05 October, 2015

SCBWI Retreat with Alan Durant

If you are thinking about joining SCBWI or have allowed your membership to lapse, go to www.scbwi.org to sign up or activate your membership right away. This retreat is one of the wonderful benefits that membership of SCBWI offers.

Dates for retreat in the Gauteng: 6 - 8 Nov; the Retreat starts at 17:00 on Friday and goes through to 14:00 on Sunday (Option to stay over on Sunday night at extra cost)

Amazing value at R3 000 each.

Retreat Venue: Isilwane Bush Farm, see www.sleeping-out.co.za/md/Isilwane-Bush-Camp/27668 Physical Address: Unit 20, Pride of Africa, Dinokeng, Gauteng, Close to Pretoria and Johannesburg


Cost: R3 000 per person. This includes food, accommodation and all fees.

What you must do: Book your spot right away - but no later than 7 October 2015.
Pay a deposit of R1 500 by 15 October and the rest by 30 October (or pay R2 700 by 15 October and save R300)
Book for Gauteng retreat: Jenny at


Critiques/Reviews by ALAN DURANT

Date: 10 November – individual times to be confirmed

Request for a review: to Jenny at SCBWI.SA.Gauteng@mweb.co.za


Note: You can send in the questions you would like answered during the retreat - we will make sure these are included.

The broad thrust will be to give you a sense of what you need to do in order to write a good story and, if you have already written your book, how to improve your manuscript.

The practical application of the presentations in the mornings will be workshopped in the afternoons


The presentations / workshops will include:

How to

·         develop your creativity

  • find a story
  • create a credible setting
  • develop and refine a plot
  • develop your writing craft
  • develop/ shape the characters
  • take account of the other elements in a compelling children’s book
  • edit and redraft your manuscript to refine your use of language and get your manuscript ready to be submitted

Practical tips

·         the commercial possibilities of your manuscript

  • how to approach publishers – submission criteria and etiquette

Evening Group sessions

·         how to brainstorm solutions

·         develop your skills as a creator of children’s books

  • stimulate and support your colleagues

Who is Alan Durant?


In a nutshell, he is the author of a range of books from picture books such as Burger Boy to top-end teenage thrillers. He also writes prize-winning poetry.

He is married to Jinny, a reception year teacher, and has three children, Amy, Kit and Josie, otherwise known as his ‘guinea pigs’ He has been a National Reading Campaign Reading Champion and is a frequent visitor to schools, libraries and festivals around the UK and abroad where he gives talks and readings and runs writing workshops. He is a member of NAWE and The Society of Authors.


Alan’s first book, the young adult novel Hamlet, Bananas and all that Jazz, was published in 1991. Since then, he has written more than 80 stories. He writes for children of all ages – from pre-school to teenage – and in a variety of styles. He has written picture books, first readers, and series such as Creepe Hall, Leggs United and Bad Boyz and thrillers for older readers.

His work was featured in the BBC series English Express, which won a Children's Bafta Award, as did Bookaboo (Series 2) in which his picture book Burger Boy was broadcast. That episode also won a British Animation Award. He appeared too in two programmes in the award-winning Let's Write A Story series.


Alan’s Books: www.alandurant.co.uk



2007: Portsmouth Children's Picture Book Award for Burger Boy, Stockport Children's Book Award for Football Fever
2008: The Royal Mail Award for Scottish Children's Books for Billy Monster's Daymare
2009: Portsmouth Children's Book Award for Billy Monster’s Daymare

BAFTA and British Animation Award.
Kate Greenaway Medal for Always and forever
Nottingham Children’s Book Award (Gameboy)
Shortlisted for Red House Children’s Book Award (Dear Tooth Fairy)
Kingston Borough/Waterstone's Poetry Prize on two occasions.

“Writing for children can be very rewarding but it certainly isn't easy – and getting published is harder still. Having the opportunity to talk with other writers and get the advice of experienced published authors is always helpful – it certainly helped me when I began my career as a children's book author twenty years ago.

http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/english-association/sigs/childrens-literature/authors/durant https://www.newwritingsouth.com/?location_id=237

No comments: