Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators




   Alison Gardiner
   Conference chair
Author of MG fantasy The Serpent of Eridor also Alchemy. Alison has written several picture books and 2 YF books, currently being re-re-edited. Her brain is so full of bits of ideas it really needs de-fragging. Doctor, mother, radio voice performer, writer, reasonable cook, terrible gardener (ironically), Alison Gardiner loves all her roles, but sometimes her priorities get muddled (except for being the banana-bread chef; that’s always number 1). Alison Gardiner loves to travel, having spent her early years in Jamaica, USA, Gibraltar and Scotland. She loves gathering flashes of ideas to weave into tales. She’s ridden a camel, fed elephants, cuddled snakes and patted a hippo. She attributes her wildlife fearlessness to having four children. |
   Marie Basting
   Co-conference chair (Jan – Aug 2022)
When Marie Basting was fifteen, she was told by a careers advisor that working class girls like her don’t become writers. For a long time, she believed this. But then her debut novel, Princess BMX, was published and Marie finally came to realise that girls like her can do anything they want. She now loves nothing better than encouraging others to realise their writing dreams and prior to acting as this year’s SCBWI Co-Conference Chair volunteered as ARA Networks, coordinating SCBWI’s activity at a local level. A former Associate lecturer at Manchester Met University, Marie has taught creative writing from foundation through to MFA level as well as offering freelance creative writing tuition and mentoring to both adults and children, working with organisations such as Liverpool’s Writing on the Wall and the Portico Library. Her #BeMoreBMX school and festival events have inspired thousands of children to smash stereotypes and defy expectations. She holds an MA in Creative Writing and Pedagogy and Level 7 qualification in Action Learning.
   Natascha Biebow
   Co-Regional Advisor (Co-Chair)
RA since 1998, Natascha has been involved in planning SCBWI BI conferences since the beginning. She is the author of the award-winning, bestselling The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons. With over 25 years’ experience, her favourite task is shaping stories as the editor of numerous award-winning children’s books. She is the founder of Blue Elephant Storyshaping, an editing, coaching and mentoring service, empowering writers and illustrators at all levels to fine-tune their work pre-submission. She teaches picture book craft webinars and is the Editorial Director of Five Quills. In 2018 she was awarded an MBE for her services to children’s authors and illustrators. She is the recipient of the SCBWI Stephen Mooser Member of the Year Award and a member of the SCBWI Council of Advisors. | |
   Kathryn Evans
   Co-Regional Advisor (Finance)
Kathryn Evans is represented by Sophie Hicks of SHA and writes ‘weird, creepy stories with a science fiction twist.’ Published by Usborne, and translated into multiple languages, her debut novel, More of Me, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, won the EIBF first book award (the first YA novel ever to do so) and the SCBWI Crystal Kite. Kathryn’s second novel, Beauty Sleep, won the 2020 CrimeFest award and was shortlisted for the Steam Prize. Kathryn loves author events and is part of the BBC Teach series for GCSE English. She lives on the family farm with her husband, several spaniels and cats and whichever of her grown up children she can entice home to stay. A passionate supporter of SCBWI, Kathryn has been badge co-ordinator, South East Co-ordinator, Finance co-ordinator and is now CO-RA with responsibility for Finance. | | @KathrynEvansInk
   B B Taylor
   ARA Member Services (PR/Comms)
A full-time daydreamer and superhero in training who couldn’t imagine anything better than opening a page to a million different worlds, B B Taylor is a Midlands based author who loves to go on adventures and find new stories. She loves nothing better than visiting schools, libraries and random exciting places to share her love of writing. | @BB_Taylor_
   Catherine Whitmore
   ARA Networks
Catherine Whitmore is a mum and rarely-evil-step-mother from Greater Manchester who has been a member and volunteer for SCBWI for about ten years and ARA for Networks for two years. She enjoys family time (on the whole), Liane Moriarty and a boxset binge. Represented by Polly Nolan. | @purewhitty
   Ashley Taylor
   ARA 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.
   Paul Morton
   Illustration Programming
A professional illustrator for over 30 years and illustration organiser for SCBWI.
Paul has illustrated various educational and novelty picture books, but his driving passion was always to illustrate his own texts. He now has two fully illustrated early readers published by Five Quills featuring the greedy frog, Bug Belly and is currently working on 2 more Bug Belly stories, a PB and an illustrated YF book. | | @hotfrog
mo ohara    Mo O’Hara
   PULSE/SPARK Sessions
Mo first joined the conference committee about 9 years ago and worked in a speaker co-ordinator role for a while. For the last several years she has been working with Candy Gourlay to develop the PULSE events aimed at our published members. 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 More People to Love Me or Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex. Her last book with illustrator Jess Bradley, Agent Moose, is out now with Scholastic.She would love to hear about any ideas for PULSE events or suggestions you might have. | @mo_ohara
Tania Tay    Tania Tay
   Speaker Coordinator
Since Tania started volunteering for SCBWI she’s met the most amazing people and made good friends. She’s helped run the Writers Retreat and edited a column in Words and Pictures. She used to run the London Network and helped run many events in London. And now she’s excited to be the Speaker Coordinator for the SCBWI conference in one of her favourite cities… Manchester. In her writing, Tania likes to explore themes about female friendship and difficult mothers. Her stories often have a dark or supernatural twist. She’s an advertising copywriter, ghostwriter and dabbles in writing spec screenplays. Last year, she was shortlisted for BBC Drama Room and was part of BBC writersroom London Voices. Tania graduated from the University of Edinburgh. 
   Camilla Chester
   Coordinator, 1-1 Writer Reviews
Camilla is a long-time volunteer and member of SCBWI. For the conference this year Camilla is the coordinator for the writer 1-1s but previously she had the role as Front of House. She is a dog walking, hybrid Children’s Author, with three self-published and one traditionally published novel, Call Me Lion. She has been shortlisted twice in national competitions, writes on commission for the popular online school resource, Serial Mash and is represented by Veronique Baxter at DHA. | linktree
   Natalie Yates
   Front of House & Raffle
Natalie has been an active SCBWI member since 2015 and when she’s not working as a Teaching Assistant in the local secondary school, she loves to write for young adults. Her themes range from contemporary realism to spooky and dark. In 2016 she was longlisted for the Commonword Diversity Writing for Children prize, the year in which she also gained an MA in Creative Writing from Hull University. Natalie is also Writing Features Editor and organises Opening Lines for Words & Pictures. You can connect with Natalie on Twitter @eastyorknat
Anna Cole    Anna Cole
   Saturday Party and Pitch 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.
     Sean Noonan
   Bookings Co-ordinator and Website
Sean is our bookings guide once again. Active in SCBWI since 2010, though with a hiatus over the pandemic – his brain shut down in sympathy. He is also “finding his power” and returning to the Land of Dreams to write more Everlasting Fantastical Adventures. This is his fifth conference as a volunteer and Sean recommends volunteering to everyone who can spare some time and effort to help our wonderful community. It is worthwhile both personally and professionally. Enjoy your conference. | @Grumphspawn
   Dom Conlon
   Friday Fringe Coordinator
Dom is a disabled, hat-wearing, thought-thinking, cake-eating poet and author whose books have been nom nom nominated (sorry, still thinking about cake there) for the Carnegie and the Greenaway medals. He’s a bit of a work in progress but has written books such as Meet Matilda Rocket Builder, This Rock That Rock, and the Wild Wanderers series. The books (not him) have been praised by Chris Riddell, Brian Bilston, Nicola Davies, Robin Ince and even the European Space Agency, so that’s a bit smashing. He’s also written for Ladybird, Puffin, and the BBC as well as interviewing people on stage, giving talks at Hay Festival, and even appearing on television to discuss the importance of libraries. | @dom_conlon
   Anna Gamble
   Website Content Coordinator and PR Assistant
Anna’s finest moment was performing Beckett in a wheelie bin dressed as a clown. She’s been fascinated by the magic of stories since she was a girl and followed it into a career in the arts. She’s quite new to SCBWI, only joining in 2020, so hasn’t met anyone in person yet! Volunteering seems like the perfect way to attend the conference as a newbie and Anna is helping out with the website content and PR. She is also Social Media Editor for Words & Pictures and has been pursuing a career in publishing (editing and agenting) since her youngest started school. Her day job as a Teaching Assistant and her own two kids means she literally spends 24/7 with children (and children’s books – yay!)
Her own writing? It’s at the bottom of the pile of course, but she will finish one of her WIPS one day!
   Clare Bell
   Crystal Kite / Mass Book Launch
Clare (writing under her full name, Juliet Clare Bell) is overseeing th Crystal Kite Awards this year. 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 |
   Philip Kavvadias
   Sponsorship & Scholarships Coordinator
Philip is a playwright, poet, screenwriter, journalist and author. He’s been a SCBWI volunteer for the past year. In his role as South East co-coordinator, Philip works together with Claire O’Brien to organise activities that strengthen ties between SCBWI members, foster exchange of ideas and, hopefully, spark creativity and improve our craft. In his role as conference sponsorship coordinator, Philip seeks to help underrepresented writers and illustrators attend the conference through sponsorships from agents, publishers and other industry bodies.
   Mike Brownlow
   Illustrator 1-1s
Mike Brownlow has written and illustrated many books for children, most noticeably the multi-million selling, award winning Ten Little series, now on its twelfth title, and Little Robots, which became a much-loved TV series, shown in over 70 territories. He’s worked for many leading publishers, including Orchard, Bloomsbury, MacMillan and OUP. His agent is Caroline Walsh at David Higham Assoc.
Mike has three grown-up daughters, and lives with his wife in Somerset.|
   Tita Berredo
   Conference Graphics & Friday Fringe Sketch Crawl
Tita Berredo is a children’s writer and illustrator born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has a Master’s degree in Children’s Literature and Illustration from Goldsmiths University of London. Tita is the Illustration Feature Editor of Words & Pictures, SCBWI’s online magazine, and a picture book reviewer for My Book Corner. She lives in Scotland, where she supports local children’s writers by coordinating the Glasgow SCBWI hub, the AOI’s Illo_G group, and the Scottish CWIG as a committee member of the SOA.


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