Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


Book Now. SCBWI BI Annual Conference 2016.

Who can apply? | Rules | Your Submission | About Margaret Carey | Previous Winners


The Conference Scholarships were set up in memory of Margaret Carey, children’s writer and illustrator and SCBWI British Isles volunteer.

Two scholarships will be awarded: one to a fiction author (Young Adult or Middle Grade), the other to an illustrator or picture book author.

Each scholarship covers the cost of the conference, a 1-1 manuscript critique with an editor, art director or agent, hotel accommodation, and a grant towards travel to Winchester, where the conference will take place.




Current members of SCBWI British Isles* who seek professional development and show great promise in their work but who are financially unable to come to the SCBWI BI annual conference. Unfortunately we cannot consider applications from other SCBWI regions.

Applicants can be unpublished, self-published or may previously have been traditionally published. Each submission will be judged solely on the work submitted and its potential, and the statement supplied.

* If you aren't sure your SCBWI membership is up-to-date, please look yourself up on the SCBWI website member search


• Work should be the applicant’s own and should NOT be under contract with a traditional publisher.
•Applicants who sign a contract with a traditional publisher before the deadline must withdraw.
• You may submit work that has previously been self-published.
• Anyone who fails to address financial need will not be put forward to the judging panel.


1. Entries should be emailed to In the subject line please put Conference Scholarship 2016 Entry.

2. In the body of the email, please include your

      Email Address
      Telephone Number
      The title/theme of your book/dummy/illustration

3. Please attach your statement. This should be 400 or fewer words in a Word document, named 'Your title – Statement': Please explain your financial need, whether you are published, self-published or unpublished, how attending the conference will help you in your writing career, and why you should be awarded the scholarship.

4. Please attach your work-in-progress sample:


1500 words from the opening of your unpublished or self-published novel in a Word document, named: ‘Your Title – Extract’. Also, a one-page synopsis, in a separate document, named: ‘Your Title – Synopsis’.

Please ensure both documents are double-spaced in 12-point type. At the top of the first page, please put your title and genre (Young Adult or Middle Grade). On subsequent pages, please only have the title. Please do NOT include your name anywhere on the document.


Submit your entire unpublished or self-published manuscript, double-spaced in 12-point type (maximum word count: 1500 words). Your document should be named: ‘Your title – Picture Book’. At the top of the first page, please put your title and tell us that it's a Picture Book. On subsequent pages, please only have the title. Please do NOT include your name anywhere on the document.


Submit a rough picture book dummy, including at least two finished illustrations. Please send as a 72dpi (web only) PDF file, naming it: 'Your title – Dummy'. You may send a file over 2MB via a service such as We Transfer. Please do NOT include your name anywhere on the document.


Submit one promotional or marketing sheet which you might send to an art director that includes one image or several images on a page that is no larger than A4. Please send as a 72dpi (web only) PDF file or appropriate JPG, naming it: 'Your title/theme – Illustration'. You may send a file over 2MB via a service such as We Transfer. Please do NOT include your name anywhere on the document.



Midnight, Monday,  22nd August 2016

All enquiries AND entries to:



Submissions not in compliance with the rules will be disqualified.

We will be announcing the names of the winners unless you request to remain anonymous (please state this clearly on your submission email if this is the case). We will delete all entries once the conference is over. SCBWI British Isles reserves the right not to award a scholarship if the entries do not meet the required standard. Good luck!


  Margaret Carey

For many years, Margaret organised events for both authors and illustrators in SCBWI British Isles with verve and passion. Her volunteering and amazingly generous spirit was recognized in 2010 when she received the inaugural SCBWI British Isles Outstanding Contribution Award. She was a talented writer and illustrator and was a winner in the Undiscovered Voices anthology competition in 2008.



Look out for an upcoming article about how last year’s recipients got on at the conference. Meanwhile, here’s what the recipients of the 2014 scholarship had to say.



Fiction Writer Scholarship:
Kim Hutson – “Winning the Margaret Carey scholarship has done so much for me. Not only did it mean I had the opportunity to attend the conference, but it really boosted my confidence as a writer. The conference itself was a wonderful experience. I met some fantastic people and learnt so much at the seminars, talks, critiques and even at meal times. The competition was actually the catalyst for me finally becoming a paid-up SCBWI member and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

Picture Book Writer Scholarship:
Ali Oxtoby – “The main benefit of winning the Margaret Carey Award 2014 was the confidence and validation it gave me after years of hard (but enjoyable) work and many many rejections. It made me feel that I was actually starting to get somewhere. Such periodic injections of hope are vital for a writer's wellbeing! The conference itself was a joy. Filled with fun, writing development workshops, courses on how to handle life after publication, inspiring talks by published authors, the chance to network with industry professionals (not as scary as it sounds), meeting up with old friends while making new ones and experiencing first hand that we are not alone in this sometimes isolating business.”



Undiscovered Voices 2014Fiction Writer Scholarship:
Katrina Charman – 
"I was absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the Margaret Carey Conference Scholarship to attend my first SCBWI conference. The entire experience was amazing, from the fabulous keynotes, to the one to one, critique night and of course meeting so many inspiring fellow writers! And since being awarded the scholarship, I was lucky enough to be one of the finalists in the UV2014 Anthology, and have signed with my wonderful agent – Gemma Cooper at The Bent Agency."

Picture Book Writer/Illustrator Scholarship:
Clare Welsh – 
"I was hugely surprised, and thrilled, to win the MC scholarship 2013. As well as offering support, guidance and allowing me to network with other aspiring authors and illustrators, it was the boost of confidence I needed to keep going along what is certainly a turbulent career move. A year later, I feel equipped with a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm, have made some industry contacts, with even some promising interest in my picture book. I have also since joined SCBWI’s Words and Pictures Celebrations Team to give back to an organisation that has helped me enormously. I definitely would not have been where I am now without SCBWI!"



The Year of the Rat by Clare FurnissFiction Writer Scholarship:
The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss – 
"For me, the joy of reading this material comes from Millie's voice: bewildered and shocked by her mother's death but clear, authentic and possessed of an inner strength which I just loved. I thought the church scene was beautifully atmospheric and perfect."  Judge's Statement

The Year of the Rat became Clare's debut novel,  published by Simon & Schuster in April 2014. It won the 2015 Crystal Kite Prize for the British Isles and Ireland.

There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a MidgiePicture Book Writer/Illustrator:
The Fairy  Godmother School by Rebecca Colby

"It's fun, commercial, funny, modern with a good style and voice. An interesting idea that we thought might be saleable with a bit more work."  Judge's statement

Rebecca's first book There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie (pictured left) was published in April 2014 by Kelpies

Portia RosenbergHonorary Mention: Portia Rosenberg (for Moose character 1)

"Very skilled, beautifully executed work that creates a world of characters, if reminiscent of Chris Riddell – but deserves encouragement…and time off from basic jobs. It works for 8-15 black and whites or cover work – rather than picture books. Someone who can draw so we feel the characters have potential and could be pushed to doing younger stuff later."  



The Black and White Club by Alice HemmingPicture Book Writer / Illustrator: 

Alice Hemming –  "The whole weekend was an invaluable experience, from the Friday night critique right through to the Sunday afternoon. I had some interest in my work at the event and although that didn’t quite happen (the publisher in question stopped their picture book list), it gave me the boost I needed to go into 2012 with a positive attitude and new writing goals."

Alice's debut picture book The Black and White Clubillustrated by Kimberley Scott, was published by Maverick in September 2013.



Book Now. SCBWI BI Annual Conference 2016.

C O N F E R E N C E   S P O N S O R S

Our main sponsors are:

Main Sponsor: Aperture Books

Main Sponsor: Golden Egg

Sponsors: Society of Authors

SCBWI would like to thank the sponsors for their support. SCBWI is a non-profit organization
and does not endorse any products or services provided by external companies.