Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Call for Meeting and Workshop Presenters!

SCBWI Western Washington is seeking proposals for workshops and presenters for the 2018-19 programming year. We invite you to consider topics centered on elements of craft in five content areas: character, setting, plot, POV, and theme. We welcome your ideas even if you’re not sure who would be a good speaker for that topic.
Please complete this form. Our Advisory Committee will consider all suggestions as we plan for the year. We will only contact you (or the nominated speaker) if we are interested and can arrange for a venue and date. (Please don’t email to inquire). We may also hang onto suggestions for the following year.

Note that presenters may not use our events for commercial sales or self-promotion. Honorariums and other compensation are offered depending on the length and complexity of the sessions.

Deadline: May 30, 2018!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Inside Story is on May 6th!

SCBWI Western Washington, King County Library System and The Neverending Bookshop proudly present Inside Story Spring 2018!

Get under the covers with 19 local authors & illustrators as they dish the inside stories about their latest books.

Sunday, May 6, 2018
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Downtown Bellevue Library, 1111 110th Ave. NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

Trivia questions! Prizes! Hang out with authors, illustrators and LIBRARIANS! How cool is that?

The Neverending Bookshop will provide books for sale by this amazing lineup:

Peggy King Anderson            Two-Moon Journey
Michele Bacon                       Antipodes
Dori Hillestad Butler             King and Kayla
A.L. Collins                              Redworld
Kevin Emerson                       The Oceans Between Stars
Suzanne M. Kaufman           All Are Welcome
Kerri Kokias                            Snow Sisters  
Nina Laden                             Yellow Kayak
Kirby Larson                           Code Word Courage
Lisa Mantchev                        Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime!
Sarah Jane Marsh                  Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word
Diana J. Noble                        Evangelina Takes Flight         
Lisa L. Owens                          Attack On Pearl Harbor
Karen S. Robbins                    Flags Across America
Kevin John Scott                     Frederik Sandwich and the Earthquake that Couldn’t Possibly Be
Elizabeth Rose Stanton         Bub
Dana Sullivan                          My Red Velvet Cape
Wendy Wahman                     Nanny Paws
Suzanne Williams                   Thunder Girls, Freya

Monday, April 23, 2018

And the 2018-2019 SCBWI WWA Mentors are...

The 2nd Annual SCBWI Western Washington 
2018-2019 Mentorship Program

Designed to support the next generation of writers, the mentorship program will match published authors with emerging writers to answer questions and provide feedback and support over a period of six months.

Interested in being mentored? You’ll need a completed work-in-progress manuscript or portfolio, and a dedication to the craft of writing and illustration.  Look out for the application announcement in May. We will be posting more information soon.
The application categories for this year are:
1. Middle-Grade
2. Young Adult
3. Picture Book Text
4. Picture Book Text and Illustration
5. Illustration Portfolio
6. Nonfiction
Here are the fabulous mentors for this year's program:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hollie Mengert: Featured Illustrator

Hollie Mengert is our Featured Illustrator for April! Hollie is  currently a character designer and illustrator for children's literature, with a background in animation in the entertainment industry. Art, in all forms, has always made Hollie tick from a very young age, especially the ability to tell a story with drawings and paintings.

Can you briefly explain your creative process, favorite mediums, etc?
Whether working digitally, or with inks or watercolor, I always start with a sketch. It doesn't matter whether it's my story or someone else's - before going any further I want to get a rough idea down of what the characters are feeling, and what's important for the reader to see and feel. Sketching helps me keep ideas loose and change my mind often. Once I'm happy with a rough layout of background and characters, I start to lay down basic color to fit the mood of what's going on in the story. I block in the environment over the sketch. And then once I feel like I have a good sense of the colors I want to use, I start to block out characters and details. I try to keep my shapes clean, but my details a little messy. I love it when illustrations have texture to them. So I try to keep a rough brush stroke here and there.

Where do you find your ideas? Do you have a process?
Like many artists, I feel like most of my ideas come from everyday life! I try to capture moments and feelings that have affected me, whether positive or negative. I believe stories are most impactful when they are influenced by personal experience. So whether a character is a human, or a horse, or a mongoose, I try to find a common ground between that character and my own life experiences.
How do you deal with creative blocks?
Creative blocks can be so frustrating, and you never know when one will pop up! When this happens to me, I always try to change up my daily routine. Maybe that means going for a run, or getting out of my comfort zone for an activity that I wouldn't normally do.  I think a change of environment can really reset your brain. Sometimes that might mean just sketching something you wouldn't normally sketch. You might find a new idea, or even a new favorite thing to draw.
Who are your illustrator heroes?
Ooh, there are so many to choose from! The ones that come to mind first are Tove Jansson, Aurelius Battaglia , and Mary Blair. I really admire artists who push and play with shape and composition. Some of my favorite illustrations don't include a lot of rendered detail. They have just enough visual information to evoke a particular feeling in a particular part of a story.

Did you have any favorite children’s books as a child?
I had so many. My mom would always ask me to pick out books for story time. And I would come to her with a huge pile and say "a couple books!"... it was always far more than a couple. I loved the 'Miss Spider' books by David Kirk. Not only was it an art style that felt really fresh and different, I also loved his protagonist character: A large spider, with big eyelashes, who was a kind-hearted vegetarian.  It really made me think of spiders in a more sympathetic way. What more could you ask for from a children's book?
What’s inspiring you and your work right now?
Keeping things simple! When I was first learning the ins and outs of art, I tried really hard to make my paintings more detailed and rendered, and it wasn't always best for the piece. Now I find inspiration and joy in trying to simplify what I'm trying to communicate as much as possible. Rather than "what can I add?" I start to look at a painting and think, "what could I remove while still making this communicate well to the viewer?" I find a lot of inspiration in hand-drawn animation and graphic design. Both mediums often require art to be more simple so that it reads well.

Any words of wisdom you want to share?
It's never too late! I didn't find my path to illustration overnight, even though art has always inspired me. If illustration is something you're passionate about, then it is absolutely worth pursuing, no matter where you are in your life. The cool thing is, as individuals we all have unique styles and one-of-a-kind experiences to contribute to this field. The more voices, the better!
Thank you, Hollie!
You can view Hollie’s portfolio at or follow her on Instagram and her blog.

Below: the artist's studio.