Thursday, July 31, 2014

SCBWI Summer Conference! Read all about it!

OMG. I so totally  can't believe I'm here!

I am about to experience my very first  SCBWI Summer Conference. And, quite frankly, I'm terrified. This hotel is huge. I got lost in a mall that made Northgate look like a roadside stand. I drank one too many mojitos, and realized after the fact that I tipped a restaurant a ridiculously large amount. I am surrounded by incredibly talented and interesting people, who are probably way more talented and interesting than I am.

But I am here. To learn, to network, to write, and to reconnect to that creative energy I've neglected between carpools and Facebook posts.

The whole kit and caboodle begins tomorrow, and I am here to enlist you to join me! If you are looking for a distraction from all the Seafair madness, or the unbearable heat (kidding). Or if you're just plain eager to hear what's going on down here for the next four days,'re in luck!

And you won't be a penny poorer.

SCBWI Team Blog, an intrepid quartet of individuals who will blog about dozens of panels, keynotes, and workshops, will be busily keeping you updated. Topics, pithy comments, and a general sense of who and what are the hot topics. Without even leaving the comforts of your chaise lounge, you, too, can come along.

Here's to Lee Wind, and SCBWI-WWA's Women of Witty (and Wise) Words: our very own Martha Brockenbrough, Jolie Stekly, and Jaime Temairik. They make it all possible, and their fingers will be raw by Monday.

How do you partake in all the goodness? Go to To follow along on Twitter, follow #la14scbwi and @scbwi.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you may be––and wish me luck!

–Emily Russin

From geek to goth to... good news

Member Stephanie Kuehnert, who just moved to Seattle and says she already loves the Western Washington kidlit community, just sold her YA memoir to Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton. The book, which Dutton says will be “zine-style,” will chronicle the author’s transformation, during her teen years, “from geek to grunge to goth to grrrl.” Through prose, as well as things like lists and zine pages, Kuehnert also tackles darker material, discussing her struggles with self-injury and a relationship that spiraled into emotional abuse.

Stephanie, who has also published two YA novels with MTV Books, will also be teaching a yearlong class in young adult fiction at Hugo House that starts in September.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not scared of book launches!

Member Dan Richards would love to have you join him for the launch of his debut picture book, The Problem With Not Being Scared Of Monsters, illustrated by Robert Neubecker, on Wednesday, August 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park.

There will be food, prizes, free stuff and even a live comedy performance by the author! Find more details (and maybe RSVP) on Facebook here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

REGISTER: Illustrator's retreat open to all!

Registration for the upcoming 2014 SCBWI Joint WWA/OR Illustrators’ Retreat is now open to all comers! Members from any region and non-members alike can register for the few remaining spots and join us at the Dumas Bay Centre in Federal Way on October 3 – 5.

  • Oregon-ers: we would love to have a bunch more of you coming!
  • Everyone else: Come join us for a great weekend of art education and inspiration with illustrators Sergio Ruzzier and Kelly Murphy.
Get more info or sign up.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A, B, C you there!

I hope to see all my SCBWI friends from A to Z at Secret Garden Books on Friday, August 8, at 7 p.m. for the launch party of my book, Kay Kay's Alphabet Safari!

This book was inspired by the Star of Hope Centre for Children in Kenya and the sweeties at Secret Garden are donating a portion of my evening's sales to this amazing school and orphanage!!

Come and load up for the kids!

––Dana S.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Conference attendance (and revision) pay off!

Member Sara Nickerson has good news to share: her middle-grade novel has sold to editor Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton Books for Summer 2015 publication. THE SECRETS OF BLUEBERRIES (IN SPECTACULAR 3-D) revolves around 12 year-old Missy who, when asked to be maid of honor in her father’s wedding, devises a plan to ruin his big day. Agent Liza Pulitzer Voges at Eden Street brokered the deal.

Sara gave us the backstory, saying, "2011 was my first LA Conference. I signed up for a critique and was lucky to be paired with Julie. Her notes were spot-on and helped shape the revision of this story. It wasn’t an instant deal, but following up on that connection two years later is what led to this contract."

Congratulations, Sara!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kid Lit Drink Night! TONIGHT!

Be there, or be that four-sided thingy:

Nina Laden addresses the Hachette/Amazon controversy

For those who may have missed it, member Nina Laden has a guest column in this past Sunday’s Seattle Times addressing the Hachette/Amazon controversy.  Go Nina! 

—Contributed by Kjersten Hayes

Illustrators' Retreat opens to all on Monday

Are you still pondering the Illustrators’ Retreat?

On Monday, July 28, registration for the upcoming 2014 SCBWI Joint WWA/OR Illustrators’ Retreat becomes open to anyone! This means that members from any region and non-members alike can register for the few remaining spots and join us at the Dumas Bay Centre in Federal Way on October 3 – 5.
  • WWA-ers: if you got a "sold out" message when you tried to register, you can try again starting on Monday.
  • Oregon-ers: we would love to have a bunch more of you coming!
  • Everyone else: Come join us for a great weekend of art education and inspiration with illustrators Sergio Ruzzier and Kelly Murphy.
But don’t delay! We were two-thirds full on the first day of registration, so the last few spots are going to fly. Get more info now, or sign up on Monday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fame for Stephanie

Member Stephanie Guerra — who (flash-forward!) will be presenting at one of our Professional Series Meetings this upcoming season — is featured in this month's City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture newsletter for her work with incarcerated youth.

She’s also a City Artist for Seattle; check out out her City Artist profile, too. (And keep your calendars handy, since it won't be long before we announce dates and programs for our fall and winter programming.)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Authors needed for literacy classes

Here's a fun summer opportunity that could make a difference in a kid's reading life!

The Discovery Club, an intensive summer literacy program for low-income students entering first and second grade, is looking for local authors to make a one-time class visit. The program targets a school where two-thirds of students their age test well below state reading standards; our students are those who are significantly below grade level. Our goal is to raise reading levels and instill a love of reading.

For 8 weeks (June 30–August 22) students will attend Discovery Club at Imagine Children's Museum in Everett, following a nationally tested reading curriculum designed to build and enhance their reading skills. They will also select and research a topic of their choosing to self-author a book by the end of the summer.

Discovery Club is seeking authors who could come and read a book that they've authored, talk about the writing/illustration process, and how reading has influenced your life.

If you are interested and available to come please contact the volunteer manager at or call 425-258-1006, extension 1016.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Get those calendars ready!

 Yes, it's summer. [insert applause and much slathering of sunscreen here] But that doesn't mean we aren't busy thinking of those upcoming months of damp and gloom. Fear not! We have many remedies for those darker days to come, and it's time to get those calendars out for some wonderful events to look forward to!

Our schedule is now set, and we can finally share the following informational goodies with you:

July 14 – Registration opens for our first ever Illustrators’ Retreat.  (October 3-5, Dumas Centre)
at the Dumas Bay Centre in Federal Way October 3–5.

August 1 – The application period opens for our annual Weekend on the Water Writers’ Retreat. (November 7-9, Dumas Centre)

August 15 – Registration opens for The Great Critique! (Tentatively September 20)

August 29 – Deadline for illustrators to submit work for this year’s Art Show. (November 2014– January 2015, WA State Historical Society).

September 1 - Registration opens for the 2014 – 2015 Monthly Programming Passport. Meetings will take place at Demaray Hall on the SPU campus on the third Thursday of every month from October through May (expect for April, when we’ll be presenting our Annual Conference).
May (expect for April, when we’ll be presenting our Annual Conference). The Passport gets SCBWI members admission to all of the monthly programming for one low price of $40 (except for the individual critiques and master classes in October, which require additional payment.)

All members will receive email invitations to register for these events separately. Public registration for non-members will be available for each event at later dates that vary by event. Stay tuned for complete details of our exciting monthly programming!

Stay tuned for complete details and frequent updates of our exciting monthly programming!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Kid's Graphic Novel Workshop Thursday!

This Thursday, from 3 - 4, Dana Sullivan (usually known as the Good Dana) will be helping kids 6-10 years old make their own (short) graphic novels at Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge Island. We'll be featuring the work of Dav Pilkey, because he's a genius and because the kids have never heard of Dana. But maybe you have, so bring some kids and join the fun. And remember, the ferry serves beer, just sayin'.  Check Eagle Harbor's website, in case I forgot something important. Like, "must be 21 to drink beer," and stuff. Hope to see you!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Still plenty of time to go down in history

Artists, you wanna be part of SCBWI Western Washington's winter exhibit at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma this year, dontcha? Good thing you've still got plenty of time to submit your art for consideration!

Submission deadline: Friday, August 29, 2014.
The show will be held November 2014 through January 2015, and the exhibit space is adjacent to the museum store and open to the public free of charge. So who knows how famous you could become! Here's what — and who — is eligible for this glory:
  • Submitted artwork, whether existing work or created specifically for the exhibit, must be inspired by the events, myths, landscape, and history of Washington State. 
  • Artwork in all media will be considered. 
  • Exhibiting artists must be SCBWI members and live in the Western Washington region.  
Find more details and submission instructions on our website. Thanks to member Craig Orback for his Wagon Train illustration above. (See how this fame thing works?)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Illustrators: SI call for entries

Applications are now open for The Society of Illustrators Original Art Show 2014. Printed books or F&Gs for books published in 2013/2014 are eligible for this prestigious show; publishers often enter but illustrators can enter themselves, too (although self-published titles are not eligible). A few details:

Exhibition dates: October 22 - December 20, 2014
Application deadline: Friday, July 18, 2014
Entry fee: $30 per title, or $20 for SI members submitting their own work
Jury: David Gordon, Bagram Ibatoulline, Donna Mark, Kelly Murphy, Elizabeth Sayles, Yuko Shimizu, and Paula Wiseman

Get full details, eligibility requirements, and entry instructions.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Eastside SCBWI Write-In Group Forming

Members Dori Butler (who's new to the region) and Lisa Owens are starting a weekly writing and support group (not a critique group) on the Eastside, and they're looking for others to join them. Dori says, "There's something powerful about sitting away from the distractions of home and writing together. In Iowa our format was to show up and write for several hours, then have lunch and talk about writing, business, promotion, goal setting, whatever. I'd like a similar format here."

They'll start with Tuesdays, beginning July 8, at Crossroads Bellevue, which has a large commons, free parking, public transit, coffee, and lunch options. "Lisa and I will be there at 10:00. We'll plan on writing until noon, then breaking for lunch and chat. This will be a weekly event, so if you can't make it next week, join us any Tuesday at Crossroads.  Email questions to or Hope to see some of you there!"