SCBWI Brazos Valley News

Upcoming Events
BV Book Report - Holiday Exchange
BV Gift Guide
SCBWI Bookstop
Brazos Valley Events
Our last Brazos Valley Book Report of the year will serve as our Holiday Party and Gift exchange! All are welcome to participate! Come ready to catch up after a crazy year. If you signed up for the gift exchange, please be sure your gift has been delivered by December 10th! Please RSVP online so we can plan virtual fun and games accordingly!

2021 is a new year, full of new ideas, goals and guest speakers! Be sure to join us on the last Saturday of every month from 10-11:30am via Zoom to keep up with the Brazos Valley SCBWI community as well as craft and industry news. Our meetings are free and open to the public but registration is required in order to receive login information. Know anyone yearning to write or illustrate a children's book? Invite them to join us and see what SCBWI has to offer!

We're kicking off our our year with Molly Blaisdell's popular workshop on setting your creative goals. This workshop is the perfect way to get organized, inspired and kick 2021 into creative mode. Come prepared with a journal/loose paper and an open mind. Additional crafting supplies (fun, but not necessary):
  • tape or gluestick
  • markers
  • magazines to cut out
Brazos Valley Gift Guide!
Need books for toddlers, teens and young readers in between? Brazos Valley SCBWI has your covered! Check out our Kid Lit Gift Guide to see what books your fellow members recommend. Please feel free to share our gift guide on social media to help raise awareness

And remember, an SCBWI membership is the perfect gift for any friends and family looking to become a part of the kid lit community! For more information on gift memberships, click here.
Go to the BookStop pages at to find hundreds of new books published from 2018 through 2020. Take your time to browse and enjoy both the traditionally published and independently published sections. Use the convenient "Buy this book" button to make a purchase of a new book to love! Search by region, Texas: Brazos Valley, and you will find books by BV members P.G. Shriver, Betty Wood Oglesbee, Sara Alpern, Chip Hill, and Samuel E. Pittman II.
SCBWI Connects for the Holidays

With the state of our world under Covid, more strongly and collectively than ever, we yearn to connect as creators, readers, and human beings. This holiday season, SCBWI wants to celebrate those connections and continue forging new ones.

On December 1, SCBWI will launch the holiday-themed edition of SCBWI Connects. Similar to Camp SCBWI, this holiday edition will feature resources that highlight the diversity of our members and their readers. Learning resources may include classroom guides to accompany their book(s), downloadable print-outs, and YouTube readings and/or workshops that will benefit caregivers and educators teaching from home.
Upcoming Events--a sampling of online offerings

Thursday, January 7, 2021, 6 pm CST
Webinar Description – Editor and agent wish lists often include books that surprise them and put a fresh twist on something tried-and-true. But as so many writers know, that’s easier said than done, and the pursuit of doing so can stop creativity in its tracks. In this webinar, we’ll explore the art of crafting a high concept story, discuss exercises you can do to develop this skill, and look at real-life examples of books that transcend trends, tropes, or formulas to dial down on what it really means to be part of the conversation and break out in a crowded market.
Can’t make the live session? The recording will be available for two weeks following the event.
A limited number of written critiques are available.
Webinar Fees – Non-Member $25
Member $15
Critique $45
Hosted by Eastern Pennsylvania
January 9, 2021, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. CST
What does pacing really mean? What does it mean for a picture book to be “snappy”? And how does plot function in picture books, anyway? In this hands-on and jam-packed session, we’ll dive into two mentor texts, examining elements that create a well-paced book. Finally, we’ll take a close look at how making a picture book dummy can be an invaluable tool to help you think visually, cut words, and revise the plot in your own work-in-progress.
Sylvie Frank is Senior Editor at Paula Wiseman Books, a boutique imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Division. She is the editor of award-winning and critically acclaimed books including Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. Sylvie has been on the prowl for kid-focused, snappy picture books and literary, character-driven middle grade. She is drawn to original and diverse voices across all genres. She browses agents’ and illustrators’ websites for new talent.
Member with a season ticket $35.
Member w/out a season ticket $40.
Non-Member with a season ticket $45.
Non-Member w/out a season ticket $50.
Those who can’t attend the live event may watch the recording, which will be available to all attendees for two weeks.
Hosted by CA
January 11, 2021, 6:00pm – 7:30pm CST
In this webinar, we will look at the origin of the children’s mystery novel as well as the different schools and subgenres of mystery. We’ll examine the rules of mysteries, mystery essentials, and how to tackle writing each of the essential elements to create a lively, engaging mystery story of your own.
Webinar Fees – Cost: $20 for SCBWI members, $25 for non-SCBWI members
Hosted by SCBWI PA West

January 16, 2021, 9 am – 12 pm CST
Webinar Description – Did you finish your first draft, celebrate, then realize you now need to go back and revise? Has your manuscript been sitting in a drawer (a.k.a file on your computer) for months, years, decades? Have you returned to your manuscript multiple times only to get stuck and shove it back in the drawer?
If so, you are not alone! Julie Berry is an accomplished author with a flair for teaching revision. Devote three hours of your morning to diving back into that dusty first/second/third draft and make a new start!
This workshop is designed for writers who have a completed novel manuscript, who are serious about revising, and committed to completing it. Most of this workshop is hands-on guided revision exercises aimed at one’s own printed manuscript. The writer should expect to make a meaningful dent in an entire novel. You MUST have a completed manuscript, or please don’t sign up.
Webinar Fees – $50 for SCBWI Members
$75 for Non-members
Hosted by Kansas/Missouri
January 23 and 30, 2021, 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM CST
Our Picture Book Webinar Series is back! SCBWI Inland Northwest has gathered an amazing group of Picture Book creators. Each will lead a webinar for writers and illustrators that also write. 1st Session: FINDING YOUR WAY INTO A STORY with Rob Sanders. 2nd Session: CREATING A STRONG MAIN CHARACTER with Kat Zhang. 3rd Session: WHITTLING DOWN YOUR WORDS with Carole Lindstrom. Final Session: DRAWING THROUGH TOUGH TIMES with Ashley Spires.
Webinar Fees – SCBWI Members: $45.00 for all 4 webinars (Nonmembers: $75.00). Add a professional manuscript or PB dummy critique for $50.
Hosted by Inland Northwest
January 27, 2021, 7:00 – 8:30 pm CST
Webinar Description – Counting books, alphabet books, books that break the fourth wall — these nontraditional formats might seem simple and one-dimensional at first glance, but in order for them to stand out they must have depth, layers and rich complexity. In this webinar, we’ll look at mentor texts and discuss strategies for creating concept books that are compelling, memorable and reward re-reading.
Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of many beloved books for kids, including the recent Thank You, Garden; One Dark Bird; Kate, Who Tamed the Wind; the Caldecott Honor book All the World, and others. She’s also co-authored several books with her pal Audrey Vernick, including the hilarious Bob, Not Bob. Scanlon’s debut middle grade novel The Great Good Summer will be followed by a second novel next year, and her poems can be seen in numerous anthologies. She serves on the faculty of the Vermont Faculty of Fine Arts, but lives in Austin, Texas, most of the year. Find more on her at
Webinar Fees – $10 for SCBWI Members
$45 for Non-Members

February 13, 2021, 4-6 p.m. CST
Webinar Description – Writing Within & Across Identity Elements: Minding the Intersections
Each of us is made up of a myriad of identity elements—nationality, culture, gender, generation, region, religion, socio-economic class, race, body type, and so many more. Even if we draw on lived experience to inform us on the page, we will eventually encounter at least secondary characters or intersecting content beyond our own expertise. How do we navigate all that with sensitivity and respect without freezing up? How do we thoughtfully, responsibly, and joyfully craft books for an ever-more-diverse community of young readers? Cynthia Leitich Smith will offer questions for us to consider and insights from her own writing journey.
CYNTHIA LEITICH SMITH is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling YA author of Hearts Unbroken and both the Feral trilogy and Tantalize series. She’s also the author of award-winning children’s books, including: Jingle Dancer, Rain Is Not My Indian Name, and Indian Shoes.
Webinar Fees – Chapter Meeting Prices:
Season Ticket: Free
Member: $10.
Non-member $15.
Those who can’t attend the live event may watch the recording, which will be available to all attendees for two weeks.
Hosted by San Diego, CA
The SCBWI Winter Conference will take place in the digital realm on February 20-21, 2021. The conference will provide attendees with a virtual trip to the Big Apple with behind-the-scenes tours of publishing houses, mock acquisition meetings, and an inside look at the book production process.
Keynote speakers include Adam SilveraBecky AlbertalliChristian Robinson, Matt de la Pena, and Jerry Craft as well as panels of agents, editors, and art directors. The conference will feature The Golden Kite Awards Gala, the career-launching portfolio showcase, and a full-day Intensive for illustrators on Friday, February 19.
If you are having problems with Zoom or with registering for a Brazos Valley SCBWI event, please contact Please note, unless otherwise stated, all Brazos Valley SCBWI events are free of cost. We are currently requiring registration in order to keep our events private and safe from hackers. Your event login information will be emailed to the email address on file in your SCBWI account.