Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


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Date(s) - 05/10/2019
9:30 am - 5:00 pm




Thank you to Sarah McIntyre for the image

Whether you’re a published pro, an aspiring author or illustrator, or considering self publication, this day is for you. We have invited experienced illustrators, writers and editors to give us the lowdown on the world of picture books. Have you considered non-fiction? What’s the difference between creative non-fiction and regular non-fiction? Why is non fiction so hot right now? What is the best submission strategy? What about thumbnails and dummies? How are rights sold? Why do co-editions matter? What happens in an acquisition meeting? What happens after publication? How do you promote a picture book? How do you design a school visit around your book?

Learn from our brilliant panels • Watch us perform raucous excerpts from our school visits • Bring your dummies and thumbnails in progress for our dummy display • Network, network, network • EAT CAKE!

JOIN US! It will enlightening, it will be transformational, it will be FUN!

Thank you to  Loretta Schauer for this lovely pug


9.30  Registration
Please bring your published books and dummies in progress to display.


10.00  Welcome & School Visit Starter 
New York Times bestselling author and stand up comedian Mo O’Hara (Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex, illustrated by Andrew Joyner) launches the day with a hilarious excerpt from her school visit routine.


10.15 Non Fiction Anyone?
How do you generate ideas? Who publishes non fiction? How do you break into non fiction? How does it differ from fiction picture books? Why is non fiction so hot right now? What is the acquisition process?
Natascha Biebow is the author of The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons (illustrated by Steven Salerno),and editor, coach & mentor at Blue Elephant Storyshaping and Editorial Director, Five Quills
Anita Loughrey has a dazzling range of non-fiction work: from board books to activity kits for toy companies
Rashmi Sirdeshpande is the author of How to Be Extraordinary (illustrated by Annabel Tempest)
Penny Morris is associate publisher of Macmillan Children’s Books UK


11.15  Coffee Break


11.30  Drawing Grumpycorn
Illustrator Sarah McIntyre will demonstrate how she draws her grumpy unicorn character


11.40 The Art of the Picture Book
How do illustrators get paired with authors? How does a book get illustrated, from start to finish? How do editors and art directors edit illustrators? What are typical challenges of illustration? How do you illustrate for a world audience? How do illustrators do school visits? How do illustrators promote their work?
Sarah McIntyre, author illustrator of Grumpycorn and many award winning books
Loretta Schauer, illustrator of A Very Corgi Christmas (written by Sam Hay) and author-illustrator other bestselling titles
Zoe Tucker,  art director who has worked with stars Axel Scheffler, Nick Sharratt, Helen Stephens. Commissions, designs and directs.
12.40  LUNCH /  view displays / book sales
Please bring your own lunch. There are many good food places around the Waterloo area.

13.55  The Magic Fish Bag

Candy Gourlay demonstrates the Magic Fish Bag routine she performs when presenting her Greenaway nominated picture book Is It a Mermaid, illustrated by Francesca Chessa

14.05  Storymakers

What does it take to get a picture book published in the UK? What are publishers looking for in a story? From acquisition to publication – the process. Coeditions and rights and why they are so important. How are words and pictures turned into a book? How is a picture book marketed?


Smriti Halls is the international bestselling author of more than 30 books. Her forthcoming The Little Island, illustrated by Robert Starling is inspired by current events.

Chitra Soundar is the author of the Greenaway shortlisted You’re Safe With Me, illustrated by Poonam Mistry


15.05  Break
15. 35 Ask the Room 
A roundtable discussion interspersed with more entertaining demonstrations of choice school visit performances from volunteers. Do you have a burning question about picture books? We offer you a roomful of published authors, illustrators and editors.
16.40ish  Goodbye and last minute Networking over Coffee and Cake