Sheila M. Averbuch fell in love with SCBWI after attending the 2012 conference and returned to Scotland to co-found the newest and most northerly SCBWI BI network, SCBWI Southeast Scotland, with M. Louise Kelly. Sheila writes science-fiction for 9-12s with a focus on space, and contributes social media how-to videos for the Words and Pictures blogzine.
Marie Basting – Marie Basting is the SCBWI BI Networks Coordinator. Managing activity across the ten British Networks, Marie works with the Network Organisers to deliver a varied programme of events and activities at a local level. Marie lives in Manchester, where she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing for Children. She writes YA and 7+.
Juliet Clare Bell. I am a big fan of good critiquing and my main role involves coordinating the region’s 10-strong critique group, and twice-yearly critique sessions open to everyone (I’m also coordinating Critique night at this year’s conference and contribute regularly to the online picture book group). Don’t Panic, Annika! (Piccadilly Press) and The Kite Princess (Barefoot Books) are out in 2011. www.julietclarebell.com
Natascha Biebow. I have been RA since 1998 and really enjoy supporting authors and illustrators. I've loved watching our region grow from 30 members with informal meetings to a 500 strong membership offering a whole host of events. I am lucky to work with a fabulous team of volunteers (below). I’m a full-time mum, author and founder of Blue Elephant Storyshaping, a coaching service empowering writers and illustrators to fine-tune their work pre-submission. I’m also author of Elephants Never Forget and Is This My Nose?, and the editor of numerous award-winning children’s books. www.blueelephantstoryshaping.com
Marion Brown.I only joined SCWBI toward the end of 2014 after hearing so many good things about it. It’s a fantastic support network and I want to help it grow and thrive in the North West. I am currently doing an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and working on my first YA novel which is a fantasy.
Mike Brownlow is indecisive. Or is he? He can't make his mind up. Anyway, his New Year's resolution was to just say 'yes' to things in future, instead of 'ermm…'. This rash decision led to him being part of this year's conference committee, finding speakers that might please our highly demanding, endlessly picky illustrator members. Mike is an illustrator and writer himself and has had lots of picture books published. He has a new one out this year called Ten Little Pirates, which first came blinking into the light of day, rubbing its little eyes, at this conference 3 years ago. He's nice to his Mum and doesn't kick cats. You can see more of his stuff at www.mikebrownlow.com
Jan Carr. I’ve been a member of SCBWI since May 2011. It was such a good idea to join! SCBWI is the friendliest, most encouraging and supportive group of people. I write older middle grade and received an honorary mention in Undiscovered Voices 2012. I work part time, mostly with volunteers, as a community co-ordinator for a park near my home. I enjoy making stuff, if not with words, then fabric or wool and sometimes, I put coloured pencil to paper. I love to support the illustrators; in 2012 I took the juried exhibition to Southampton Central Library for a four-week show and hope to do the same this year. I want to make the new Words & Pictures blogzine a vibrant digital publication with the life and interactivity of a blog and the high quality content of a printed glossy. It’s good to aim high!
Catherine Coe – Editor for UV 2014
Nick Cross. I've been a member of SCBWI since 2009 and am currently Blog Network Editor for Words & Pictures. I compile the weekly Ten-Minute Blog Break, which shares the best blog posts by our talented SCBWI-BI members. Fitting in the writing of a weekly column around a full-time job is often challenging, but always rewarding! I also grab the odd few minutes for my own writing – I'm currently the short story writer for Stew Magazine as well as working on my children's novels. www.nickcross.co.uk
Julienne Durber. I help to coordinate the Central West critique group, concentrating more on novels to Clare's picture books and the technical side of things. I write YA adventure stories.
Kathy Evans thinks SCBWI is just the best organisation for supporting children’s writers and illustrators in the UK and she's delighted to help out in anyway she can. As well as being Finance co-ordinator for SCBWI BI, Kathy is actively involved in Chichester SCBWI and YA Critique. She also helps with the annual conference, managing money, overseeing the Badge Competition and chipping in where she can. Outside of SCBWI Kathy runs a fruit farm with her husband, has two children. She reads, writes, bellydances and fences – though rarely all at the same time. Kathy writes for teens and for 7+ and is represented by Sophie Hicks at the Sophie Hicks Agency. Her debut YA novel, More of Me, will be published by Usborne in February 2016. www.kathrynevans.ink
Addy Farmer is a keen supporter of SCBWI and was until recently the SCBWI BI network coordinator. Her picture book, Siddharth and Rinki illustrated by Karin Littlewood was published by Tamarind in 2009, this was also reviewed as "heart warming". Worlds Apart illustrated by Jim Kay, follows in 2012 and is with Frances Lincoln and is probably also quite heart warming. She's hoping that her story about zombie ninjas from outer space may strike a different chord. She blogs on www.notesfromtheslushpile.com
Candy Gourlay. I joined SCBWI in 2002 to learn how I could get published and started volunteering by designing the Expressions newsletter for SCBWI France. Helping Lee Carr McGovern build SCBWI BI’s first website led to my role as SCBWI British Isles webmaster. Many years later I am now a published author and have had to step back from my compulsive volunteering which has seen me twice redesign the website, help organise three conferences, set up the Night-Before Critique, Online Critique, the Ning and redevelop Words & Pictures, our newsletter, into an online magazine. I hope to continue to play a role in building support for SCBWI's published authors. CandyGourlay.com
Sara Grant. I’ve been an active member of SCBWI for more than 15 years and I endeavour to give something back to this organisation that has given me so much. I hope that through the Undiscovered Voices anthology I can help other writers find agents and ultimately publishers. I’m also a former coordinator of the Professional Series, the Slush Pile Challenge, and SCBWI networks. Thanks to the contacts I made through SCBWI, my first young adult novel, Dark Parties, was published in 2011. www.sara-grant.com
Jane Haryott. I joined SCBWI in 2012 and I am so glad that I did. I have studied for an MA in Writing for Children and write for middle grade readers. Inspired by unusual chapters in history, I like to mix contemporary stories with historical ones. I live in Sussex with my husband and three children and am a keen runner. When I’m not writing, I can often be found running with my dogs, listening to an audiobook (children’s, of course!).
Gill Hutchinson. SCBWI Lincoln has been such an inspiration to me that I’m more than happy to pitch in with the paperwork for our various projects. I’m rediscovering the power, emotion and pure pleasure of words, writing humorous teen fiction and supernatural stories based on local legends and my folk music background.
Gill James – Network News Editor.
Cath Jones has worked within the publishing industry, been a school librarian and also a teacher. At the moment, she manages a community allotment in East Kent. In 2012, she completed an MA in Writing for Children. Her writing ranges from picture books to middle grade fiction. When not writing, she’s growing veg. or paddling her kayak.
M Louise Kelly is a recovering academic who spent fifteen years researching and teaching psychology and linguistics before adopting a 'patchwork' career to give her more time to write. She now earns a living promoting the author, Nicola Morgan, lecturing for the OU and advising students on dyslexia. She was longlisted in the Cornerstones 'Wow Factor' unpublished novel competition and read one of her short stories at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2013. She mainly writes YA and middle grade novels and was enticed into joining SCBWI when she met two SCBWI volunteers (Maureen Lynas and Juliet Clare Bell) on an ARVON 'Writing for Children' residential course – she's never looked back. She is represented by Lindsey Fraser of Fraser Ross Associates and lives in Edinburgh with her husband and two children.
Heather Kilgour. I joined SCBWI on moving to London in 2007. It has been an amazing and supportive network, everyone is absolutely lovely! I found my critique group without which I probably would have given up. I was lucky enough to be chosen to be one of the first illustrators included in Undiscovered Voices Anthology in 2011. Anne-Marie Perks HAS built up a fabulous and inspiring group of illustration masterclasses and I am honored to be able to help out with it. Presently, I am doing the MA in Children's Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. www.heatherkilgour.com
George Kirk – 2014 Conference Team (Assistant)
Sarah Levison – Editor for UV 2014
Anita Loughrey. SCBWI is an amazing organisation. It is a great honour to be the membership coordinator and a network coordinator. Since joining SCBWI in 2001, I have had over 70 books published by a wide variety of publishers. I write teacher resources, children’s fiction and illustrated non-fiction. I also have a monthly column in the national writing magazine Writers’ Forum about writers and their research. As well as reading and writing, I do regular school visits and teach creative writing at several writing conferences. www.anitaloughrey.com
Maureen Lynas.I write comedy for younger children and was thrilled to win a place in the Undiscovered Voices 2012 book with To Destiny or Death! a tale of kisses, curses, frogs and hags. I'm the author of Florence and the Meanies, the Action Words Reading Scheme, and I run the poetry blog thefuneverse. Team NE – Catriona Tippin, Cathy Brumby and Katherine Lynas – organise critiques, social events and workshops in York and Newcastle where we welcome and support writers and illustrators at all stages of their career.
Lisa Joy Mann was one of the winners of the Undiscovered Voices in 2008 for Slugs in the Toilet. She has three daughters. "I write for children because I’m still a big kid, I love having fun and adventures. Also, I’m surrounded by children all the time, and before I had my own daughters I was a primary school teacher. I’ve tried writing for adults, and had to keep thinking, will they swallow this? Whereas with kids you have to keep thinking, is this far-fetched enough?"
Stephanie McGregor. I joined SCBWI in 2008 after writing for several years in a self-imposed solitary confinement. What a difference this group has made in my life! Without the amazing advice I’ve received from SCBWI friends and industry professionals, my writing wouldn’t have gotten to the next level. At the end of 2013 I became ARA Events for the British Isles and couldn't be happier! My job, now, is to ensure that professional, insightful events are available throughout the year to help other members achieve more in their writing and illustrating careers, just as the people who volunteered in the past helped me so much in mine.
Liz Miller – 2014 Conference Team
Helen Moss – I joined SCBWI in 2008 and have been organising a Cambridge-based social group since being collared (in a good way!) at my first Winchester conference. The professional support and friendship offered by SCBWI has been a big part of my writing adventure and I've recently graduated to being co co-ordinator (with John Shelley) of the Central East region. I have written two MG mystery series, Adventure Island and Secrets of the Tombs, both published by Orion Children's Books, and am delighted to be represented by Jenny Savill of Andrew Nurnberg Associates. I live near Cambridge with my husband, two teenage sons and two border collies. I'm still hoping that one day I'll find a trail of footprints leading to the den of a gang of dastardly but ever-so-slightly-incompetent smugglers. www.helenmoss.org.uk
Lesley Moss. I first volunteered for SCBWI BI as an e-critique moderator, and began to help out as an Organiser for the South West network several years ago. During my time working for SCBWI, I’ve aimed to establish a sense of local community and peer support for members who live within reach of Exeter through write-ins, meet-ups, scrawl/sketch crawls, socials, workshops, and online groups, with the help of Yona Wiseman and Amelia Mansfield. I’ve written about our events in Words & Pictures. Over in Bristol, I invited Jo Thomas to join the SW team and she made a great start in getting members together for meet-ups, scrawl/sketch crawls and day trips. In general I have encouraged members to be proactive in setting up their own meetings and groups in further-flung areas of the network. And in 2014 I was one of the nominees for the Outstanding Contribution Award!
Michelle Newell. Having been lucky enough to find my wonderful agent through an SCBWI event, I'm looking forward to being the SCBWI Agents' Party Coordinator and hopefully bringing other writers and illustrators closer to their publishing dreams. In the three years I've been a member of SCBWI, I've written and re-drafted my YA novel using tips and insights from SCBWI events, made lots of supportive, understanding new friends, and met some very impressive published children's writers. My personal blog is: www.massobservationgirl.com
Sean Noonan – 2014 Conference Team
Mo O'Hara – PULSE Co-ordinator. I co-organised the SCBWI Masterclass series in 2009 and 2010 with Natascha Biebow, as well as being on the Conference committee. My big fat debut novel My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish was published in 2013 by Macmillan Children's Books. In addition to writing children’s books I also work as a storyteller, voice over artist and sketch comedienne. View my profile on the Ning
Anne-Marie Perks. I washed up on the shores of the UK with my British husband and two daughters in 2000. Before leaving California, my first three books had been published and I'd been a member of SCBWI for 9 years. My paintings have also exhibited and won awards in national and international art shows in the US. I’ve been a professional illustrator for 30 years, starting with editorial, product and package illustrations as well as character and logo design and development. For the past 13 years, I’ve served SCBWI as Regional Illustrator Coordinator and have taught illustration and animation at BNU in High Wycombe. As IC, I’ve run Illustrator Days, Illustrator Masterclass Series, Featured Illustrator slots, co-hosted an event with the AOI, and co-run SCBWI Conferences and Picture Book Retreats, the juried Members’ Showcase, and the Undiscovered Voices Illustration Competition. An exciting addition this year was our published illustrator stand at the Illustrators’ Fair in London as part of the Housewarming Season for the House of Illustration. I’m excited to have new work coming out in 2014 and 2015 with Books Beyond Words (2 books) and Clucket Press, Silkie by Sandra Horn. See my work at, www.annemarieperks.com I blog at www.annemarieperks.tumblr.com and with www.biglittletale.tumblr.com
Non Pratt – Professional Series Co-ordinator
Ellen Renner. My childhood made me restless, and when I was finally grown up I decided to try to find a few adventures outside the pages of books. So I got a passport, bought a ticket, and took a plane to London. That was the start of everything. I now live in Devon, and contribute to our Write-In sessions in Exeter by offering industry insight, support and advice for emerging and newly published writers in the South West. www.ellenrenner.com
David Richardson. SCBWI is a great organisation to be involved with. It helps me keep in touch with children’s publishing, receive practical help and advice, and network with fellow writers and industry professionals. Without SCBWI I’d feel like a notepad without a pen. I write across the age ranges, from picture books to aged 12. Outside of that I work as a tutor in adult education teaching mainly English and Creative Writing, amongst other things. To relax, I read or play guitar.
Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester. With the ability to talk utter rubbish in five different languages, she ended up gaining a Masters degree in Modern & Medieval Dutch from Cambridge University. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. Having authored the first six books of HarperCollins Children’s Time-Hunters series, she also writes crime thrillers for adults. Represented by Caspian Dennis of Abner Stein. marnieriches.com | horrormoanalwoman.blogspot.co.uk
Loretta Schauer joined SCBWI three years ago and as well as inviting this years’ illustrator conference speakers she helps with the Illustrator Series Masterclasses and helped to organise the first Undiscovered Voices Illustrator competition in 2011. Having never been to art school, Loretta began illustrating for children through attending evening classes and lots of wonderful SCBWI workshops. Last year she won the Waterstone’s Picture This competition to find a new children’s illustrator and earlier this year she finished illustrating her first picture book for HarperCollins, Micheal Morgurgo’s retelling of Beauty and the Beast which will be published in September. www.lorettaschauer.com
Benjamin Scott is a writer and creative writing teacher. He is passionate about great writing – especially great writing for children. As half of Max Chase, he has ghost-written five books in the new 7 to 9 year old fiction series, Star Fighters. www.benjaminscott.net
John Shelley. John Shelley first joined SCBWI whilst an ex-pat in Japan and was ARA/Illustrator Coordinator for SCBWI Tokyo from it’s inception in 2003 until he returned to the UK in 2008, while also spending time on the Board of Advisors and the Bologna Committee. As an illustrator he’s worked on over 50 children’s titles for publishers in the UK, Japan and USA, from picture books to illustrated novels. Currently within SCBWI BI he’s editor of the Illustration features on Words & Pictures, co-represents the Central-East network with Helen Moss, and participates in the Illustrators Committee. www.jshelley.com @Godfox
Chitra Soundar. I joined SCBWI in 2003, when I lived in Singapore. I coordinated events in Singapore until 2005. Since moving to London in 2006, I’ve been volunteering on and off, depending on the free time available from my day-job at a bank. I’m also the moderator of the wonderful picture books critique group WordSprouts, where words sprout into illustrations, making wonderful picture books. I write picture books and fiction for 7+. I’m published in the UK, Singapore, India and the USA. You can find out more about me at www.chitrasoundar.com.
Bridget Strevens-Marzo. After her first three picture books were published, Bridget helped Erzsi Deak grow the very first region of the SCBWI in Europe in the mid 1990s. She worked as an illustrator for over 2 decades in France where her two children were born. Teaching at Parsons Paris School of Design and co-running SCBWI conferences in France, Spain, Greece and Bologna, she became the first SCBWI International Illustrator Coordinator. Back in the UK from 2010 she continues to help behind the scenes with SCBWI British illustrator projects. She has authored over 15 picture book stories, flap, doodle, rhymes and games books, a bookshelf of mini books and a Crystal Kite shortlisted bath book, for US, French and Australian publishers. She is happy to be writing again too, and in 2015, Tiz and Ott’s Big Draw (Tate Publishing) is out in the UK under her new writer-illustrator name, Bridget Marzo.
Teri Terry. From 2012, I will organising the SCBWI British Isles Writers' Retreat. I found SCBWI in the Children’s Writers and Artists yearbook in 2008, joined straight away and haven’t looked back. I’m thrilled to be organizing the retreat as it has been my favourite weekend of the year since I first went in 2010! I’ve been writing forever. I’m prone to exaggeration, but, no, really – it has been forever. My debut YA futuristic thriller Slated, first of a trilogy, was published by Orchard Books in the UK, May 2012. It will follow in the US and Canada early 2013 with Penguin imprint Nancy Paulsen Books. www.teriterry.com Blogs: Demention and Notes from the Slushpile
Mariam Vossough. SCBWI and all its wonderful members have been there for me on the bumpy – but never dull – road to becoming a children's writer. I run the middlegrade Ecritique group, Muddlegraders, have co-written an education proposal for the British chapter and can often be seen selling badges at events. I was a television scriptwriter for many years. I now write exclusively for children, whilst also running workshops in schools. More details can be found on my website: www.mariamvossough.co.uk I have two Cherubs who are the harshest critics known to man, an overworked husband (i.e. a teacher) and a grumpy cocker spaniel.
Steph Williams. I currently organise and run Critique Groups in Manchester and Chester. For a couple of years, I was the Editor of Words & Pictures. I write teen fiction and in June 2010 I won the Manchester Pitching Competition at the first Manchester Children’s Literature Festival with my novel Echo’s Curse, a supernatural romance incorporating Norse mythology. View my profile on the Ning
Catherine Whitmore – I joined SCBWI in 2012 and having attended and loved three conferences, they got me! I am now very excited to the other half of the Network Organising team for the North West of England. I am writing a YA, coming-of-age novel.
Alex Wilson – 2014 Conference Team (Party)