Thursday 24 November 2011

Great Expectations - the SCBWI Winchester Conference and Candy Gourlay

by Addy Farmer & all the rest of the Slushpile gang, except one: surprise, Candy!!

Stand up for the outstanding Candy Gourlay!

Thanks to Kathy Evans for the pic!
That's what we did in a packed conference hall - we stood and applauded Candy as she was awarded the Crystal Kite Member Choice Award which is given by the SCBWI to recognise great books from around the world.It is chosen by other children's book writers and illustrators and is a testament to Candy's fizzing creativity, her warm and generous spirit and that great thing she has, stickability.

Candy always says that the SCBWI has been her partner in the long journey to publication.

I am thrilled ... I can only say thankyou to my fellow members who have really supported me through thick and thin

Of course we supported you (though the competition was tough, Candy!) because although you thanked the wider SCBWI in a moving acceptance speech, it is also us, your SCBWI friends who thanked you with the Outstanding Contribution Award.

This annual award recognises a special volunteer who embodies the welcoming and supportive 'spirit of SCBWI' and has made an outstanding contribution towards growing and shaping SCBWI British Isles. What we'll say here is that Candy is one of those rare individuals - a guiding light in the murk of creative confusion. She'll inspire your beginnings, sythe through the mess in the middle and clear a path to reveal the end. Hers was no dreamy drift into publication but a bumpy road just like everybody else. It's a continuing journey she shares in order to inspire and inform.

I am that person who arrived at the SCBWI conference with all her hopes packed in a bag. I was looking for something ... and it was not just an agent, not just a publishing deal, not just tips on how to write ... I was looking for a way of life.

To misquote Candy, you can't choose your family but you can choose your friends; she chose the SCBWI and thank goodness she did because we're all the better for it.So, take another bow, Candy, 'cos this is for you, from the team.


  1. The legend of Candy! The good thing about this legend is that it's all true. Well done Candy - well deserved awards!

  2. I learn something new about writing (and life) from Candy every time I meet her. Wherever I go in this career, she has been first and I'm very grateful for that, to be able to learn from both her successes and her mistakes. It's a great pleasure to know someone so open, friendly, honest and accomplished.

    Three cheers for Candy! Long may her success continue.

  3. hang on just a minute here Nick, are you suggesting Candy ever makes mistakes??
    Don't shatter my illusions!
    BIGGEST congratulations to Candy for well deserved recognition. She's a star.

  4. Wah!!! I didn't realize you were doing this!!! And here I was mooching around and posting advance stuff for the Christmas thingy! Thanks guys!

  5. Nick ... what mistakes?
    (joke only) .. thanks, guys.

  6. Congratulations to Candy! So well-deserved!

  7. Again and again - well done, Candy - so very well deserved! I remember the first SCBWI conference I attended in 2006 - yours was one of the names and faces that I recognised but trying to pin you down was IMPOSSIBLE as you zipped around from one place to the other. I recall you introducing Beverley Birch and thinking you clearly knew your stuff! Frankly, you terrified me! :-)

  8. thanks for being such an inspiration and well done on your award

  9. I aspire to follow in Candy's footsteps but she walks so fast I can't keep up! Candy has been part of my writer's journey, from the first friendly welcome on the ning, to a big welcoming hug at my first conference. She's seen me through technology angst, writer's despair and blogger's terror, and all with that great smile. Thank you so much for having me on Notes from the Slushpile, Candy. Have a hug.

  10. Candy is such an inspiration! She deserves all the prizes she can get her hands on. One day, it will be that Carnegie medal. :-)

    Thank you for all the work you do for SCBWI!!!

  11. Huzzah and hooray for Candy Gourlay!

  12. Three cheers for Candy! She was the first to welcome me to SCBWI-BI, and she's been an inspiration ever since.

  13. This is incredibly nice of you lot and my ears are ringing.

  14. For some reason I've only just come across this post, but just wanted to say Hear hear to everybody's comments - Candy was one of the first people I met at my first SCBWI retreat and she has been a guiding light for me ever since, with her wisdom, generosity, enthusiasm and her knowledge of the children's book world. Candy, you're fab.


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