Consequences, Croquet and all the risks involved

I’m just back from a picture book retreat organised through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Here are my thoughts on the experiences I had and the inspirational people I met while I was there. It isn’t perfect but it makes me smile as I remember the highlights from a fantastic weekend.

AND I even played my first ever game of Croquet…in the dark…using lights from our phones to show us the way. Great fun!

p.s if you read SCBWI as Scooby it will flow better. Trust me.

Consequences, Croquet and all the risks involved

Flying high over fields and valleys so pretty

I make my way down to Birmingham city

I emerge in the sun with my notebook in hand

excited to see what SCBWI has planned

I met David Gray, some of you may know him

he arrived with a grin and we set off for Evesham

hugs and intros, an abundance of smiles

as we all got together, our books in a pile

Anne-Marie & Bridget were so organised

giving out our new schedule soon as we arrived

with workshops and meet-ups, we were going to be busy

to work on our books in grounds that were pretty

Alexis took charge of our wee SCBWI clan

heading out to the garden to tell us his plan

A game from our childhood with a slight SCBWI twist

Consequences on paper to create a new beast!

And create we did, on that sunny first day

the beast was amazing, scaring even me

we shared our best books, our hearts and our minds

as we connected as readers and writers alike

Pterodactyls and frogs, strange creatures and more

our job – to describe them using only small words

we hunched in our groups searching for lots of clues

as Alexis sat back looking rather amused

Walker and Egmont came along for the day

giving valuable insights on what we should say

with pencils poised, we scribbled down notes

on subs, on our format and how to approach

We started day three with a wonderful session

from Helen Stephens and the lion she’s hiding

her drawings and stories enthused and inspired

with mayors, and Fleabag and Italian church spires

A relaxing day with writing and crafts

the lino was cut and the ink was well splashed

we shared all our work and headed outside

for the funniest match the lawn could provide

Alexis, our captain and umpire divine

was no match for our Julie cos we ran out of time

her prowess in Croquet created a spark

especially since it was played in the dark

The sun shone forever lighting up the blue sky

with the odd wispy cloud slowly passing us by

Our hosts were fantastic at keeping us fed

as we worked through our tasks before heading to bed