Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

MANCHESTER in partnership with Manchester Writing School and the MCBF at Manchester Metropolitan University – The Journey of a Book – Industry and author Panel event PLUS optional 1:1s

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Date(s) - 28/09/2019
11:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Business School, MMU
Lyceum Place - Manchester, M15 6BY

 SCBWI British Isles


Manchester Writing School and the Manchester Children’s Book Festival at Manchester Metropolitan University in partnership with SCBWI British Isles are hosting ‘The Journey of a Book’ – panel event with publisher Bella Pearson (Guppy Books), editor Rachel Leyshon (Chicken House) with authors Anna Mainwaring, Louisa Reid and Marie Basting.

PLUS optional 1:1 with the industry professionals, Bella and Rachel and we will be joined in the afternoon by agent Anne Clark (Anne Clark Literary Agency).

2019 has been an exciting year for the North West network with three of our Manchester-based SCBWI authors launching books this summer. We are delighted to host a fantastic panel event to discuss their journeys to publication along with the professionals who have made their dreams happen. We will be discussing routes to publishing, the current market and asking for tips for taking our own journeys forward. There will be time for questions at the end.


All are welcome to purchase tickets for the panel event which will start at 11am and finish at 12.15. There is a discount for SCBWI members and MMU students who can show valid student ID on the day of the event. Children go free.

SCBWI Members and MMU Students who can show a valid student ID may purchase 1:1s with Anne, Bella or Rachel.

If you purchase a 1:1 ticket, we invite you to send a follow-up email with (or preferably before) your submission (please see below for details of what to submit). Please email detailing who you would like a 1:1 with (and why if it’s relevant).  We cannot guarantee that you will be given your first choice.

MMU students, please send a photograph or copy of your student ID and bring a copy on the day. Failure to do so will not result in a refund but may mean that you do not receive a 1:1.

What to submit for 1:1

For novels: the first 2000 words of a novel and a one page synopsis.

For picture books: two texts (not exceeding 1000 words each) and a covering letter.

We must receive your submission by Friday 13th September.

Please note 1:1s are now fully booked.

About the day

The panel will start at 11am and end at 12.15.

Break for lunch. A timetable will be available to show the running order for 1:1s.

We will start 1:1s at 1pm before breaking at 2pm for the book launch of Marie Basting’s MG novel, BMX Princess (Chicken House). All welcome. 1:1s will resume shortly afterwards.

Please be aware, these timings may change slightly.

We really hope to see you there.

This is a brilliant opportunity for budding and established authors and author/illustrators to get feedback from professionals, to pose your questions and to celebrate some of the North West’s finest authors!


Bios below!

Anna Mainwaring Clark – YA Author.

Anna has recently published a warmhearted feminist teen comedy TULIP TAYLOR (Firefly.)

Anna read The Lord of the Rings when she was seven and hasn’t stopped reading since. When not teaching or looking after two daughters, she can either be found writing in wine bars or walking up hills. Anna lives in Cheshire.

Anna’s Rebel with a Cupcake is published in the USA and Canada by Kids Can Press – Kirkus Reviews found it ‘hilarious and heartfelt’.

Anne Clark, agent, Anne Clark Literary Agency.

Anne has worked in children’s books for over twenty years. Before launching her agency, she was a commissioning editor at Piccadilly Press and a commissioning editor/editorial director at Hodder Children’s Books.

Anne is open to submissions and will be offering six bookable 1:1s.

Marie Basting – MG Author.

When Marie Basting was fifteen, she was told by a careers advisor that girls like her don’t become writers. For a long time, she believed this. But then something magical happened and Marie finally came to realise that girls like her can do anything they want.

Marie lives in Manchester with her husband, son and a giant, hairy woo-dog called Polly. When she’s not writing or annoying her family, you’ll find her supporting other girls and boys to follow their writing dreams.  PRINCESS BMX is her debut novel.

Marie will be launching PRINCESS BMX during the event.

Rachel Leyshon – Editorial Director, Chicken House

Rachel grew up in Northern Ireland and South Wales. She read English at the University of Birmingham and at the Open University, and began her career in publishing in 1994, shortly after graduating. Her first job was at a literary agency, though she went on to work as an editor of adult fiction and non-fiction, notably at Weidenfeld & Nicolson and Orion, before finding her natural home in children’s books at the Chicken House. Her authors have been translated into many languages and shortlisted for multiple awards, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. In 2017 she won the Branford Boase, and was shortlisted for Editor of the Year at the British Book Awards.

Rachel is offering 1:1s.

Louisa Reid- YA author.

Louisa Reid has spent most of her life reading. And when she’s not doing that she’s writing stories, or imagining writing them at least. An English teacher, her favourite part of the job is sharing her love of reading and writing with her pupils. Louisa lives with her family in the north-west of England and is proud to call a place near Manchester home.

GLOVES OFF is her first novel in verse, and she’s fallen in love with the exhilarating and exciting challenges and opportunities that writing in this form brings. Reading and loving the work of writers such as Jason Reynolds, David Levithan and Sarah Crossan inspired her to rise to the challenge.

Louisa writes about things that she thinks are important to young people, and all people generally, really. Drawn to write about themes of female empowerment and personal freedom, GLOVES OFF is about bullying and body image, with some boxing thrown in too. Louisa hopes the novel will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever had to fight for self-confidence and self-belief – things which are, for many, very hard won.

Bella Pearson, Publisher, Guppy Books.

Bella has worked in children’s publishing for over twenty years, seventeen of those spent in a variety of guises at David Fickling Books in Oxford. DFB was started from from David’s kitchen table in 2001 – and Bella is incredibly excited to now be at her own kitchen table building up an eclectic and entertaining list of books for children.

Titles she previously acquired and edited include THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS by John Boyne, BEFORE I DIE by Jenny Downham, THE ART OF BEING NORMAL by Lisa Williamson and BOG CHILD by Siobhan Dowd and JESSICA’S GHOST by Andrew Norriss. She has won the Branford Boase Award once and been shortlisted five times, and spent three years working as a mentor at The Golden Egg Academy, as well as editing for many children’s publishers including Puffin, Chicken House and Oxford University Press.

Bella is offering 1:1s.