Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

For Illustrators

Illustration Masterclasses 2020

For your diary –  2020 dates for Illustrator SCBWI Masterclasses at the House of Illustration

Bookings go live for all masterclasses 21 March!

If you booked the 4 session discount, your place is secure.

Graphic novel pages in progress by Emily Haworth-Booth, an “autofiction about the stories we tell ourselves, and weaves together climate change, environmental activism, romantic comedies and fairy tales.”

16 May 2020 – Writing and Illustrating the Graphic Novel with Emily Haworth-Booth: Exploring the unique visual storytelling craft and how to get your work seen!

13 June 2020Full Portfolio and career day beginning with international illustration commission opportunities with international art director and an afternoon Portfolio Review Intensive.

10 October 2020The Art Director’s Brief – hone your professional practice working on a brief set by an Art Director giving you the chance to get great feedback whilst creating new work for your portfolio, more details to follow. UPDATE: Coming as soon as we nail down specifics, the BRIEF! Art Director, Becky Chilcott, freelance designer and art director with an impressive client list. I will give you one hint, think Alice in Wonderland!

Need more information: contact the Illustration Masterclass Team at

**Please note that all the events above are in various stages of negotiation and are subject to change.**


Picturing Words and Writing Pictures

Calling all SCBWI authors and illustrators – PICTURE BOOK RETREAT!!

Are you ready for a long invigorating weekend 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 images? Then join us at wonderful Holland House. 

Joining us in July this year are award-winning author illustrators James Mayhew and Mini Grey.

Click here for full details and booking.

The retreat runs from Friday 10 July until Monday 13 July.

Non-refundable deposit to hold your place – £60 SCBWI member (£75 non member)

Full cost of the retreat for SCBWI members – £360 (£405 non members)

Retreat fees include accommodation and all meals.

Questions or queries, email Paul and Nick –


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!

Get the SCBWI British Isles Illustrators’ Newsletter

Just email Soni Speight at  to be added to the list.

Past news

Illustration Masterclasses: 14 March 2020 – Author illustrator, Jeff Crosby, led a buzzy and fun masterclass called, Bringing Your Character to Life. Attending illustrators sculpted a maquette of their characters in 3D form.

Pictures at Play Biennial SCBWI Biennial Exhibition successfully closed another great show on the 4 January 2020.  This is 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.

To view more, visit the online exhibition:

Selected illustrators: 

Gaia Alessi • Clare Andrews • Jeske Balmakers • Mike Brownlow • Jo Byatt • Sarah Coomer • Jeff Crosby • Sharon Davey • Suzanne Dore • Vicki Gausden • Robert Glenny • Dave Gray • Howard Gray • Giuliana Gregori • Morag Hood – Yvonne Ivinson • Maxine Lee-Mackie • Layn Marlow • Bridget Marzo • Vanya Nastanlieva • Sara Netherway • Polly Noakes • Anne-Marie Perks • Dina Riyanti • John Shelley • Irene Silvino • Soni Speight • Margaret Sturton • James Taylor • Sally Walker • Camille Whitcher


12 October 2019 – Art Director’s Brief with Tiffany Leeson 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.

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.

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.