Monday, March 30, 2015


We have a late-breaking news flash about our 
SCBWI Western Washington Conference!
After this year, we will be producing our beloved conference EVERY OTHER YEAR
Don't worry––we will be creating other valuable and exciting programming for next April in place of the conference. However, if you have been on the fence about signing up for this year's conference, NOW IS THE TIME TO REGISTER
We won't be offering this kind of experience again until 2017.

Why is this happening, you may wonder…. In order to create a schedule that our hardworking volunteers can sustain, we've decided to alternate retreats and conferences. Another advantage to this alternating schedule is that we know it's often difficult to choose which special event to spend your dollars on. If you've only been able to attend one event per year, you can do so without needing to make the choice between two great options.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

April author/illustrator events


YA = young adult
MG = middle grade
PB = picture book
NF = nonfiction

University Book Store
Third Place Books
Elliott Bay Book Company
Secret Garden Books
Seattle Central Library 

April 1, 7PM
Christa Pierce, Do You Know That I Love You? (PB)
University Bookstore, Bellevue

April 3, 6PM
Christa Pierce, Do You Know That I Love You? (PB)
University Bookstore, Bellevue

April 4, 7PM
Christa Pierce, Do You Know That I Love You? (PB)
Third Place Books, Ravenna

April 10, 11:30AM
Heather Brewer, Victoria Aveyard, Danielle Paige, and Sara Raasch, The Cemetery Boys, Red Queen, The Wicked Will Rise, and Snow Like Ashes (YA)
University Bookstore, U-District

April 12, 1PM
Middle-Grade Mania
Authors include: Steven Arntson, Faith Harkey, Marcia Wells, and Greg Trine
The Trap, Genuine Sweet, Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery in Mayan Mexico, Willy Maykit in Space (MG)
University Bookstore, Bellevue

April 17, 1PM
Neil Gaiman, American Gods, Sandman comics, Coraline (YA)
University Bookstore, HUB Ballroom
Tickets are $18 for University and $35 for General Admission

April 18, 6:30PM
Gretchen Wing, Headwinds, and The Flying Burgowski (MG)
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park

April 22, 7PM
Caroline Allen, Earth (YA)
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park

Django Weller, The Mad Apprentice (MG, YA)
University Bookstore, U-District

April 28, 7PM
Jackson Pearce, Maggie Stiefvater, Pip Bartlett’s Guide To Magical Creatures (MG)
University Bookstore, U-District

April 28, 7PM
Richard Wagamese, Medicine Walk (YA)
Seattle Central Library

April 29, 7PM
Jackson Pearce, Maggie Stiefvater, Pip Bartlett’s Guide To Magical Creatures (MG)
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park

April 30, 7PM
Sabaa Tahir, An Ember In The Ashes (YA)
University Bookstore, U-District

April Northern Network meeting

Northern Network Meeting of SCBWI

Spring is POPping up all over, and we’re going to meet on April 1st (no fooling!) to look at pop-up books!

Elisa Claassen has an extensive collection of pop-up books, and she will bring some for us to look at. So plan to pop in to our meeting!

Date: Wednesday, April 1
Time: 7pm
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.]

Monday, March 23, 2015

All things conference!

Hello, all you conference-registrants and potential conference attendees:

Several reminders and updates.

1) The special weekend rate for conference-goers at the Redmond Marriott ends this 
this coming Friday, March 27. The rate for our group is currently $109, and it goes up
after this week. If you are on the fence and need extra motivation, here it is! The 
entire weekend's offerings are so much more bang for your buck when you actually
save a few on your room. Just saying....
2) The Illustrator Intensives are now sold out. 
3) The Roundtables are going fast, with a couple of sessions already sold out. If you 
are hoping for someone to give you feedback, please don't miss out. It's always popular
and is the only way to get professional feedback on your works in progress.
4) Kid Lit Drink Night is for anyone and everyone, regardless of attending the conference. 

That's all for now. Please consider joining us if you're still undecided. We have a lot of fun, and
there's a whole community waiting to support and inspire you!


And so they met....and how!

At Seattle Pacific University, in Demaray Hall. They shuffled and skipped and loped and meandered until they found their seats.

And then, dear readers, they learned.

So, so much!

Read on, and let this be an inspiration to you to attend future meetings in which the transmission of wisdom and experience and creativity and ambition end up happily scrambled in your brains. As always, we look forward to seeing everyone there.

But I digress.

Jennifer Bradbury, right, with Stephanie Guerra.
Last Thursday, March 19, our chapter had itself a humdinger of a meeting. First up, YA authors Jennifer Bradbury and Stephanie Guerra talked COLLABORATION.

These two former critique-group-mates decided to work on a project, which has turned into an upcoming early chapter book series. Besides being individually talented and prolific, they discussed how two writers with very distinct personalities and ideas pushed through the creative process. Through mutual respect, patience, negotiation, and pure enjoyment, they figured out how to elevate the work by staying true to their best ideas.

The result will the Zach and Lucy series (Simon Spotlight), which hits shelves soon. While publication was a bonus in their initial decision to tackle a collaborative effort, both writers agreed that, above all, they made it work because they placed their friendship above everything else.

Who could possibly follow such inspirational writers? LIBRARIANS, that's who!

Librarians let loose! Our esteemed panel shares the importance of reaching kids.

Brenda Winter-Hansen moderated a panel of five (count 'em!) librarians from Seattle Public Library branches and Seattle Public Schools. They represented everything from board books and storytimes to middle-school and elementary school.

What's on their minds? We wanted to know, and they told us:

1) Diversity. They crave books that reflect their children, from ethnic backgrounds to various life experiences.

2) Hand-sells. You kinda had to be there, but each librarian had a few titles that they encouraged kids to wrap their minds around. If, for nothing else, than to get them to look beyond the predictable series-to-series pattern.

3) How to get your book into the library. Go to the library. Tell them you're a local author. Even stealthier, get your friends to request your books and they will order more copies. Meet the librarians. They won't bite. Come talk to them, establish a relationship, and offer to do a Teen book group or a storytime, or a talk.

4) Reach out to the most under-served kids. This is a priority. A book in the hands of a kid who attends a tougher school might not own their own books. Come to these schools, out of the goodness of your heart, because they just don't have the money to pay you for your appearance. But it makes a difference.

Conference reason Number Four!

Conference reason Number Four!

Number Four: The Nuggets

Our conference provides opportunities aplenty for unforgettable nuggets of wisdom to sneak into your consciousness. Call it serendipity, or just plain coincidence, but the magic tends to occur during the panel or keynote you weren't so sure you were going to bother with. Not an illustrator? Gee, then how come you can't stop thinking about that artist's concept of "play"? Not a writer? So how did that part about the freedom to fail get stuck on Replay in your head? That is why conferences are so great: we listen, sure, but when we really HEAR, it's usually the nuggets we least expect that get our attention––and stay there.

Conference faculty profile: Julie Paschkis

Picture-books are Julie Paschkis' passion!

Author and illustrator Julie Paschkis says, “Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do I. I like to paint whenever and wherever possible.” Julie has illustrated over 20 picture books for children (some of which she has written). The books are all different because the paintings are made to bring the text to life, but they are united by a love of color and pattern, and by a respect for the children and the readers. Her illustrations have been honored by the New York Times, The Americas Award, Kirkus and Horn Book. Julie also creates paintings, designs textiles, and makes quilts. Most of her work tells stories, and much of it is inspired by a love of folk art. “I don’t care much about the boundaries between high and low art; I find equal joy in creating art for a greeting card, a book or an installation in a gallery. Good work is good in any genre.”

Website: Julie Paschkis

Article: Seattle Magazine, 2011 

Julie's conference schedule:

 Roundtable Critique Sessions

Conference reason Number Five!

Conference reason Number Five!

Number Five: The tables aren't square

[WARNING: Bad Joke Ahead!]

Because they're ROUND!! Get it? Our conference features our most popular add-on, the Roundtable Critique Session. Last year, folks who were too late to sign up for the Roundtables stood outside the conference rooms, hoping for an empty chair at the not-square tables. But we sold out so fast, and our waiting list was so deep, we had to turn people away. It wasn't pretty. This year, we wanted everyone and then some to have a chance to experience this amazing event, so we added MORE. This year's conference will feature Roundtables––led by VIP faculty guests and local luminaries––on both Friday and Sunday. You'll be getting direct feedback from industry experts. Your work will benefit. You will emerge on the other side with a new confidence, and an excitement about your craft. Sometimes, it isn't hip to be square (oops, I did it again!), so sign up for a Roundtable Session, coming soon to a Redmond Marriott near you!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fiction Magician Deb Lund

"Abracadabra" isn't just a word in the beginning of the dictionary. Our very own Inside Story maven, picture book author, and teacher Deb Lund has developed a magic card deck designed to help your story find its way into the world. With extensive motivational prompts and tips, Deb's Fiction Magic will push you toward your writing goals. In her presentation next weekend, Deb will talk you through her tricks and help you apply them to your own work. Bring your manuscripts, your outlines, your laptop, or a single idea. Let Deb work her magic, and you're on your way!

SATURDAY, MARCH 28 from 2–3:30pm at the Mukilteo Library

Graphic Artists Guild March workshop

Graphic Artists Guild March Workshop
Designing for the Game Industry

Wednesday, March 25th   12-1:30pm

Seattle Design Center
5701 6th Ave. S.
Seattle WA 98108

How do you get started in game design?
What background do you need?
What are the companies and how do you get your foot in the door?

Our gaming panel is ready to answer these are more questions in this month's fun and informative roll through the dramatic landscape of gaming.

Details and ticket information:

Janet 's book arrives!

You're invited to a Book Birthday Party for:
In The Time of Dragon Moon by Janet Lee Carey
WHERE: Parkplace Books, 348 Parkplace Center, Kirkland WA
WHEN: Saturday March 28 at 4pm

Janet Lee Carey

COME: Authors, Illustrators, Friends, Families, Dragons & Fairies  
ENJOY: Food, Wine, and Fun (don't miss Peggy King Anderson's chocolate éclairs!)
WEAR: Costumes if you please, or come in comfy jeans & tees
MAKE: Dragon's-Egg Shakers
PLAY: Percussion for the Mighty Dragon Dance!

HELP: us fill the Nature Conservancy’s 
Save the Rainforest jar.  
For more about the book and its author: JanetLeeCarey!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Can't wait till THURSDAY!

Don't miss this one!

This month's Professional Series program meeting will be one for the books...literally! From authors to librarians sharing their inside stories, you'll come away with a huge appreciation for the way words find their way to you. 

Featuring: TWO stellar local authors (below) and (count 'em) five local librarians from schools and branches of the Seattle Public Library, who will cover a variety of topics from tips for planning an author/illustrator visit, to strategies for getting your books on their shelves.

WHEN: This THURSDAY, March 19 from 7–9pm

WHERE: Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall

Monday, March 16, 2015

Conference faculty profile: Tricia Lawrence

Not-so-secret agent: Tricia Lawrence will critique your work during the Roundtable sessions.

An associate agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency (“Pacific Northwest branch”), Tricia Lawrence was born and raised in Oregon, and now lives in Seattle. After 19 years of working as a developmental and production-based editor (from kids books to college textbooks, but mostly college textbooks), she joined the Erin Murphy team in March 2011 as a social media strategist. As associate agent, Tricia represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong world-building, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won't let go. Tricia has way too many books and not enough bookshelves.

Twitter: @authorblogger

Blogs: and 

Tricia's conference schedule:

––Roundtable Critique Sessions for Writers

Conference faculty profile: Kirby Larson

Kirby's coming to a Roundtable near you!

Kirby Larson went from history-phobe to history fanatic while writing the 2007 Newbery Honor Book, Hattie Big Sky. Her passion for historical fiction is reflected in titles such as The Fences Between UsThe Friendship Doll, as well as the sequel to Hattie Big Sky,Hattie Ever After and her two latest titles, Duke and Dash. In 2006, Kirby began a collaboration with her good friend Mary Nethery, which resulted in two award-winning nonfiction picture books: Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival and Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle. Kirby lives in Kenmore, Washington with her husband, Neil, and Winston the Wonder Dog. When she’s not reading or writing, Kirby enjoys beach combing, bird watching, and traveling. She owns a tiara and is not afraid to use it!

Twitter: @KirbyLarson

Kirby's conference schedule:

––Roundtable Critique Sessions for Writers

Conference reason Number Six!

Number Six: *F.F.F.

What's with the mysterious triple-F? It stands for *Freaking Fantastic Faculty. Because they are. From agents to art directors, editors to authors and illustrators, our assemblage is the most bang for your buck in a three-day extravaganza ANYWHERE. You are in not just capable hands, but The. Very. Best. Let their wisdom and experience sink in, and you will leave full of exciting strategies and directions for your own work. Now that's Freaking Fantastic. For a list of everyone gracing us with their presence, please click here––and check out the in-depth Chinook Update posts about each and every one!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Conference reason Number Seven!

Number Seven: Make some new PALs!

Register for the conference, and you get the opportunity to rub elbows with Published and Listed authors/illustrators in your own area. The PAL Showcase features recently published books by writers and artists in our chapter, and all are welcome to peruse their accomplishments through an ongoing slide show and the conference bookstore. Our conference is a fantastic place to meet some PALs and make some friends!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Conference reason Number Eight!

Number Eight: Fly a Crystal Kite!

Our very own Crystal Kite winner and keynote speaker Nina Laden will soar along with you, taking you through her journey and experiences as a best-selling and beloved picture-book author and illustrator. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

SCBWI Crystal Kite deadline

It's that time of year again––time to submit your book for consideration for SCBWI's 2014 Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards.


For all the guidelines and to recheck whether your book is eligible, please click here.

Conference faculty profile: Jolie Stekly

Goddess of SCBWI: Jolie knows all when it comes to conferences!

Author and blogger Jolie Stekly is a woman of many talents. She teaches at the University of Washington’s Continuing Education Writing for Children program; is a fitness instructor; was a former SCBWI Co-Regional Advisor who, in 2009, earned the honor of being named SCBWI Member of the Year. Jolie is also a fast-typing member of SCBWI's Team Blog, which offers live blogging at the organization’s annual summer and winter conferences. 

Twitter: @cuppajolie


Jolie's conference schedule:

––Saturday 7:30–8am
Conference Orientation for First-Time Attendees

Conference faculty profile: Genevieve Nine

Genevieve Nine is looking for authors!

Genevieve Nine has always been drawn to the fantastic, the curious, and the unexpected. As a recently promoted agent at Andrea Hurst Literary Management, she’s looking to represent authors who weave layered tales with well-developed worlds and characters that threaten to burst from the page of middle-grade and young adult fiction: fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, contemporary realism (especially with an element of humor), historical and retellings.

Twitter: @GenevieveNine

Genevieve's conference schedule:
––Roundtable Critique Sessions for Writers

Conference reason Number Nine!

Number Nine: Push past your fears.

You don't have to go it alone. Keynote speaker and award-winning author Sharon Flake will talk you through the throes of draft anxiety in her talk titled "How to Get Published in Spite of Yourself." More than that, you can even GO UP TO HER and ASK HER A QUESTION. This weekend is all about rethinking your comfort zone. Especially if that zone involves a quiet corner and your trusty laptop. Ready? Rev those registration engines! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Top 10 reasons to attend our conference!

 How many reasons are there to register for our annual conference?
We can think of HUNDREDS, but we came up with our Top Ten. 

 Number Ten: Prizes! 

Win a prize for the best jokes. Win a prize for just showing up. 

BONUS: Consider yourself a prize-winner for simply registering before the EARLY BIRD DEADLINE THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 13. SCBWI members only pay $185 for the Saturday-only option, and non-members pay $235. After March 13, the cost for standard tuition is $210 for members, $260 for non-members. As we like to say, "Those Early Birds get the Words! And one heck of a deal for all the amazing programming we have planned!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Conference faculty profile: Amber J. Keyser

Amber Keyser will take us to the edge of YA in April!

Amber Keyser is a former ballerina and evolutionary biologist, who writes both fiction and nonfiction for tweens and teens. Her newest book is Sneakers Unlaced: A History of Athletic Shoes (Twenty-First Century Books). Forthcoming titles include The Way Back from Broken, a YA contemporary novel from Carolrhoda Lab (Fall 2015) and The V-Word, an anthology of essays about first-time sexual experiences from Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster (spring 2016). She is also the co-author with Kiersi Burkhart of the middle- grade series Second Chance Ranch (Darby Creek, 2016). 

Twitter: @amberjkeyser

Interviews: meet the authorViva Scriva; YouTube video

Amber's conference schedule:

––Saturday, 1:05–2:05
Breakout session 2-C, "Down and Dirty:  An Author and Editor Talk About Teens, Sex and the Edge in YA" (with Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster editor Michelle McCann)

Conference faculty profile: Mandy Hubbard

Mandy Hubbard, double-threat: Published author AND literary agent!

Literary agent Mandy Hubbard joined D4EO Literary in February 2010, specializing in YA and MG fiction. Her clients include Cindy Callaghan (Lost in London, 2013, Aladdin Mix), Joy Hensley (Rites of Passage, Harper, 2014), and Jessica Martinez (Kiss Kill Vanish, Harper, 2014). Mandy signed local author Kelly Jones after critiquing her work during a roundtable critique session at Western Washington's SCBWI conference in 2013, and that novel, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, is forthcoming from Knopf in 2015. She's also the author of 11 YA novels, including Prada & Prejudice and Fool Me Twice.

Twitter: @MandyHubbard

Blog: ; author/agent blog

Interviews: Literary Rambles; teens can write too

Mandy's conference schedule:

Roundtable Critique Sessions for Writers

Conference faculty profile: Clelia Gore


Clelia Gore

 As an agent and Literary and Media Manager at Martin Literary Management, Clelia Gore is based on Mercer Island and specializes in books for children and young adults. Clelia is a former attorney from New York City, but much prefers her life in Seattle representing talented authors and illustrators and helping to bring quality books to children. After practicing law, she received a Masters degree in publishing and writing from Emerson College in Boston. 

Twitter: @MadmoiselleClel

Interviews: Michelle4laughs blog; kristavandolzer blog


Clelia's conference schedule:

––Roundtable Critique Sessions for Writers







Monday, March 9, 2015

2015 Golden Kite Award Winners

For everyone who wasn't aware of the winning titles for this year's SCBWI Golden Kite Award Winners, here you go. Peruse the list and read all about them here. It's quite an array, and now I have too many books on my list. (SCBWI-member problems. Sheesh.)

You're welcome!

Sharon Mentyka's book launch

 Join local author Sharon Mentyka and illustrator Stephen Schlott on Friday, March 13, 7–9pm  at Secret Garden Books, in Ballard for the book party and launch for B IN THE WORLD, a chapter book for kids ages 5 and up and the people who love them, that takes an open-hearted, kids-eyed view of what it means to be “different” and celebrates children for who they are meant to be, not how others want to label them. 
B IN THE WORLD tells the story of B, who "wasn’t really sure why one day he felt like wearing overalls and a flannel shirt, and the next day woke up wishing he could dress like his sister Patti-Anne.” The book is intended for both children and families who may have personal experience with gender non-conforming children but is also appropriate for all families interested in teaching tolerance and broadening their understanding of gender diversity. Kids are welcome! There will be dress-up activities and cupcakes! More information is available at the book’s 

West Sound Drink Night this Wednesday

Another West Sound Kid Lit Drink Night! Are you coming?

WHEN: Wednesday, March 11 at 6pm 
WHERE: The Loft in Poulsbo (we'll meet in the bar)

Hope to see you there!

Orback is back with new illo classes

Children's Book Illustration Classes with Craig Orback

Local illustrator Craig Orback has some new Children's Book Illustration classes, starting soon in Seattle, Bellevue and Edmonds:

Children's Book Illustration I:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Conference faculty profile: Christa Heschke

Christa Heschke will demystify the process of writing a mystery.

Christa Heschke started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. As an agent at McIntosh & Otis, where she has been in the Children's Literature Department since 2009, she is actively looking for picture books, middle grade, and young adult projects. She graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology.

Twitter: @ChristaHeschke


Christa's conference schedule:

––Saturday, 8:30–9:15am
Agent/Editor/Art Director panel 

––Saturday, 10:20–11:20am
Breakout session 1-E, "Writing an Engaging Mystery: Atmosphere, Tension, Pacing, and Premise"

––Saturday, 1:05–2:05pm
Breakout session 2-D, "Picture Books 101: From Coming Up With an Idea to Querying"

Conference faculty profile: Rachel Orr

Rachel will turn your Flat opening pages into Fab ones!

Rachel Orr is celebrating her eighth year as an agent at the Prospect Agency, celebrating her eighth year there. She previously worked for eight rewarding years at HarperCollins Children's Books, and uses those editorial skills to help prepare her clients’ work for submission. Her clients include a wide-range of picture- book authors, illustrators, and middle-grade/YA novelists, including Kit Alloway (Dreamfire), Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (Tyrannosaurus Wrecks!), Cori Doerrfeld (Matilda in the Middle), and Jennifer Latham (Scarlett Undercover). Rachel also teaches an online course on middle grade novel writing through She lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, with her husband and two young children. She has no spare time but, if she did, she would spend it dancing, running and reading, of course.

Twitter: @RachelOrr

As the Eraser Burns
Wading Through Words 
The Wardrobe Journal

Rachel's conference schedule:

––Saturday, 8:30–9:15am
Agent/Editor/Art Director panel

––Saturday, 1:05–2:05pm
Breakout session 2-E, "Beginnings: From Flat to Fab"

––Saturday, 2:20–3:20pm
Breakout session 3-A, "The Critical Art of Revision"

Conference faculty profile: Jennifer Rofé

Agent Jennifer Rofé is looking for "adorkable" heroes.

Jennifer Rofé, an agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, represents projects ranging from picture books to young adult, with middle grade being her soft spot. Some of her representative titles include: the middle grade novels The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice and How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won A Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen; the young adult novels Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina, which won the Pura Belpré Award in 2014, and Finding Paris by Joy Preble; and the picture books 123 Versus ABC by Mike Boldt and The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha Vamos. Jennifer also represents illustrators Eliza Wheeler, Wes Hargis, and Mary Peterson. Jennifer is always looking for fresh and distinct voices; smart, layered, and complex worlds; stories that simultaneously tug at her heartstrings and make her laugh out loud; and "adorkable" heroes. For more on Jennifer’s interests and the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, please visit

Twitter: @jenrofe


Literary Rambles: Agent Spotlight
The Brown Bookshelf
Middle-Grade Ninja

Jennifer's conference schedule:

––Saturday, 8:30–9:15am
Agent/Editor/Art Director panel

––Saturday, 10:20–11:30am
Breakout session 1-B, "Strong First Pages"

––Saturday, 2:20–3:20pm
Breakout session 3-B, "Don't Be Weary, It's Just a Query"