Monday, August 31, 2015

WoW deadline this Saturday

Attention, procrastinators! 
Last Chance to Apply for the Weekend on the Water!
DEADLINE: Saturday, September 5
With no Western WA SCBWI Conference in 2016, WOW is your greatest local opportunity to up your writing with a weekend of intensive learning. This year's topic: The Murky Middle. Whether you write picture books or novels or something in between--the middle of a project can be a scary place. 
Noa Wheeler, Independent Editor (formerly with Henry Holt) and Senior Editor Katherine Jacobs from Roaring Brook Press will join a selected group of writers to focus on how to keep going when you get stuck in the murky middle--or how to avoid getting bogged down in the first place.
In addition to our excellent faculty, here's what you will be missing if you do not act now:

·         Two nights’ lodging in a private room with a writing desk.
·         Six catered meals (with great respect paid to dietary restrictions)
·         Free time for writing, walks, resting, and networking
·         The wildly popular optional peer critique groups
·         Planned social activities
To register, please CLICK HERE.

What's happening, September?


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

GN = graphic novel

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

September 9, 7PM

Secret Garden Books

September 11, 7PM
Snapdoodle Books, 7330 Bothell Way NE, Kenmore

University Book Store, University District

September 13, 3PM
SORRY, NOT SORRY TOUR: Featuring Martha Brockenbrough, Lish McBride, and Jennifer Longo (YA)
University Book Store, University District

September 16, 11AM
Special Story Time with Samantha Vamos, ALPHABET TRAINS (PB)
University Book Store, Mill Creek
NOTE: Samantha Vamos also appears on September 18 at THIRD PLACE BOOKS/Lake Forest Park, at 10am

September 16, 7PM 

Craig Thompson, SPACE DUMPLINS (GN)
University Book Store, University District

September 17, 11AM 

Special Story Time with Ben Clanton, SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY (PB)
University Book Store, Bellevue

September 17, 6PM

CULTIVATING READERS, featuring Lois Brandt, Sara Nickerson, Kelly Jones, Katherine Pryor, and Readers to Eaters' Philip Lee, and WA State First Lady Trudi Inslee!
Seattle Public Library, Central Branch
For all the details, click here.

September 18, 6PM 

Carly Anne West, Stacey R. Campbell, Kristin Halbrook (YA)
University Book Store, Bellevue

September 19, NOON–4PM

Robinswood Park, Bellevue
For details click here.

September 19, NOON

University Book Store, Bellevue

September 22, 7PM
Leslye Walton, THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER (YA) University Book Store, University District

September 27, NOON
University Book Store, Bellevue

September 30, 7PM
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Looking ahead: Kadir Nelson to give Spencer Shaw Lecture in October

Thanks to Kim Baker, you now have plenty of time to register for this fall's Spencer G. Shaw Lecture at the University of Washington!

This October, award-winning artist, illustrator and author KADIR NELSON will speak about "The Art of Storytelling."

It doesn't get much better than this guy––a 2012 Coretta Scott King Honoree for Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, Caldecott Honors for Henry's Freedom Box, and
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, for which he also garnered a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and won a NAACP Image Award.

To register and get your tickets before the last-minute rush, please click here for all the information.

WHEN: Thursday, October 22 from 7–10pm
WHERE: Kane Hall, UW campus 

Don and Audrey's latest

Come join picture book legends Don and Audrey Wood, who will launch and sign their latest collaboration, FULL MOON AT THE NAPPING HOUSE. This is a follow up to their beloved classic, THE NAPPING HOUSE, and features their signature details in both paintings and text. This is a not-to-be-missed event!

WHEN: Wednesday, September 9 at 7pm
WHERE: Secret Garden Books

Don't be scared of DAN!


Congratulations to Dan Richards, who will celebrate the launch of his second picture book, THE PROBLEM WITH NOT BEING SCARED OF KIDS. This book follows 2014's wonderful THE PROBLEM WITH NOT BEING SCARED OF MONSTERS, and features illustrations by Robert Neubecker.

WHEN: Friday, September 11 at 7pm
WHERE: Snapdoodle Toys, 7330 NE Bothell Wy, Kenmore
WHY: Because it's going to be awesome!

Read this: Ursula K. LeGuin on "Go Set a Watchman"

Thanks, Joni Sensel, for sharing this fantastic tidbit from the inestimable Ursula K. LeGuin: It centers on the sequel (prequel?) to Harper Lee's GO SET A WATCHMAN, which has raised considerable questions within the writing community and well beyond. In fact, this whole blog is fantastic. Subscribe. Peruse. Soak in the wisdom and the perspective on books, reading, and life. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Our pre-season kickoff event

Thursday, September 17
 Seattle Public Library, Central Branch
1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, 98104

Please join us for a Pre-Season programming event, featuring some of our local SCBWI-WWA writers and illustrators, who are joining together for kids as readers, and kids as eaters. It's going to blow the roof off of the Central Library! Don't miss this special occasion, brought to you by your peeps at SCBWI-WWA, Readers to Eaters, and the Seattle Public Library.

Art by Dana Arnim.

The evening kicks off at 6 p.m. in the SirsiDynix Gallery with exhibits and demonstrations from local food organizations. The main presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the Microsoft Auditorium, with opening remarks from Trudi Inslee, First Lady of the State of Washington.
The First Lady is followed by a panel discussion featuring:
Tarik Abdullah, Chef and educator, DJ and a Cook Pop Up Series
Bridget Charters, Director, Hot Stove Society, Tom Douglas Restaurants
Rebekah Denn, freelance food writer for the Seattle Times
Edouardo Jordan, Chef/Owner, Salare Restaurant
Kate Lebo, author, Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour and Butter
Philip Lee, Publisher, Readers to Eaters

Authors we know whose books will be featured are:

Lois Brandt, Maddi's Fridge
Kelly Jones, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer
Sara Nickerson, Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me
Katherine Pryor, Zora’s Zucchini 
  Books will be available to purchase from Secret Garden Books.

Exhibitors (6 to 7 p.m., SirsiDynix Gallery, Level 1):
Cascade Harvest Coalition
King County EcoConsumer
PCC Healthy Kids
Pike Place Market Food Access Project
Pure Food Kids Foundation
Readers To Eaters
Seattle School Nutrition Services
Slow Food Seattle
Tom Douglas Restaurants
Washington Library Association
Washington Library Media Association
Washington State Farmers Market Association
Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network


Weekend on the Water deadline

September 5.

That's all the time you have left to register for the upcoming Weekend on the Water! That's in less than two weeks, people! Don't delay: Click here to register and for all the information on this fabulous retreat for writers.

The Great Critique deets!

 Saturday, September 19
Robinswood Park, Bellevue
(2430 148th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007)

This is how it will work:
You'll get registered and get your name tags with your group assignment, and then you'll find your group leaders. You'll all share lunch and dessert together in your group before the session. This will be a great time for everyone to get a chance to get to know each other and share.
At 1:00pm we'll break out into small groups to critique either manuscript pages or illustrated book dummies similar to the round table format used during this year’s conference. However, unlike the conference, each group participant will have ample time to have their pages or work read and critiqued by all individuals in the group, where everyone, not just the group leader is encouraged to offer feedback. 

Here's what you'll need: 
A brown bag lunch, and some type of dessert to share, as well as a lawn chair or blanket.

I hope to see you there!

Tony Dorrrough, Great Critique Coordinator

Monday, August 24, 2015

Get with the program!


from Your SCBWI-Western Washington Advisory Committee!

You won’t want to miss even one of the events in our amazing upcoming season. Watch your inbox for your invitation to register or keep your eye on our web page. Registration opens for the 2015-2016 Monthly Programming Passport on September 4.

Overview of the SCBWI-WWA 2015-2016 Season

Monthly Meetings: Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall 

Time: Third Wednesday of the Month, 7-9 p.m.

September 4 – Registration opens for the 2015 – 2016 Monthly Programming Passport. Passport provides SCBWI members admission to all of the monthly evening programming for one low price of $40 (not including the Additional Opportunities and Retreats, which require additional payment).

September 5 – The application period closes for our annual Weekend on the Water Writers’ Retreat, held this year at the Dumas Bay Centre, November 13th – 15th. This year’s theme: “Shedding Light on the Murky Middle.” We are incredibly fortunate to be joined by Independent Editor Noa Wheeler (formerly with Henry Holt Books for Young Readers) and Senior Editor Katherine Jacobs of Roaring Brook Press Books.
This event requires separate registration from Passport events. Click here for details and to register.

September 15 – Registration closes for The Great Critique! Registration opens September 4 and closes September 15. Requires additional payment. Details to follow soon.

September 17Cultivating Readers, Planting Seeds of Reading and Eating during Food Literacy Month. This free event at the Downtown Seattle Public Library will feature display tables, food folk panel, SCBWI author readings, book sales and a presentation by Washington State First Lady, Trudi Inslee.

September 19The Great Critique at Robinswood Park.

October 2, 3 & 4Weekend in the Woods Illustrators’ Retreat, Silver Falls, Oregon. Sorry, the retreat is fully booked and registration has closed.

October 21 & 22October Agent Event: Presentation by luminary literary agent Barry Goldblatt Wednesday evening. Individual critiques and a master class on Thursday. Passport-holders only may apply for the critiques and master class. Both have limited capacity; so don’t delay in signing up for your Passport. Individual critiques and master class require additional payment.

November 10Inside Story, Mockingbird Books. Get the story behind the recently published stories from a room-full of our local authors and illustrators. Special Bonus Event: Crystal Kite Award presentation to our own Laurie Thompson.

November 13, 14 & 15Weekend on the Water Writers’ Retreat at the Dumas Bay Centre. Requires separate registration and payment. Registration closes September 5.

November 18 Monthly Meeting Making Boffo Book Trailers with Jeff James and Sizzling School Presentations with Dana Sullivan & Vicki Legman.

December 16 Monthly Meeting – Writer Joni Sensel shows us how she keeps her readers in suspense with her presentation, "Here Abide Monsters: Using the Magic of In-Between Settings." Also, our ever-popular cookie contest and book exchange.

January  20 Monthly Meeting – G.G. Silverman shows us how to market our self-published work, then  Holman Wang spins the tale of “The Making of Star Wars: Epic Yarns.”

February 17 Monthly Meeting – It’s Valentine's month, so author Fonda Lee shows us how to write kick-ass YA fight scenes, followed by Amber Keyser’s lessons on YA romance and hot sex! (Remember: no smoking in the building.)

March 16 Monthly Meeting – Author Roseanne Parry discusses the sibling voice in MG fiction, followed by a panel discussion on the hot topic of diversity in children’s books, moderated by Allyson Valentine Schrier.

April 20 & 21 – April Editor and Illustrator EventPresentation by editors Caroline Abbey and Mary Kate Castellani, and illustrator Joy Chu on Wednesday evening. Individual illustration and writing critiques and master classes on Thursday. Passport-holders only may apply for the critiques and master class. Both have limited capacity; so don’t delay in signing up for your Passport. Individual critiques and master classes require additional payment.

May 18 Monthly Meeting – In-studio videos and Q&A with local genius illustrators Doug Keith and Jessixa Bagley, followed by author Brianna Caplan Sayres' presentation on writing words for picture books.

All members will receive email invitations to register for these events. 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!

Passport Pricing:

·      SCBWI Members $40

·      Non-members $80

Join SCBWI at and then stay tuned for your invitation to your Passport to Monthly Programming!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Great Critique postponed

Hey, Everyone!

I want to make sure you all know that there will NOT be a Great Critique tomorrow at Robinswood Park in Bellevue. 

We have pushed the date of this event back to Saturday, September 19, due to some technical issues. We sincerely apologize for any confusion this may have caused and ask you to continue to check our SCBWI-WWA home page, as well as the Chinook blog, for updates.  A registration announcement will be out very soon. 

Thank you for your patience!

Tony Dorrough
Great Critique Coordinator


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Kid Lit Drink Night!

Isn't it BUNNY get to make new friends and share a joke (or two) over a beverage (or two)?

Well, here's another chance to do just that before the summer ends:

Illustration by Kevan Atteberry.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Please help if you can!

We like to think of SCBWI as the kind of community made up of folks who help each other in and outside of our daily creative lives. This is one of those times we want to make you aware of a special member in need.

As one of our favorite regional writers and past keynote conference speaker, the prolific and amazing Kelly Milner Halls spent a few days last week in the hospital and, while thankfully on the mend at home, has medical expenses that are taking a toll.

There is a fund set up to help Kelly offset her numerous bills, and if you are interested in donating please click here for all the details on how to give.

Thank you in advance for your generosity. Here's to Kelly and her continued recovery!

Weekend on the Water update

We are very excited about this year's Weekend on the Water Retreat, and apparently you are too!

Day-use registration is now sold out.

Full conference registration is open, and will remain open throughout the registration period.

If you want to be on a waiting list for day-use registration, please

1. register for full conference
2. email Lois ( and let her know.

The waiting list will be limited to three applicants.

Rooms with half-baths are going fast. If your preference is to pay the extra $50 for a half-bath in your room, register soon.

This is going to be a great retreat!

Questions/Comments?  Feel free to contact Lois ( or Allyson (

Sara's summer continues

Sara Nickerson's on a roll! Her second middle-grade novel is out, and she's been reviewed (favorably!) in the New York Times. Now, after her return from the Los Angeles conference, she's making another appearance locally:

WHEN: Thursday, August 13 at 7pm
WHERE: Phinney Books, 7405 Greenwood Ave. N, Seattle

Great Critique update

Stay tuned for more details as we get them. (And tentatively think SEPTEMBER sometime...just sayin'!)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

K is for Katherine!

Congratulations to Katherine Pryor, whose new picture book, ZORA'S ZUCCHINI, is going to be making the rounds this and month! With a title as delicious as that ubiquitous late-summer veggie, Katherine will be visiting both bookstores AND farmer's markets in the area. Come along and, remember: eat your veggies! This story follows Katherine's first book, SYLVIA'S SPINACH.


8/28: Mockingbird Books, Seattle, 11am
9/3: University Book Store, Bellevue, 11am
9/23: Village Books, Bellingham, 3:15pm
9/26: Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, time TBD

Farmers Markets:
Please check the Zora’s Zucchini Facebook page for times:
8/2: Tacoma Farmers Market
8/16: Everett Farmers Market
8/27: Bellevue Farmer's Market
9/3: Queen Anne Farmers Market
9/15: Carnation Farmers Market
9/19: Magnolia Farmers Market
9/20: Pike Place Market
9/30: Columbia City Farmers Market

9/12: Seattle Tilth Harvest Fair, time TBD
9/17: Seattle Public Library, Central Branch, storytime at 10:30am, SCBWI event at 7pm
10/3: Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Conference, Portland, time TBD

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A classic how-to

Thanks to Dana Sullivan, who shared this amazing post about how a classic picture book got made:


(If Dana were sitting here, he'd say, "You're freaking welcome!")

Weekend on the Water

It's coming! Time to get applying, and fast!

Click here for all the details, in case you didn't get your email already! See you in November!

I am Dana, hear me ROAR!

Author Janet Lee Carey, whose atmospheric fantasy novels have carried us away for years into realms of imagination we never thought possible, started a blog in 2010, LIBRARY LIONS ROAR, which to raise awareness about the key role libraries and librarians play in sharing books and spreading the word with their audiences and their parents.

This week, our very own RA, Dana Sullivan, is featured, and WOW, he lets it loose! Please click here to see the post. WARNING: Enjoyment is in your future!

Scream for Stacey!

Please join Stacey Campbell, the prolific author of the Lakeview Novels, for the launch of the next installment, SCREAM!

WHEN/WHERE: Next Tuesday, August 11 at the University Book Store, Bellevue, at 6pm!

Besides the three previous Lakeview Novels (HUSH, WHISPER, SILENCE) Stacey is also the author of ARRGH!, a highly praised middle-grade pirate novel, as well as an upcoming picture book, SOCK MONSTER, which she wrote and which was illustrated with fellow SCBWI-WWA member Elizabeth Thieme.

Come one and all--enjoy treats and libations, and give a shout-out to Stacey's latest work!

PALs: August 15 Naylor Fellowship deadline!

File this under the LATE NOTICE, BUT BETTER LATE THAN NEVER category:

The 2016 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship comes with a pretty good reward: $5,000.

That's right: $5,000.

It's for PAL folks: It's an annual prize awarded to an author of children's or young adult fiction, who has previously published at least ONE  book, and could use the funds to complete another work in progress. For those of you on the cusp of publication, file this one under APPLY NEXT YEAR.

Sounds like it's right up PAL alley! So, what's the next step?

Click here.  

That's all. Go and get it! Please let us at the Chinook know if you are the lucky winner!

Good luck, everyone!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer Conference Blues?

If you, like me, didn't make it down to Los Angeles this weekend for the blockbuster conference to end all blockbuster conferences, take heart: There's always next year! 

You may well ask, Why such a freakishly positive attitude as I sulk, scrolling through the Facebook reunions in the gorgeous Hyatt lobby and sigh through swimming eyes at friends rubbing elbows with Caldecott winners and keynote speakers?

Well, after my pity party died down, I remembered: The Official Conference Blog!

Yes, you heard me. There was a small and stellar army of fingers typing throughout this past weekend and they will let me attend, albeit late, vicariously. Whew! I am not going to completely miss out on everything. If you, like me, don't want to be the wallflower as your friends who attended yak about what a fantastic time was had by everyone BUT YOU, then do as I am about to do: click HERE

In closing: Stay-at-homes: May the rest of your summer be brighter than this weekend. 
Attendees: Glad you made it home safely. Try to keep those grins in check, okay? 

This has been a public-service announcement on behalf on Those Who Stayed Behind. Thank you for your attention, and your compassion.

Good news for Courtney!

A huge shout-out to Courtney Shannon Strand, who won First Place in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association literary contest for her picture book, ELLA'S UMBRELLA. It's the story of a little girl who takes her new umbrella on a musical journey through the rain.

The moment: Courtney hears a "Courtney!"

Now THAT's something to celebrate! Hooray, Courtney!

Enviro-kid-lit picture book

This coming Saturday, August 8
Author/Illustrator Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw reads from LUNA AND ME, the true story of a girl who lived in a tree to save a forest. 
WHERE: Secret Garden Books, Ballard
WHEN: 2pm

Seattle Writes! season kickoff

WHAT: Seattle Writes! Kickoff event
WHEN: Sunday, August 19 at 6:30pm
WHERE: Seattle Public Library, Central Branch, Microsoft Auditorium
COST: Free!

Thanks to Linda Johns for pointing out this upcoming freebie! SPL is hosting this event in honor of their Seattle Writes! season of events, and this is a goodie, no matter what your genre: Romance writer Jayne Ann Krentz will do a presentation on "Five Secrets to Selling Your Story."

For an earlier Seattle Writes! event, head on down this Saturday, August 8 for a Self-Publishing Workshop from 10:30-noon. Check out the above link for more information, as well as for the upcoming lineup of amazing writers.

Apply for: Artist Trust's Story Award

The Gar LaSalle Story Award, offered through Artist Trust, is open to applications for the 2015 year's award: a single prize of $10,000. The award is for the Washington State artist who demonstrates the art of storytelling through their specific medium. This year's award is in the Literature (fiction) category, which means....YOU SHOULD GO FOR IT!

Apply now through SEPTEMBER 9, 2015.
For details and application information, please click here.

Thanks to Lois Brandt for publicizing––good luck to all who apply! If you win, let us know!

Kerri's killer news!

Guess what popped up last week in Publisher's Weekly's Children's Bookshelf e-newsletter?

Our very own, intrepid Kerri Kokias inked a deal for her debut picture book, SNOW SISTERS! With illustrations by Teagan White, the book should emerge in 2017. "I've been working on this goal for TEN years," Kerri announced triumphantly on her Facebook page, "and waiting since March to announce it!"

We couldn't be happier for you, Kerri! Can't wait to see the final result! Congrats!