SCBWI BI CONFERENCE 2022 — What do you need to know?

Here is Natalie Yates, Conference Front of House, with your essential guide to making the most out of the conference.

With the first face to face conference since 2019, you'll want to make sure you get the most out of your conference experience this year. Whether you are an 'old hand' at a SCBWIcon weekend or a conference newbie, you want to make sure you know what to expect and what to bring.

Remember, if you can't join us this year, you can still follow along on Twitter via @SCBWI_BI #scbwicon22.

For any newbies out there and those not familiar with the new venue, along with myself, there will be lots of happy volunteers to greet you and answer any of your questions. 

What should I bring?

In the excitement of packing, it is not unheard of to forget the most essential items:

  • notepad and pen or laptop for all the scribbles and sketches
  • extra bag for all the wonderful SCBWI books you'll be tempted to buy (don't forget signatures!)
  • phone for contacts, photos, maps, etc
  • phone also to access the conference programme - this year we are going digital!
  • money for drinks at the party and CASH for raffle tickets and merchandise  
  • did I say party? Don't forget your costume! This year the theme is All Things Manchester: anything goes, whether it's a small nod to Manchester or a full blown costume. But don't feel pressured to look silly, smart evening wear is perfectly acceptable.

One year, more than one Cat in the Hat turned up

After all this time apart, it will be wonderful to catch up with all your SCBWI friends, plus for newbies to make new friends and perhaps put a face to that facebook acquaintance you connected with years ago. But not only that, being surrounded by industry professionals, it may feel like too good an opportunity to miss on networking and perhaps even mentioning that book you've been working on. But don't forget the pitching etiquette:

  • remember agents/ editors are people too (they don't bite!)
  • think pitch not manuscripts
  • toilets are a pitch-free zone!
  • protect copyright: you can blog and tweet (use the hashtag) but always source quotes, don't reproduce material and don't send out any live feeds of speakers and guests

Mass Book Launch SCBWI conference 2017

For any newbies and for those who can't remember when they last attended (certainly 2019 seems like a lifetime ago), here's some last snippets of advice:

  • you are responsible for arranging your own transport, but please shout out on Facebook for lift shares and other conference queries 
  • register on Saturday morning from 08:45 and download the conference programme (remember we are being eco-friendly this year)
  • if you are a newbie, come early and grab a coffee to meet your network
  • conference starts at 09:30am Saturday
  • party is being held in the Hyatt Hotel, a short distance from the University
  • conference starts again on Sunday at 9:15am and ends with coffee at 4:10pm.
  • make the most of your time and enter the FREE competitions and the fabulous RAFFLE - the prizes are amazing opportunities that have been career changers in the past
  • ask a volunteer if unsure about anything (we will all be wearing badges)
  • chat to anyone and everyone - remember we all love children's books!
  • And be yourself!

And don't forget — there will be cake!

Mass Book Launch cake 2018

*Header image: designed by Tita Berredo; illustrations by Jim Field


Natalie Yates is Writing Features Editor for Words & Pictures and joins the conference team this year heading up our Front of House Team. She and her team will be on hand to help with anything you need to know over the conference weekend, and she will no doubt be applying the cool head of a secondary teaching assistant to the task.

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