Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators




Catherine Johnson Catherine Johnson
Author Keynote
Catherine Johnson is a versatile author who has been published for 25 years and written 20 books for young readers.  She has been nominated for the Carnegie medal and the YA book Award.  In 2014 Catherine won the Young Quills Prize in Historical Fiction for children with her book Sawbones, a forensic murder mystery set 226 years before CSI.  With a host of historical novels under her belt we feel Catherine is perfect for our travelling through time theme.

Her latest books this year are Race to the Frozen North, published by Barrington Stoke and Freedom, published by Scholastic.

Web: Catherine Johnson

Twitter: @catwrote

Benji Davies Benji Davies
Illustrator Keynote

Benji Davies is an illustrator, author and animation director.

His first self-penned picture book The Storm Whale won the inaugral Oscar’s Book Prize and was Dutch Picture Book Of The Year 2017. His second, Grandad’s Island, won the children’s book category of the AOI World Illustration Awards, was crowned Children’s Book of the Year at the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards and has since been adapted for the stage.

Benji studied animation at university where he learnt how to tell stories with pictures, from short films and music videos, to title sequences and picture books.

His books have been co-editioned in many languages and countries around the world.

He lives in east London with his wife and daughter.

Twitter: @Benji_Davies
Instagram: @benjidavies

Nick Tucker Nick Tucker
Industry Keynote
Nicholas Tucker was formerly Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex. Before that he was first a teacher and then an educational psychologist.  He is the author of nine books about children, childhood and reading, and has also written six books for children.
Sophia Bennett
Sophia Bennett’s debut novel, Threads, won The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition in 2009. She has since published several further books for teens, including The Look, Love Song, which won the Romantic Novel of the Year, and the historical Ophelia series based on the Pre-Raphaelites. Sophia was delighted to be the guest author at the SCBWI retreat earlier this year, giving workshops on editing and dialogue. Her books have sold internationally to over 16 countries and a new non-fiction book on female artists will be out next year.
Twitter: @sophiabennett
Steve Bohme
Steve Bohme is Research Director for Nielsen Book Research UK. Steve previously worked at Bowker Market Research (previously BML) from 1994 – 2013, becoming Research Manager in 1996 and Research Director in 2001. Steve has managed the Books and Consumers Survey since 1997, as well as a wide variety of other qualitative and quantitative research projects relating to the book market, and to reading and buying habits. Steve is a member of the Market Research Society (MRS). When not pouring over the latest book buying stats, Steve likes painting pictures, watching football and exploring the countryside near his home in the Peak District.
Derek Brazell
Derek Brazell is a writer and project manager at the Association of Illustrators. His recent book on business for illustrators, Becoming a Successful Illustrator (2nd Edition 2017), was co-authored with Jo Davies, and their
Ellie Brough Ellie Brough
Ellie Brough began her publishing career with Maverick Arts Publishing where she spent her days diving in and out of the slush pile, scavenging for that elusive undiscovered story, voice or idea and then picking it out and polishing it up into a real gem of a picture book. She is now an Editor at Quarto working across two imprints, QED and words and pictures, on beautiful, evocative picture books and innovative and inspiring non-fiction. She loves picture books with the power to linger long after the last page is read – whether its a joke that keeps you chuckling or a message that you carry in your heart from that day on.
Twitter: @EllieBrough
Paul Coomey
Paul has worked as a Designer and Art Director on Children’s books for almost ten years. Before that he worked in universities, theatres, graveyards, and nightclubs around the world. His passion is storytelling and in working with authors and illustrators to spark a lifelong love of books in readers of all ages.
Twitter: @mrcoomey
Christopher Edge
Christopher Edge is an award-winning children’s author whose books have been translated into more than twenty languages. His novels The Many Worlds of Albie Bright and The Jamie Drake Equation were both nominated for the CLIP Carnegie Medal, whilst his latest novel The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day was described by The Guardian as a ‘heartbreaking, head-melting science fiction mystery’. He is also the author of How to Write Your Best Story Ever! and How To Be A Young #Writer, inspirational guides to creative writing for children and teenagers.
Twitter: @edgechristopher
Chris Fraser
CHRIS FRASER has been a children’s book designer for 30 years, starting at HarperCollins on 8/8/88. She has also worked full time at Kingfisher Books and Dorling Kindersley. In 2000, she went freelance, working for Hachette Children’s Group, in-house in London and for many other publishers, from her home by the sea. She has also run workshops and given talks at schools and art colleges, about the role of a children’s book designer. Her favourite picture book is Dave by Sue Hendra, illustrated by Liz Pichon.
Julie Gribble
Julie Gribble is the founder and creative drive behind KidLit TV where, together with her diverse team, she creates content to inspire children to learn and read. She is an award winning author and filmmaker and frequently invited instructor on applications available to assist authors, illustrators, and librarians engage young readers.
Twitter: @JulieGribbleNYC
Candy Gourlay Candy Gourlay
Candy Gourlay is a Filipino author based in London and an enthusiastic SCBWI volunteer.  Her two novels, Tall Story and Shine, both won the Crystal Kite Prize and have been listed for other prizes.  She is looking forward to two book launches next year: her third novel, Bone Talk, set during the American invasion of the Phillipines in 1899, will be published in July; and her first picture book, Is it a Mermaid?, will be published by Otter-Barry Books in April 2018.  Candy is also a committee member of CWIG (Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group) of the Society of Authors.
Twitter: @candygourlay
Paula Harrison
Paula Harrison is a best-selling children’s author who has sold more than a million books worldwide. her books include the Robyn Silver series, the Red Moon Rising Trilogy, The Secret Rescuers series, Tiara Friends mysteries and the The Rescue Princesses. She wanted to be a writer from a young age but spent many happy years being a primary school teacher first.
Twitter: @P_Harrison99
Jake Hope
Jake Hope is a reading development and children’s book consultant. He was named one of only ten top librarians of the future and has worked as the reading and learning development manager for Lancashire, one of the largest library authorities in the United Kingdom. Jake is a regular reviewer and commentator on all aspects of children’s literature and has Chaired numerous discussions, selection meetings and awards. He has an active interest in diversity in children’s books, has trained and lectured on topics from psychoanalytic approaches to children’s literature to approaches and roles for visual literacy. Jake has been a jury member for the International Bologna Ragazzi Award, for the Macmillan Prize for Illustration and for most major children’s book awards in the UK. He has chaired the judging panel for the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals and is the Chair of the Youth Libraries Group. Jake is a passionate advocate for reading.
Twitter: @Jake_Hope
Ben Illis
Ben is the founder of The BIA, a small literary agency focussing on finding and nurturing new writers for middle grade and up, and growing them internationally and across a wide range of media platforms. Members of #TeamBIA have won The Costa Children’s Book Award, The Scottish Teen Book Award, The Times Chicken House Prize and the MsLexia Children’s Book award, among others, and been shortlisted for both The Carnegie and The Branford Boase too. Books on his list have become Number One bestsellers and sold into languages from Hungarian to Hindi, via Lithuanian, Brazilian Portuguese and Mandarin, and been acquired for adaptation for Film, TV, stage, audio original, radio transmission and graphic novelisation.
Twitter: @bookboyben
Yasmin Kane
A literary agent for 14 years, Yasmin set up her own publishing house, Three Hares Publishing, in 2014. A firm believer that you need to move with your times, Yasmin strives to be at the cusp of change in a continuously evolving and fast-paced industry. Her agency, Kane Literary Agency, specialises in thought-provoking YA and children’s fiction, whereas Three Hares publishes Adult, YA and children’s fiction. Yasmin loves working closely with authors and being an agent and publisher in a small publishing house enables her to do this.  She curated literary events at Midsummer Muswell 2017 and has participated as an agent at London Book Fair and Winchester Writers’ Festival in 2018. Yasmin is currently adding to her agency list and looking for those all elusive stories which stay with you long after the last page has been turned…
Twitter: @yasminkane3
Molly Ker Hawn
Molly Ker Hawn is Director of the Bent Agency UK, where she primarily represents inventive, well-crafted fiction for children and young adults. Her client roster includes award-winning and bestselling authors such as Alwyn Hamilton, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock and Hilary McKay. Her time in the publishing industry has included editorial roles at Chronicle Books and Dial Books for Young Readers, early social media development for a major teen magazine, and serving as National Programs Director at the Children’s Book Council, the trade association of American children’s book publishers. She is also a past board member of the United States Board on Books for Young People.
Tiffany Leeson
Tiffany has always worked in children’s publishing. Training as a designer at The Glasgow School of Art, she always enjoyed working with type and illustration. She went on to work with George Hardie on his limited-edition books whilst studying at Brighton’s MA in Sequential Design and Illustration. Throughout her career, she has worked across every genre, age group and format, from well-known brands like StarWars and Mr Men to picture books with Helen Oxenbury and Steven Lenton, from pop-up Board Books to edgy YA fiction.Tiffany currently works as Creative Director at Egmont Publishing UK, overseeing and managing a large team of designers and delivering a portfolio of over 200 books a year.Central to everything she does is her ambition to make every child a proud reader.
Twitter: @tiffgingersnap
Bridget Tate Bridget Marzo
Bridget Marzo is an award-winning illustrator, author and artist now based in East London. She has worked directly with US, UK, Australian and French publishers, creating playful picture books and novelty books for children across the world.  As the very first International Illustrator Coordinator while based in France for over two decades, she co-hosted SCBWI conferences at the Bologna Book Fair, and in France & Greece.  Her latest UK book, Tiz and Ott’s Big Draw (Tate) continues to inspire children and hopefully adults too, to draw and paint themselves out of holes.
Twitter: @bridgimage
Penny Morris Penny Morris
Penny has worked in children’s publishing across fiction, poetry, licensed publishing and picture books at Reed Children’s Books (pre-Egmont), Scholastic, Puffin, Orchard and HarperCollins. She is now Associate Publisher for 0-6 at Macmillan Children’s Books. Penny always looks for stories that touch the emotions – if you can make her laugh or cry, you are halfway there.
Roxie Munro
Roxie Munro is the New York-based author/illustrator of more than 40 award-winning nonfiction and concept children’s books, many using “gamification” and multimedia to teach and engage. She has also created 12 interactive apps, 14 “New Yorker” magazine covers, and lectures widely in schools, libraries, conferences, and universities on publishing.
Twitter: @roxiemunro
Ben Norland
Ben was born in 1965 in London. He studied Fine Art at the Slade School, UCL and after that at Royal College of Art, London. He has worked occasionally as a practicing artist, musician, and art school lecturer but throughout all of his working life, he has spent the majority of his time designing and art directing children’s books as an employee of Walker Books Ltd, where he is currently Art Director.
mo ohara Mo O’Hara
Mo O’Hara is co-coordinator, with Candy Gourlay, of SCBWI-BI’s PULSE strand, which creates programming targeting the needs of published members. At this year’s conference, she joins forces with Candy to lead the School Visit Slam! When not doing SCBWI stuff, Mo writes funny fiction books for kids, like the Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series, as well as picture books, like her latest: More People to Love Me. Do you have any ideas for PULSE events? Email Mo or Candy:
Cathy Olmedillas
Cathy Olmedillas is the founder/creative director of The Anorak Press, publishers of Anorak Magazine and DOT. In 2006, she launched the ground-breaking internationally acclaimed happy mag for kids, Anorak, when she couldn’t find a fun, educational and collectable magazine to read with her son. Formerly of 90s youth lifestyle bibles The Face and Sleazenation, Cathy has a passion for illustration and kids culture.
Jenny Savill
Jenny joined Andrew Nurnberg Associates in 2002.  She is a Director of the agency, placing authors in the UK and US markets, while her colleagues look after translation rights in international markets.  An early background in working creatively with young people and a lifelong love of children’s books led Jenny to build a strong and respected list of children’s and YA authors, many of whom have been shortlisted for, and have won, awards. Always keen to find authentic and engaging voices in 7+, Middle Grade and Young Adult writing, Jenny loves a great plot, intriguing settings, and fully-rounded characters. She is not looking for high fantasy.
ANA Website:
Twitter: @jennysavill1
Fiona Scoble Fiona Scoble
After studying English at the University of Cambridge Fiona worked as a journalist and arts project manager before joining Macmillan Children’s Books in 2013, where she project managed the Macmillan Prize for Illustration and edited picture books and novelty books. Fiona joined the Nosy Crow fiction team in 2016, where she works on a wide variety of books, from highly illustrated stories for newly independent readers to epic adventures and hilarious “clean teen” for readers aged up to fourteen.
Chloe Seager
Chloe Seager is responsible for Northbank Talent Management’s children’s and young adult book business as well as science fiction and fantasy. In children’s, she represents all genres of young adult, middle-grade and younger fiction and non-fiction. Chloe is a published author of young adult fiction, with her first novel Editing Emma published by HQ in 2017 and the sequel coming in August 2018. 
Twitter: @ChloeSeager
John Shelley
Since returning to the UK after many years as an illustrator in Japan, John continues to illustrate children’s books for publishers overseas, while developing his own stories for submission in this country. A long time SCBWI volunteer both here and Japan, he volunteers with the Illustration Committee and is Illustration Features Editor for Words & Pictures.Recent picture books include Will’s Words (written by Jane Sutcliffe, pub. Charlesbridge, USA), and Magic For Sale (words by Carrie Clickard, pub. Holiday House USA). In 2018 he was one of the UK nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
Twitter/Instagram/Facebook: @StudioNIB
Kirsty Stansfield
Kirsty Stansfield has 17 years’ publishing experience. Literary agent Hilary Delamere gave her her big break, then she moved to Scholastic, where she worked for many years. Most recently, she was Editorial Director at Orchard Books. She is delighted to be working on the Nosy Crow fiction list, and can’t wait to find the Next Big Thing.
Sarah Stewart Sarah Stewart
Sarah Stewart studied Media & Communications at Goldsmiths University of London before starting her publishing career at HarperCollins. She moved to her dream job working on the Usborne Fiction list in 2004, the same year the list was launched, and has grown up with it to become Senior Commissioning Editor. She loves the weird and the wonderful, and thanks her lucky stars that her job allows her to travel into so many incredible imaginations, including those of Holly Bourne, S.M. Wilson, Matt Killeen, Kathryn Evans and many more.
Twitter: @SarahLStewart_
Alice Sutherland-Hawes
Alice is the Rights Agent at Madeleine Milburn Ltd and is also growing the children’s & YA list at the agency, including illustrators. She began her career as a bookseller before working at The Agency for three years, where she gained an invaluable insight into the publishing industry. Whilst at The Agency she negotiated multiple UK deals and helped sell rights across the world in titles including A Kestrel For A Knave, the Paddington books and Malorie Blackman’s books. Along with books, she has a passion for films and spent some time as a film critic. Alice edits an online magazine dedicated to Young Adult literature, part of her mission to help people of all ages discover the joys of reading. Actively looking for: Middle Grade for 9-12 (standalone and with series potential); tween stories to fit between MG and YA; quirky picture book illustrators; non-rhyming picture book texts; brilliant world-building; diverse and marginalised authors across all ages and genres.
Twitter: @alibelle
Caroline Thomson
Caroline has been a pivotal member of the Arena Illustration team for almost 15 years with an MA from Brighton and a BA Norwich School of Art as well as ten years as a professional illustrator. Caroline is passionate about re-investing her wealth of knowledge by providing invaluable business best practice advice and portfolio surgeries to future graduates alongside lectures about varying aspects of the industry. An avid collector of graphic novels Caroline has a keen interest in animation and film concept art.
Felicity Trew
Talented, enthusiastic and energetic, Felicity Trew is keenly building up a list of childrens writers and illustrators at the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency. Clients she already represents include CLPE award winning poet, childrens writer and performer, Joseph Coelho, winner of this years Branford Boase award, Mitch Johnson,  Swapna Haddow and picture book writer Helen Docherty. Among her growing list of illustrators include Yuval Zommer, Sandra Dieckmann, Thomas Docherty and Zehra Hicks. Dream projects to arrive on her desk would be: a spellbinding novel of our time, a bold UK teen voice to rival the likes of John Green and Holly Smale, an accessible, well-plotted (and dont hold back on the funny!) middle grade book, and a picture book classic of the future. Felicity is also on a mission to find extraordinary illustrators who capture the life of their characters and have a real love of story-telling at the heart of their artwork. Felicity is delighted to be one of The Booksellers Rising Stars 2016. 
Twitter: @FelicityTrew

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Illustrations © Mini Grey