Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Midlands Summer Social Event (July 2019)

Written by Eileen Moynihan

Midlands pencil banner

On Saturday July 20th, 2019, the SCBWI Ireland Midlands summer social event took place in the Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre in Ardagh, County Longford.

midlands group

Photo: (Left to right) Dan Flynn, Ann Gerety-Smyth, Eddy Lane, Annette Corkery, Sally Martin, and Eileen Moynihan

The group decided to follow up the previous reading and critiquing of participants’ works-in-progress with another session in a supportive environment, with an eye to taking it to the next level. We decided to work towards an anthology of children’s stories and poems.

Ann Gerety-Smyth and Eddy Lane

Photo: Ann Gerety-Smyth and Eddy Lane

There was a discussion about illustrations and it was agreed that it would be a great idea if we got children to illustrate the anthology. We also discussed how we would fund it, but didn’t come to any real conclusions except possibly that we could pay so much each.

Dan Flynn

Photo: Dan Flynn

After hearing the different stories and poems that people had brought along, we decided to aim the anthology at 5 to 12 year olds. The group listened to each other’s possible contributions and gave feedback and suggestions. We decided to invite others who had previously attended SCBWI Ireland Midlands socials and had written pieces for children.

eileen moynihan reading

Photo: Eileen Moynihan reading

Sally Martin brought a lovely homemade strawberry pavlova, which went down very well. There was also coffee, tea, and buns provided.


Photo: Sally’s Strawberry Pavlova

Eddy Lane and Annette Corkery eating cake

Photo: Eddy Lane and Annette Corkery eating cake

Photos provided by Eileen Moynihan, Sally Martin, and Cara Martin.

What people thought of the event

Ann Gerety-Smyth and Eddy Lane

Photo: Ann Gerety-Smyth and Eddy Lane

Annette Corkery: A really enjoyable morning as always, with lots of great stories and ideas shared. Thanks Sally for the pavlova!

Cara Martin: It was very enjoyable and good fun. I am learning a lot by attending.

Eddy Lane: It was brilliant fun, and I’m sure everyone attending learnt something.

Eddy Lane reading

Photo: Eddy Lane reading

Ann Gerety-Smyth: We had a wonderful morning with great stories, yummy pavlova, and lots of laughs.

Dan Flynn: As usual, a stimulating discussion with a variety of enchanting stories designed for children aged 5 -12. Sally’s story about the rabbit was strikingly good and dealt with the reality of loss in life that has to be accepted because it is an important part of life. Similarly, Eileen’s story was aimed at the need of a child to accept and not be threatened by a new family member. The sessions are always fun and enlightening!

Sally Martin: There was very good discussion about each story. Also many good helpful suggestions, comments, and views were given. All this was done with lots of laughter, making it a joy to attend this event.

midlands group with Cara

Photo: (Left to right) Dan Flynn, Ann Gerety-Smyth, Eddy Lane, Annette Corkery,  Eileen Moynihan, and Cara Martin