CWIG AGM and Conference: Beyond The Book

Location: Bedford Row
Address: The Society of Authors, 24 Bedford Row,  London WC1R 4EH
Event time: 10am-6.30pm
Join us for our first Children Writers and Illustrators Group (CWIG) event in our new Bloomsbury offices.

Event details

This year's Children's Writers and Illustrators Group (CWIG) AGM and Conference will include discussions around the aftermath of publication, tips for improving your reach, and how to interact with audiences to raise your profile and drive sales.

We will begin by examining the current state of the industry ­– taking in genre sales and what children are actually reading. We then turn to schools: how you can help promote copyright awareness and engage pupils with amazing school visits, residencies and patron schemes. Working with wider audiences, we will tackle events and working relationships within bookshops and how to enthuse bookbuyers from teens to grannies.

Finally, there is such a thing as bad publicity (really!). Understanding that it can be distressing to find yourself criticised on social media, we will debate how to effectively engage with the disgruntled and offended so that you don't lose fans.

All this and plenty of time to swap tips, contacts and socialise with old friends and new.

CWIG Annual General Meeting

The AGM will consist of the chair’s report and election of new committee members. The committee would like to nominate Sita Brahmachari and Ross Montgomery for election to the committee, replacing retiring members Shoo Rayner and Daniel Blythe. Dawn Finch will be elected as chair. 

Any alternative nominations must be supported by two CWIG Members and be sent in writing to the Secretary no later than Thursday 5 September, accompanied by a letter signed by the candidate expressing willingness to serve.

The CWIG AGM is free to attend for members, but attendees will need to reserve a place. Please email Jo McCrum with any issues that you may like to raise in advance.

Beyond the Book: Programme

10.00 – Registration, tea, coffee and chat
10.30Welcome and AGM: Shoo Rayner (CWIG Committee Chair) reports on our year so far, takes questions, and hosts the election of a new chair and committee.
11-12.15Stories and Choices: Egmont’s latest research into children’s reading for pleasure and the children’s book market, with Alison David. Chaired by Daniel Blythe.
12.15-12.30 – Licensing in schools: Julie Murray, CLA. Copyright in schools and how you can assist the development of good practice.
12.30-2.00 – Lunch at The Queen's Head across the road. Julie Murray will be there to answer any further questions, and you can meet the CWIG Committee: Shoo Rayner (Chair), Daniel Blythe, Keren David, Candy Gourlay, Dawn Finch, Curtis Jobling, SF Said and  Robin Stevens.
2-2.45pm – The Perfect Visit: Annie Everall (Authors Aloud) with Dawn Finch and Curtis Jobling. Do you feel that you have gone a bit stale and that your visits need a bit of pizazz? Gone a bit stale? Want some new ideas? Not sure what does and doesn't work in schools, bookshops and libraries? Annie, Dawn and Curtis discuss how to do that perfect visit for picture-books to teens using fiction, non-fiction and illustrations.
2.45-3.30pm – From Tots to Teens: Award-winning children’s authors, Gillian McClure and Rosemary Hayes, discuss how to engage with those who buy books for children and how to turn children into lifelong readers. Who to approach, what to say to audiences to underline the importance of children’s literature, and how to grab the attention of young people at different ages and stages, whilst safely corresponding with minors in a digital age. Chaired by Candy Gourlay.
3.30-4pm – Break, tea and a natter!
4-5pm – How to Work with Your Bookseller: How can authors and indies work together to support and promote reading? Dr Nick Campbell (former Head of Children’s Hatchards and bookseller at Waterstone’s, Covent Garden) and Tamsin Rosewell (Kenilworth Books) reveal the general challenges and daily decisions taken by booksellers when stocking and promoting titles. Chaired by SF Said.
5-6pm – I’ve Been Shamed, Get Me Out Of Here! How to deal with bad publicity – firestorms, trolls, malicious reviews – and turn it around. Rosi Crawley (Walker), Emma Draude (ED PR), Fritha Lindqvist (Fritha Lindqvist PR) and Ruth Shearn (RMS). Chaired by Keren David.
6pm – Farewell by Shoo Rayner.



SoA Member ticket: £60 (inc VAT) before 1 September | £70 (inc VAT) thereafter 
Guest ticket: £80 (inc VAT) 
AGM only (members only, not attending the conference): FREE

Book your place via Eventbrite. Please inform us if you have any dietary requirements when booking as lunch will be provided.

This is a professional meeting so the cost, as well as any travel and any necessary accommodation, is an allowable business expense for tax purposes – whether you are VAT registered or not. Bookings include 20% VAT and you will receive an automated invoice when booking. Speakers and schedule may be subject to change.

Any questions, please email Sophia Jackson at