Monday 4 November 2019

Telling Tales after the SCBWI Winchester conference

Telling Tales after the SCBWI Winchester conference by Addy Farmer 

By the time you read this the SCBWI conference in Winchester, will have finished. Delegates will be making their way home brimful of inspiration, topped up with tantalising ways to take their work to market and made up with new and renewed friendships. What a thing it will have been.

Image result for addy farmer scbwi conference winchester
conference past - that's me on the right holding an invisible glass
And I won't have been there. Which makes me sad but not broken because I'm on holiday in sunny Orkney (hem-hem). 

I have been to many conferences. I missed the first ever but managed the second one with the huggable David Almond as the keynote. I went to all of them after that because they are good for you in all manner of ways from meeting to greeting to giving and receiving and that most precious of wonders - people who get you.

Okay, terrible blurry photo of people who get me or at least, put up with me
I think I went fairly quickly from attending to volunteering. I sold badges (great way to start) and then took over the -1-2-1s from the irreplaceable Sue Hyams. Later, I was 1-2-1 assistant to my great pal, Liz Miller and now I pull together the Cyrstal Kite video. My point is ... your involvement pays back in more skillage, more knowledge and more good vibes and who knows what else ... 

Image result for book contract
N.B. Contract not guaranteed, contract not guaranteed
I loved seeing my friends. Sometimes Winchester is the only time to meet up again. Everytime I go to Winchester, I remember Margaret Carey and Sue Hyams. I remember the dinners. So many dinners. The legendary cakes ...

Image result for scbwi cake
eaten but not forgotten
The Strictly parties in Teri's room. Perhaps draw a discreet veil over those.

Giving Malorie Blackman a lift from the station - yes, it happened here. Being part of the Mass Book Launch, hearing amazing news from your mates which makes you tear up with happiness, it all happens.  So, I hope those who went had an awesome time and for those who couldn't make it, go next year. I am. And for those post conference blues ...
Image result for Telling tales

Carry on your inspiration from the conference with this very interesting programme on Radio 4 - a rather wonderful radio analysis of countryside folk stories. Documentary maker Simon Hollis explores the darker underside of the pastoral idyll and the traditions of Folk Horror being revived by a new generation of writers.
Fear in the Furrows

And finally, here's to Matt Killeen and his Crystal Kite winning story, ORPHAN, MONSTER, SPY. Check out his story and the shortlisted folk in the video here


  1. What an amazing weekend. One day I will get there. Thanks for sharing xx

    1. You're welcome, Susan. I hope to meet you there sometime!

  2. Oh Addy, you are one of the reasons I go every year. Missed you so much!

    1. Aw! Thanks, my lovely friend. Here's to the next time!

  3. I'll be there next year too, Addy. I need the scoobie hugfest :)

    1. The hugs! The hugs! See you there. By the way, I am Addy not Anon, I just can't get things to work here in Orkney


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