Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators



What is ‘The Hook’?

Seen Dragons’ Den on the BBC? We have a SCBWI version! In ‘The Hook’, up to five conference delegates will each have five minutes to pitch their work and themselves to a panel of four agents (with another five minutes to answer questions). The panel will then select the pitch that shows the most promise. We can’t guarantee a big deal at the end of it, BUT the winning author/illustrator does get to choose one of the agent panellists for a 1-1.
It will be tense!


How do I apply to be on ‘The Hook’?

BOOK FOR THE CONFERENCE: You can be published but not currently, or at the time of the conference, have an agent. If you’ve taken part in The Hook before you can still apply, provided it’s with a different story / character illustration.

Your pitch: we’re looking for a few sentences that tell us clearly, concisely and perhaps most importantly, engagingly (hookily!), what your story is about – a short paragraph that paints a compelling mental picture of your story. Like a poem – every word counts! You have up to five minutes to pitch yourself and your book so the pithier the better. (This might be like the blurb for the back cover or the paragraph about your story you’d use in your cover letter to an agent.)

Submit your pitch in the body of your email and include your name, email address, and the title of your story / the name of your character.

WITH YOUR PITCH please submit a single attachment with the following:
o AUTHORS – The first 600 words of a completed novel for children or young adults
o PB AUTHORS – A full PB MS for one picture book
o AUTHOR-ILLUSTRATORS – a full dummy (completed text plus one colour spread and b & w artwork) or text and character sketches.
o ILLUSTRATORS – up to 5 character sketches for the SAME CHARACTER that in themselves tell a story.

Ensure your attachment includes the title or your story or for illustrators the name of your character (it’s helpful to use this as the file name of your document).

All entries will be judged anonymously so please DO NOT include your name or other identifying information anywhere on your attachment.

Please send all submissions as word documents for authors and PDFs for illustrators to by 10am on Sunday 15th September 2019.


If selected, your attachment, not including your pitch, will be sent to the panellists a few days before the conference. (The panellists are asked not to confer about the submissions before the event.)
If selected, you may hone your pitch but it must be for the same novel/PB or character originally submitted. On the day you can use notes or PowerPoint. The panel will be looking for content much more than a super confident performance.

On the day, each author/illustrator has a maximum of TEN minutes to: five minutes to introduce themselves and deliver their elevator pitch and five minutes to answer questions/ received feedback from the panel. When all the pitches have been heard, the panel will confer for a few minutes to choose a winner, then the winner will choose the panellist with whom they would most like to receive the prize of a 1-1 with their work.

This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone brave enough to have a go! All the selected participants will receive constructive and encouraging feedback from the panel, plus – as we all know how subjective the industry is – even if your work doesn’t ‘win’ on the day, who knows who’s listening and reading in the audience?!

Who are the four Hook Agents?

Amber Caraveo – Skylark 

Gemma Cooper – The Bent Agency 

Clare Wallace – Darley Anderson 

Megan Carroll – Watson Little



Book Conference Here





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Illustrations © Mini Grey 2019