Friday, July 20, 2018

SCBWI WWA: Year in Review and What's Coming Up!

Greetings Western Washington SCBWI –

As the 2017-18 programming year comes to a close, we want to share a recap of last year’s events, coordinated by your very own Advisory Committee and Super Volunteers. Our chapter receives zero funds from SCBWI Headquarters; our programming and activities are fully self-supporting and volunteer-run, making our offerings that much more impressive! The recap below reveals the depth of free programming in our region, as well as our expanded programming outside of Seattle proper. We are so proud of our chapter’s direction.

For next year’s programming, watch for even more free and low-cost programming, vibrant Networks, and the inclusion of webinars as part of our Passport programming. We hope webinars will increase opportunities for our members to get work under the nose of industry professionals.

Come August, be sure to check your email inbox and our Facebook group for notification about open registration for outstanding events we’ve planned, including an upcoming New Member Orientation on September 8, led by Jolie Stekly; a Passport webinar on September 18, featuring agent Lauren Spieller from TriadaUS Literary Agency; and, on October 13, our first meeting of the year, this one held at Seattle Public Library Downtown branch, featuring Tiffany Liao, Editor at Henry Holt for Young Readers.

For now, enjoy this recap (below) of last year’s events, relish every moment of our brief and glorious summer, and plan to return in the fall, refreshed and ready to dig into another jam-packed year of industry and craft-related events with your fellow kidlit writers and illustrators!

Holly Huckeba & Julie Artz, Co-Regional Advisors


The Passport Meeting Series branched out (from Seattle proper) into the Eastside Seattle Metro area. We held nine monthly meetings total, with speakers ranging from local talent (Sean Petrie, Mark Maciejewski, Michèle Griskey, Megan Kelso, Laura Moe, David Lasky, a panel of kidlit librarians from our region) to literary legends (Rosemary Wells) to industry professionals (Liz Kossnar, Simon & Schuster; Harold Underdown). Additionally, we featured a special monthly meeting in May: Illustrator Videos and Q&A with Michaele Razi and Karen Lewis. The Passport Meeting Series also included the following add-on events: Master Class by Liz Kossnar; Master Class by Harold Underdown; consultations for a limited number of SCBWI members with Liz Kossnar, Harold Underdown, and Rosemary Wells.

Three Illustrator Art Shows: Keep It Simple Silly (KISS) Art Show was shown at our monthly meeting and promotional materials were collected from illustrators at the exhibit to give to editor Liz Kossnar; Tell Me A Story, illustrator exhibit at University House Issaquah. ~50 illustrators exhibited; Drawn to Books, illustrator exhibit at Seattle City Hall. 45 illustrators exhibited.

The Mentorship Program is a new offering for our region and was a huge success, earning it a second round for next programing year! Eight mentors chose 14 mentees with whom they worked on polishing manuscripts (PB, MG/YA, & NF) for a 6-month period. We will continue to offer scholarships to diverse writers/illustrators that covered the entire cost of the program.

Five Nonfiction events drew a mix of published and pre-published authors.

Two Inside Story events, each drawing approximately 100 people.

This year, our annual retreat, Weekend on the Water, shifted away from an emphasis of connecting attendees with industry to focusing purely on the creative process and craft. For the first time, we combined programming for both writers and illustrators, beginners as well as published authors. Attendees were urged to dig deeply into the creative process and explore life-work-art balance.

Our region held a first-ever Publishing Bootcamp with local agents, editors, and art directors. The day included a panel-style Q&A, break-out sessions, two sessions of Four Minutes of Fame roundtables, and a query/first page read-aloud that was both fun and full of learning opportunities.

This year, we launched a popular new program, the Critique Group Roadshow. Two local members -- Mark Maciejewski and Donna Matney -- traveled to more than a half dozen venues around our region offering a brief introduction to their techniques for critique group success and a two-hour live critique for participants. Several critique groups have already formed as a part of this exciting program!

Our new Eastside Network events were highly successful! Attendees meet for four Nanowrimo Write-Ins in November, and three Craft Book Club meetings, including one where Cheryl Klein joined our group via Skype to answer questions about her craft book!

Island Network events included monthly meetings held immediately after the Langley Art Walk. In addition to monthly meetings, members met for book sharing and planning. Also: First Saturday Authors; Children’s Book Creators Meet & Greet; Kidlit Ideas Workshop; Twitter Talk & Tweet; Anne Belov Studio Tour; Bob Brunjes’ presentation on creating comic strips.

Northern Network monthly meetings included: Ideas Night; Agent Talk; Storyboards and Dummies; Critique session; Write-In/Draw-In; Books We Love; In the Beginning: Best First Lines; Sip & Scribe; Using Mentor Texts to Inform Our Writing/Art; Bring & Brag WIP.

South Sound Network monthly meetings included: How to perfect your query letter like Query Shark; Self Pub talk with Kiki Hamilton; Success Story: Jennifer Shaw Wolf; Write-In/Draw-In; Show & Tell : WIP/Dummy First Pages; Breaking down your first chapter; Character Night : Introduce us to your main character; Tips on how to edit your first draft; How to market your self pub; Summer Write-In/Draw-In; Summer Write-In/Draw-In; Critique-nic.

Peninsula Network events included: Coffee and Characters at Velocity Café; Kidlit Sunday in the Park with Pencil (or Pen); First Wednesday of the Month Social; Writer Talk with Karen S. Robbins at the Charles Pink House in Port Townsend.

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