The Team

Here's the team who put Words & Pictures together:

Editor: Claire Watts


Claire has been a freelance writer and editor of non-fiction for children for the past twenty-five years, though secretly she was always messing around with fiction too. About six years ago, she decided to concentrate on fiction. Since then, she’s self-published three YA novels and she’s in the process of redrafting a fourth. Meanwhile, one of her other novels is doing the rounds of agents and was longlisted in last year’s Mslexia competition. She’s a member of two face-to-face crit groups and one online one, because she loves talking about writing. Claire moved from London to rural Scotland twenty years ago and yearns for the city when she’s at home and the country when she’s in the city. Her house is full to bursting with all sorts of books but children’s books are her passion.

You can contact Claire at

Deputy Editor: A M Dassu (Az)


Four years ago, whilst writing some copy for a friend’s website, A M Dassu rediscovered her love of writing for an audience. Since then her work has been featured on The Huffington Post and the Times Educational Supplement, to name a few. In 2015, her first piece for The Huffington Post, for whom she is a featured writer, was published on the front page, alongside Barack Obama and Lenny Henry. Her previous work experience includes project management, marketing, and some editorial work at Reader’s Digest.

A M Dassu was delighted to receive the Outstanding Contribution Award for her work as Words & Pictures' Events Editor in 2017 and is looking forward to her new role as Deputy Editor. She is currently plotting her next contemporary upper middle grade novel. She loves planning school workshops and as a lover of hats, she spends a lot of her time choosing which hat to wear.

You can contact Az at

Art Director: Bridget Strevens Marzo

Bridget loves playing between words and pictures, pencil and paint, colour and computer. After a Cambridge MA in Chinese and Art History, she moved to Paris where among other things she copied at the Louvre and earned a living translating art books.

After she wrote and illustrated her first picture books two decades ago, she worked for US, UK and French publishers on picture books, novelty books and games for children’s magazines. She also shares her love of books with children, students and gives workshops for adults. Co-hosting SCBWI international conferences earned Bridget a place on the advisory board as international illustrator advisor. Back in London, she's a contributing editor for the AOI's magazine Varoom and is working on two exciting new book projects.

Illustration Features Editor: John Shelley

John studied illustration under Tony Ross and debuted in London, before zipping off to Japan and encountering cat walks, concrete jungles, haunted forests, and ocean bottoms, many of which have inspired his children’s book illustrations. To date he’s illustrated over 50 children’s books, for publishers in the UK, Japan and the USA. Bilingual in Japanese, he's a former Board member of SCBWI and Assistant Regional Advisor in Tokyo, where he lived for 21 years before returning to the UK. Since then he’s been a key member of the British Isles Region Illustrator Committee, while continuing to work on titles for publishers in East and West.

You can contact John at

Features Editor: Carry de la Harpe


Carry’s career centres on words and pictures. She studied English and art, and began work as an advertising copywriter in South Africa. Since then, she has been involved in the writing and design of all forms of marketing communications. Her last position was editor of a B2B magazine group, and she is now freelancing and hoping to do more in the field of children’s literature. Carry says she loves a good children’s book as much as animals and chocolate – and that is saying a lot!

You can contact Carry at

Events Editor: Fran Price


Fran worked in contract publishing before taking an MA in Creative Writing, when she fell in love with writing for children. She writes picture books and middle grade, is a Beanstalk Reading Helper, and works as a Teaching Assistant in a lovely rural school in Somerset with only 38 children.

You can contact Fran at

Writing Features Editor: Julie Sullivan


Julie is an American translator (French and German to English) and copy editor and has lived most of her adult life outside the USA. Her four children all went to school in England but only the youngest can switch from one accent to the other on demand. Julie studies classical Chinese for fun (信而好古!), writes historical fiction, and loves the friends she has met volunteering for SCBWI.

Writing Features Editor: Louisa Glancy


Louisa comes from a fine art and English Language teaching background. She has also worked in a museum, bookshops and run a market stall. She lived in Madrid for eight years, where she taught English and worked for a magazine. These days she lives by the sea in Kent, but often misses Madrid and speaking Spanish. Louisa's day job is writing and editing for English Language publishers. She is the organiser of the Canterbury Coffee and Chat SCBWI group and is currently writing a middle grade book.

KnowHow Editor: Eleanor Pender


Based in Bristol, Eleanor divides her time between lecturing in digital communications and talking about literary and arts projects. She lived in Edinburgh for six years where she worked for Edinburgh City of Litearutre Trust and discovered her passion for young readers, going on to chair at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Eleanor has had short stories published in Inaccurate Realities and anthology We Need To Talk published by Jurassic London. She is currently working on a young adult fantasy novel.

You can contact Eleanor at

Blog Network Editor: Nick Cross


When Nick isn't reading blog posts, he works for Oxford Dictionaries, designing and managing the technology that powers their hugely popular websites and APIs. A devoted student of the English language, Nick is an Undiscovered Voices winner who has published over 10 short stories for children, and in 2015 was honours winner of the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for fiction. Recently, he has also taken up illustration and is working on his own illustrated novels.

Celebrations Editor: BeeBee Taylor


Professional daydreamer BB Taylor accidentally discovered a love of telling stories through her animals and visiting schools teaching about weird n wonderful animals of different shapes and sizes. From there she was hooked. A self published author from Birmingham she loves to travel, sharing stories with her books featuring everything from raccoons and fairies to yetis and zombies.

You can contact BB at

Writing Competitions Editor: Elaine Cline


Elaine is the Writing Competitions Editor and coordinates the quarterly Slush Pile Challenge. She loves to write picture books, middle-grade and teen books. She lives by the sea and has two soft and silly cats.

Network News Editor: Ann Brady

Ann Brady has been an author for over 30 years. Her published works include factual, educational, website and fictional writing. She has also published a historical novel, a mystery short story book and recently a series of children’s picture story books. Ann has experience of running writing competitions, and mentors and publishes new young writers’ work.


Anne Boyere, Joan Longstaff and Stuart White


Feature Writer: Jools Abrams


Jools is originally from the North West, but now lives in Hertfordshire. She is an award-winning writer of short stories for children and adults, currently Arts Council funded to write a novel with The Literary Consultancy, mentored by Kerry Hudson. She’s Writer in Residence at the amazing Talliston House, writes middle grade and YA, and ghost writes memoirs for Story Terrace. Jools is also a qualified primary teacher, currently working at English Heritage, cat wrestler and parent.

Feature Writer: Justin Davies

Like Superman, Justin leads a double life. He flies around the world in his role as cabin crew (although not in a cape and pants combo). But when not dishing out food, drinks and theatrical winks (and eavesdropping on passengers’ conversations), he writes. Justin’s main focus is middle grade comedy, although he’s been known to dabble in adult flash fiction and poetry. Justin lives in Fife and is part of the South-East Scotland SCBWI network. He blogs – sporadically – at

Feature Writer: Tizzie Frankish


After having spent most of her 20’s travelling and studying or travelling to study, Tizzie settled back in her home town of Coventry and into a 15-year career in further education; teaching ESOL, English and assessing learners with dyslexia. By day, she is a mum to two boisterous boys and a part-time university tutor; by night, an agented writer who is plagued by her characters. She has dabbled in poetry, picture books and has short stories published in anthologies, but is currently working on a number of young fiction stories. Her works are often humorous and more often than not include animals; even if she starts out thinking they won’t. Tizzie is an Assistant Writer for Writing West Midlands; Spark Young Writers, the founder of Mighty Writers: Creative Writing Workshops and in 2016 she was selected for the Teachers 204 Writers Development programme. The only time her mind is writing free is when she is exploring her make believe worlds or doing yoga in this one.

Feature Writer: Philippa R. Francis


Philippa, writing as K. M. Lockwood, was once a primary school teacher, became a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at West Dean College in 2011 and now, as well as being a regular contributor, is the official Words & Pictures Tweeter. Her story The Selkies of Scoresby Nab was short-listed for the Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition and long-listed for the Times Chicken House in 2012/13. She was born in Yorkshire but now lives by the coast in Sussex. Her writing shows her deep fascination with British folklore and the sea. Her interests include reading, keeping a B&B and belly dancing, though not at the same time.

Feature Writer: Liz MacWhirter


Liz MacWhirter is an award-winning copywriter. man-loving feminist and planet-hugging activist. Her YA debut, Black Snow Falling, an Elizabethan fantasy, will be published in August 2018 by Scotland Street Press. Agented with Fraser Ross Associates.

Feature Writer: Catriona Tippin


Catriona has been a member of SCBWI since 2006 and helps organise venues for SCBWI North East. Details of her writing and illustrating can be found here. She proofreads study guides, house magazines and publicity material for national educational organisations, in addition to working on a variety of proofreads and copyedits for the growing self-published world. Her monthly column Proofreading Tips is intended to give you food for thought, remembering “Any correction of the speech or writing of others will contain at least one grammatical, spelling or typographical error” (McKean’s Law, named after its inventor Erin McKean, editor of the Oxford American Dictionary).

Feature Writer: Kate Walker


Kate  mainly writes MG fantasy as well as dabbling in picture books whenever a character grabs her imagination. Kate lives in Kent with her two children who are addicted to stories just as much as she is.

Writer: Annette Edge


Annie started out scribbling short stories for adult readers then morphed into writing YA and MG. She’s even tried her hand at picture books. She’s short, thin-haired and often finds herself up-staged by something or other.


Co-Regional Advisor: Natascha Biebow

Natascha has been RA since 1998 and really enjoys supporting authors and illustrators. She's loved watching the region grow from 30 members with informal meetings to a 500 strong membership offering a whole host of events. She feels lucky to work with a fabulous team of volunteers.
Natascha is a full-time mum, author and founder of Blue Elephant Storyshaping, a coaching service empowering writers and illustrators to fine-tune their work pre-submission. She is also the author of Elephants Never Forget and Is This My Nose?, and the editor of numerous award-winning children’s books.

Co-Regional Advisor (and Finance): Kathy Evans

Kathy Evans is a dedicated volunteer for SCBWI.  She spent time as a South East Co-ordinator, helped set up a face to face group in Chichester, created the W&P celebrations editor role,  and then took on the role of Finance Officer. She is now Co-Regional Advisor  with Natascha Biebow. After fifteen years of trying her first novel, More of Me, was published in 2016.  It  has been translated into multiple languages and short listed for several awards. was nominated for the Carnegie medal, won the SCBWI Crystal Kite award and was the first YA novel to ever win the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award. She is represented by the Sophie of the Sophie Hicks Agency.

Assistant Regional Advisor: Louise Cliffe-Minns

Lou Minns started volunteering with SCBWI through W&P. She continued her Events Editor and Features Editor role when she relocated to Sydney and then California, where she also took on the role of Social Media Co-ordinator for San Francisco (North and East Bay). Lou resettled back in the UK in 2016 when she became ARA. SCBWI has been an invaluable network for Lou, both professionally and socially, making lifelong friends through SCBWI. If they stretch their arms wide enough, their fingers might just touch as they span the globe.

Lou met her agent, Yasmin Standen, at the SCBWI Winchester Conference at a 1-2-1 and is working on edits for her MG novel.

Illustration Co-ordinator: Anne-Marie Perks


Anne-Marie is a published children’s book illustrator of several books who has also worked in editorial, advertising, and product illustration as well as storyboarding and character design for agencies. She loves storytelling of all kinds crossing all genres and mediums and aspired at one time to be on the stage! Growing up, Anne-Marie enlisted her brothers and sister to act, dance and sing with her on sets she created and often in costumes she made. Later in life, she finished a degree in Fine Art and went to work as a graphic designer, then art director for a high quality magazine publisher in California. After the birth of her third child, she decided to focus on illustrating for children and joined SCBWI in 1991. It was only after she was published and moved across the ocean with her British husband and their two daughters that she decided to get another degree, a BA Hons Illustration degree and then an MA in Children’s Illustration from the North Wales School of Art and Design. She has been serving as SCBWI Regional Illustrator Coordinator in the British Isles since 2001.

Website Designer: Candy Gourlay


Candy Gourlay is a former journalist who designs websites and makes YouTube videos. She joined SCBWI in 2002 to learn how to get published. Her compulsive volunteering for SCBWI won her the Outstanding Contribution Award in 2011. In 2008, she won a place in the first Undiscovered Voices anthology competition which led to the publication of her debut novel Tall Story in 2010. Tall Story won the Crystal Kite Prize for Europe in 2011 and the National Book Award in Candy's native Philippines in 2012. It has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal and has been shortlisted for 13 prizes. Her second novel, Shine, came out in September 2013.

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.