Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

North East


Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Durham, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire

Illustration by Kate Pankhurst from the Mariella Mysteries Books

What We Do

Our Critique groups

We currently hold critiques, skill-shares and socials in Newcastle and York. We share work by email before our critique sessions and offer advice on how to critique and how to respond to a critique. Non-members are welcome to join our critique group once to see if they wish to join the SCBWI. We are very friendly, we know what it's like being a nervous newbie. A warm welcome will be there, whichever group you visit. 

Seven Stories, Newcastle

Marie-Claire and Claire O'Brien hold monthly critique/skill-sharing sessions at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books. Contact Claire O'Brien at if you have any questions regarding the Seven Stories group.

Central Library on Museum Street, York 

A critiques and skills share group. Michael Cail and Catriona Tippin organise the York group. Maureen Lynas (for authors) and Katherine Lynas (for illustrators) run the sessions. We meet every two months approximately. Please get in touch via Marie-Claire at 

Who's Who in the North East

IMG_2383_2 (2)

Marie-Claire Imam-Gutierrez  leads our critique group at Seven Stories. She has been writing MG and YA sci-fi and fantasy for eight years, inspired in part by her work as a primary school teacher. She has been a member of the Seven Stories critique group for three years and has found the support and advice of her SCBWI friends invaluable!


Claire O'Brien

Claire O'Brien writes and draws picture books and comics and supports Marie-Claire as co Network Organiser for the North East. Her interest in children's books began while she worked at Seven Stories in the early 2000s but she didn't start writing and drawing seriously until 2011 when she decided to join SCBWI. Read her blog about writing and illustrating children's books and check out her Instagram for daily sketches.   

Michael Cail

 Michael Cail will be organising our York  group. Although a relatively new  member  of SCBWI, Michael has been  attending  workshops as a non-member since 2011. He writes Young Adult  novels about the darkness that lurks at  the edge of the every day, and he is hoping that one day he can give up the  day job and write full  time.


Catriona Tippin is our York venue organiser. Catriona is writing
poetry and plays. She has a regular proof-reading collumn on Words and Pictures 


Maureen Lynas - North East Coordinator

Maureen Lynas is the author of Cupcake Catastrophe! She writes funny poetry on the funeverse and is also the author of the Action Words Reading Scheme which teaches high frequency words to KS1 children. 




Katherine Lynas is an illustrator and poet. She runs poetry and illustration workshops for schools. Katherine's poetry can be seen on the funeverse. She is the illustrator of the Florence and the Meanies series. 

































































































Welcome to our group. We aim to bring together children's authors and illustrators living and working in the North East. Our area covers North Yorkshire to Northumberland but members from other areas are welcome to join us for our events. If you are published or unpublished, member or non-member then we would love to meet you.

The NE Local Networks Organizers are Marie-Claire Imam Gutierrez and Claire O'Brien.  Contact Marie-Claire and Claire via the contact form below or via

The illustration for our header was kindly provided by Kate Pankhurst from her Mariella Mysteries books. 

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