Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

For Illustrators

,  SCBWI Biennial Exhibition 2019

The seminal SCBWI biennial will be held at Westminster Reference Library this December in the centre of London, 
a few steps away from the National Gallery!

Pictures at Play is SCBWI’s Biennial illustration show, a juried exhibition of the best of children’s book illustration in SCBWI, selected by a jury panel of a celebrated illustrator, an art director and a commissioning editor. The Exhibition will run from 9 December 2019 – 4 January 2020.

Highlights will include:

A grand opening and talk for the exhibiting artists and industry professionals.

  • Sale of prints by private arrangement with the exhibitors and of illustrators books at the launch party. 

  • Workshops and events for children and families.

Key dates


9 December: Exhibition opens to the public

14 December: SCBWI panel event and exhibition launch.

4 January 2020: Exhibition closes.

Please note: Submissions for the exhibition are now closed. All members are encouraged to attend the launch.

For Submission guidelines and terms and conditions go to:


Illustration Masterclasses 2019!

Last booking for 2019.

For your diary! 2020 dates for Illustrator Masterclasses are:

14 March 2020 Writing for Illustrators: Exploring the craft and how to cross the bridge to author illustrator!
16 May 2020 – Bringing your character to life in 3D form (making a maquette of your character)
13 June 2020 Full day starting with talking to publishing options with international art director and an afternoon Portfolio Review Intensive.
10 October 2020 – The Art Director’s Brief
Please note that all the events above are in various stages of negotiation and are subject to change.

Art Director’s Brief with Tiffany Leeson

12 October 2019 – This year’s Art Director’s brief offers a possibility for illustrating a reprint of a classic! Our annual masterclass this year introduces a wonderful opportunity from Egmont. A lucky illustrator will be invited to a portfolio review and may be chosen to illustrate a reprint of a loved classic. Due to the nature of this brief, it will not be published on this site and instead will be sent to the first 15 illustrators who book.

Please note that the participating illustrators for feedback has now been filled! All bookings after 7 July 2019 will be for attending the 12 October 2019 only. If you would like to hear Tiffany talk about Egmont and give feedback on the final artwork, book here!

Picturing Words and Writing Pictures

Watch for Retreat 2020 dates!

Please contact for the latest info.


Are you ready for a creative weekend for picture book writers and illustrators on the beautiful River Avon in Worcestershire? Ready to wake up each morning and jump into a creative workshop with our faculty to kick-start your writing, explore new techniques and experiment with words and image? Then join us at Holland House to do just those things.



Past news

Past Masterclasses in 2019

8 June 2019 – Our first full day Portfolio Review Intensive was fully of useful marketing and branding information from AOI’s Derek Brazell, Project Manager for Association of Illustrators. The afternoon of ‘speed dating’ style portfolio reviews with Caroline Thomson, Arena Illustration, Rhiannon Davies, Astound Agency, Paul Coomey, Art Director at Wonderbly Publishng, was buzzy with sharing between illustrators and valuable feedback from our reviewers. We hope to follow this success next year at the House of Illustration.

11 May 2019The Wonderful World of Non-fiction Illustration, a unique collaboration between House of Illustration and the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. It was a fully booked event showcasing the work of Helen Ward in conversation with Nghiem Ta, art director Walker Books. This was the first collaboration event between SCBWI and the House of Illustration and it went very well. The work brought in to receive feedback on from Helen and Nghiem were all of high quality, impressing our facilitators. Look for the write up on this Masterclass on Words and Pictures soon!

9 March 2019 – The Writing for Illustrators 2 with Bridget Marzo had everyone’s head’s down over coloured post-it’s planning the story and structure of their next picture book! From creating characters from childhood to stories interacting with characters drawn by our neighbours around the table, it was a very creative and productive afternoon! You can read more about the Masterclass on Words and Pictures here.


SCBWI Illustrator Meet, Muse and Share!

Our very first Schmooze on the 20 May 2018 in London was a success! It was wonderful hearing from Shelley Ann Jackson about her extensive volunteer experience with SCBWI Texas and her new role as MA Course Leader for the Cambridge Children’s Illustration programme. We’re hoping to see lots more of her and her husband Jeff Jackson, also an author illustrator. We’d like to run more Schmoozes in the future with a social AND informal critique group format.

The Pictures At Play Grand Launch Party and Talk took place on on 28 September, 2017 at the Half Moon Theatre, London. Exhibitors’ books and prints were (and continue to be!) available for sale with some proceeds going to War Child. In the theatre our brilliant guest artists and publishers took part in a panel talk hosted by Bridget Marzo, discussing the different ways they collaborate to make great books.  

Read more about artist events at the Gallery, our guest illustrators and judges, the launch  & talk and see a glimpse of the exhibits  HERE.


Join the SCBWI Illustrator’s Ring Group on Facebook!

Meet other illustrator members, share news, discuss topics and support SCBWI activities for illustrators in our own private discussion group The Illustrator’s Ring. All subscribed British Isles region illustrators are encouraged to join!

SCBWI British Isles Illustrators’ Newsletter

Have the latest news about the Illustration Masterclasses at the House of Illustration, Picture Book Retreat, illustration competitions and other illustrator opportunities delivered directly into your inbox! Email me at  to tell me you want on!