Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Central East

Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex 

Image by John Shelley

What We Do


Each county in the Central East Network has a local delegate volunteer acting as focus for nearby members. In the hopes of meeting both writer and illustrator needs, some areas now have joint County Volunteers in their counties.

These are currently:

Cambridge – Debbie Edwards (writer)

Suffolk – Emma Graham (illustrator) & Annie Edge (writer)

Hertfordshire – Jools Abrams (writer)

Essex – Hazel Murrell (writer)

Bedfordshire – Kylie Holmes (writer)

There is a vacancy in Norfolk for a County Volunteer. Please contact Debbie if interested.

Illustrators are also invited to apply for shared County Volunteer roles in Herts, Essex and Cambridge.


Areas with higher concentrations of members such as Cambridge and Norfolk have regular meetings for writers and illustrators, ranging from socials to face-to-face critique meetings, workshops, sketchcrawls and other activities. Those counties with fewer members have less regular meetings. However, we are building on this, with recent socials in Hertford, Bury St Edmunds and Bedford.

The whole network is bonded online through a lively, well-used Facebook Page. Please contact us to find out what’s happening near you via or the contact form below.


2017 Successes in Central East SCBWI

Jools Abrams was appointed Talliston Writer in Residence for 2018 and won the Wasafiri International Life Writing prize!

Janet Bingham’s picture book, Daddy’s Little Star, was republished for its 10-year anniversary this year. Fellow Scoobie,Yasmin Finch, built her an author website to celebrate it.

Lou Carter has signed a two book deal with Orchard and one book with Bloomsbury this year (all three are picture books). And her first two books were published this summer; Pirate Stew in June and There Is No Dragon In This Story in July (this one has now sold in 17 co-editions).

Camilla Chester’s second book EATS was published this year and was shortlisted in The Winchester Children’s Funny Fiction Award. She has also taken on the role of  ‘Front of House’ for future SCBWI(BI) conferences.

Sue Clamp  came first in a competition with a short travel story.

Katie Dale’s second MG novel THE NEVER-ENDING BIRTHDAY was published by Macmillan Children’s Books this summer, and also two early readers with Franklin Watts – SID’S STICK, and A PET TO PLAY WITH and a 2-in-1 early reader was published by Maverick Books DOG IN A DRESS/RUN, TOM, RUN. She was part of the Macmillan Authors Assemble mega-tour in the summer, and is just back from a school visit in Switzerland! 

Annie Edge has been long-listed for Undiscovered Voices.

Yasmin Finch wrote & launched Post From Panda. It’s early readers in the form of a personal letter from Panda, for Reception sent as real post via Royal Mail.

Emma Graham was a finalist in the Stratford literary festival picture book comp. and had my first picture book published this November. Symphony Hollow published by Spork.

Dan Greaves has been long-listed for Undiscovered Voices.

Kylie Holmes’ first picture book was published this year. She has been signed to produce another called Look Out, Look Out, Jack Frost is about!

Sandy Horsley has been long-listed for Undiscovered Voices.

Anita Lehmann’s new picture book The Red Hot Fireball came out in December.

Marjorie Mallon  released her first self published YA Fantasy book – The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone.

Graine Milner’s short story was long-listed for the Literacy Trust’s short story competition.

Helen Moss has a 4-book deal for THE TIME DOGS, a series for 5-8 year olds, with American publisher Godwin Books.

Hazel Murrell has been long-listed for Undiscovered Voices.

James Nicol The Apprentice Witch came out in America in July and is an Amazon children’s book of 2017. He was also long listed for the Branford Boase award and Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

Cath Pickles has written and published Worzel says Hello with Hubble & Hattie and just signed a contract to create Worzel goes for a Walk with them next year.

Kate Read has been long-listed for Undiscovered Voices.

Kate Rosevear  self-published her first book with Matador this summer, The Secret of the Wooden Chest.

John Shelley  released his picture book  ‘Magic For Sale‘ in July, words by Carrie Clickard (Holiday House, USA) and he has been nominated for the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Alice Turner’s fourth book in her series: Tregarthur’s Crystal was published in July with final fifth book to come out in Spring 2018.

Sally-Anne Walker has been long-listed for Undiscovered Voices.

Katherine Wiseman has just signed a four book deal with new UK publisher, ZunTold. Also her first Gangster School MG comedy adventure was released in Germany by Piper Verlag at the beginning of October.

And finally,  Debbie Edwards has taken on the role of Central East Network Organiser.

Members of Central East can have their latest success added here by contacting the region’s network coordinator.

Pictures from recent events . . .

Cambridge Critique Group lunch January 2018

Cambridge Christmas social December 2017

Sketch Crawl Castle Museum, Norwich, February, 2016


SCBWI British Isles Central East Region covers: Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. It is open to all members of SCBWI living in these counties (or very close by!).

Although our members are geographically spread around East Anglia, we keep in touch through social media and a newsletter where members are encouraged to share news and recount recent successes (and disappointments!). 

Our Local Network Organiser is always keen to support members wishing to set up groups in their area, so do get in touch!

Our Network Organiser is writer Debbie Edwards in King’s Lynn.







John Shelley kindly provided the illustration for our Central East header. 

Contact Debbie via our contact form below.

SCBWI has a zero-tolerance policy against harassment of any kind. Any violation of this policy is actionable.




Get in touch with our Network!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message


Our Critique Groups:

Cambridge (South)

Co-ordinated by Janet Bingham & Kate Davis. The group meets monthly in Cambridge and covers PB/MG.

Cambs (North)

Co-ordinated by Anita Lehmann. Meets monthly in Cambridge and covers MG/YA.

Cambs (West)

Co-ordinated by Alina Surnaite. Meets monthly in Cambridge and covers PB.

Herts (South)

Co-ordinated by Pauline Simpson. Online group.

Herts (North)

Co-ordinated by Kate Rosevear.The group meets bi-monthly in Letchworth. PB/MG/YA


Co-ordinated by Tabbie Hunt. Bi-monthly online. Chapter books/MG

Essex (South)

Co-ordinated by Hazel Murrell. Meets bi-monthly. MG/YA

Essex (North)

Co-ordinated by Jools Abrams. Meets bi-monthly. MG/YA