Thursday, May 28, 2020

SCBWI Announces New Round of Free-to-Members #SCBWIdigital Workshops

Six new free online workshops for SCBWI members start June 4, 2020. Every Thursday at 1pm Pacific, you'll get to learn from:

June 4: Tracey Baptise, author
"The World Isn't Flat: World Building for Realistic and Fantasy Stories"

June 11: Vashti Harrison, author/illustrator
"Character Building for Writers and Illustrators"

June 18: Beth Kephart, author
"Writing Our Lives: From the Telling Detail to the Evocative Scene

June 25: Lesa Cline-Ransome, author
"Telling Their Stories: Writing Nonfiction Picture Book Biographies From Beginning to End"

July 2: Deborah Halverson, editor
"Submission Studio: Writing Queries, Strategizing Submissions, and 10 Ways to Translate "No" to "Yes!"

July 9: Tiff Liao, editor, Henry Holt
"Straight Through the Heart: How to Make Readers Fall in Love With Your Characters"

Read all the details here and learn more about the workshop faculty here.

Registration opens the Monday before the workshop. Only the first 3,000 members who sign up can watch it live and ask their questions. But every SCBWI member can watch the recording for 30 days after the workshop presentation. They promise to be great!

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Listen to the Latest SCBWI Podcast: A Conversation with Raúl the Third

Raúl the Third is a Pura Belpré medal award-winning illustrator of graphic novels and author/illustrator of picture books and soon, early readers. In this conversation with Theo Baker, Raúl discusses his connection to art, shares some of the strategies he uses in illustrating, and recounts his path to building his own universe of characters and stories.

Listen to the episode trailer here.

Current SCBWI members can listen to the full episode here (log in first).

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Finalists for the 2021 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature Include Many Familiar Faces From Our SCBWI Community!

The finalists for the 2021 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature are:

・Laurie Halse Anderson
・Eric Gansworth
・Meg Medina
・Linda Sue Park
・Mitali Perkins
・Jason Reynolds
・Cynthia Leitich Smith
・Laurel Snyder
・Alex Wheatle

The finalists were selected by an "international jury of accomplished writers and artists... with their sole criterion being the significant achievement of a writer or illustrator, either over a lifetime or in a single publication, as well as an ongoing, positive impact on children’s literature." The winner will be announced in October. Learn more here.

Congratulations, and good luck to all the finalists!

Illustrate and Write On,

P.S. - this does serve as an excellent reading list prompt, as well...

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

"A Story is a Question, Not an Answer." - Richard Peck, from the SCBWI Vault

This is truly something to celebrate. For more than 40 years, SCBWI has hosted some of the most brilliant writers and illustrators, editors, agents, publishers, and other industry pros creating work for children and teens, and now there's a new YouTube channel where you can see moments of their brilliance from the past, today.

Like this amazing under-four minute video of the late multi-award winning author Richard Peck, recorded in 2001:

and this inspiration from multi-award winning illustrator (and sometimes author) Vanessa Brantley-Newton, recorded in 2017:


 "Shake it off, Pack it under." That's how you deal with adversity!

 Vaults are generally filled with gold. With fine wine. With treasure.

And these moments are treasure. With new material every Tuesday and Thursday, the SCBWI Vault is well-worth subscribing to on YouTube!

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, May 14, 2020

SCBWI Member, Friend, Author, and Yoga Instructor Lori Snyder Makes Her "Writers Happiness Retreat" Online, and FREE For All!

The First Online Splendid Mola/Writers Happiness Retreat for Writers
with Lori Snyder

Writing time, yoga, and community—from home
Friday evening, May 15 - Sunday brunch, May 17 Free
Author and retreat leader Lori Snyder

Lori shares a bit more:

The idea behind this writing retreat is simple: community and time. Time to write, to brainstorm, to clear your psychic space from distractions. To sit with your manuscript. To revise. To remember why you love this. To finish something. To start something. To remind yourself how good you are. To feel refreshed. To be supported. To remember that your writing matters in the midst of all of this, and that it’s also totally okay if it’s not coming easily at the moment.

There are no critiques, no readings, no workshops. Just a chance to work on or think about your project in a supportive community of other writers working on and thinking about their projects.

There will be an opening and closing circle, plenty of writing time, optional yoga and meditation for writers, and optional shared meals, and you are welcome to attend all or just parts here and there, whatever works for your time, brain, and life right now.

This online writers retreat is free as part of the Writers Happiness Movement, which runs on the patronage of writers who want to live in a world where kindness, joy, and writers are supported.

Get the details and sign up here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Monday, May 11, 2020

The SCBWI Online Summer Spectacular Is Announced - Reservations Open This Wednesday May 13, 2020

Due to the current global health crisis, The 2020 SCBWI Summer Conference is going Digital! Hosted on Zoom July 31, - Aug 4, 2020, with video recordings available the entire month of August - so you can participate live or watch at your convenience.

You can see the full schedule here, and make sure to note these amazing highlights:

A Friday night kickoff with Philip Pullman and Arthur Levine!

Keynote conversations with:

Kwame Alexander and Raúl The Third

Laurie Halse Anderson and Meg Medina

Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Judy Blume and Lin Oliver

Jeff Kinney and Lin Oliver & Henry Winkler

Grace Lin and Alvina Ling

Jason Reynolds and Caitlyn Dlouhy & Nic Stone

Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple

Jacqueline Woodson and Nancy Paulsen!

There will also be an Editors Panel, with Stacey Barney, Arthur A. Levine, Neal Porter, Jill Stantopolo, Julie Strauss-Gable, and Namrata Tripathi!

And an Agents Panel with Regina Brooks, Linda Camacho, Rosemary Stimola, and Brooks Sherman!

There will be an online portfolio showcase, the opportunity to sign up for consultations on your manuscript, portfolio, social media presence, and career path, and even Twitter Chat Socials for Illustrators, GenNext, Equity and Inclusion, and a Safe Safe Zoom Gathering for those writing and illustrating LGBTQ characters and themes!

There's even an instagram meme Contest!

Don't miss what's going to be the virtual event of the season - we hope you'll join us! Get all the information and be prepared to register at 10am Pacific this Wednesday May 13, 2020.

Illustrate and Write On, and Stay Safe,

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Illustrator Ellen Beier Shares a Discovery Tip and the Story of Her Picture Book Coming Back from Out of Print to Be Reissued By a Different Publisher

This interview by Gayleen Rabakukk over at Cynsations with SCBWI illustrator member Ellen Beier has three stand-out moments. The first is the way that Ellen connected with one of her publishers:
Gayleen: I noticed those projects were for Asian publishers. How did you make those connections? Were there any logistical or other challenges in bringing the images to life?

Ellen: Les Misérables was published in an abridged version for Little Fox, South Korea which produces online classics for children in Asia.

They found my portfolio on the SCBWI gallery and released the illustrations serially by chapters over many months, a total of 270 paintings. I enjoyed this format that resembles graphic novel or comic frames.
Which of course, begs the question: Can publishers find YOUR portfolio in the SCBWI illustrator gallery?

The second stand-out moment was the reissue journey of a picture book Ellen illustrated, written by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood (Holiday House, 2011, reissued South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2018)!

It's a story about being resiliant, flexible, and believing in YOUR story, and the impact it can have on readers. And not giving up.

Congratulations to both Ellen and Virginia on the success of the re-release!

The third aspect I found fascinating was how differently Ellen preps to do her illustrations:
With every book I read the original text—in the case of Les Misérables I also listened to the entire 51-CD set of recordings of Victor Hugo’s narrative translated into English. I purposely did not watch the newer films of Les Misérables because I wanted my take to derive entirely from the words. 
For Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (L.C. Page & Co., 1908) I did watch all the films beginning with the 1934 black and white film up to the latest version on Netflix. The publisher in this case wanted the images of Anne and other characters to be consistent with those in the public imagination.

Read the full interview with Ellen at Cynthia Leitich Smith's indispensable Cynsations blog here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Second Round Voting for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Members Choice Awards is Now Open (voting ends May 13, 2020 at 5pm US pacific time)

SCBWI Members: This is your chance to help choose which book will win for your region!

To cast your vote: log on to Once you are on your Member Home page, go to the left navigation bar, scroll to the bottom and click on Vote in the Crystal Kite Awards. That takes you right to the voting page where all of the books in your Division appear. Then click the VOTE FOR THIS BOOK button below your chosen book and you are done!

And then you can sport this "I Voted" graphic on your social media! (Don't forget to use the hashtags #SCBWI19CK and #scbwicrystalkites.)

Learn more about the SCBWI Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards here and at the awards Q&A page here.

And good luck to all the finalists!

Illustrate and Write On,