Thursday, 26 November 2009

Winchester Conference


Last weekend I was invited to run a workshop at the British Isles SCBWI Conference at the University of Winchester. This was the second year for the event but only the first time I'd been able to attend. It was also the first time to see the British Isles membership together, though I recognised several faces from other events such as Bologna or the Society of Authors CWIG Conference last year.

As I write, the web promo is still viewable on the SCBWI British Isles Website. Other guests included writers Meg Rosoff, Cliff McNish and Fiona Dunbar, and illustrators Paula Metcalf and Gillian McClure. Philip "Beardy" Ardagh entertained on Saturday evening with a humorous after-dinner speech.

My own workshop session was on illustration portfolios, "Learn the secrets of building a better portfolio and showing it effectively" - a repeat of an event I first ran in Tokyo earlier this year. I think most of the attendees were able to learn something from the talk.

I was mightily impressed by the Conference. The organisers had packed two days with speeches and breakout sessions, portfolio reviews and competitions, everything seemed to be very thoroughly arranged. Also I felt as if I was really connecting to the membership in this country, it was really great to be with so many creative people in one place, although I'm a professional illustrator I find these events especially inspire me to develop myself as an author. Since returning to the UK I've not made much progress with book dummies and other self-penned projects, the conference has definitely helped to restore energy and focus! Many thanks particularly to Candy, Margaret, Anne-Marie, Paolo and Natascha for all their hard work.

Sadly I didn't take any photos, but Paul Morton has posted a number here

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