Yellow image with purple and black text with event details

SBWN Networking Conference 2020

We’re thrilled to bring you our online conference – a weekend of panels, professional development and networking for writers, agents, publishers, editors and fine folk from the literature sector in Scotland and beyond!

We have 3 types of events:

  • Keynote and Panels open to everyone internationally (book here).
  • 1:1 Q&A sessions with Publishing Insiders for Scotland-based Black and POC writers (book here)
  • A workshop for Scotland-based Black and POC writers (book here)

Conference Schedule

Wed. 4th November 2020

A Twitter Takeover by Gutter Magazine on the ‘Dos and Don’ts of Publishing’ (Time TBD) 

Saturday 7th Nov

10:00 – 10:30 am: Keynote Address – Chitra Ramaswamy 

10:45 – 12:15: Workshop ‘How to DIY Your Author Website’ for Scotland-based Black & POC writers

12:30 – 1:15 pm: Lunch break

1:30 – 3:30 pm: 1:1 sessions with Publishing Insiders for Scotland-based Black & POC writers

3:45 – 4:45 pm: Panel – Literature Organisations Taster

5:00 – 6:00 pm: Panel – Indie Publishing

10:00 am – 6:00 pm: Drop-in networking on Twitter #SBWNCon2020

Sunday 8th Nov

11:15 – 12:15: Panel – Starting Your Own Arts Project

12:30 – 1:15 pm: Lunch break

1:30 – 2:30 pm: Panel – The Journey of Book Publishing after Acquisition

11:15 am – 3:00 pm: Drop-in networking on Twitter #SBWNCon2020


Access details at the bottom of the page.

Keynote & Panels

Ticket options are:

  • Free Weekend Pass for people on low incomes
  • Pay What You Can £1+ Donations: Weekend Pass, Saturday or Sunday
  • Can’t attend live? No problem! We also have Free/Pay What You Can £1+ Donations for our Captioned Recordings 

Keynote: 10:00 – 10:30 am | Keynote Address Chitra Ramaswamy

Introductions from the SBWN team and our amazing Keynote speaker Chitra Ramaswamy.

Chitra Ramaswamy is an award-winning journalist. After cutting her teeth at The Big Issue in Scotland, she moved to Scotland on Sunday and The Scotsman where she became one of the newspapers’ leading columnists, book reviewers, interviewers, magazine and feature writers. Her first book, Expecting, won the Saltire First Book of the Year Award 2016 and was shortlisted for the Polari Prize. She currently writes for a range of publications including the Guardian. She and her partner and their young son live in Edinburgh.

Panel 1: Sat, Nov 7
3:45 – 4:45 pm | 

Taster: Scottish Book Trust, Creative Scotland, Publishing Scotland, Scottish PEN, Society of Young Publishers Scotland


Viccy Adams, Literature Officer, Creative Scotland

Drew Campbell, President, Scottish PEN

Lynsey Rogers, Writing Communities Co-ordinator, Scottish Book Trust

Vikki Reilly, Marketing and Events Manager, Publishing Scotland

Sonali Misra, Co-Chair, Society of Young Publishers Scotland

Chaired by SBWN Co-Director, Dean Atta

Panel 2: Sat, Nov 7
5:00 – 6:00 pm |

Indie Publishing: Luna Press, Knight Errant, Hyperidean Press, Charo Press

Udith Dematagoda of Hyperidean Press

Francesca T Barbini, Founder of Luna Press

Samuel McDowell, Director of Charco Press

Nathaniel Kunitsky, Publisher of Knight Errant

Chaired by SBWN Community Development and Events Manager, Andrés N Ordorica

Panel 3: Sun, Nov 8
11:15 – 12:15 |

Starting Your Own Arts Project: Super Power Agency, Extra Teeth, Inky Fingers, Open Book

Gerald Richards, Founder and CEO, Super Power Agency

Heather Parry, Editorial Director, Extra Teeth

Freddie Alexander, Organiser, Inky Fingers

Marjorie Lotfi Gill, Development Director and Founder, Open Book

Chaired by SBWN Writer Development and Communications Manager, Jeda Pearl Lewis

Panel 4: Sun, Nov 8
1:30 – 2:30 |

The Journey of Book Publishing after Acquisition: BHP Comics, Canongate, Knights Of, Merky Books (Penguin), Sandstone Press

Lemara Lindsay-Prince, Commissioning Editor, Merky Books, Penguin

Francis Bickmore, Publishing Director, Canongate

Sha Nazir, Publisher and Co-Founder, BHP Comics

Aimée Felone, Co-Founder, Knights Of

Kay Farrell, Assistant Publisher, Sandstone Press

Chaired by Co-Director, Dean Atta

Drop-In Networking Channel on Discord throughout the weekend

Purple text on yellow background

Saturday 7th Nov

10:00 am – 6:00 pm: Drop-in networking channel ‘SBWN Cafe’ on Discord 

Sunday 8th Nov

11:15 am – 3:00 pm: Drop-in networking channel ‘SBWN Cafe’ on Discord 

For Black and POC* Writers Based in Scotland

1:1 Q&A Sessions with Publishing Insiders

Date: Sat, Nov 7
Timings: 1:30pm-3:30pm (You will be assigned around 3 sessions with the allocated industry professionals.)

Open to Black writers and writers of colour based in Scotland (or who ordinarily would be outside of COVID-19)

How To Book a 1:1 Session

    1. Please go through the list of professionals given below and select your top 6 choices for people you’d like a 1:1 session within the relevant text box while signing up on our Eventbrite page. We will aim to assign you a session with 3 of them.
    2. You can select your choices of people by browsing through the information below or by downloading the PDF here
    3. Book your 1:1 sessions here if you’re a writer of colour based in Scotland.
    4. We will send you your time slots and further details on/around 3oth October
    5. Sessions will last 15 minutes and take place on Zoom between 1:30 – 3:30pm, 7th November.

Note: Some professionals are offering to give feedback on text submitted in advance. Please check under the information for each professional. Once we have assigned the professional to you for a 1:1 session, please email the text to, subject line ‘1:1 sessions – text feedback’ by 31st October 2020. Word count is 500 words or 2 pages double-spaced.

What Should I Talk About?

These 1:1 sessions are a great opportunity to get one-on-one time with insiders from the industry (agents, editors, publishers, poets, marketing professionals) to ask questions about your piece of writing, your pitch or concept, the editing process, what agents expect from a pitch – anything you’ve wanted to know about the industry.

Depending on the professional you’re having a 1:1 session with, topics could include:

  • Pitch to agents and editors to receive feedback
  • Ask publishing houses, editors and agents what the acquisitions process looks like
  • Ask about marketing, contracts, what the editing process looks like
  • Find out what agents can offer or submitting direct to publishers, journals or magazines
  • Any questions you have around the publishing and literature


Download the PDF here for full information on each professional. Here is a quick list:

• Heather Parry, Writer, Editorial Director, Extra Teeth

• Daisy Watt, Editor, Jonathan Cape

• Alycia Pirmohamed, Poet and Writer

• Rebecca Wojturska, Publisher, Haunt Publishing

• Francesca Barbini, Publisher, Luna Press Publishing

• Jenny Kumar, Literature Alliance Scotland

• Jules Danskin, Managing Director, Extra Teeth

• Ellah Wakatama, Editor, Canongate

• Emma Layfield, Children’s Books Editor, Hachette

• Grace Wang, Marketing, Penguin Random House

• Nancy Adimora, Talent and Audience Development Manager, HarperCollins

• Alison Lang, Director, Gaelic Books Council

• Julie Fergusson, Agent

• Ana Fletcher, Editor, Jonathan Cape

• Kay Farrell, Assistant Publisher, Sandstone Press

• Samara Smith, Publisher, Penguin Random House, Write Now

• Sophie Whitehead, Managing Editorial Assistant, Cornerstone, Penguin Random House

• Moira Forsyth, Publisher, Sandstone Press

• Sriya Varadharajan, Publicity, Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House

• Nathaniel Kunitsky, Publisher, Knight Errant Press

Skills Development Workshop: How to DIY Your Author Website

Purple and blue text on blue background with photo of Nailah King.

Date: Saturday, 7th November
Time: 10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Open to Black writers and writers of colour based in Scotland (or who ordinarily would be outside of COVID-19)

  • Learn how to DIY your author website. In this workshop, Nailah will show you how to establish your online presence, grow a following of devoted readers, promote your work, and boost your paid opportunities.
  • We’ll cover different platforms and tools and how to build the key pages of your website. Nailah will also touch upon any relevant content you may want to consider adding to your website. You’ll be able to follow along during the workshop with a workbook that’s designed to help writers map out and shape their website.
  • Participants will walk away from this workshop with the building blocks to confidently build a simple but effective website that promotes you and your work.

Bonus: We will brainstorm promotional ideas you can use for your website!

Book a place on the workshop here if you’re a writer of colour in Scotland. 

About Nailah

Nailah King is a Canadian writer living in Dundee whose work explores racism, discrimination, identity and her Caribbean heritage. She was the co-editor of Room Magazine’s first Women of Colour issue. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Feels Zine, GUTS Magazine, The Humber Literary Review, Transition Magazine and This Magazine. 

Nailah also runs The Content Witches, providing copywriting, content strategy and inclusive content consultancy to ethical business owners. She is launching an authorpreneur specific offering of this business shortly; stay tuned. 

We’re so excited about our 2020 Conference! Share with your writer friends and use the hashtag #NetworkwithSBWN on social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook group or Facebook page)


  • All tickets are sliding scale (£0+).
  • All events are suitable for people 18+ years.
  • For everyone from all backgrounds, internationally: Panels, Keynote and Networking on Twitter #SBWNCon2020
  • For Black and POC Scotland-based writers: workshop and 1:1s (30 spaces at each)
  • Events are hosted online using Zoom (instructions will be sent for Zoom 2 days before or can be accessed via the Eventbrite Online Event pages).
  • To participate you will need an internet/wi-fi connection and a desktop or mobile device to join by audio and/or video.
  • Keynote: live captioner provided (BSL recorded translation after event).
  • BSL interpretation and automatic captions provided for all Panels – available on request at workshop and 1:1s during registration. Automatic captions will be provided during the workshop.
  • Keynote and Panels will be recorded and captions corrected after the event. They are webinar format with audience participation via text in the chatbox and Q&A. Workshop and 1:1s will not be recorded.
  • Events over 1 hour long will have a comfort break in the middle. You may mute your mic/switch off video (workshop) or take a break at any time. 
  • Please add any access requirements to the registration form.
  • All SBWN events will adhere to our safer spaces policy. You can learn more about our policy here.

Please share this event!