SCBWI BI CONFERENCE 2022 It's Official


The conference team are delighted to formally announce the launch of this year's SCBWI BI Conference: Finding Your Power, and confirm that bookings will open today, 15th August!


It’s official! The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is proud to announce their first Northern conference, to be held on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November 2022 at Manchester Metropolitan University – Business School Building.

Conference Co-chair Marie Basting said: “We are delighted to bring our annual SCBWI conference to Manchester. Our first conference since the pandemic, the theme ‘Finding Your Power’ reflects our desire to regroup and recharge and to address recent publishing challenges head on. With amazing speakers, workshops and networking opportunities, we hope delegates will leave empowered and with a new sense of optimism and community.”


Conference Co-chair Alison Gardiner said: “The weekend is a fabulous chance for meeting industry professionals — literary agents, editors, art directors, publishers and experienced writers — face-to-face, an opportunity for comment on your work, questions, discussion of ideas. The conference is aimed at all stages of a creative career from newbies to the experienced, be you writer or illustrator. The atmosphere is stimulating, educational, yet relaxed. Be prepared to have fun, laugh, learn and come away refreshed, inspired and equipped to master your work.”


SCBWI British Isles Chair, Natascha Biebow, MBE, adds: “The pandemic has changed much for many people, but one consistent request from children’s book creators is an opportunity to meet again face-to-face. We are thrilled to bring back our annual conference, for which a number of full scholarships will be awarded to authors and illustrators from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. We look forward to seeing you there!”


Highlights of the programme include keynote lectures by multi award-winning author Alex Wheatle, MBE, and Jim Field, award-winning illustrator, character designer and animation director. Our industry keynote slot this year, Beyond the Secret Garden, will consist of a panel discussion featuring British Academy Global Professor of Children’s Literature Karen Sands O'Connor and lecturer and Philosophy for Children Practitioner Darren Chetty. Exploring the representation of BAME authors and characters in children’s books, it will be hosted by Carnegie and Costa shortlisted author Candy Gourlay.



[Keynote Speakers: Alex Wheatle, Jim Field, Karen Sands O'Connor and Darren Chetty]

Throughout both days there will be practical sessions and workshops catering to all stages of the creative journey, including pre-published, self-published and established writers or illustrators. Session titles include The Suspense is Killing Me: Killer Thriller Knowhow; Illustrator Wisdom: From Pencil to Print; Creating Additional Income Streams for Published Children’s Authors; Picture Books to Change the World; Acting Up: Using Performance Techniques to Bring your Characters to Life on the Page; What Captain America Taught Me About Voice: Writing with Superhero POW! In addition, delegates have the opportunity to book one-to-one manuscript and portfolio review sessions with literary agents, editors and publishers. The full programme can be found here.



On Saturday conference will culminate with a fantastic opportunity for delegates to pitch to industry professionals in a Dragons’ Den style event, then dinner with the SCBWI British Isles annual Mass Book Launch celebration; come in fancy dress or not, you choose.



[Mass Book Launch]

We could not be more excited about welcoming SCBWI members and non-members alike to join us in person (at last!) in Manchester.


For more information about the conference, please visit our website or contact a member of the conference team


Happy Booking!

* Header image: Tita Berredo

* Image credits: SCBWI Conference Committee


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


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


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