Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI Retreat 2022 – NOW SOLD OUT!!!!

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Date(s) - 18/03/2022 - 21/03/2022

Holland House
Main Street - Cropthorne Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 3NB

The SCBWI MG/YA Retreat returns to Holland House on the banks of the beautiful River Avon. This year, we’re concentrating on the craft of writing, honing the skills that will not only get you from slushpile to full request, but beyond. The plan is, by the time the industry returns to normal-ish, you’ll have the skills to not only add competition longlistings to your query letter, but shortlistings too, to draw even more attention towards your completely perfect manuscript! Every little helps… 😉

COST: £350 (SCBWI members) 

£390 (non-SCBWI members) 

£30 – 1-1 with either Sara or Jo. 

We’ve got two incredible speakers, both of whom are practising authors AND highly regarded lecturers in writing for children. They are:

Dr Joanna Nadin is the author of more than 80 books for children, teenagers and adults, including the award-winning Penny Dreadful series (Usborne), the Flying Fergus series with Sir Chris Hoy (Hot Key), and the critically acclaimed Joe All Alone (Little, Brown), which is now a BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated BBC series. She has twice been nominated for the Carnegie Medal, as well being shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Prize, the Best Book Awards and Queen of Teen. A former broadcast journalist and special adviser to the Prime Minister, she still writes keynote speeches, as well as on publishing for national magazines and newspapers, and holds a Creative Writing PhD on multiple identity in YA fiction from Bath Spa, where she taught on the acclaimed MA in Writing for Young People before moving to her current role as a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Bristol. Her latest series is The Worst Class in the World (Bloomsbury) and her second adult novel, The Talk of Pram Town, was published by Pan Macmillan UK in March 2021, Her response to the twin threats of Brexit and Trump, No Man’s Land, was published in 2021 by UCLan and has been described as ‘ frighteningly possible imagined future, beautifully told.’
Jo will teach us all about Brilliant Beginnings:
The opening line, paragraph and pages of your novel are what will capture a reader’s (and an agent’s) attention and get them desperate to read on, so it’s imperative that they sparkle. They are also what help win those elusive competition long listings, adding that extra boost to make your query letter stand out. Find out what makes a great opening and why, and have a go at writing your own. 


Sara writes and edits fiction for children and teens. Her new series Chasing Danger is an action-adventure series for tweens. Dark Parties, her first young adult novel, won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators 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 also consults for Storymix, an inclusive fiction studio. She teaches master’s courses on writing for children/teens currently at Goldsmiths University and previously at the University of Winchester. She has given writing workshops in the US, UK and Europe. She co-founded Undiscovered Voices – which has launched the writing careers of nearly fifty authors and illustrators, who now have published more than 400 children’s books. (<>) Website:<>      

Twitter: @AuthorSaraGrant

Sara will take us through Ruthless Revision: An Intensive Hands-On Workshop
Sara will offer an in-depth workshop on revision – using a combination of discussion and hands-on activities. Be prepared to review and dissect your work-in-progress. Participants should bring the first two chapters of their novels as well as colour pens and highlighters to the workshop.

Priority for places has been given to those who missed out on the two previous retreats due to COVID. However, there are a limited number of places still available.


In addition, there will be a limited number of fully funded tickets available for writers underrepresented in children’s publishing (BAME, LGBTQ+, socio-economically marginalised and writers with a disability).

We recognise all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA+, BAME, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction).

Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalisation.

To apply for a free place, please email Susan on with ‘Free Places’ in the subject header for further details. As places are limited, entries will be assessed anonymously and offered to those whom it is judged are at a point in their journey where this retreat would be most useful. The judge’s decision will be final.

The deadline for submitting applications for free places is midnight on January 15th 2022.