Greetings to all you writers and illustrators in our wonderful Western Washington chapter!
As some of you know, after serving all of us with great enthusiasm, intelligence and creativity, Jaime Temairik, Kim Baker, and Joni Sensel will all be taking a much deserved step away from responsibility to SCBWI WWA. Luckily for all of us, they will remain on the Advisory Committee in other roles. Jaime and Kim will join Emily Russin as the WWA Blog Team. Joni will continue as published member liaison and go-to gal for guidance for the new Co-RAs.
Speaking of whom, Brenda Winter Hansen has stepped forward from her role as Assistant Regional Advisor to join Dana Arnim as our new Co-Regional Advisors. Dana Sullivan was kind enough to allow himself to be drafted as the new ARA. (To minimize confusion, Dana Arnim will be known as D1, while Dana Sullivan will have to make do with D2.)
Both our leadership teams and the Advisory Committee have decided that along with the change in “management” there will be a shift away from our traditional programming. The Regional Teams of the last several years (RAs & ARAs) have created world class programming for our region. The Professional Series Meetings, Annual Conference, Retreats, Inside Story, and more, have enriched all of our professional lives and provided unmatched opportunities for networking and community building. However, as an all-volunteer organization, these activities took a heavy toll on the lives of those dedicated volunteers. Although none of the Advisory Committee members wanted to lose any of those events, some reorganization and downsizing was necessary for us to continue the region in a sustainable manner that’s in keeping with the guidelines from SCBWI.
We reviewed comments from our membership, analyzed the structure of our many offerings, and considered how to maximize the benefits to our members while streamlining the workload for our volunteers. In so doing, we’ve come up with a different kind of yearly programming. Instead of a set of structured meetings for which our local SCBWI members sign up in advance, this upcoming season will consist of a variety of the popular events you’ve come to expect – our Fall Agent meeting at SPU, the Weekend on the Water Writer’s Retreat, a number of Kid Lit Drink Nights, our two Inside Story events, The Great Critique, (taking place in the summer), and of course, our Annual Conference in April. We’ve also come up with some new events – an Art Show for our illustrators at the Washington State Convention Center, at least one Open Mic Night, a joint Illustrator retreat with the Oregon SCBWI chapter and an alternative style, additional, kind of writer’s retreat. So, although some of you may miss our regularly scheduled monthly meeting series, we think you’ll like our new, exciting and sustainable season just as much!
[A clarification: Some of you have considered the purchase of your Professional Meeting Series Passport as a kind of “local SCBWI membership”. Actually, it was never more than our local programming, not “membership” per se. Membership in SCBWI means joining the organization that is international and based in Los Angeles. So, any of you who partook of our regional programming without joining SCBWI International were not members. If you want to join SCBWI or renew your membership, please go to www.scbwi.org. ]
We’re looking forward to participating with all of you in the coming events!
Brenda Winter Hansen