Children's Writers and Illustrators Group

Our Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group (CWIG) is a professional community of writers and illustrators who create content for the children’s publishing market.

We campaign as a group on issues of specific relevance to us, as well as raising the profile of children's books more generally. Click here to read about our campaigns

While a democratically-elected committee directs the work of the group, the day-to-day administration is dealt with by the Group Secretary, Jo McCrum.

Benefits of joining CWIG include:

  • Regular CWIG events give members plenty of opportunity to socialise with peers and network with industry professionals such as publishers, librarians, booksellers, reviewers and many distinguished writers and illustrators.
  • Every CWIG member can give up to three Reading for Pleasure Awards a year to hard-working and imaginative schools for their promotion of reading for pleasure.
  • CWIG members will automatically receive newsletters and event details. You can also join our private CWIG Facebook Discussion Group – a lively discussion forum on professional matters. But remember, you can receive immediate or specialist professional advice from our advisory service.
  • CWIG are also corporate members of various publishing and trade bodies, with close links with ALCS, IBBY UK, CMF, SCBWI British Isles, AoI, DACS and more. 

For more information on giving a CWIG Reading for Pleasure Award and resources on social media for authors, including online disputes and SoA intervention, read our posts on the Noticeboard below.

Noticeboard

YouTube - sign the petition

Posted: 18 December 2019

YouTube viewers and creators are petitioning the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to clarify and reconsider the new Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA Rule) regulations on YouTube creators. Personalised ads on creators’ content are now being withdrawn by YouTube on what they deem to be children's content – this could make many channels commercially unviable.  Quality family-friendly content will shrink, whilst children will still have access to YouTube (although left to watch mature content).

We are keeping an eye on this situation, but would like to hear from you if you are affected. Did you withdraw your channel? Click here to sign the online petition

Reading for Pleasure Award

Posted: 11 December 2019

CWIG Reading for Pleasure Award

Loved a recent school visit? We are open for 2019/20 commendations!

Any CWIG member can give up to three awards each year to any educational establishment (for under 18s) that shows excellence. Members must have visited over the eligibility period September 2019-July 2020. There is no limitation on the number of awards one school can receive and they can be anywhere.

The deadline is 13 August 2020 (but there is an additional extension of four months for those authors whose appointments fall in the summer term).

There is no financial award – schools will receive a signed certificate from SoA President Philip Pullman (English and Welsh where applicable), window transfers,  and a letter of commendation.

Pictured left: School pupils and librarian with author Kevin Brooke on a school visit.

Check out our awards archive here. And remember, if a school is working hard to encourage reading for pleasure – whether nursery, primary, secondary, public, special or international – reward them!

 Read more here

Authors & Social Media

Posted: 11 December 2019

We have a lively CWIG Facebook Discussion Group which, as it is a private group, you have to apply to join via it's Facebook page. Our CWIG Twitter list is public, but to be displayed you need to email us with your twitter handle.

Please remember that you are not simply expressing opinions to friends on social media – you are publishing (whether original posts or retweeting others) to a wide audience. What you may see as activism could be deemed to be harassment. Your posts libellous or defamatory.

As an organisation we celebrate the right of freedom of expression and are against censorship. There will be times when members disagree and we urge that views ought to be debated with respect. On all SoA platforms individuals (whether members or not) are expected to abide by these rules. As such we co-wrote and are signatory to the Professional Behaviour in Bookselling and Publishing alongside the PA, BA and AAA and we have our own Dignity and Respect Guidelines that we expect our members to adhere to when attending SoA meetings, socials and events or posting on our social media platforms.

Society of Authors staff are your professional representatives. We cannot intervene in disputes of opinion between authors, but will always endeavour to give an unbiased view of any professional business matter.

The following resources are available if you are currently affected by any matter or would appreciate further guidance: Libel and defamation – we have a Quick Guide available for free to members. Please email the office for a copy; Keren David’s blog of the CWIG conference 2019 ‘So You’ve been Shamed’ event and publicist Fritha Lindqvist’s take-homes; lawyer David Hooper on Handling the Trolls.

CWIG Newsletter

Posted: 14 October 2019

Want to get the CWIG newsletter with regular news and features? Contact Jo McCrum to be added to the list or to share your news. The next newsletter will go out in April, but February's mailing is still available here. 

CWIG diary dates

Posted: 14 October 2019

Due to COVID-19 some of our 2020 schedule will be postponed and ome events will take place online as free virtual talks.
Please contact Jo McCrum if you would like to suggest or offer an event for 2021 or have any ideas/topics that you would like to address.

Generating Content for School Visits with Cat Weatherill, 11-4pm, Society of Authors, London. *This cancelled event will be rescheduled as an online offer*

Cat will share what she does and  share her step-by-step method for creating workshops whether you are performing at assemblies and presentations or taking workshops. What works and what do schools want and expect? 

Social Media 101 – a crash course for building your brand, with children's writers Candy Gourlay and Chitra Soundar, 6-8pm, Society of Authors, London. *This cancelled event will be rescheduled as two online offers*

How do you effectively create and build your author profile (brand) on social media and the Internet? Candy and Chitra will cover all the basics of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, author websites and blogs – giving you tips to back up social media efforts in the real world, as well as how to develop the connections in the wider market.

Saturday 26 September, CWIG AGM and day conference, 11-4pm, Society of Authors, London. *This event will be rescheduled for February 2021*

We are back with a lively programme of contributors including: Steve Antony, Keren David, Beth Farrar (Tesco), Dawn Finch, Jane Harris (Bonnier), Curtis Jobling, Liz Kessler, Ross Montgomery, David Prescott (Blackwell's), SF Said, Isabel Thomas, Alex Wheatle and Samantha Williams (Book Love). More details to be announced soon.

Please be aware that we only send notifications about our group events via email – do remember to let us know if your email address changes. 

CWIG AGM 2019

Posted: 14 October 2019

This year's AGM on 21 September was combined with the CWIG day conference Beyond the Book, which offered sessions on the publishing industry, school visits, working with booksellers and publicists. Read Shoo Rayner's (CWIG Chair) 2019 AGM report.

We welcomed Dawn Finch as new CWIG Chair, and new committee members Sita Brahmachari, Ross Montgomery and Isabel Thomas. Their tenures will start in January 2020.

Be aware that there are vacancies on the CWIG committee every year as members retire and we are happy to be contacted by members willing to serve. Some years we may be seeking to fill slots for particular genres, such as poetry, or to fulfil the needs of a particular project.

Applications for the CWIG committee should be sent to Jo McCrum by 5 March 2020. Nominations should include a high quality colour head-shot, a 150-word biography, a short statement of intent and the written support of two CWIG members.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any queries – we are happy to discuss the role and responsibilities before you apply.