them. Remember that some are commissioning editors, and like the agents, are on the look out for the next big thing too.

For an extra £40 (£45 for non-members) you can invest in your career as a Children’s Author (or Author/Illustrator) by booking a 1-1 Review when you purchase your conference ticket. This is your chance to meet face to face with an agent/editor who is entirely focussed on you and your work. From someone who has personally benefited from 1-1 reviews at the SCBWI conference, take it from me that it’s really worth the extra money. 

I’ve convinced you haven’t I? You want in! The first thing you need to do is buy your conference ticket via the SCBWI-BI website. When you do, make sure you request a Writer 1-1 Review (or Author/Illustrator) on the booking form. Once the review slots are open you will be sent an email with a link to the booking form which is when you pick your agent/editor and slot time. 

Remember – it’s up to you to do your research so that you select the agent/editor who is right for you. There is information on the conference section of the website to help you, but Google is also your friend! Keep a close eye on your inbox and check your junk mail regularly as we expect that once the booking form opens, the slots will go fast. Once booked there is no way to change or refund so choose wisely. 

You will need to submit your work for the review by midnight on Monday 3 October. Details of this will also be sent to you by email. As a general guide, submissions are: a full PB text (or author/illustrator portfolio), or first chapter and synopsis of a MG or YA (no more than 2K). Your work doesn’t have to be complete in order to book a 1-1. A work-in-progress is fine. 

Make sure you make a note of your slot time and agent/editor name. This should be pinned up at the conference, but it can get a little busy during the weekend so it is good if you have this information to hand. All the writer 1-1s will be happening in the same location (TBC). You’ll need to arrive there 5 minutes before your slot time where a friendly face (probably mine) will be there to help.

The best advice I received was to record the conversation on my phone (check that the agent/editor is okay with this first) as you may feel a little star struck when it comes to your moment. We all know agents/editors are regular people, but if you don’t meet many it may feel overwhelming, and therefore you may not take in everything they say. They may give you notes back but mostly it’s just an informal conversation about your work. You can prepare for your 1-1 by having a list of questions or advice you’d like from them. Put simply, it’s important that you make the most of the short time you have. 

Fifteen minutes for an agent/editor 1-1 may not sound like very long but it could be career changing. Don’t miss out – book the conference now!

If you have any questions/queries please refer to the FAQs, but if this doesn’t provide answers feel free to email me at

See you in Manchester!


Illustrators! There are also 1-1 portfolio reviews with Art Directors/Agents taking place at the conference for illustrators. Mike Brownlow will offer more details here in W&P very soon, or you can find out more here.


Reminder for conference goers: If you want to take advantage of the discount arranged at the Hyatt House Hotel Manchester, the deadline to secure this offer is 31st August.

For booking details, click here

* Header image: Tita Berredo 

*Photo credits: Camilla Chester 


Camilla Chester is a long-time volunteer and member of SCBWI. For the conference this year Camilla is the coordinator for the writer 1-1s but previously she had the role as Front of House. She is a dog walking, hybrid Children’s Author, with three self-published and one traditionally published novel, Call Me Lion. She has been shortlisted twice in national competitions, writes on commission for the popular online school resource, Serial Mash and is represented by Veronique Baxter at DHA.


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

No comments:

We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.