The meeting of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators on Saturday at the inspiring John Ryland’s Library in Manchester exceeded all expectations. Carefully organised and gently led by Catherine Whitmore and Marion Brown, a very helpful, fun, educating talk by Steve Hartley who was extremely open to comments and interaction. A brilliant start to the day. Following thick, delicious soup and bread, an hour or two of critiquing. This, I was nervous about as I’d put in a piece of work, Moon’s Secret. Would it be torn to shreds or would it get comments of ‘very nice?’ Would it be hardly gain a comment? When you get nothing back, that is certainly the worst.
Very, very happily relieved. There were three groups, picture books, Middle grade and Young adult. There were six of us in the Picture book group. Very insightful, helpful, honest and thorough. And we had fun too. Phew. Absolutely spot on. Some comments surprised me, some I knew, all, I will take on board. I’ve known from past experience that you have to filter comments, decide what you agree on and what not, otherwise your work waters down and becomes a mess. All the comments from this meeting, I will take on board. And I enjoyed the other writers’ work. There is a lot of talent out there. Many thanks to my group. I’ve no idea what was said in the other groups, but that is their story.
Thank you, everyone for this day. I would recommend children’s writers and illustrators to look at joining SCBWI. Looking forward to more to come.