Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

About SCBWI South Africa

The South African Chapter of the SCBWI, which was established in October 2003 by Marjorie van Heerden, Co-Regional Advisor from 2003 till December 2018, presents professional talks, workshops, critique sessions, open studios, publishers’ days, retreats, conferences and other themed events for its members. Through these members share and gain insights into the creative and artistic facets of children’s literature. We are also able to compare notes on career planning and management and learn more about how publishing works.

Many of us work for educational publishers, others produce trade books, yet others balance work for education publishers with trade publications or other creative work. All of us benefit from being part of the extensive network that the SCBWI offers. It is wonderful to know we are not alone.

SCBWI SA Volunteers

Regional advisor:
Elaine Ridge (Writer, Translator, Editor and Proofreader, Language Practitioner and Writing Mentor)
Assistant Regional Advisor:

Jenny Hatton; (Writer; Educational Advisor )

Julie-Ann Grobler (Writer)

Matina Gencova-Mpho (Writer) Book Fair exhibitions

Emily House (Illustrator & Writer) Illustrator groups and events & Media

Joan Rankin (Illustrator & Writer) Illustrator workshops

Dalena van Jaarsveld (Illustrator & Writer) Weekend illustrator/ Writer retreats

Cicely van Straten (Writer) Communication and Writer support







SCBWI (SA), which has two branches (Cape Town and Gauteng), opens its meetings to all interested in writing and illustrating children’s books. Fees are deliberately kept low to allow as many as possible to participate. Non-members pay a higher fee for workshops and functions.  Fully paid up members of SCBWI get the benefit of considerably reduced fees and being guaranteed a place at all our events. You are also able to exhibit your work at the SCBWI stand at the Cape Town Book Fair.

Join us at our

Regular critique groups where you can get feedback on your work from other writers and illustrators

Shop talks which give you a chance to find out what is happening in the publishing world

Presentations by experts on particular aspects of children’s book publishing

Workshops by experts

Informal gatherings where you can network with other writers and illustrators

Publishers’ Days where you can present your work to publishing editors from South Africa

Non-members who have an interest in children’s literature are welcome to attend our open events. Fill in your details in the right-hand column to receive notices of these events.

To find out more about being a member, email us at South