Sunday, January 09, 2011

Grumbles and Groans

In the evenings when I am just a little bit too tired to write I sometimes do other things. I look up agents, I look for competitions, I look for social networks for writers.

Recently I scoured the SCBWI site to find the Agents List. It's quite good, because it tells you who is looking for submissions and who isn't. Admittedly, I don't actually have anything to send, right now, but I'm researching, right. Anyway, the point is that the SCBWI list is all US agent, but not to be put off so easily I thought I would look at the SCBWI British Isles site and no, I couldn't find anything there. But it did say:
 International membership automatically grants you membership to the British Isles Region or any other region local to you.
You can go directly to the international SCBWI website to join.
So, I did this and that and this and that and that and this and other than changing my address I can't see how I can get membership to the British Isles chapter of SCBWI.

Never mind, I thought, I saw that a lot of the stuff was on the website and if ever an event coincides with one of my visits to London I will try to go. But then I spotted something else on my list of things to look for: a ning site. For those of you not in the know, a NING is a way of setting up your own social network site, Scribblerati is one such NING. So, here was a way for me to connect with UK based writers, but I didn't have to lie about my home address to get on. So I started filling in the form and...
We're really sorry non-UK based SCBWI people, we're only accepting UK based members from now on. Please make sure your membership is up to date before you sign up!
I HAVE A BRITISH PASSPORT, I was born in Wimbledon for crissake's, I lived in the UK for 25 years. My daughter has a British Passport. 

But you know, I'm still researching. Now, I thought I would look at competitions, in particular the Amazon Breakthrough Awards, an International competition run by Penguin US. Again, I don't have anything ready to enter, but next year, right. I looked through the entry requirements:
You are eligible to enter the Contest if you are at least 13 years old at time of entry and a legal resident of one of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada (excluding the Province of Québec), China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States (the 50 states and D.C.), or the United Kingdom.
So, I'm over 13 and I'm a legal resident in ... I'm a legal resident in ... Where is France? Where is France on the list? Why is France not on the list?

So, maybe that just makes me a complete glutton for punishment, but I looked up the entry requirements for Undiscovered Voices. Do I need to quote? Can you guess what that said?
Must be a member in good standing of SCBWI-BI living in the UK.
So, at the end of all this I pose a question:
What do you do if you are a British writer living outside of the UK?
 I'm guessing the answer is not to grumble and groan.


Nicky Schmidt (Absolute Vanilla) said...

it's complicated... will email you. xx

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Thanks Nicky, I've asked Pierre where he would live in the UK, not that I want to live in the UK...

Becky said...

What a conundrum! I don't even think I spelt that right. Hmmm.

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Can't help you with the spelling there Becky, it is not my strong point! But we'll see what Nicky's e mail says. She's in the same kind of boat. And we do have SCBWI things here, it's just I get ill every time they happen!

Anonymous said...

Pls write to me at
Angela cerrito
SCBWI Assistant International Advisor

Theresa Milstein said...

Just popped over from Nicola Morgan's blog.

That's frustrating. I wonder if you could contact someone and explain your situation. Good luck!

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Hi Theresa,

yes, this post was born out of frustration, but because people at SCBWI are LOVELY, I've had great advice from Nicky and from Angela. In fact Angela has given me so much stuff to look through that it'll keep me going for weeks!


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