Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

South East

Kent, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight



SE Organiser – Marianna Reed Barber

Marianna Reed Barber teaches English as a foreign language to children and teens who visit for their school holidays. She recently completed her MA Writing for Children at the University of Winchester. When not at her desk, you’ll find her walking the dog and taking photographs of the beautiful Sussex countryside and coast. If you have any questions about the South East network, please email on:

SE Organiser – Fiona Barker 

Fiona Barker believes that a good picture book is for life, not just for childhood. Although slightly addicted to twitter, she also enjoys reality and set up Picture Book Club to bring picture book enthusiasts together to stroke books and eat cake.

Fiona lives in Berkshire with her husband, daughter and pet rats. Fiona self-published her first picture book Amelie and the Great Outdoors in 2016. Her next picture book about a boy and his dream dog will be published by Tiny Tree in 2018. She is represented by Alice Williams at David Higham Associates.

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




This is a new social group run by Cole Burke, open to new members, held on the last Sunday of the month in Brighton’s Waterstones at 11am. Upcoming meetings September 29, October 27, November 24.  Please contact if you are interested in attending.



Louisa Glancy runs this Coffee & Chat group on the second Saturday of every month at Garage Coffee from 10.30am to 12pm. If you wish, you can bring along an extract of your writing (up to 500 words) or illustrations for an ‘instant’ opinion. Upcoming dates: October 12, November 9, December 14. Please contact for more details.

CHICHESTER  (discussion group)

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Elizabeth Dale runs Chi SCBWI. This discussion group is more about support than critique, self-setting targets, encouraging each other and sharing industry news. This group is currently full and has a waiting list.


The Guildford critique group is organised by Nick Berry. It meets on the second Tuesday of the month at The White House Pub in Guildford. New members welcome.  Please contact for more details.


The Isle of Wight social group is being organised by Sara Netherway. If you would like to find out more information, please contact

OXFORD (critique group)


Alice Nuttall runs the Oxford critique group. It meets one Tuesday evening a month at the George Street Social. It is a great source of encouragement to local writers who write Middle Grade work. The group is currently full but please contact to be put on a waiting list as a new group may be opening soon.


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Sue Rawlings is running this new monthly meeting at the Hampshire Hog in Clanfield.  Please email if you are interested and for further details.


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This group was set up by Kate Poels. It is a critique and social group and meets the first Thursday of the month in Caversham.  This group is currently full. 


Helen Dineen runs the Southampton group with the help of Julie Ballard (picture books/under 7s) and Lorraine Cooke (MG/YA). It meets at The Cowherds on the edge of Southampton Common, once a month on the third Thursday of the month except August, from 7.30pm until about 9:30pm. Next meetings: September 19, October 17, November 21, December 19. This is a goal setting group and meets to encourage members, share news and set goals for the coming month. Please email to confirm meetings as scheduled.


Kate Walker runs the Ticehurst middle grade critique group. It meets on the second Thursday of the month at 10.30am at The Greedy Goat Cafe in Ticehurst, East Sussex.  The group is currently full and has a waiting list.


Margaret Sturton currently runs the Winchester group.  This meets once a month on the 2nd Friday of the month.  This group will be splitting in two, one will be for PBs, and the other will be MG/YA.  Both meetings are at the same venue (same time/date etc), the two groups will each be a mixture of critique and discussion followed by a social where both groups will get together. Please contact for details.


Chloe Nicoll is setting up this new group at the Como Lounge, Witney.  This will be held once a month on Sunday evenings.  If you are interested, please email


This critique group is currently run by Sharon Davey.  The group meets at the Double Tree, Hilton, Woking from 7pm to 9pm on the last Tuesday of the month. Upcoming dates: September 24, October 29, November 26. The group is nearly full but please contact for details.


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The Wokingham critique group is run by Sally Rowe. They meet at 7.30pm on the last Monday of each month at the Coppid Beech Hotel in Bracknell. There are no meetings in December. The group is currently full but please email if you are interested.


Welcome to the South East Network run by Marianna Reed Barber and Fiona Barker.

We are lucky to have so many thriving critique/social/goal setting groups. You’ll find details on this page. If you would like to join one or start up your own or have any ideas for events in the South East, please get in touch with Marianna using the contact form below or by emailing She’d love to hear from you.

Illustration for the South East header kindly created by Simon Beck








































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