Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

South East


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



SE Co-Organiser – Claire O’Brien

The opening of Claire’s first MG novel Cordelia Codd: Not Just the Blues won a place in the UV 2010 anthology. Two further Cordelia Codd adventures followed, Cordelia Codd: Frankly,Ruby, I Don’t Give a Damn! and Cordelia Codd: It’s Alive. She has published six further titles with OUP and Franklin Watts: Absolutely Awful Adults (2014), The Wind in the Willows (2016),The Terrifying Teacher (2016), Pinocchio (2016), A Job for George and Milo (2017), and Team Challenge (2017)Claire also writes for adults. Her historical short story Glittering Captives was long listed for the HWA Short Story prize, 2018 and her non-fiction title Buddhism and the Menopause (Mudpie Books) was published in 2019. During lockdown she had five prose poems published online as part of the Life Writing of Immeasurable Events project run by Oxford Centre for Life Writing. She is currently working on a middle-grade fantasy quest inspired by forgotten fairy tales from 17th century France and by Norse legends.



SE Co-Organiser – Philip Kavvadias

Philip writes poems, short stories and books. His writing is supposed to be funny, so if you’re ever reading in his presence make sure you laugh like HA HA. Thank you.

If you have any questions about the South East network, please email on:



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A new, all Hampshire and Isle of Wight group run by Chrissy Sturt. Chrissy Sturt has a Double First in History from The Queen’s College, Oxford University. From there she went straight into journalism, working first on daily newspapers and then for BBC News where she spent 17 busy years as a senior broadcast journalist. With a particular focus on historic settings, her flash fiction and short stories have been short listed by The Writers Bureau, Flash 500 and Write Mentor. She’s a member of the Golden Egg Academy and looks forward to helping you elevate your work to the next level. She lives in Hampshire with one husband, two kids and innumerable annoying animals. Please contact for more details.



This is a social group run by Cole Burke, open to new members, held on the last Sunday of the month at 11am. 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. 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. 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.



Sue Rawlings is running this monthly meeting.  Please email if you are interested and for further details.



Kate P

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



This critique group is run by Melanie Webb and Danielle Davies, meeting first Wednesday of the month at 7:30pm. The group is currently full – please contact to be added to the waiting list.



Summer Quigley runs the Southampton group. It meets on the third Thursday of the month except August, from 7.30pm until about 9:30pm. 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.



Margaret Sturton currently runs the Winchester group.  This meets on the 2nd Friday of the month.  This group is split in two, for PBs, and MG/YA with a mixture of critique and discussion. Please contact for details.



Chloe Nicoll organises this group for critique and discussion, once a month on a midweek evening. If you are interested, please email



This critique group is currently run by Sharon Davey.  The group meets from 7pm to 9pm on the last Tuesday of the month. 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. 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 Claire O’Brien and Philip Kavvadias

We are lucky to have so many thriving critique/social/goal setting groups. You’ll find details on this page.

Please note all sessions are currently being held online, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

If you would like to join one or start up your own, please get in touch with Claire and Philip using the contact form below or by emailing They’d love to hear from you.

Illustration for the South East header kindly created by Simon Beck









































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