Guest Post: Christopher Cheng on SCBWI: Celebrating 10 Years in Bologna

SCBWI Bologna Booth

By Christopher Cheng

The SCBWI booth, a hotbed of activity? Yes, according to Publishers Weekly!

This year the SCBWI celebrated 10 years in Bologna. We have had a Bologna Children’s Book Fair presence every second year since 2004. That first booth was under the direction of the Erzsi Deak.

Here’s a peek at what happened at the 2014 SCBWI booth from March 24 to March 27.

Showcasing the PAL works of our members and regions worldwide is what SCBWI Bologna is all about.
Those members who showcased were Erzsi Deak and Nelly Buchet-Deak; Sarah Towle, Carmel o’Mara Horwtiz, Evelyn Ghozalli, Theresa Bronn, Susan Eaddy, Rachelle Meyer, Evi Shelvia, Doug Cushman, Judy Goldman, Isabel Roxas, Bridget Strevens-Marzo, Margaret Bateson-Hill, and Twyla Weixl.

Erzsi Deak and Nelly Buchet-Deak

The regional showcases came from Australia East, New Zealand, British Isles, Belgium, Singapore, Indonesia, Spain, Mexico, Netherlands, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany/Austria, and for the first time, a U.S.-based region – the MidSouth.

First timers!

Posters, Booth Design & Book Display

Throughout the fair, PAL books are displayed on the shelves in our booth and, afterward, are donated to the International Youth Library in Munich.

Our new International Illustrator Coordinator Rachelle Meyer designed an exquisite series of posters featuring an eye-catching SCBWI banner, the SCBWI world map, and the winner and honoured entrants from our BiG.

The booth


Bologna Illustration Gallery, is the renamed “Illustration Display Portfolio” and it’s open to all SCBWI illustrator members.
Visit the 2014 BiG Gallery and the cumulative display of works from previous years in our Illustrators Gallery.

This was a juried showcase with certificates being sent to the winner and honourable mentions. A wonderful display of the creativity within the SCBWI illustration community!


SCBWI Success Stories

Prior to the fair, PAL members were invited to produce a single slide showing their success stories since the last fair.
Visit the 2014 Success Stories to see the presentation, which was on rotation throughout the fair.

Illustrators Wall

Duelling Illustrators

We spread the impact of the Duelling Illustrators over three days, and our second day was also filmed by a crew from the Sharjah International Book Fair for promotion of their upcoming fair.

Our illustrators were: Anne Marie Perks, Sarah Underwood, Bridget Strevens-Marzo, Sally Kindberg, Susan Eaddy, Sarah Baker, Darcy Zoells and Carmel O’Mara Horwitz, Twyla Weixl, Nathalie Marin-Baldo Vink, Doug Cushman and Paul O. Zelinsky. They were dueling to unpublished texts from Norma Klein, Sue Thoms, Kathleen Ahrens, Laurie Cutter, P.J. Lyons and Christopher Cheng.

Duelling illustrators!

Portfolio Reviews and Critiques

Authors and illustrators were able to sign up each morning for one-on-one sessions with Team Bologna staff and other experienced SCBWI members.



As in the past, brochures and membership forms were available and widely distributed, but this year, with the availability of the laptop and reliable connectivity, we were able to offer immediate SCBWI memberships … and people joined on the spot!

Authors Cafe

A central feature of recent Bologna Book Fairs is the Authors Cafe and SCBWI. A near-full audience heard Kathleen Ahrens (IRAC) interview Chelsea Confalone and Sarah Baker from SCBWI headquarters on the secrets to gaining one of the organization’s grants, mentorships and awards.

Authors Cafe

Bologna SCBWI Website

In the months leading up to the fair, the content from our old website, which included many photos and previous galleries, was migrated to the new site. Jump there to have a look!

Cynsational Notes

Cheers to the SCBWI Bologna team Christopher Cheng, Kathleen Ahrens, Angela Cerrito, Rachelle Meyer and Susan Eaddy.

With more than 35 titles in traditional and digital formats, including
picture books, non-fiction, historical fiction, a musical libretto and
an animation storyline, Christopher Cheng is well experienced in Australian children’s literature.

More about Christopher Cheng.

He conducts workshops and residences for children and adults and holds an M.A. in Children’s Literature. He is a board member for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content and on the International Advisory Board and co-regional advisor (Australia and New Zealand) for the SCBWI.

A recipient of the SCBWI Member of the Year and the Lady Cutler Award for services to children’s literature, Chris is a devoted advocate of children’s literature, speaking at festivals worldwide.

Christopher will be covering the children’s-YA book scene in Australia, New Zealand and across Asia for Cynsations. Read an interview with Christopher.