Tuesday, August 02, 2016

SCBWI British Isles' Annual Conference. 19-20 November: Winchester

David Almond, Leigh Hodgkinson and Sarah Davies to deliver keynotes at the 
SCBWI British Isles’ Annual Conference.
19-20 November, 2016 in Winchester

The British Isles Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators announces speakers for its 9th Annual Conference in its celebratory 20th year.

Cracking Characters!

The British Isles chapter of the SCBWI, a professional organisation of writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people, announces a star-studded line-up for their 9th annual conference, to be held on 19-20 November, 2016 at the University of Winchester.  Keynote speakers this year are author David Almond, author/ illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson and founder of The Greenhouse Literary Agency Sarah Davies. Special guests to mark the 20th anniversary of SCBWI British Isles include Lin Oliver, author and co-founder of SCBWI.

The theme of this year’s conference is Creating Characters that Leap off the Page. 

Saturday’s keynote talks will be given by Carnegie Medal winner David Almond and award-winning animator and illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson. An action-packed day follows, filled with specialist industry panels, discussions and interactive workshops led by a wide range of industry professionals. The day closes with ‘The Hook’, a Dragons’ Den style panel competition event in which five brave delegates pitch it out to hook an agent. Saturday evening’s exclusive industry party will not only feature a Mass Book Launch of members’ 2016 publications and the awarding of the Crystal Kite Award but also mark the 20th anniversary of SCBWI British Isles with SCBWI co-founder Lin Oliver.

Sunday opens with Industry Keynote, Sarah Davies, founder of The Greenhouse Literary Agency, a transatlantic agency for children’s literature. Among its clients are two New York Times bestsellers, a Morris First Novel Award winner and Kirkus Prize Finalist.

The rest of the day is dedicated to craft intensives: writers can create a comic character with Lin Oliver, hone their heroes and villains with author Cliff McNish or learn how to develop a story for television with scriptwriter Roland Moore. Illustrators can get hands-on with author/ illustrator Viv Schwarz. The popular PULSE stream will offer published members, opportunities to further their careers: learn creative storytelling techniques to add character to your school presentation with Margaret Bateson Hill and get tips on creating cracking school resource packs. And in the SPARK self-publishing stream: Carnegie winner Susan Price, author of ‘Self Publishing and Marketing Children’s Books’ Karen Inglis and Independent Bookseller Tamara McFarlane will offer a workshop on the nuts and bolts of self-publishing.

One-to-one manuscript and portfolio reviews with agents and editors will also be offered at a small additional cost. 

A juried illustrator showcase and portfolio exhibition will also take place.

Admission to the entire conference is £220 for SCBWI members and £250 for non-members. More information and a registration form can be found at our website: http://britishisles.scbwi.org/conference2016/

·Author keynote David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, The Savage, The Tightrope Walkers, A Song for Ella Grey and numerous other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include The Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, The Eleanor Farjeon Award, The Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcieres (France) and The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world’s most prestigious prize for children’ authors. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and lives in Northumberland.‘A writer of visionary, Blakean intensity.’ The Times.‘A Tyneside Dylan Thomas, and it is impossible not to be swept up in the power of his storytelling.’ Daily Telegraph ‘A master storyteller.’ The Independent. ‘David Almond’s books are strange, unsettling wild things – unfettered by the normal constraints of children’s literature. They are, like all great literature, beyond classification.’ The Guardian. http://www.davidalmond.com/

·Illustrator keynote by Leigh Hodgkinson is an award winning animator, author and illustrator with a passion for day dreaming. She graduated from the University of Hull in 1998 with a first in graphic design and went on to study Animation Direction at the National Film and Television School. Her picture books include Colin and the Snoozebox, Limelight Larry and Scrummy! All published by Orchard Books. As well as Goldilocks and Just the One Bear, Troll Swap and The Big Monster Snoreybook published by Nosy Crow. Most recently Bloomsbury published Are You Sitting Comfortably? Her picture books have been translated into many languages around the world. Leigh is an award-winning animator and worked as art director on the BAFTA-award winning animated series, Charlie and Lola. She is currently art-directing an exciting new animated pre-school television show for Cbeebies which is due to hit the screens in spring 2017. She co-created the show with her husband Steve Smith (of Beakus).  http://www.wonkybutton.com/

·PULSE keynote by Sarah Davies was a London publisher for 25 years, latterly as Publishing Director and on the management board of Macmillan Children’s Books where she worked with authors such as Philip Pullman, Julia Donaldson, Judy Blume, Sharon Creech, Meg Cabot, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and many others. In 2007 she moved to the USA and launched The Greenhouse Literary Agency, a transatlantic agency specializing in fiction for children and teens. Greenhouse quickly built a reputation as one of the leading boutique-sized agencies on both sides of Atlantic and is well known for discovering and helping to develop new talent. Among its clients are two New York Times bestsellers, a Morris First Novel Award winner, a Kirkus Prize Finalist, and its authors regularly achieve starred reviews and critical acclaim, as well as deals around the world. Sarah and her colleague Polly Nolan are open to all genres of fiction and represent young stories upwards through YA, but also sell picture books, non-fiction and even adult novels by existing clients. What they seek most of all is quality writing complementing a unique premise. Now back in the UK, Sarah divides her time between her new home “somewhere east of Oxford”, London, and New York, and she works with authors across many timezones! http://www.greenhouseliterary.com/

·The faculty also includes:

Margaret Bateson-Hill, Author and Storyteller, Ruth Bennett, Commissioning Editor at Stripes, Louise Bolongaro, Publisher at Nosy Crow, Helen Bryant, Literary Consultant at Cornerstones, Jane Clarke, Author, Candy Gourlay, Author, Karen Inglis, Independent Author, George Kirk, Educator, David McDougalan, Senior Art Director at Walker Books, Tamara McFarlane, Independent Bookseller, Cliff McNish, Author, Roland Moore, Script Writer, Roxie Munroe, Author/Illustrator, Lin Oliver, Author, Susan Price, Author, Viv Schwarz, Author/Illustrator, Benjamin Scott, Author, Paul Stickland, Author/ Illustrator, Sarah Towle, Independent Author, Becky Tudor, Educator, Caroline Walsh, Agent, Polly Whybrow, Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury.

On Friday 18th November there is a programme of optional fringe events culminating in an evening critique meet. There is also an open portfolio exhibition on Saturday 19st November and various other competitions for authors and illustrators. Delegates and invited industry guests will be celebrating 20 years of SCBWI British Isles as well as our members’ 2016 publishing successes at our exclusive party and Mass Book Launch on Saturday night!

Two scholarships will be awarded, based on need and merit, which include tuition and accommodation costs, and a 1-1 with an editor, art director or agent.

The Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards will be presensented to the 2016 winner.

For more information about the conference programme visit

Booking closes at midnight, Monday 31st October 2016. 

About SCBWI:  SCBWI British Isles is a chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, a group form in 1968 by some Los Angeles-based writers for children. It is the only international organisation to offer a variety of services to people who write, illustrate, or share a vital interest in children's literature. It has over 22,000 members worldwide working in all areas of writing and illustrating for children, from picture books to YA. It is the only professional organisation for those specifically working in mediums of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia, and makes an annual presentation of the Golden and Crystal Kite Awards, the only award presented to children’s book authors and artists by their peers.

SCBWI British Isles hosts a number of events during the year, from a professional development lecture series to masterclasses and writing retreats. It also supports local critique groups and events with regional festivals.

For more information:

SCBWI:   www.scbwi.org

SCBWI British Isles:  www.britishisles.scbwi.org


·         Jonny Wood conferencebookings@britishscbwi.org

Conference and Press Enquiries: 
·         George Kirk and Becky Tudor, Conference Co-Chairs,  conference@britishscbwi.org
·         Natascha Biebow, Regional Advisor (Chair), ra@britishscbwi.org

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