Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

LONDON Industry Insiders: Writing Other Lives

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Date(s) - 03/07/2018
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Room 106, The City Lit
1 - 10 Keeley Street - London, WC2B 4BA


How do authors approach writing authentically about characters from backgrounds different to their own, and how do authors, agents and editors ensure these stories accurately represent individuals and communities in a sensitive manner? Joining us in this panel discussion will be authors Candy Gourlay and Lisa Williamson with their editor, Bella Pearson, Editorial Director of David Fickling Books.

Room 106, City Lit, Keeley Street, doors open 6.30 pm, talk starts at 7pm Tickets cost £12 for SCBWI members, £18 for non-members

Speaker Biographies

Candy Gourlay

Growing up in the Philippines, Candy Gourlay wondered why all the books she ever loved only featured pink-skinned children who lived in snow-covered worlds that didn’t resemble her steamy, tropical home in Manila. As a result, it took her years to fulfil her dream of becoming an author – and years to learn that Filipino stories too, belong in the pages of books. Candy’s novels for young readers. Tall Story and Shine, have been published to acclaim and listed for many prizes such as the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Book Prize. Both novels won the Crystal Kite Prize for Europe. She lives in London with her family, where she wages war on the snails in her garden.

Candy Gourlay


Lisa Williamson 

Lisa Williamson is the bestselling author of  The Art of Being Normal ( David Fickling Books). Following its publication in 2015, it was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and the Branford Boase Award, and won the older-fiction category at the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2016, in addition to  scooping up a number of regional awards. Lisa’s second novel,  All About Mia , followed in early 2017, with a third, Paper Avalanche due to published in summer 2018. Lisa is also one of the seven authors of the collaborative novel Floored (MacMillan). Among other things, Lisa likes old Hollywood films, the seaside, dessert and talking for hours. She lives in South East London where she writes full-time.

Bella Pearson

Bella spent most of her childhood with her head buried in a book, which has stood her in good stead ever since. After working in an independent children’s bookshop and completing an MA in children’s literature, Bella joined David Fickling Books in 2001 and was lucky enough to work with him for the next twelve years on a huge number of wonderful and award-winning books for children. She is now the Publishing Director at David Fickling Books and lives in Oxford with her family, which includes five guinea pigs (three useful small boys and two real ones).

The City Lit is a fully accessible venue for people with disabilities. There is a café downstairs serving sandwiches, hot and cold snacks and drinks.

Your ticket includes a glass of wine or juice.

All tickets are non-refundable, but you are welcome to pass yours to someone else if you can’t come.