Thursday, January 19, 2017

Writing for Children with Lois Harris

Lois V. Harris is offering a Writing for Children workshop, “Powerful First Pages,” at Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon campus, February 2, and February 9, 2017, 6:30 PM. Get feedback on your manuscript and receive a handout with formatting tips.

Register for CENGL 6086, $49. For more details, visit the Skagit Valley College web site

Happy Writing,


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What You Should Know About Copyright

The Library of Congress has started the process of filling the position of Register of Copyrights, formerly held by the much-admired Maria Pallante. Pallante was removed from office on October 21 by the new Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. In an unprecedented move, the Library is first seeking public input on the qualifications for the incoming Register of Copyrights and the issues the new Register should focus on.

The Author’s Guild is strongly encouraging writers and other creators to participate. The survey provides no background on what the responsibilities of the Register are or even what the Copyright Office does, but it’s important that the Library hear from us, as individual authors, on how the Register will best serve the independent creative community. Here is some background on the role and responsibilities of the Copyright Office

The online survey is available here, will be open to the public through January 31, 2017.

The Author’s Guild has also taken the liberty of composing a variety of sample responses, which you can find online at . But keep in mind that a variety of responses, written in each author’s own words, is likely to be more persuasive than a series of identical responses.

Thank you, Joni Sensel, for passing on this very important information.



Monday, January 16, 2017

Write It, Then Draw It - Green River College Classes

Saturdays at Green River College: Write It, Then Draw It!

Write It

Al Rubeck is teaching Writing for Children and Getting Published

Two Saturdays, Feb 11 & 18

9 – 11:30 a.m.

Learn how to get ideas and turn them into stories as we discuss plot and character development, story structure, point of view, dialogue, where and how to market your work, and how to get published. Short writing exercises included.

Details and registration (cut and paste into your browser)

Al Rubeck has been published in ‘TEEN magazine, Holidays & Seasonal Celebrations, The Best Of Holidays & Seasonal Celebrations, Nuthouse magazine, Highlights for Children, and Jack And Jill magazine.  Al has also taught writing for children for the Kent Parks Department.

Al's contact info is:

Draw It

Dana Sullivan is teaching Illustrating Picture Books

Two Saturdays Saturday Feb 25 & Mar 4            
9 a.m. to noon.

This crash course includes manuscript formatting, storyboards, making a book dummy and illustration techniques. Working with agents and editors and ultimately getting published will also be discussed. Great for any level of illustrator, from beginner to pro, as well as writers who want to learn more about pacing and what should be written vs illustrated.

Details and registration (cut and paste into your browser):

See Dana’s work at

Dana’s contact info is

Both classes are a great way to spend those late winter Saturdays!

Happy Writing and Drawing,


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Book Launch Party!

It's a book launch for Fonda Lee and her new YA science fiction novel, Exo, in which a bioengineered teen soldier must struggle for his survival and the safety of the planet when he is abducted by a rebel group intent on overthrowing alien governance of Earth.

Fonda is the author of the award-winning Zeroboxer (Flux, 2015) and a former guest speaker at SCBWI WWA on writing action and fight scenes, which she promises are plentiful in Exo,

When: February 1, 2017
             7:00 pm

Where: University Bookstore - U.District

For more information about the event, click on the link:

Happy Reading,


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Think Tank: Save the Date

Save Saturday, March 4,* for a Think Tank about how to make booksellers and librarians fall in love with you (among other topics). This special, brown-bag event will start with an expert panel of local book hucksters, who will share tips and pitfalls and the secrets of their favorite bribe substances. Then we'll enjoy the typical think-tank schmoozing and idea-swapping, about bookstores and libraries or anything else on your minds.

Edited: Open to all, space permitting! Any SCBWI members (including those self-published and pre-published) will be welcome at this event on a first-come, first-served basis until we reach our room occupancy limit. (PAL members will have registration priority, however). The event will be held mid-morning to early afternoon at a Seattle Pacific University classroom, with participants bringing their own sack lunch as desired, and more details will be posted here and on our website shortly.

*Apologies to Martha B and SPOGG for swiping the National Grammar Day date. You can discuss grammar, and grammer too, if you want, at the Think Tank.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January Kid Lit Drink Night

Let's kick-off the New Year together with the first Kid Lit Drink Night of the season. Chainline Brewery is dog friendly, too, so if Fido and Fifi got a little cabin fever goin' on, bring 'em with you! The more the merrier, right? And, if you like beer, you're gonna love Chainline. Check-out their website for the details on what's brewin'. Remember, if you're not all that into beers then that's okay, too. As with all Kid Lit Drink Nights, it's not about what you're drinkin', it's about showing up to socialize with your local SCBWI-ers.

See you at the Brewery!



Monday, January 9, 2017

New opportunity for nonfiction writers!

We've received word that Storey Publishing, based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, is looking to grow their children's non-fiction book program with new titles that teach and inspire kids to explore, learn, cook, grow, and get creative. They publish books about nature, farming, animals, sustainability, self sufficiency, outdoor science, DIY, crafts, puzzles, games, and activities. They are looking for authors and author/illustrators or author/photographers with strong platforms and expertise and are open to unique formats and interactivity. Submissions can be addressed to Deanna F. Cook, Storey Publishing.
By e-mail:
(They prefer email attachments as Word .doc files or PDFs)

Or, by mail:
  Storey Publishing LLC
  210 MASS MoCA Way
  North Adams, Massachusetts 01247
 (Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like your materials returned.)

For full proposal guidelines, go to

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Webinar with Dutton Editor, Andrew Karre

The Northern Ohio region is hosting their first webinar on January 17, 2017 at 7:30pm ET with Dutton executive editor Andrew Karre. Details are available at:

I want to give a shout-out to Samantha Clark and the Texas regions for their assistance in getting this event set up! This collaboration is a direct result of the webinar discussion at the summer conference. I wanted to share how much that session benefited our RT team and our region’s members!


Mike DeSantis
Regional Advisor
SCBWI: Ohio North

Monday, January 2, 2017

Northern Network Meeting January 4th!

What a Concept!
Writing and Illustrating Concept Books for Children
Alphabet books, counting books, books that teach children about colors or other concepts are important educational tools. We'll look at what concept books are, examine some strong examples, and maybe you will even get some ideas for writing or illustrating a concept book for yourself!
Date: Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: The Bellingham Barnes & Noble (4099 Meridian Street)
Questions? Call Rebecca Van Slyke at (360) 354-5797, or email her at
[That's rebecca(underscore)vanslyke(at)hotmail(dot)com]

Scholoarship Opportunity

The Austin, TX 2017 Scholarship for Creators of Diverse Characters is open to submissions. The deadline is Jan. 13.

This year the prize is for the full Austin conference plus an honor prize of a 50% discount off one day of the conference. We're giving out prizes for novels, picture books and illustration. And the scholarship is ONLY open to SCBWI members.

Members from anywhere are welcome to enter (although the prize doesn't include flights and hotel).
If you'd like to share this with your members, all the details are on this page:


Samantha Clark
Austin SCBWI Regional

Monday, December 26, 2016

Kid Lit Drink Night - December!

Come and celebrate the awesome SCBWI 2016 year together with your fellow SCBWI-ers. Here's the link to the Nickerson Street Saloon. And as always, you don't need to "drink" to come and have a good time.

Happy Holidays,


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December Meeting Recap and What's Up Ahead in 2017

Our December meeting was a great success. Katherine Pryor imparted her knowledge for applying for grants. Yes! Authors and Illustrators can actually get paid to write and draw. How fantastic is that? In a nutshell, here are her tried and true steps to applying for a grant:

Steps to Applying:

Identify funders

Create an application calendar


Grant application consists of:


Examples of work

Determining proposed work

What is the mission of  the funder?

Do they have a particular geographic/demographic interest?

What types of work have they funded in the past?

Does the project have a measurable outcome?

Then, J. Anderson Coats infused us with confidence and our dreaded first drafts. Yup, most of us have been there or are currently living the nightmare.

But don't fear. Instead, J. Anderson encouraged us to embrace the Frankendraft!

The "FRANKENDRAFT IS A SIGN THAT YOU TRIED SOMETHING NEW, YOU WERE CHALLENGED. UNREALISTIC TO THINK SOMETHING LIKE THAT WILL BE PERFECT THE FIRST TIME. There is always something more to learn."  Thank you, J. Anderson. Your words were music to my ears as I race the clock to the end of the year to finish my Frankendraft. But, I'm excited to soon have this accomplishment under my writer's belt. And you should, too!
Upcoming Events:

Stay tuned for details on location for December's Kid Lit Drink Night. These are a great way to socialize with your fellow, local SCBWI-ers and round out the year.

January Monthly Meeting

There is no traditional monthly meeting in January. Instead, we have ...

The Great Critique

Date(s) - 01/11/20177:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Demaray Hall
3307 3rd Ave. W. - Seattle, Washington

That’s right! Another opportunity to take your project from good to GREAT! And just in time for the conference this spring. This popular event offers you the opportunity to have your project critiqued by a published author or illustrator and your peers. This event requires additional payment. Register under Additional Opportunities.

PLEASE NOTE: This event usually fills up quickly, so don’t delay. If you are not registered for the Great Critique, do not show up on January 11. There is no general meeting, only the Great Critique.

The New Year

I will blog about my interviews with the faculty for our conference in April. If you're going to the conference, you'll have a heads-up on what to expect, who is looking for what, and a little bit about their non-agent or editor selves. And, if you are not able to make it, you'll still have this info for your submissions to the agent or editor of your choice.

The past year has been super awesome and 2017 is looking pretty darn awesome, too!

Have a very Happy Holiday Season and a Fantabulously Happy New Year!