Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Europolitan15 by Elizabeth Brahy

P1030331Hello fellow SCBWI France members. I just wanted to give those who couldn’t make it to Europolitan15 a little recap our wonderful weekend. The second edition of our European conference was held in Amsterdam and it set the bar pretty high for the next one. For those unsure about what the conference entails, it is a mix of panel discussions with authors and industry professionals and workshops aimed at writers and illustrators. These break-out sessions are focused on the craft of children’s books as well as the business of children’s publishing. Attending the conference is not only a great way to meet fellow members and improve our skills, but also to make connections with professionals we otherwise might not have access to.

The Amsterdam conference was impeccably organized by the regional advisors (including our very own Tioka Tokedira, Andi Ipaktchi and Dana Carey). Major kudos goes to Netherlands team, especially RA Mina Witteman, who bullied – I mean persuaded – her husband to let us use the offices of the Amsterdam Internet Exchange, a non-profit internet exchange point in the heart of the city. The venue was spacious and light and the staff of AMS-IX were incredibly friendly and helpful (as an added bonus, they provided an endless supply of chocolate and pastries).

This year’s theme was diversity in books and included several lively talks from agents, editors, authors and publishers about what that means and how to achieve it. There were many different workshops on offer and the only problem with the conference was that it was impossible to attend them all. I’m always floored by how much more I have to learn about writing, and got something valuable out of each session that I can apply directly to my WIP. Personal highlights included author Sandra Nickel’s seminar on antagonists and author Dee White’s workshop on conflict. 

I want to point out that, lest you think you have to already have experience in kidlit to attend (a concern I heard from several participants), many of the sessions are directly aimed at people just getting started. In order to get the most out of the conference, it probably does help to already have a project in mind, but it is not a necessity. A passion for children’s books is all that’s required.

The next conference will be in Brussels in 2017 so you all have time to prepare. In the meantime, keep checking the SCBWI France Facebook page for events and announcements.

A bientôt!

Elizabeth Brahy,

SCBWI France Board Member