Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


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Date(s) - 30/09/2017
10:45 am - 5:30 pm

Goldsmith, University of London, New Cross, SE14 6NW
New Cross Road - London, SE14


Your first published book is an exciting and terrifying time. Not only do you have to create the best book you can but you also must work to promote yourself and your book. The SCBWI Boot Camp can help you prepare for the opportunities and challenges of being a published author or illustrator. Your drill sergeants for the day will be authors Candy Gourlay, Sara Grant and Mo O’Hara.



1. Please note that by ‘author’ we always refer to both writers and illustrators.

2. If you are a debut author with a book traditionally or self published in the past twelve months or scheduled for publication in the next eighteen months, you are eligible to apply.

3. You must be a member in good standing of SCBWI in the British Isles.

4. Limited space is available. Interested authors and illustrators must apply by downloading the form (see files section). We will endeavour to accept a mix of traditionally and self published authors who are creating books for a range of ages and genres.



Complete the booking form (download it here) and email it to with 'BOOT CAMP 2017' in the subject line. If your application is successful you will be emailed a password to purchase your ticket on this page.



£35 only. Lunch is not included. You are welcome to bring a packed lunch or visit nearby shops or cafes for lunch. We have kept the cost down thanks to Goldsmiths, University of London, who have provided the venue at no charge.



We are keen to include members from all corners of SCBWI British Isles and are offering two travel grants for up to £50 to applicants outside the London network. Please apply on the booking form.



Sara GrantSara Grant has worked in public relations as well as in publishing. She has written fiction for children and teens, including her latest series Chasing Danger, an action-adventure series for tweens. Dark Parties, her first young adult novel, won SCBWI's Crystal Kite Award for Europe. As a freelance editor of series fiction, she has worked on twelve different series and edited nearly 100 books. She co-founded Undiscovered Voices – which has launched the writing careers of thirty-two authors, who now have written more than 120 children’s books. Visit Sara's website

Mo O'HaraMo O'Hara is the New York Times bestselling author of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish. She grew up in Pennsylvania, USA, but now lives in south-east London. She began her writing and acting career by touring theatres and schools all across the UK and Ireland, working as a storyteller. As well as writing books for children, Mo has written comedy sketches for Radio 4 and performed her own material in London and Edinburgh. Mo and her big brother once brought their own pet goldfish back from the brink of death. Visit Mo's website

Candy GourlayCandy Gourlay is a Filipino author living in London. She has worked as a journalist, a cartoonist, a voice talent for American accents and as a web designer. She is fascinated by the power of the internet and began blogging before Blogger was invented. Her middle grade novels Tall Story and Shine both won the Crystal Kite Prize and have been listed for many children's book prizes including the Waterstones, the Blue Peter and the Guardian. Her first picture book will be published in 2018. 



10:45 a.m. Arrive and check in 

11 a.m. Welcome and Introductions – Sara Grant leads introductions and a discussion of what attendees hope to gain from the day.

11:20 a.m. Planning for Publication – Sara Grant will help you define your brand as an author and create a strategy to raise awareness of your new book  

12:30 a.m. Lunch

1:15 p.m. The How and Why of Digital Opportunity – Candy Gourlay discusses the challenges and opportunities presented by the internet, including author websites, Amazon and Facebook.

2:45 p.m. Break

3 p.m. School Visits – Mo O’Hara demonstrates how to structure a school visit and discover the performer in you. 

4:15 p.m. Every Thing You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask about Being Published – Q&A Panel with Candy, Mo & Sara

5:15 p.m. Wrap Up 

5:30 p.m. Retire to the pub for further networking and chat