Thursday, August 28, 2014

Oregon retreat correction

Minor correction — Matt Ringler, one of the faculty members for the Oregon retreat in October hawked just below (or earlier this morning if you're reading in your inbox), is actually an editor at Scholastic. (It's one of those S publishers, anyway... you know, we love them all!)

You'd still enjoy getting to meet him, we're betting. Check it out. (Scroll down all of one post for more details.)

Oregon retreat opportunity

Can't make our Western Washington retreat in November? Oregon still has spaces and manuscript critique spots at their south-of-our-border retreat on October 16-19, which will be held at Oregon Gardens Resort in Silverton (near Salem). Faculty will be Ariel Richardson and Matt Ringler, editors at Chronicle and Simon and Schuster, respectively, plus agents Fiona Kenshole with Transatlantic Agency and Danielle Smith with Red Fox Literary. Get full details or register here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The deadline approacheth!

We're nearing the end of the submission period! If you're interested in joining the always-spectacular Weekend on the Water writer's retreat, please click here.

You will NOT be sorry!

Monday, August 25, 2014


And.... time's about up!

Illustrators — submissions for the SCBWI WWA Illustrator Exhibit this October in Tacoma are due by the end of the day this Friday. And there's still room for yours. Do it now!

While the entire scope of Washington’s state history is fair game for your artwork, contemporary life can be inspiration too, as well as the remarkable beauty of the landscape and cityscapes we live in. So bring it on! Submission details are here.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Get your big-kid pants on and sign up!

Hey y'all, there are still a few spots available for our Sept. 13 Great Critique, which is one of your best chances this year to get kind, gentle, and yet constructive feedback on your work from a pro so you can make it more outstanding than ever.

Both writers and illustrators can benefit, and — hey! — there will be chocolate and other desserts available to soothe any wounds.

You know the drill: Click here for more details and to ensure your spot in the spotlight... and in future success!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Last chance to apply!

You've still got time!

Apply for this year's fantastic SCBWI Western Washington Weekend on the Water Professional Writers' Retreat. You just must have your application submitted by August 30.

The retreat will be held November 7 - 9 at Dumas Bay Centre. Our faculty will be Andrew Karre,  Editorial Director at Carolrhoda Books, and Sara Crowe, literary agent with Harvey Klinger, Inc. 

Plus, this is the opportunity many of you have been asking for: a more budget-minded professional writing retreat, with equally great faculty and learning opportunities but slightly simpler accommodations than at some of our past extravaganzas.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cheesy pizza bombs, food donations, and books with Lois!

Please join member Lois Brandt in celebrating the release of her first picture book, Maddi's Fridge, at dinnertime on Sept. 4. She says, "I could never have published this book without ongoing support and encouragement from you, the members of SCBWI Western Washington." She's promising to feed all comers Cheesy Pizza Bombs, plus milk or wine, and to read her story of friendship, promises, and childhood hunger.

Children are very welcome. There will be activities and kid-friendly food. (She notes that s far, Cheesy Pizza Bombs have a 100 percent approval rating with the under-16 crowd.)

Please bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Northwest Harvest.

The details:
Thursday, September 4, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
University Books, Bellevue

See ya there to munch and applaud!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book launch party!

Please come celebrate the release of Laurie Thompson's first book:


2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 14

Seattle Creative Arts Center
2601 NW Market Street, Seattle, WA 98107
(Click here for directions and parking information.)

Eat, drink, mingle, hear more about the book from the author, and—best of all—meet some local teens who are already changing the world! Laurie's asking for RSVPs so she knows exactly how excited her guest teens should get:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kid Lit Drink Night TONIGHT!!

Come one, come all! It's going to be a beary, beary, good time! (Or did we mean Beery, Beery?)

Bring your journals or sketchbooks for drunken scribbling, and we'll see you there!!

Illustrators' Retreat is almost full!

Can we get a "woof-woof"?

Our Illustrators' Retreat is two spots shy of a full, roster!

If you are still on the fence, what are you waiting for? Let us throw you a bone:

It's going to be FANTASTIC. No, it's going to be OFF THE LEASH!

To register, click here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dash to Bainbridge for DASH

Member Kirby Larson is delighted about the release of her newest book, DASH, and she says, "To celebrate this companion to DUKE, I’ll be at two events on Bainbridge Island on August 28 and I’d love all my SCBWI friends to be there!"

Kirby will read excerpts at the Bainbridge Island Exclusion Memorial starting at 3 p.m. and will also host a signing event at 7 p.m. at Eagle Harbor Books. Proceeds from that day’s book sales will benefit the island's Exclusion Memorial Visitor Center Project. (The memorial's designer, Johnpaul Jones, was just awarded one of ten National Humanities Medals by President Barack Obama.)

"August 28 will be a beautiful day for a ferry ride," predicts Kirby, so go get that sunshine and join her!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mark your calendars and get ready!

Hey, everyone, mark your calendars:

It's almost time. . . to REGISTER for our monthly programming passport!

It's going to be a busy fall––with the Great Critique, Illustrators' Retreat, and the Weekend on the Water Writers' Retreat. But wait, there's more!

Our season of regular monthly programming will get underway on the third Thursday of each month beginning October 16, with an agent kickoff meeting featuring literary agent Brianne Johnson of Writers House. Brianne’s Thursday keynote presentation will be followed by one-on-one consultations and a master class on Friday, October 17.

Available to SCBWI International members and non-members alike, this first monthly event will be back on the SPU campus in Demaray Hall 150 along with our beloved Keep It Simple art spotlight for local illustrators, plus light snacks and beverages. A brief business meeting including all the good news you’ve been saving up over the summer will be followed by our headline event with Brianne. The cost for this meeting is included in the SCBWI monthly programming passport; there are additional fees to participate in the one-on-one consultations and/or the master class.  

(Those of you who are participating in the Great Critique will have just enough time to revise your work for review by Brianne.)

Passport Registration will open on September 5, 2014. 

Each of the Friday agent events has limited space and tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to act fast.
  • Passport fee for SCBWI members: $40
  • SCBWI membership (go to $80 annually, plus a one-time $15 registration fee (first year only). Priceless!
  • Passport fee for non-members: $80 

In addition to October’s keynote, your Passport will cover the cost of entry to all of the following events:

November 20
Nonfiction is the New Black: A panel discussion with local nonfiction writers

Marketing for Introverts with author Lois Brandt

December 18
10 Things I Wish I’d Known 10 Years Ago The Secrets to Surviving Life in Publishing:
an evening with author Martha Brockenbrough
Annual cookie contest and book exchange

January 15
How to Draw Bunnies (and Other Things) in Photoshop with author/illustrator Kevan Atteberry
Nail Your New Year's Resolutions: Productivity Tips and Tricks for Creative Types with author Laurie Thompson

February 19
Movie night! (film TBD)

March 19
Shhhhh! The Librarian Panel: a panel discussion about what’s hot in the stacks and how to get your work there
From Critiquing to Collaborating with authors Jennifer Bradbury and Stephanie Guerra

No meeting in April; instead plan to attend our 24th Annual Conference on April 17 - 19, 2015

May 21

Drawn to Whimsy: illustrator videos and Q&A featuring author/illustrator Wendy Wahman and illustrator Richard Jesse Watson
How to Create the Perfect Crime for Kids: mystery writing with author Dori Hillestad Butler

(Tickets will be available at the door for individual passport events: $9 for members and $15 for non-members.)

Last chance to submit!

There are only about ten days until the submission deadline to have your art considered for the SCBWI Western Washington winter exhibit at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.

Submission deadline: Friday, August 29, 2014.
  • 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.  
Remember, your illustrations must be inspired by Washington State history, myth, lore and place. Imagination and storytelling are definitely in order. Bring it on!
Find more details and submission instructions on our website.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Shenanigans with Wendy and other curly-haired friends

Member Wendy Wahman, author/illustrator of Don't Lick the Dog and other great picture books, will be at University Bookstore at Renton Landing this Saturday, August 16, at 3:00 p.m., "if anyone feels like coming," she says. Need extra incentive? She'll be bringing one or both of her poodles and will read, draw, and host the usual shenanigans. More info here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Register now for the Great Critique

Help your project go from good ... to GREAT!

SCBWI Western Washington presents THE GREAT CRITIQUE on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, from 11:30AM–3:30PM, at The Evergreen State College in Olympia

This popular event offers you the opportunity to experience a model critique group led by a published professional. Participants will receive feedback from the group leader as well as from a small group of 5 or 6 of their peers. We will do our best to place you in a group with others within the same genre. This event offers writers and illustrators a chance to experience how critiques can help strengthen their work, and offers those who already participate in a critique group feedback from a fresh set of eyes and ears.
  • WRITERS may bring a maximum of five double-spaced pages or 1200 words.
  • ILLUSTRATORS and WRITER/ILLUSTRATORS may bring a dummy or up to 5 illustration samples.
SCBWI International members pay just $10 to participate. For non-members the cost is $12. 
No observers allowed.

To register, click here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Do author visits make a difference?

Hi Folks:

I’m working on a study to provide statistics and stories to assist teachers and librarians in making a case for bringing authors and illustrators to their schools. But first, I need to “take the temperature” of anyone who has hosted an author visit at their school or library.

If you are a teacher or librarian, would you be willing to fill out this brief survey, “Do Author Visits Make a Difference?” : 

If you are an author or illustrator, would you be willing to pass this link along to your past school visit contacts? 

This study is being sponsored by the Ventura County Reading Association (California) and is the first of its kind. We’re hoping that this can offer helpful insights to schools as well as published authors and illustrators.

As you may know, since the start of the recession and the No Child Left Behind initiative, teachers and librarians have had to fight harder to convince their administrators to host an author visit. Now that it’s the era of Common Core, will it be the same, worse, or better climate for author visits?

Thanks a million for helping to get the word out!
Warmest best wishes,

Alexis O’Neill, Ph.D.
ex-RA, SCBWI Central

P.S. If you want to read more about the pilot study, please click here. 

UW's Writing for Kids webinar on WEDNESDAY

If you have ever considered applying for, or want to know more about, the University of Washington's Professional & Continuing Education/Writing for Kids program, you're invited to register for a webinar taking  place this Wednesday, August 13 at 6pm

Learn more about the Writing for Kids certificate program and chat with instructor Jolie Stekly, as well as the program director. You must register by using this link to participate. 

The UW Writing for Kids program is meant for writers of all levels who are interested in writing for kids of all ages. The program has both helped writers get started on their journeys, as well as launched them to the next level, and many graduates have found great success. The year-long (3- quarter) program provides in-depth lessons, many inspiring and knowledgeable guest speakers, and dedicated time and focus on writing and reaching your goals. 

If you have further questions, feel free to contact the UW Professional & Continuing Education, or instructor Jolie Stekly:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Register now for Weekend on the Water

It's that time of year, when you think ahead to the fall. That said, our annual Weekend on the Water writing retreat is now open for registration. Deadline for submissions to be received is August 30. We'll be in a new venue, with fabulous faculty, and we hope to see you there!

Join a bevy of fellow writers November 7–9, 2014, at the Dumas Retreat Centre in Federal Way. You will hone your craft under the expert tutelage of Andrew Karre, editorial director at Carolrhoda Books, and literary agent Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.

The theme of this year’s retreat: Know Thyself: Crafting a Durable and Personal Identity as a Writer. Through lecture and hands-on workshops, Andrew and Sara will convey how important and helpful it can be for a writer to know what his or her work is about—independent of trends or the broader market—and how this knowledge can help an individual manuscript and a writer’s long-term success.

At the retreat you will have:
Kindred souls. An inspirational setting. Time to write and learn.   
You will not have:
Dirty dishes to deal with. Meals to prepare. A dog that needs to pee at 6 AM.
Weekend on the Water also includes:
  • Two nights’ lodging in a private room with writing desk at the Dumas Bay Centre in a spectacular natural setting.
  • Six catered meals.
  • Free time for writing, walks, resting, and networking.
Participation is selective and requires an application. Acceptance will be based on a blind screening of a brief application and manuscript sample.

To register and see additional information, please click here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Kid Lit Drink Night

---art by Dana "Mo-Sen" Sullivan

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Two woots!

Can I get a "Woot-woot?

Congratulations to two of our own: Suzanne Kaufman represented for Western Washington when she was selected as one of six illustrators at the Portfolio Showcase at last weekend's SCBWI Summer Conference in LA to be awarded a mentorship. 

Kathryn Ault Noble, a steadfast Western Washington member who recently relocated out of the region, also received a mentorship. Both of these artists have attended conferences over the years, gotten portfolio reviews and worked hard to move their artwork to the next level. They’ve earned this recognition and we couldn’t be prouder!

Both Suzanne and Kathryn had the incredible opportunity of being mentored at the conference by industry professionals, a prize that is sure to put them even further into the world and before young readers' eyes. We can't wait to see their results!

I'm baaaaaack!

There is no jet leg. Only brain lag. My thoughts are leap-frogging over each other, and won't settle down.

Which isn't surprising, given that I spent five days in the belly of the beast known as the SCBWI Summer Conference. Two things I learned, right away, when I was very anxious about attending for the first time: The belly was filled with a bowlful of jelly, and there was no beast to be seen––at least not a menacing or blood-thirsty one.

My voice is hoarse. From the moment I set foot in the Super Shuttle en route to the hotel to the final moment my plane taxi-ed into its gate at Sea-Tac, I was in the company, and in deep conversations, with other SCBWI-ers.

My anticipated writing jags didn't actually materialize. I listened to keynote speeches by people I cannot believe were in the same room (Meg Rosoff, Stephen Chbowsky, Maggie Stiefvater, Megan MacDonald, Linda Sue Park, Cynthia Kadohata, Judy Blume!). I added many new Facebook friends from a seriously inspiring roster of published authors and illustrators, as well as from those who, like me, hoped to get there some day. Every last one, I realized, was part of this thing a close friend of mine described many years ago as, simply, The Tribe. I didn't always get what she meant by "Tribe," until this weekend.

I am not published, but I wasn't made to feel like I was there under any cloudy or fraudulent circumstances. I felt included and welcomed and, dare I say, embraced from the beginning. I was part of a Tribe, and I had put enough positive and open-minded energy toward the whole, populous event that the magnitude of the thing and its faculty didn't sink me.

[For more detailed accounts of the stellar panels and breakout sessions, the Conference Blog Team has outdone themselves. Click here to read all about it!]

Don't get me wrong; I was overwhelmed. But in a most excellent way.

It was organized, the vibe was laid-back, and there were numerous SCBWI-WWA faces that beamed at me all weekend through the throngs. I didn't kill myself trying to attend every single panel or session, but kept to my see-practically-every keynote strategy and managed some quiet, apple-scarfing afternoons on my sunny balcony, reading my book.

Having made it through to the other side of the conference, which I now refer to affectionately as the Best Summer Camp For Grownups Ever, I can honestly say that I am so happy about the work ahead of me. I am thrilled that I have a stronger sense of direction with which to revise and gain perspective on my own manuscript.

The words of the inimitable Judy Blume, spoken humbly from the podium on the last afternoon, will always stay with me: "Be brave."

And so I will do my darndest.

––Emily Russin

Tina's gift of stories

SCBWI-WWA's Illustration Coordinator, artist and Evergreen College alumna Tina Hoggatt has lived and created stories for decades. As a way to ensure the continuity of stories well into the future, she has created a unique scholarship at her alma mater, the Storytelling Scholarship.

If anyone you know might benefit from this extraordinary opportunity, please pass the word!

It is meant for students who work across all narrative forms, disciplines and media. This is targeted at those students who lack the financial means to continue their education, or are at risk for dropping out of college.

Kudos to Tina for such a generous and important way for future storytellers to get their voices heard!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Member Sonja Anderson is pleased to report that her Luna Crane, Papa Plane has been named a finalist in the MeeGenius Author Challenge 2014! MeeGenius creates interactive e-picture books for kids ages 0-8. The grand prize winner will be announced in mid-September, and Luna Crane, Papa Plane, which is about a young whooping crane who is migrating to Florida with her family for the first time, will be produced in 2015. Congrats, Sonja!