Welcome to the London Network!
LONDON PUB SOCIALS
If you’ve just joined SCBWI, why not come along to an evening pub social? It’s an ideal way to get to know other SCBWI writers and illustrators in the London network. This free event is held every two months or so, and is an informal, friendly gathering. You can catch up on what’s going on in the world of kidlit. It’s also a great way to find a critique partner. Many SCBWI members have formed critique groups from people they met at a social.
We generally invite a special guest, who may be a published author or an editor or a literary agent. So it gives you the chance to chat with people who are already published or meet publishing industry professionals. Past guests have included authors Malorie Blackman, Peter Bunzl, and Teri Terry, and agents Felicity Trew and Julia Churchill. Take a look at What’s on to see when the next social is scheduled.
SCBWI members can join the SCBWI London Facebook page to keep up to date with events, and chat. SCBWI London members also receive our email newsletter, but if you don’t live in London and still want to keep informed, we can add you to our list. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re not yet a member of SCBWI, you are welcome to come along to one pub social or brunch to see what it’s like, after that we would ask that you join SCBWI if you wish to attend.
Kathryn Evans, Candy Gourlay, Jo Wyton, Teri Terry and Addy Farmer, at Teri Terry’s launch of Book of Lies.
Authors Peter Bunzl, Candy Gourlay and Kathryn Evans at the London Social in March after Teri Terry’s book launch.
LONDON DAYTIME BRUNCH
If you find it hard to get out in the evening, you may like to come to the daytime London Brunch, generally held in a cafe in central London every other month. It’s free for SCBWI members to attend. These are great for new members to meet other SCBWI writers and illustrators, and you may meet a potential critique partner here too.
The London Brunch is currently hosted by Camilla Chester. Have a look at What’s On to see when the next brunch is scheduled.
LONDON INDUSTRY INSIDERS
If you would like to find out more about what literary agents and publishers are looking for, come along to an Industry Insiders event. Our evening panel events with Q and A provide interesting discussion, and gives you a chance to talk to published authors, commissioning editors and literary agents.
Industry Insider events 2020:
Workshop: How to Write an Agent Submission Letter
January 2020 Date Venue TBC
Your submission letter is your first chance to hook an agent’s interest. What core content should it include? How do you pitch your idea and communicate your story to make an agent sit up and read on? Why are you the right person to write this book? This collaborative and practical workshop will give you the tools and the confidence to answer these questions and take your first step into the publishing world.
Roisin Heycock has 20 years’ experience in trade publishing. She set up the multi-award winning Quercus Children’s Books, which developed bestselling and prize-winning talents including Cat Clarke (Carnegie Medal Nominee), Piers Torday (Guardian Prize), Gregory Hughes (Teenage Book Prize, Guardian Prize shortlist) and Louise O’Neill (Bookseller YA Prize). She has also commissioned and edited at Faber & Faber, Oneworld and Macmillan. She is now a publishing consultant and development editor who works with agents, publishers and authors.
121 feedback session with an Agent or Editor
February 2020 Date Venue TBC
Workshop: Strong Pitch, Focused Story
September 2020 Date venue TBC
Are you trying to come up with the perfect pitch to sum up your masterpiece? Do you blanche when asked ‘What’s your story about?’ Are you pulling your hair? Biting your nails? ‘I can’t shrink it into a sentence or two!’
Often writers try to pull together their pitch after writing THE END. They struggle to sum up their rich and complex story in a line or two. And when they do, the pitch is bland, generic and communicates little about the wonders to be found within their story’s pages. I believe that pitch (and synopsis) should develop alongside the manuscript, informing and tightening the story, both changing each other, as ideas develop and strengthen. Continuing, iterative analysis and rework of the pitch, throughout a story’s life, can help a writer keep focused during redrafting and help them to assess and strengthen the core concept, making it more attractive to agents.
But here you are, a few weeks before the Agents’ Party! Is it too late? Are there techniques you can use to make your pitch communicate well and come alive? There are. And this workshop will teach you some of them, giving you the skills you need to help agents understand what your story is about and why it’s special.
Industry Insider events 2019:
26th March 2019, 5 pm – 7 pm 121 feedback session from an Agent: with Rachel Mann, Alice Williams, Bryony Woods, Lydia Silver and Ellie Brough
14th May 2019, 6.30pm – 9pm The Idea Store, Whitechapel. From Writer to Author – panel discussion with authors MG Leonard and Peter Bunzl, Agent Jo Williamson and Commissioning Editor Becky Walker.
4th September 2019 6.30 pm – 9 pm, Room 106 City Lit, Keeley St, Holborn. Pitch Perfect with Sara Grant and Karen Ball – perfect your pitch ahead of the Agents Party
To book your place, please go to our WHAT’S ON page.
LONDON AGENTS PARTY
If you are looking for a literary agent, the SCBWI Agents Party in the Autumn is not to be missed! A large panel of agents will tell you what they are looking for right now, and then you will get a chance to pitch your idea. The Agent’s party is only open to SCBWI members and you will be emailed as soon as tickets go on sale.
These Saturday afternoon sessions run by award-winning children’s and YA authors and writing tutors are a great way to brush up on your writing craft. The 2019 Masterclasses are already open for booking, so if you’re interested in improving your craft, take a look now at What’s On. Lunch is included in the price.
LONDON SCBWI BOOK CLUB
This is an opportunity for London SCBWI’s to meet up and discuss a children’s book approximately every six weeks in the basement cafe in Waterstones Piccadilly.
LONDON PULSE EVENTS
If you’re already published or self-published, the SCBWI PULSE events aim to provide you with talks, events and workshops to help the professional development of published authors. These sessions are led by our published SCBWI authors who are very generous in sharing their skills and experience. Debut authors can find out how to handle school visits and much, much more. There’s plenty being planned for 2019 so do look out for these on the WHAT”S ON page.
LONDON ILLUSTRATOR EVENTS
Do take a look at the page for illustrators to find out what events are planned for illustrators in 2019.
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If you’ve just joined SCBWI and live in or near London, do come along to one of our network events. It’s a great way to find a critique partner, socialise over drinks or brunch and find out valuable information about what’s going on in children’s publishing.
The local network for the London area is run by Tania Tay and Christian Darkin.
You can check out the date of the next event in the What’s On section of this website.
Contact us on the form below.
Tania Tay worked for years as an advertising copywriter in Singapore and London. She started writing fiction on a course at the City Lit. She had a couple of short stories published in a litmag. She’s currently writing a teen novel. Through volunteering for SCBWI she has met some truly amazing people.
Christian Darkin is an author with a middle grade novel and a series of chapter books under his belt. He’s also an animator for TV and film, and has two children. This means he has to make impossible things happen most days, so adding SCBWI events to the list seems like a natural next step.
The illustration for our header was kindly provided by Heather Kilgour.
Get in touch with our Network!