Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


2017 SCBWI BI Conference

SCBWI-BI Margaret Carey scholarships and the Bent Agency BAME scholarship


SCBWI-BI Margaret Carey scholarships

Two conference scholarships were set up in memory of Margaret Carey, children’s writer and illustrator and SCBWI British Isles volunteer, in the following two categories:

  • fiction author (Young Adult or Middle Grade)
  • picture book author or illustrator


This year an ADDITIONAL scholarship, generously sponsored by the Bent Agency, will be awarded in the following category:

  • BAME author (Young Adult or Middle Grade) 


Each scholarship covers the cost of the conference attendance, 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.

* The BAME scholarship winner’s manuscript critique will be with a member of the Bent Agency. The Bent Agency will also pay for a year’s SCBWI membership.


Who can apply?


For the Margaret Carey scholarships: 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, may apply. Unfortunately we cannot consider applications from other SCBWI regions.


For the Bent Agency BAME scholarship:

Both SCBWI and non-SCBWI member BAME writers resident in the British Isles may apply. BAME is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “black, Asian and minority ethnic (used to refer to members of non-white communities in the UK)”. If the winner is already a SCBWI member, their membership will be extended by one year.


SCBWI members may apply for both the Margaret Carey scholarships and the BAME scholarship if they are eligible.


Applicants for all scholarships can be unpublished, self-published or may previously have been traditionally published, though applicants for the BAME scholarship must be unagented. Each submission will be judged solely on the work submitted and its potential, and the statement supplied.

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



Work should be the applicant’s own and should NOT be under contract with a traditional publisher.

Applicants for the BAME scholarship should be unagented.

  • You may submit work that has previously been self-published
  • Anyone who fails to address financial need or fulfil the award criteria (see above) will not be put forward to the judging panel.


1. Entries should be emailed to

In the subject line please put Conference Scholarship 2017 Entry.


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


Email Address
Telephone Number

Which scholarship(s) you are applying for 
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:

Novel writers: The first 1500 words 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.

Picture Book Writers: 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.

Picture Book Author/Illustrators: 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.

Illustrators: 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.

DEADLINE: Midnight Saturday 26th August 2017


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 and the Bent Agency reserve the right not to award a scholarship if the entries do not meet the required standard. Good luck!



Margaret CareyFor many years, Margaret organised events for both authors and illustrators in SCBWI British Isles with verve and passion. Her volunteering and amazingly generous spirit were 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.



About the Bent Agency

The Bent Agency was established in 2009 and represents authors in the UK and the US, and around the world. With 3 agents in the UK and 7 in the US, they are a significant presence in both children’s and adult publishing on both sides of the Atlantic with notable success in selling translation rights. Gemma Cooper and Molly Ker Hawn represent their clients to UK and US publishers and their lists reflect their commitment to a wide range of books for young people, including bestsellers, award-winners, and children’s favourites.


Margaret Carey scholarship winner 2015 Susan Brownrigg wrote about her conference experience here:


Need any more encouragement? Here’s Ruth Grearson, winner of last year’s MG/YA scholarship:

“It felt brilliant to find my writing tribe at the conference. There were talks, workshops and critiques. There was a book launch. And fancy dress. But better than that, there were so many friendly faces. Everyone I spoke to was warm, kind and hugely passionate.

My personal highlight had to be David Almond, author of the aching Skellig and one of my top five Geordies, talking to us about the uncertain adventure of making books, in his words those ‘half-real, half imaginary’ things.

When you’re starting out, and your stories live only on your laptop, you can feel half-imaginary yourself. Being at the conference made me feel more real. I had fresh ideas for my work in progress, and concrete feedback on my most recent manuscript. I realised that yes, this is what I love doing, but like any job, there’s a lot of hard work involved. The brilliant thing is that we can all help each other. The encouragement I came away with is a gift that can only be paid forward. To anyone thinking of applying for the scholarship, I’d say, ‘Go for it!’ I’ll be cheering you on the loudest.”


C O N F E R E N C E   S P O N S O R S

Our main sponsors are:

Main Sponsor: Golden Egg

Conference Sponsor: Matador

Conference Sponsor: ALCS

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.

© Liz Pichon Ltd 2017
© Alex T. Smith 2017