Your June 2021 SCBWI Houston Newsletter
Upcoming Meeting: Monday, June 7 7-9 PM
Next Meeting: Tuesday July 12 7-9 PM
Please join us on the first Monday of every month from 7-9 p.m. at the Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter, Houston, or on Zoom if instructed to do so.
This month:
Dive Into Your Dream with Author Kelly Starling Lyons

Next Month, July 12. Are you all Zoomed Out? Alexis O'Neill Presents Getting Back to In-Person Author Visits! Venues, Content, Pricing and Promotion
Yahoo Listserv has ended. STAY in the loop by joining the new listserv NOW.
The listserv has proved to be a great way to keep in touch, start critique groups, announce good news, etc. With us not meeting in person in the near future, let's keep in touch virtually.

In an effort to prioritize our public health and safe community building during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have canceled all 2020 Dinner Table quarterly events and look forward to bringing this program back in 2021. Stay safe and keep creating with open hearts and minds!

Tonya Ellis Wins the 2021 Austin SCBWI
Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award
For the next year, author/mentor Bethany Hegedus will work with Tonya to polish her newest manuscript for traditional publication. This mentorship is modeled after the Houston chapter's Joan Lowery Nixon Award.

Sheila McGraw Releasing Newest Book

On June 1st Sheila's newest PB, Of Love and Pies (Whitebird Publications LLC) was released in hardcover, paperback and eReader. View a trailer for the book here.

Kirkus Reviews says McGraw, the illustrator of the bestselling 1986 picture book Love You Forever, presents a charming tale, fueled by humor, which ends on a note of sincerity. The simple rhyming scheme effectively establishes a playful rhythm and tone. The author presents a relatable yet highly inventive situation, allowing readers the opportunity to think beyond the bounds of the story. McGraw’s color illustrations range from a trio of small pictures to detailed, half-page renderings. They’re all full of movement, reflecting the events of the text. … Overall, the tale’s ultimate message of love will satisfy readers.
A filling fantasy full of fine flavor.”

Publisher's Weekly recently again featured
our own Marissa Valdez.

Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook has bought at auction Hedgehogs Don't Wear Underwear by Marissa Valdez, a debut picture book about a tighty-whitey-wearing hedgehog named Jacques who's afraid to go public with his secret love of underwear. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022, with a second untitled picture book to follow in fall 2023; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary did the deal for world rights.
Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail Signs with
Agent Elizabeth Copps
Danielle, who relocated from Houston to Nova Scotia last year, has signed with recently founded Denver-based agency, Copps Literary Services. Danielle currently has a PB
under consideration by a publisher and is doing rewrites on both a chapter book
and an adult novel.
June's Virtual Illustration Meetup
Houston Chapter's Regional Illustrator Coordinator, Yousef Balat, invites everyone who loves to draw to the next virtual meetup on June 19th, 10-11 am. Calling All Creators! Writers, Illustrators, or the coveted combo, all are welcome for June’s 3rd Saturday meetup. 

Let’s get together to loosen up those creative muscles and play for an hour. 

How it works:
1) The host will provide everyone with a prompt
2) Creatives will write or illustrate something based on the prompt for 30 min.
3) When time is up all those willing to share will present their creations. Sharing is not necessary to participate in the event. 

This is a no pressure event to give us all time to sit and create alongside our community. Join the virtual fun on June 19th right here!

Cricket Media is calling for submissions for their children's literary magazines. Cricket Media seeks fiction, nonfiction, folktales, poetry, and more for our literary magazines for children and teens: Babybug (ages 0-3), Ladybug (ages 3-6), Spider (ages 6-9), and Cricket (ages 9-14). Especially welcome are works by LGBTQIA+ writers/artists, writers/artists with disabilities, and writers/artists of color. We are sensitive to issues of cultural appropriation and misrepresentation.
Read on for our latest calls for submissions, and visit for more details.

SCBWI's Series of Workshops Continues
Each Thursday throughout June 2021.
Click each image to register. Note: registration for each workshop opens the Monday of that workshop's week.

Triple-Scoop Picture Book Revision ReTREAT will include Varsha Bajaj as a Faculty Member
Ohio chapter's first virtual picture book retreat!
It’s a going to be a Triple-Scoop Picture Book ReTREAT!
Here’s the Scoop(s):
SCOOP 1 (June 5): Picture book craft presentation by an agent or editor to inspire your project revision process, followed by small group critiques led by your assigned* picture book author coach!
SCOOP 2 (June 12): A second picture book craft presentation to fuel more revision ideas, followed by another small group critique session with your assigned picture book coach with the goal of getting your picture book ready for…
SCOOP 3 (June 19): A small group first-impression critique session with an agent or editor matched with your group — and your picture book coach will be there to cheer you on! The cherry on top will be an agent/editor Q&A panel to wrap up the retreat.
JambaLAya Kidlit Conference

Join us June 11-12, 2021. So … you have a children’s story and want to get it published? Or, you want to learn how others got their stories and/or illustrations published? Or, you like learning about the fascinating world of children’s books?
Whatever made you click to get here, BIENVENUE!

Faculty and Presenters include:

 Linda Sue Park, Elizabeth Law, Talia Benamy, Maria Middleton, Alysson Bourque and Lori Orlinsky

2021 Version of The Book now available.

THE BOOK is updated with invaluable, up to date market surveys, and several new articles including Bringing Your Backlist Forward, Putting Together a Winning Virtual Presentation, and Beware Author Self-Publishing Scams. Whether you are published or pre-published, there are many helpful articles to jump-start your career and/or provide the encouragement and knowledge you need moving forward.

THE BOOK is one of your most invaluable member resources that should be within reach at all times. Check out each section for information and insights: Preparing & Submitting Your Work, Published and Listed (PAL), Self-Publishing, SCBWI en Español, SCBWI Market Surveys, SCBWI Directories and Resources, Publicizing Your Published Work, SCBWI School Visits, and SCBWI Legal Questions.

To view THE BOOK, just log into your profile page and click on PUBLICATIONS, then on The Book in the dropdown menu. You must be logged in to download or order THE BOOK.
SCBWI YouTube Featuring The Vault Let's You Relive Wondrous Moments with Best-Selling Icons of Childrens Publishing -- Or Experience Them For The First Time
We are so proud to introduce you to the all-new SCBWI YouTube featuring the Vault which launches today with a treasure trove of exclusive never-before-seen videos that put you smack in the middle of the greatest children’s book creators of our time. Culling the best moments from SCBWI conferences---from the early days in the 1970s all the way up to this year, the Vault holds the advice, teachings, and musings of the biggest and brightest names in children’s publishing over the past 50 years. Even if you never got the chance to be there originally, you can now have a front row seat to all the SCBWI conferences---the profound, the moving, the funny, the goofy, the heart-stopping moments that are at the center of this brilliant creative community.
It's easy to step into our new YouTube channel and watch featured video clips from award-winning creators including:

Kwame Alexander Laurie Halse Anderson Judy Blume
Bruce Coville  Karen Cushman Paula Danziger                                      
Sid Fleischman Gordon Korman Meg Medina
Vanessa Brantley Newton Linda Sue Park
Jerry Pinkney David Small Jerry Spinelli
Shaun Tan Richard Jesse Watson

Before Newbery medals, before National Book Awards, before the adulation, there were young writers and illustrators on the path to legend status. The awards and praises of the book industry and book lovers worldwide were heaped on the giants of the industry seen here. All of them shared the stage at our conferences over the years. You’ll be inspired, captivated, and enamored.
And that’s just the beginning! Each week we will be bringing you stunning archival footage to watch and share with your friends, family, and colleagues. SCBWI is giving its members and book lovers everywhere an opportunity not found anywhere else, to witness the history of contemporary children’s books in the making.
SCBWI members will see exclusive clips pulled from the vault just for them in Insight, the monthly e-newsletter, and in Pro Insider the e-newsletter for published members. You can follow all the fun on our social media – Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook – with sneak previews and only-on-this-platform content. Subscribe to our YouTube channel here so you don’t miss out.  And check in regularly, to keep the inspiration flowing. 
For anyone interested in children’s books, for anyone who values creativity, for anyone wanting a direct hit of inspiration and joy, SCBWIYouTube featuring the Vault is the place to be. See you there, friends.
#SCBWIYouTube | #SCBWIvault   
Renew your membership at

Suggestion Box
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Leave a suggestion in our new Suggestion Box!
SCBWI Emergency Fund
Information and Procedures

The SCBWI Emergency Fund has been established to provide assistance to SCBWI members of at least
six months’ standing in times of emergency or hardship. The emergency or hardship could involve,
for example, matters of health, family issues, or natural disasters that are in any way restricting
or preventing an SCBWI member’s ability to work as an author or illustrator.

The fund is also running low due to the high number of applications.
If you wish to donate to the fund, you may do so on the website or by mail:
 Please send a check to:
 SCBWI Emergency Fund
6363 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 425
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Your contribution will be announced in the following SCBWI Bulletin. Dollar amounts will not be listed. If you wish to remain anonymous please indicate so in your letter.
There is a $1,500 cap on any given grant, and no member may receive the grant more than twice.
SCBWI does not expect to be reimbursed for grants made from the Emergency Fund.
Applications for assistance can come from the individual member seeking the aid or from someone noting their member friend or associate is in need of assistance. Applications are confidential and not shared outside the organization.
Members should fill out the application, which can be found here. The applicant will receive an electronic confirmation and all communications will be by email unless the applicant indicates no access to a computer.
To learn more about the Emergency Fund, please click here to read the FAQ.
Don't Get SCAMMED!

Are you aware of Writer Beware? It's a good site to check on complaints about publishers. This 2019 roundup covers the year in review. If you're not familiar with how "vanity publishers" scam authors, be sure to study the links under SAVE YOUR CASH and ADVICE YOU CAN USE. It also touches on how awards can take advantage of authors.

Use the SEARCH THIS BLOG function to look up specific publisher and agent names.
FREE On-demand webinars from SCBWI MD/DE/WV!
Creating Your Portfolio with Rebecca Evans
• Formatting Your Manuscript for Submission with Kathy MacMillan
• A Conversation with Picture Book Authors 1 (Read Local Challenge webinar featuring
J.H. Diehl, Amy S. Hansen, and Rebecca Evans)
• A Conversation with Picture Book Authors 2 (Read Local Challenge webinar featuring
Ann McCallum, Karen Leggett Abouraya, and Lezlie Evans)
 • Conversation with Picture Book Authors 3 (Read Local Challenge webinar featuring Veronica Bartles, Sue Fliess, and Megan Wagner Lloyd)
• A Conversation with Middle Grade Authors 1 (Read Local Challenge webinar featuring
Laura Shovan, Leah Henderson, and Barbara Carney-Coston)
• A Conversation with Middle Grade Authors 2 (Read Local Challenge webinar featuring
R.D Henham and Deborah Kalb)
• A Conversation with Young Adult Authors (Read Local Challenge webinar featuring
Kathy MacMillan, Linda Budzinski, Meg Eden, Pintip Dunn, and Christina June)

We are pleased to offer these free webinar recordings, available anytime
SCBWI Podcast Goes Public
In a bold expansion to new platforms, SCBWI has made the first season of its popular podcast, SCBWI Conversations, available to the public. Our library of in-depth, insightful episodes feature the best of editors, agents, authors, and illustrators in the children’s book industry. As of today, we have over nine thousand listeners on six continents who have joined us since our public launch in May. The most current season will remain exclusive content for SCBWI members only. It is available for streaming from our website here
An Ongoing and Updated List of Webinars
The Nevada SCBWI chapter has a new feature listing and updating webinars of interest to our members. Be sure to bookmark this page to stay abreast of new opportunities...

Austin's Cynthia Leitich Smith Is Compiling
an ever growing list of Texas children's-YA
authors and Illustrators.
Howdy! Texas is bursting with talented children’s-YA book creators.
Once again, my Cynterns and I are updating the ever-growing list of 
Texas children’s-YA authors and illustrators at:
It’s a popular resource for event planners, gatekeepers and Texas book lovers.
Please share widely and/or reply to with new 
listings or updates to existing listings.
Those who currently live in Texas or have previously lived in Texas are 
eligible for inclusion.
Please reply with byline, official website URL, preferred titles to 
highlight, and current city and/or state of residence.

Chapter Events

Monthly Meetings
When: Meetings are held on the first Monday night of each month (first Tuesday if first Monday is a holiday), 7-9 pm. Fiction, Nonfiction and Illustration critique groups meet from 6-7pm.
What: All regular monthly meetings are open to all at no cost or obligation. To suggest speakers or topics and/or to be added to our monthly meeting reminder e-mail list, contact Program Coordinator via our Contact Us page.
Where: The meetings are held at the Tracy Gee community center, located at 3599 Westcenter Dr, Houston, TX 77042. Please note: Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, meetings will be held online through Zoom until further notice.

June 2021 Kelly Starling Lyons
July 2021 Alexis O'Neill
Our Staff

Regional Advisor:
Asst. Regional Advisor:
Lynne Kelly
Illustrators Coordinator:
Monthly Program Chair:
Cheryl McCosh

Listserv Coordinator:
Twitter Coordinator:
Newsletter & Website
Art Credit
Header Design:
Join our conversations on the SCBWI Texas discussion boardPlease send your author/illustrator news for the next newsletter to Bruce Foster by the 25th of the month at

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