A Welsh children's writers and illustrators branch of SCBWI was begun last year and now boasts 32 members on its Facebook page. It was begun by the regional network coordinator Marie Basting with help from yours truly and now is administered by new young children's writer Zoe Thomas.
|Welsh SCBWI's Zoe Thomas.|
The Society of Authors recently encouraged members to form local chapters as well, and so author Tony Riches has taken on the awesome responsibility of organising one in South Wales. This is also on Facebook and anyone wanting to be a member should let Tony know here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1798769160336943/.
It only has 15 members at the moment and needs to reach a certain critical mass before the Society will back it. The Society offers to send out emails and help with publicity for regional meetings but only if 100 members in a given area sign up to join.
The Society has 142 members in South Wales, so expecting 70% to sign up is a tall order, but we'll see.
Welsh children's publisher Firefly was represented at the Tenby book fair last month, organised by writer Judith Barrow, where editor Janet Thomas talked about what she was looking for in submissions and awarded prizes for a children's writing competition.
|Firefly's Janet Thomas and competition winner.|
|Janet and another winner.|
Sharon Treegenza, fellow ABBA blogger, was also there and wrote more about this yesterday. Among the prize winners were Catrin Thomas, Leo Robertson, Olivia Robertson and Libby James, William Russell, Darcy Conbeer, and Zihan Lin.
|Winner Catrin Lawrence|
Bookfairs seem to happen faster than sunny days at this time of year, with another last week in Carmarthen and another one next week in Crickhowell.
Writer Christoph Fischer is organising a further bookfair in Llandeilo for December and a fully fledged literary festival in the town for next spring.
Finally, my own new writing class which I am running in my new hometown of Llandovery (an absolutely delightful place) has drawn over 20 writers out of the hills.
|Me at the Tenby Bookfair|
All of this demonstrates to me the enormous appetite of the Welsh to continue their rich literary tradition in the year of the Roald Dahl centenary.
[David Thorpe is the writer of Marvel's Captain Britain, the sci-fi YA novels Hybrids, Doc Chaos: The Chernobyl Effect and the cli-fi fantasy Stormteller.]