Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

EDINBURGH: Keith Gray’s Strong Beginnings & the War of Attention

Loading Map....

Date(s) - 29/03/2014
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Augustine United Church
George IV Bridge - Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH1 1EL

Saturday 29th March from 2:00 – 4:00

It’s a war out there! A recent survey by the NLT shows the number of children who read for pleasure has declined by approximately 25% in just 7 years. It seems new writers aren’t battling against the likes of JK Rowling or John Green to get noticed but Xbox One and YouTube. So how do we grab the attention of the modern reluctant reader? Let’s go back to the beginning… Keith Gray will lead a fully interactive workshop exploring intriguing, unique and above all attention-grabbing openings to your stories. Using famous examples as well as workshopping your own ideas Keith will discuss what he considers to be the Big 4 Hooks: Situation, Mood, Character and Incident. (Not forgetting that hooking in an agent or editor can often feel like a battle with the most reluctant reader of all).

Keith Gray Smaller

Keith Gray – Grimsby-born Keith Gray decided he’d better take his writing ambition seriously after achieving 0% in his Accountancy exams. His debut, Creepers, was published when he was only 24 and was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize. He has now published 20 books which have won awards all over the world including the Scottish Children’s Book Awards, the Sankei Publishing Prize of Japan, the American Library Association Best Books (YA) and the Smarties Book Prize. His novel, Ostrich Boys, was shortlisted for the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal and has been adapted for the stage by The Birmingham Rep. Keith is a regular reviewer for the Scotsman newspaper and in 2008 was the first ever ‘Virtual Writer in Residence’ for the Scottish Book Trust. He lives in Edinburgh with his partner, their daughter and a parrot called Bellamy.

Cost: The cost for the event is £12 for SCBWI members (£15 for non-members).

Questions: Please email Louise and Sheila at

Please note: We will be meeting in the Sanctuary at Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1EL

Please download the booking form and register below to save your place. Please note: your booking is not confirmed until you have posted your booking form and cheque, or paid by BACS to the organsier on the booking form. If paying by BACS, please remember to note in the reference field what you are paying for. Thank you!

Flyer/booking: Strong Beginnings & the War of Attention-18