Monday, 15 November 2010

Ten things I learned at the SCBWI Conference

Just returned from a great weekend in Winchester at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference. Here are ten things I learned:

1. "We have an obligation to tell a story." Marcus Sedgwick.

2. "Don't be shy – be famous!" Sarah McIntyre's head is a scary, but entertaining place to be.

3. There is much fun to be had watching SCBWI Greenaway and Carneige Talent battle it out in public …

4. "When you find yourself moving commas around, the book is probably finished and ready to go." Marcus Sedgwick.

5. Everybody knows Nick Cross. No, seriously, everybody!

6. "Sidekicks are really handy!" Lynne Chapman. Author, illustrator who rocks big time and provided great entertainment and inspiration to the Sunday afternoon crowd of fun-fatigued delegates.

7. Books are here to be devoured. Dinosaurs with lasers – nutritious and delicious!

8. "We are makers!" David Fickling – a publishing legend. Shown here providing words of wisdom and further proof that bow ties are cool!

 9. Candy Gourlay is a multi-talented, supremely generous human being – but lethal with a lens!

10. Collect a couple of hundred children's writers and illustrators together in a room and it will fill you with a great sense of well-being and hope for the future.

Don't take my word for it. Check out these other top ten words of wisdom from:

Nick Cross
Katie Dale
Keren David
Sue Eves
KM Lockwood
Sarah McIntyre
Ellen Renner

More to follow …


  1. What a great way to sum up the conference!

  2. But where's that photo of you asleep during one of the sessions?

    Great list!

  3. Excellent list Dave. You could also add "Buddy up with someone who can read a map."

  4. Dude, does everyone really know me? And there was me thinking that I just knew everyone! Guess I actually must be a media whore after all :-)

    Great list and great to see you too. Here's to not being shy and being famous!

  5. Thanks Jackie, it was a good weekend. Candy, I'll have to add a link to the photo of me "concentrating" – is it on your Flickr page? Mike, I blame the map, rather than the readers! Had all the road names been printed on the map we would have made it back in half the time, but maybe had less fun on the journey. Nick – yes you are and we salute you for it!

  6. Wasn't it a great weekend - now if only i could stop reading everyone's blogs and get on with some writing....

  7. Great list Dave and good to have met you at the conference. You might also have included 'Dave Cousins has an impressive collection of hats!' Hope to see a video link soon!