SCBWI Brazos Valley News

Upcoming BV Events
Scholarships for the Winter Conference!
Black History Month Books
Online Offerings
Upcoming Brazos Valley Events
Feb 2021 BV SCBWI Meeting
Join picture book author-illustrator and commercial artist Adriana Bergstrom for a virtual tour of her studio. This is a fantastic opportunity to understand the work that goes into illustration as well as learn about the tools today's illustrators have at their disposal. We highly recommend joining this meeting, even if you are not an illustrator! Picture book authors are often told to "leave room for the illustrator" and understanding what illustrators bring to the table is an essential part of knowing how to follow this advice.
Scholarships for the Winter Conference!
Brazos Valley SCBWI is pleased to announce two scholarships for the SCBWI Winter Conference (held virtually, Feb 19-21). Scholarship winners will be drawn at random and announced on Feb 3rd.
BV SCBWI member scholarship

Open to all Brazos Valley SCBWI members.

This scholarship will cover HALF the cost of registration ($75 out of the $150 total member registration fee). Winners who have already registered for the conference will be reimbursed $75.

Please take a moment to ensure your membership is current before applying.
Amplifying Unsung Voices scholarship

Open to members and non-members residing in the Brazos Valley SCBWI region who identify as part of groups that are traditionally underrepresented in children's publishing. More information provided on scholarship application page.

The scholarship will cover HALF the cost of registration ($75 of the $150 total member registration fee OR $125 of the $250 total non-member registration fee). Winners who have already registered for the conference will be reimbursed.
The SCBWI Winter Conference will take place 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 on Friday evening, with special guest speaker Jennifer Garner.

Brazos Valley Member Social
Attendees from Brazos Valley will be invited to a Zoom social on the evening of Thursday, February 18. Details will be emailed to all registrants from our region. We also will invite attendees to a private
Facebook group where we can discuss the events and share insights.

Imagine your work in front of over 100 editors and agents. Attendees of the Online Winter Conference will have this amazing opportunity – all at no additional cost.

All conference attendees are invited to showcase their manuscript in the first-ever SCBWI Writer’s Gallery. If you are an attendee of the Winter Conference, we invite you to upload either a synopsis or the first 500 words of your manuscript. Over 100 editors and agents will be invited to peruse the gallery during the conference and they’ll reach out to authors whose work hooks them! Only those invited will be able to view the gallery. This opportunity is FREE to all attendees. The deadline to submit a manuscript is February 12, 2021.

SCBWI Celebrates Black History Month
We invite you to explore books by and about the Black community created by our Brazos Valley SCBWI members!
ALLIGATOR JAZZ by Samuel E. Pittman II, illustrated by Sheila Bailey, available from Pelican Publishing Company
ANGEL THIEVES by Kathi Appelt, available from Simon & Schuster
ART FROM HER HEART: FOLK ARTIST CLEMENTINE HUNTER by Kathy Whitehead, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, available from Penguin Random House
THE BUFFALO SOLDIER by Sherry Garland, illustrated by Ronald Himler, available from Pelican Publishing Company
THUNDER AND LIGHTNING by Mary E. Evans, illustrated by Luis Peres, available from Amazon
UNDER THE CRESCENT MOON by B. W. Van Alstyne, illustrated by M. Sidney Atkins, available from Amazon
We are working to create an Equity and Inclusion team to help our membership better reflect the diversity of Texas and the Brazos Valley. If you are interested in joining our team, please email brazosvalley-ra @ . The Equity and Inclusion team will receive trainings and support from SCBWI HQ and SCBWI’s Equity and Inclusion officer, April Powers.

Upcoming Online Events--a sampling of online offerings

February 13, 4 – 6 p.m. CST
Webinar Description – 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 SCBWI San Diego, CA

Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 2 PM CST
Webinar Description – Children’s Nonfiction is booming. With increasing interest in NF picture and gift books, graphic and YA NF, and with Common Core and other initiatives encouraging publishers to produce more NF, there are great opportunities for writers and illustrators to find work and use their creativity in this genre. There is clear evidence that it is far easier to find work in children’s NF than in Fiction. And children’s NF can be just as creative, fun, and rewarding. Many of the major book awards are won by NF titles. Find out about print and digital publishers of NF, about book packagers that produce many NF titles for them, and about organizations commissioning and seeking NF people. What are they producing and seeking? What is it like to work for them? How much do they pay? Who does the picture research? Do you need an agent to secure NF work? How can you transition from fiction to NF? This webinar is suitable for all genres and levels.
Webinar Fees – SCBWI Members: $15; Non-members: $25
(includes live webinar and 30 days of recording access)
Hosted by MD/DE/WV

03/13/2021 9 am – 10 am CST
We are delighted to host versatile and talented editor Erin Siu for the first of our “Grow With the Pros” webinars! Not only will Erin share her wisdom during this event, but she is also offering paid critiques and there is a submission opportunity to her afterwards. Macmillan is usually closed to un-agented submissions.
Webinar Fees – SCBWI members $25
Non-SCBWI members $35
Hosted by Indiana

Please share your good news with us by emailing
Dedra Davis, Brazos Valley member in Waco, is featured as a Rising Star in Kidlit on the January 19, 2021, edition of the Big Kids Writing for Little Kids blog by Amanda Davis.

On the challenges of breaking into publishing, Dedra said, “The hardest thing so far is getting a yes! I’ve had two R&R’s, but they were both passes. And I went to acquisitions in March! But it was also a pass. Close, but so far! I realized almost two years ago; the only way I would get published is NOT to quit. If I quit, THAT will be my final answer. I FAIL FORWARD every day. I write, revise, read, and persevere!”
SCBWI Houston member Charles Trevino connected with Charlesbridge editor Karen Boss at our 2017 Brazos Valley Blooms Conference. The resulting picture book, Seaside Stroll, illustrated by Maribel Lechuga, was released on Jan. 19! An online book launch party is set for 1 p.m. Feb. 6 with Blue Willow Bookshop. Register ahead of time to receive the video link.
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.