For Illustrators

Sketch&Scrawl Crawl with Tita Berredo

A Friday Fringe for Writers and Illustrators

From 14:00 to 15:30 at the Manchester Art Gallery

Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL


Join Illustrator Coordinator Tita Berredo at the Manchester Gallery for a round of writing and illustration prompts in an exciting journey in search of wonder! Playing with visual references and imagination Tita will lead insightful activities inspired by the items on display.

Please bring writing/drawing material, and perhaps something to rest on. We'll meet inside at the entrance and start crawling on each floor - it's easy to find us.

Illustrator Keynote

Ed Vere is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling writer and illustrator of picture books, including How To Be a Lion - winner of Oscar's Book Prize - and Max the Brave which was named one of The Sunday Times' 100 Modern Children's Classics. With a distinctive style of bold strokes and vibrant colours, Ed expresses humour and character through playful illustrations that capture the imagination and delight of young readers. He is a talented and successful artist who has created beloved and acclaimed picture books, making him an important figure for the contemporary children’s books industry.

Ed is also a passionate advocate for creativity and art education, being involved in various projects and campaigns that promote the importance of reading, writing, and drawing for children's development and well-being. He has collaborated with organisations such as Booktrust, The Reading Agency, The National Literacy Trust, and The Big Draw. By encouraging and supporting aspiring and emerging illustrators, Ed Vere embodies the spirit and values of SCBWI. He is without a doubt a role model for all of us who wish to create stories that enrich the lives of children and adults, and the perfect choice for our illustrator keynote speaker.

Ed will be giving his keynote speech on Saturday and on the panel of My Life In Pictures: An Artist's Reflection, where he will share his life journey into becoming an illustrator and the steps to creating his most popular books. On Sunday, he will be giving not one but two hands-on illustration workshops. In the first one, Releasing the Artist, Ed will reveal his creative process behind The Artist, focusing on the balance between visual narrative, mixed media, and text. This workshop might be illustration focussed but is a friendly and flexible one for picture book writers if they would like to attend. The second one, Character Development and the Story That Comes With It, says it all. Ed shares the development behind his most appealing characters from How To Be A Lion, Mr Big, Banana!, Max The Brave and Grumpy Frog and shows illustrators how to develop a story from a relatable character. We will also be able to see Ed in action, drawing his most famous characters. It will be a blast!

Illustration Exhibition

The SCBWI British Isles Conference is a prestigious event that brings together high end industry professionals from all over the UK. This is the chance for you to showcase your work to important members of the children’s industry like agents, publishers, editors, art directors, and of course fellow illustrators.

What are we looking for?

We want to see your creative process and the finished illustration. You can choose any genre, style, and medium that you like, as long as it’s suitable for children’s books. Illustrations can be done traditionally or digitally.

Sketches: any preparatory work that can support your final piece. This can be a combination of character studies, observational drawings, colour swatches, etc. Find some directions and examples here.

Final artwork: A fully rendered illustration that should belong in a book. Treat your canvas as a book spread, showing your narrative in either a full bleed or combine spots, vignettes, or box illustrations. Find some directions and examples here.

You are welcome to create a brand new artwork for the exhibition, or you can select one from an existing portfolio — as long as you include sketches or any preparatory work that supports it. You can create a character sheet if you don’t have any previous sketches.

There’s no particular theme, but if you’d like some inspiration, we are IN SEARCH OF WONDER!

Submission and Deadlines

Up to two fully rendered illustrations and any sketches or preparatory work that can support them. Each file should be A4 (210x297mm) horizontal, JPEG file, 300dpi.

Sketches should be sent to by the 2nd of October to be included in the Open Sketchbook feature. Final artwork should be sent together to by 15th October to be included in the Illustration Exhibition.

Important Notes

The artwork must be original and suitable for children of any age group.

By sending your artwork you are agreeing to SCBWI printing your work to be exhibited at the British Isles Conference.

The selected artworks will be published in Words & Pictures under the Open Sketchbook feature, and exhibited at the Illustration Exhibition, which will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University on November 4th and 5th, 2023.

You don’t have to attend the Conference to participate. But if you are, there will be a spot for you to share your portfolio and network with other illustrators and industry professionals. Feel free to bring loads of business cards, postcards, and prints.

Whilst this is not a competition, we are seeking artwork that is as close to a professional standard as you are able to provide. If your artwork is not selected this only means that you might need a little more work on your technique or narrative representation. SCBWI is here to help you with critique groups, 1-1s, and portfolio feedback.

Name the final piece files with YourName_TitleOfTheArtwork and the sketch files with YourName_Sketches.

The email's subject should be "Illustration Exhibition". Include your website, social media handles, and a short paragraph about your artwork.