Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


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Date(s) - 12/05/2017 - 15/05/2017
4:00 pm - 12:00 pm

Dunford House Conference Centre
Dunford Hollow - Midhurst, GU29 OAF


Find focus and inspiration at the 2017 SCBWI Writers Retreat (This event has sold out. Please contact Mel at if you would like to be added to the waiting list)


In need of inspired writing time, fuelled by cake and with expert advice on-hand? The hugely popular SCBWI Writers Retreat returns to Dunford House, Sussex, 12th May to 15th May 2017.

Headlining will be award-winning author Emma Carroll and Louise Lamont, literary agent at LBA Literacy Agency.  This year, special guests, best-selling author Teri Terry and Emily Sharratt, freelance editor, will also be joining us to discuss the editor/author relationship from both points of view.


Emma Carroll – Taking Inspiration from History

Emma will be showing how stories from history can inspire us. The workshop will involve some short writing activities using historical stimuli – old words, props and pictures to get us started – as well as examining intriguing events from history that might inspire longer pieces of work.







Louise Lamont -The Role of an Agent

Agents: what are they good for? Louise will explain what agents do for their clients, and what she looks for in an author. She will also offer in-depth guidance on how to submit to agents – the process can seem unnecessarily complicated or daunting, but this session should help to demystify this crucial step in getting your work published.








Teri Terry in conversation with Emily Sharratt

What *really* happens when you work with an editor? Join author Teri Terry and freelance editor Emily Sharratt as they discuss the process from both points of view. They promise to be horribly indiscreet, and answer all your questions.


Speakers Biographies

Emma Carroll has worked as an English teacher, a news reporter, an avocado picker and the person who punches holes into filofax paper. She now writes full-time which is a lifelong dream come true. Emma’s books are usually historical, often mysterious and full of strong female characters. They include ghost story Frost Hollow Hall, the circus adventure The Girl Who Walked On Air, and In Darkling Wood which is based on the true mystery of the Cottingley Fairies. Her latest novel Strange Star (Faber, July 2016) is set on Lake Geneva in the summer of 1816, and takes inspiration from Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’. Emma lives in the Somerset hills with her husband and three terriers.

Louise Lamont joined the literary agency AP Watt Ltd after studying English Literature and Medieval Studies at university.  Louise worked with Caradoc King and his clients for seven years, while also building her own list. In 2013, she moved to LBA.

Teri Terry has been a member and sometimes volunteer of SCBWI since 2008. Her futuristic thrillers – the Slated trilogy and Mind Games – are award-winning international best sellers, and Mind Games won the 2016 British Isles SCBWI Crystal Kite. Her latest, Book of Lies, is a contemporary supernatural thriller. Next year, Contagion – the first book of her Dark Matter trilogy – will be published in May.

Emily Sharratt began her career at Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, helping relaunch the fiction list with a mixture of established and debut authors, as well as working on fiction and nonfiction picture books. She has since worked for Walker Books, Templar Publishing and Faber Children’s, among others, before joining Orchard at the end of 2013, where she worked until the end of 2016. At Orchard, Emily managed the bestselling Beast Quest and Sea Quest series, as well as working on a wide range of middle-grade, teen and YA fiction by award-winning authors such as Teri Terry, Jamie Thomson, Bernard Ashley and Rose Impey. She also wrote the four books in the Ellie’s War series, published by Scholastic. Emily now works freelance as a children's book writer and editor.


One-to-one with a speaker

Included is a 15 minute one-to-one with either Emma, Louise or Emily. You will be required to email material in advance for this. We will try our best to match you with your requested speaker but please be aware that you may not get your choice.



Three nights’ accommodation and all meals are included. Special diets are catered for.

The venue is YMCA building Dunford House so please don’t expect four star hotel standard. You may not be able to work in your room but there are some wonderful libraries and drawing rooms to work in downstairs. The rooms are all very different. Most have an en-suite bathroom but two rooms have a shared bathroom. There is a £20 discount for the shared bathroom rooms, and this is reflected in the deposit required.

All rooms are single accommodation, but if you wish to share with a friend this can be arranged subject to availability. 

Several rooms are in the attic and there are steep stairs. Please let us know if you have any disability issues and would prefer a ground floor room.

For more information about the venue please see:


Price (note:the 2017 Writers Retreat has sold out. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email Mel at

The total price (includes 3 nights' accommodation, all meals, talks and a one-to-one with a speaker):

£345 for SCBWI members (£325 for shared bathroom rooms)  

£385 for non-members (£365 for shared bathroom rooms) 

To book your place, please pay a deposit of £50 or £30 for the shared bathroom rooms. 

The balance of £295 for members or £335 for non-members will then be payable by BACS any time before 31st March 2017.

If you require a payment plan please email me and this can be arranged. 

If you do not pay the balance by 31st March 2017 you may forfeit your place and your deposit.

For more information, email Mel at

The full retreat programme is under construction, and subject to change.