Sunday, 21 August 2011

Pyjamas and toothbrush...

...but where’s the bed?

I’m going to the SCBWI Conference in November. SCBWI stands for The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I’ve never been to one of their events before. Their annual conference is held in Winchester, quite a distance from Leicester and I’m such a reluctant traveller but two friends from my writing critique group are going and I wasn’t about to be left out.

We booked our places. We even chose the sessions we wanted to attend [I’m going for Picture Book writing] and we thought we were sorted. Wrong!

Two days later a kind writing friend pointed out that the conference doesn’t include accommodation... but... I assumed... *sigh* I volunteered to book us into a nearby Bed and Breakfast.

There are a lot of B & Bs in Winchester and they all said the same thing.

“We can do any other weekend but that weekend’s fully booked.”

‘Any other weekend’ was not an option.

Mr A. gallantly offered us free use of his tent. He was once a boy scout [many years ago] and he still has an old tent in the loft. He really believes that one day I’ll go on a camping holiday with him and his tent... 

...Dream on, Mr A!

Having disregarded the tent and exhausted my list of B & Bs I contacted the Winchester Tourist Information. Had I tried local pubs? I’m just a bit girly and local pubs can be just a bit scary but they suggested a ‘nice’ one. I rang the pub and snapped up their last two rooms.

So if any of you are planning to go to the SCBWI Conference and you haven’t yet booked your accommodation we have a perfectly adequate tent in our loft that you are very welcome to borrow.

I’m now having a recurring nightmare. Three of us in a car with pyjamas, toothbrushes and nowhere to sleep! Aaagh!!! 
...oh yes, and I promise to blog about the conference when I get back.



  1. Hi Ros .. I hate looking for accommodating - so am very pleased you've found some .. just enjoy the Conference .. I would think Winchester will be interesting to look around.

    Those old 'boys' tents .. I slept in the garden in ours .. like a log!! Loved the dewy early mornings, wood pigeons cooing away .. Good old A-frame tents ..

    Cheers - something to look forward to!! Hilary

  2. Id like to invite you folks to come to Amish Stories for a recipe for "Famous Pennsylvania Dutch Sticky Cinnamon Buns" along with a book signing schedule for Amish fiction writer Wanda Brunstetter for Pennsylvania and Ohio as well as a contest to meet her. I hope everyone so far is having a great weekend. Thanks everyone. Richard from Amish Stories.

  3. Okay, camping would be bad enough but camping in England in November? Thank goodness you managed to find rooms!

  4. Hi Hilary, yes I'm looking forward to exploring Winchester (if there's time in-between talks). I've never been to Winchester before.

    Hi Amish, I'm afraid I live in the UK and so won't be visiting but thanks for the invite.

    Hi Sarah, I'm pretty relieved to get booked up. Camping was NEVER an option!

  5. 'Three Go Camping'... it has a ring to it. Better than 'Three do B&B'. Glad you got sorted. Had visions of you turning up for your session bedraggled, in rain-soaked pyjamas.

  6. Wow. This reminds me of a few times traveling across country with my daughter (in days that are to be no more) when I couldn't find a motel for the night--some convention or something in the place where we wanted to stop. So I can relate to what must have been growing frustration with the whole thing. And I think it sounds charming to stay in a "pub." Let's hope the nightmare doesn't come true! :-)
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  7. Yikes! Rooms get snapped up so quickly. So glad you found a place to stay!

  8. Glad you found a place. I would have passed on the tent also. Haha.

  9. Hi
    Enjoy winchester - a couple of years ago I stayed on after the Winchester Writers' conference. Thoroughly enjoyed strolling around - nice town, not too big, not too small, with a nice feel. I recently read Patrick Gale 'The Whole Day Through' which takes place there - I do like books where I recognise the street corners!
    (Sorry about the anon. Blogger and wordpress don't seem to be talking this week!)

  10. You will have great fun - loved the one I went to - and you will come back with loads more books too I imagine....I would also disregard a tent..!!

  11. Imagine a casual conversation after one of the sessions:

    'Where are you staying?'
    'Actually, in that scout tent on the lawn.'

    Could be fun. :-)

  12. I'm so glad that you opted not to go camping in November! It should be a very interesting conference and I can't wait to read all about it in November! Julie


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