Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators






Georgina Lippiett
Co-chair of Conference Committee
Georgina Lippiett joined SCBWI a few years ago after enrolling on the MA in Writing for Children at Winchester. SCBWI is such a wonderful, supportive community of like-minded souls, and she is daily amazed by how generous the members are with their time. She loves all things kidslit but mainly writes fiction for 7 to 9 year olds. She also takes real pleasure from watching people develop their skills and confidence, so is thrilled to be part of the conference this year.
@McSquorge |
Tracy Liennard
Co-chair of Conference Committee
Tracy Liennard has been a member of SCBWI for 3 years and this is her second year running on the Conference Committee. As co-chair she has been supporting the speaker co-ordinators and finance function and will be hosting the Speed dating session. Her day job as a civil servant involves working on the challenges of Brexit. Everything else in life seems simple by comparison. She has spent enough time drinking tea in cafe’s to have just finished writing her first young adult manuscript and also writes picture books.
Sally Purdie
Co-chair of Conference Committee & 1-2-1 writer review coordinator
Sally is one of the co-chairs of this year’s conference and is the person to contact about manuscript 121’s.
Before getting embroiled in conference organisation she spent twenty years as an engineer investigating jet engine failures, making diamonds and trying to recreate the sun in a basement.
For the last ten years, she’s been doing something even more challenging: trying to become a writer. She started an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa in 2018, where (everything crossed) she’ll complete her third YA novel. @sallypwrites
Natascha Biebow Natascha Biebow
Co-Regional Advisor (Co-Chair)
RA since 1998, Natascha has been involved in planning SCBWI BI conferences since the beginning. She writes picture books and is crafting some young fiction. She is the author of The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons (March, 2019), Elephants Never Forget (1995) and Is this My Nose? (2008), winner of the Bookstart Best Book for Babies. Editor of numerous award-winning children’s books, with over 25 years’ experience, her favourite task is shaping stories. She runs Blue Elephant Storyshaping, an editing, coaching and mentoring service empowering writers and illustrators to fine-tune their work pre-submission.
She blogs on Picture Book Den and as The Picture Book Storyshaper. | |
Kathryn Evans_(headshot by Chris Close)
Co-Regional Advisor (Finance)
Kathryn Evans is a mum who runs a farm, fences competitively and belly dances for fun. It took her 15 years to find a publisher and throughout that time, she’s been a passionate supporter of SCBWI. She’s been badge co-ordinator, South East Co-ordinator, Finance co-ordinator and is now CO-RA with responsibility for Finance. More of Me, was published by Usborne in 2016. It was nominated for the 2017 Carnegie medal, is the first-ever YA book to win the EIBF First Book Award and won the SCBWI Crystal Kite 2017. Her new book, Beauty Sleep, is described as a pacey, gripping, mystery thriller – Sunday Express and Sleeping Beauty gets a high concept Black Mirror style twist – The BookSeller. | | @KathrynEvansInk
juliet clare bell Clare Bell
Mass Book Launch and Friday Night Critique
Clare (writing under her full name, Juliet Clare Bell) oversees the Friday Night Critique and the meal that follows it. She is also the person to contact about the Mass Book Launch (which takes place on the Saturday night). She joined SCBWI in 2004 and has been joint coordinator of the Central West region since then. She writes mostly picture books and early readers (with three out later this year) and she oversees the monthly SCBWI picture book critique group in Birmingham.  | @julietclarebell
camilla chester 17 Camilla Chester
Front of House
Camilla Chester is the Front of House Coordinator which means being the ‘go to’ person over the weekend. The role involves making sure everyone feels safe, welcome and informed. She is in continuous contact with the University team and oversees the volunteer team during the conference. Camilla writes for 8-12s and has self-published three books with Matador, Jarred Dreams, EATS and Thirteenth Wish. She has been shortlisted twice, once with The National Literacy Trust (New Author Award) and once with The Winchester Festival (Children’s Funny Fiction Award). She also works as a self-employed dog walker. Animals and children’s books are her two great loves.   |
Zoë Cookson
Conference Badge and Hook Co-ordinator, Co-Host of The Hook
Zoë spent fifteen years in the grown-up world before quitting her management job to write for a living (albeit mostly reports, funding bids and business cases). A vociferous reader of children’s books, she runs her own children’s book review site – Madge Eekal Reviews ( – where she loves to promote fellow SCBWI members. Zoë has a MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University. She enjoys writing for children of all ages and has a particular love of middle-grade action adventures.
Twitter: @MadgeEekal and @MadgeReviews
Anna Cole Anna Cole
Party Co-ordinator
Anna is the conference party co-ordinator. Having always scribbled ideas and the beginnings of stories on any bit of paper she could find (think envelopes, leaflets and receipts) she decided to take her writing more seriously, so brought a notebook and began work on a middle grade fantasy novel. With a short interlude to work in a ski resort (and snowboard every day), Anna now writes at every opportunity.
dom conlon Dom Conlon
Print Materials and University Liaison
Dom is the university liaison which means he deals with all the onsite things from organising which sessions go into which rooms, to choosing what everybody eats and catering for special dietary requirements. He’ll also be seen dragging tables around and putting microphones onto people. He arranges all the print materials too. He is a member of the North West battalion of SCBWI and his book of Badtime Stories is currently open to support on Unbound. He likes a biscuit with his tea but cake with his coffee. | @dom_conlon
Holly Butcher
Assistant Co-ordinator, 1-1 Writer Reviews
Holly is assisting with the writer 1-to-1’s at the conference this year. She joined SCBWI earlier in the year and is passionate about writing for young people with an MA in Writing for Children from The University of Winchester. Holly also runs her own podcast series called Active Voice, where she interviews children’s authors about their writing processes, how they were first published, and anything to do with the world of children’s literature. | @HollyRoseWrites

  Marie Basting

SCBWI BI Networks Co-ordinator

Marie Basting is the SCBWI BI Networks Coordinator. Managing activity across the ten British Networks, Marie works with the Network Organisers to deliver a varied programme of events and activities at a local level. Marie lives in Manchester, where she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing for Children. She writes YA and 7+.
george kirk George Kirk
Speaker Co-ordinator for Writers
George is a conference old hand. She attended her first conference in 2011 and was immediately hooked. She soon joined the committee and has held many roles including Co-Chair. She is now speaker co-ordinator for authors. That means she is responsible for inviting speakers to deliver the writing strands of the conference. She ensures they have everything they need and know exactly where and when they need to be. As a previous year 1 class teacher, she feels supremely qualified for this role. Authors can’t be any harder to organise than 6 year olds… can they? | | @georgekirk2
Kate Mallinder Kate Mallinder
Co-Host of The Hook
Kate Mallinder has been a member of SCBWI for yonks and loves it. Her debut teen novel, Summer of No Regrets, came out in May and she’s been having a lovely time getting used to that fact. She’s constantly surprised by where saying ‘yes’ to new things takes her. Twitter: @KateMallinder
Soni Speight
Illustrator Liaison
Soni Speight is a freelance illustrator and designer who also champions the #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign. She has taken over from Patrick to coordinate the illustrators speakers, sessions and reviews for the conference. Her aim is to ensure the illustrators and author-illustrators, unpublished and published alike, have plenty to be inspired by this year. | @sonispeight
Lou Minns Louise Minns
Assistant Regional Advisor, Member Services
Lou Minns grew up with five brothers and loves to write stories featuring strong girls. After living in Australia and the US, camping with lizards, bears and kangaroos, Lou now lives in a very old creaky house in Shropshire. She enjoys being a bit scared, but also likes to sleep at night and is grateful to science for a rational explanation. She is an Assistant Regional Advisor (Member Services) for SCBWI British Isles. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester University, and was selected for the 2019/2020 Writing West Midlands Room 204 Emerging Writers group. Lou has taught in high schools across the country and thinks teenagers are actually rather nice if often misunderstood. | @LMMinns | Insta @LouMinns|
Jeff Crosby
Assistant Speaker Coordinator for Illustrators
This is Jeff’s first year as a volunteer for the SCBWI British Isles conference. He will be working with Soni Speight to recruit and organize the Illustration program speakers. Jeff is the illustrator/author of Wiener Wolf (DisneyHyperion 2012) and The Rockabilly Goats Gruff (Holiday House 2014). He moved to Cambridge over a year ago from Austin, Texas where he volunteered in various roles for that chapter of SCBWI for eight years.
  Sean Noonan
Bookings Co-ordinator and Website
Sean is your Bookings Coordinator once more. He’s been an active member of SCBWI since 2010. This will be the fourth conference he’s helped organise with the rest of the team. If you have an inkling to be a volunteer, don’t hesitate, its worthwhile. Not just for yourself, but for others.
Writing-wise, he is currently compiling a trilogy of trilogies in MG magical fantasy adventure, with the help of his scoobies friends. | @Grumphspawn
mo ohara Mo O’Hara
Mo first joined the conference committee about 5 years ago and worked in a speaker co-ordinator role for a while. For the last few years she has been working with Candy Gourlay to develop the PULSE events aimed at our published members. This year Sarah Towle joined the team and they are linking some of the sessions as PULSE and SPARK. When she is not doing SCBWI stuff, Mo writes funny fiction books for kids (like her Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series) or picture books like her latest More People to Love Me. She would love to hear about any ideas for PULSE events or suggestions you might have. Email Candy and her on | @mo_ohara
Sarah Towle
Sarah Towle is an educator turned digital storyteller and hybrid author with a passion for literacy, history and cross-cultural communication. She writes award-winning interactive story-driven travel itineraries for educational tourism under the auspices of Time Traveller Tours and Autoura, then repurposes those stories for publication on online children’s nonfiction boutique, INK Books and Media. She also writes, edits, curates, and manages a blog and Instagram-based Storytelling platform that will soon launch as a podcast. Called History Hero Blast, it highlights inspirational figures from around the world and throughout time in short, fun, story blasts. It’s Sarah’s way of injecting positive vibes into our currently shaky world, 3x/week. You can write for History Hero BLAST too! Find submissions guidelines at Follow HHB on Instagram @historyheroblast. | | @HistoryTurnedOn
Ashely Taylor Ashley Taylor
Assistant Regional Advisor for Events
Ashley is an ex-pat American actress and writer living on the white cliffs of the Kent coast. She began volunteering for SCBWI in 2015 as the Agents’ Party organizer and then took over as the ARA Events coordinator in 2016. She has written a YA and a middle grade manuscript and is secretly ghostwriting a romance novel involving a lumberjack. Ashley has had many jobs in the past but regards this as the most hilarious one of all.
Emma Greenwood
Friday Fringe Co-ordinator
Emma Greenwood is the Director of, a small friendly editorial agency specialising in children’s, teen and YA stories. She has worked as a columnist and magazine feature writer and is the fashion editor for a print glossy. She has short stories and a non-fiction title published and is working on a teen novel.
Kim A Howard
Newbies Liaison
Kim was encouraged to join SCBWI in 2013 as part of her MA in Writing for Children at the University of Winchester. It is a decision she has never regretted, even (or especially) when she hasn’t felt able to write. When she does put pen to paper her stories are usually for MG and based in the real world – or somewhere quite close by.
As an ex student of U of W Kim is well placed to help guide any SCBWI Newbie around the conference venue and to make suggestions about the local area as well. To make sure she can be easily found throughout the conference she plans on wearing a stylish purple hat. Ask her anything. If she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll know someone who does.
sue wallman Sue Wallman
Organiser of the SCBWI-BI Margaret Carey and other Scholarships
Sue is the conference scholarships organiser. She’s been a member of SCBWI for eight years, and is the award-winning author of YA thrillers Lying About Last Summer, See How They Lie, Your Turn to Die and Dead Popular (August 2019). She’s a former magazine journalist who now works in a secondary school library. If you have any questions about the scholarship, please email her at | @SueWallman
Sheila M. Averbuch
Assistant Organiser of the SCBWI-BI Margaret Carey and other Scholarships
Photo credit: Rob McDougall for the Scottish Book Trust
Sheila M. Averbuch is a former journalist who’s interviewed billionaires, hackers and would-be Mars colonists. She writes fiction for middle grade and is bewitched by and suspicious of technology in equal measure. Sheila co-founded the Scotland network of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and was first winner of The Hook, SCBWI’s national live pitching competition in the UK. She’s a 2019 awardee of the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Award and has read her work at the Portobello Book Festival and Listen Softly.
Originally from Massachusetts, Sheila did a degree in history and literature at Harvard and a journalism MA at Stanford before moving to Ireland, where she covered the Northern Ireland Troubles for USA Today and set up Ireland’s first IT news service. She’s founder of the content agency ENNclick and lives today with her family in Scotland, outside Edinburgh.
| @sheilamaverbuch
Tania Tay Tania Tay
Assistant Party Coordinator
Tania Tay joined SCBWI in 2012 and met a ton of amazing, talented, supportive people. At Words and Pictures she helped the editorial team and covered the Celebrations column. She ran the SCBWI Writers Retreat in 2015 and 2016. Tania is the joint Network Organiser for London SCBWI and enjoys getting writers, illustrators and publishing industry guests together for drinks, fun and lots of intense conversations, in between wrestling with her teen novel, Lovespell.





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Illustrations © Mini Grey 2019