Winter 2024 NETWORKS
February Edition
Anyone can attend any Network,
anywhere at anytime!

Live, in-person and online meetings are free and open to all! Networks focus on craft and industry programming and are our first point of outreach with the wider creative community.

Scroll down to see the complete list
of networks and offerings!

Network Representatives are valued SCBWI-IL volunteers.
Contact them with your questions about attending any of our programs.

Interested in starting a NETWORKS group?

All Network times are CDT
Illustration Networks
SCBWI-IL Members: You can also join in the fun at our SCBWI Illinois Illustrators Network Group on Facebook – request to join here.

SCBWI member illustrators please make sure you are on the illustrator Google Group! To be added please email Allan Woodrow
Chicago-Area Illustrators’ Network
Carrie Carlson on Nature Journaling

Since 2001, Carrie Carlson has been a full-time high school educator in the south suburbs of Chicago where she has split her years between the science and art departments. She also teaches a variety of adult art courses at the Morton Arboretum including linoleum block printing, drawing birds, and nature journaling.

Field sketching is a cornerstone of scientific illustration. She can’t imagine visiting a local zoo, much less traveling abroad, without a sketchbook. She believes that travel and field sketching generate a deeper appreciation for humanity and the planet; the act of drawing forces us to slow down, to notice, reflect, cherish, and consider.

Join us as Carrie talks about her work and gives us ideas for doing our own nature journaling.

You can learn more about Carrie by visiting her website here.

When: Saturday, February 17, 2024

Time: 10:30 AM

via Zoom
Email Network Co-Reps Sarah Tobias and Denise Holmes for more information:
Midstate Illustrators' Network
Join us on Facebook:
This Network maintains a Facebook page (Downstate Illinois SCBWI Illustrators) for critiques and information sharing between meetings. If you’d like to join us, send us a request via Facebook or email one of the network reps. At our meetings we typically discuss markets, critique work and share our journey. Everyone is welcome.
Email Network Co-Reps Louann Brown and Jerry Barrett for more information.
Writing Networks
Chicago Southside Network

Josh Gregory Speaker Event
A lifelong reader and accumulator of books, Josh Gregory has equal appreciation for a good story and a nice-looking cover. The Boxcar Children was one of the formative books of his childhood, so getting to work on the series as an adult is a real thrill for him. Before joining Albert Whitman as an editor, he spent more than 10 years writing and editing children’s nonfiction. When he’s not reading or seeking out new books for his collection, he can often be found bouncing between Chicago’s many movie theaters and music venues.

When: Friday, February 9, 2024

Time: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Where: 57th St. Bookstore, 1301 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
Welcome Adelaide Grosse to the Chicago Southside Network! She is a children's and comic book illustrator who takes inspiration from the natural and supernatural world in drawing scientific and speculative works. Addie is looking for a co-rep to help bring programs to Hyde Park, if you are interested, please reach out.
Email Addie for more information:
Far North Suburban Network
Planning Session

Join us as we reflect on the responses submitted via the Feedback Planning form. We'll discuss what we want out of future meetings and perhaps plan for the summer and fall.

When: Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Time: 7:00 PM

Where: Cook Library, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, IL 60048

If you can't make in-person, you can also join via Zoom:
Email Far North Suburban Network Representatives, Kim Oclon and Nicole Hewitt for more information:
Far Northwest Suburban Network
in person

If you'd like to share pages and receive feedback, please bring one picture book manuscript or no more than five double spaced pages of a novel excerpt.

We will meet at 6:30 PM the third Wednesday of the month from January to November at the Café in Barnes and Noble, 1470B East Golf Road in Schaumburg.

Mark your calendars for 6:30 PM on:
Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Email Network Co-Reps Veronica Rundell and Liz Searle for more information:
Dundee Area Network

Critique Night

When: Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Time: 7:00 PM

via Zoom
Don't be shy! Everyone is welcome to attend! If you'd like to share pages and receive feedback, please bring up to 1,000 words. If you haven't heard Jenny read your picture book - you are missing out!
Email Network Rep & Co-Regional Advisor Jennifer Wagh if you are a first-time attendee.
Near West Suburban Network
(formally Oak Park & Near West Suburban Network)

A Day in the Life of a Children's Librarian

We're thrilled to welcome Rose Hopkins-LaRocco, Children's Services Director at the La Grange Park Public Library to talk about her exciting job, connecting kids to books and much more!

Hopkins-LaRocco has spent a good amount of her life in libraries. Her grandmother was a librarian and in high school, Rose’s first job was as a page at her local library. She strayed briefly to receive a degree in Theater at Columbia College Chicago and work in children’s theater. Therefore, she is uniquely qualified to be a children’s librarian, as play and storytelling were a main component of her education.

Rose received her Masters of Library and Information Science from Dominican University. She has been the Children’s Services Director at the La Grange Park Public Library since 2016. When not “librarianing,” she can be found walking her silly dog, baking and eating pastries, and of course, reading.

When: Thursday, February 8, 2024

Time: 7:00 PM

via Zoom
Email Network Rep Sarah Hammond for more information.
Bolingbrook-Naperville Network
Musicality in Manuscripts
Author Anitra Rowe Schulte will help us make our manuscripts sing.

She is author of DANCING WITH DADDY, illustrated
by Ziyue Chen (Two Lions) and WILLOW AND BUNNY, illustrated by Christopher Denise (Two Lions).

Her chapter book series STARLIN, illustrated by Katie Crumpton (Beaming Books), releases in 2024 and 2025.

When: Saturday, February 17, 2024

Time: 10:00 AM via ZOOM
Email Network Co-Reps Catherine Velasco and Mary & Rich Chamberlin for more information:
Geneva Network
The Geneva Network critiques in person at 7:00 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month at Geneva Public Library, 227 S 7th St. in Geneva - subject to weather.

Mark your calendars for in-person:
Wednesday, February 7, 2024

They also critique via Zoom on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

Mark your calendars for Zoom meetings:
Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Email Network Co-Reps Janet Riehecky and Cheryl App for more information:
Rockford Network

Join us via Zoom for a night of Character Development Exercises.

Bring pencils, paper and ideas!

When: Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Time: 6:00 PM

via Zoom
Email Network Co-Reps Karen Blaski and Gina Buckles for more information:
Galena-Freeport Area Network
To accommodate creators who work during the day, Network Rep. Jamie Petras said they are trying a new time for their unique critique meetings.

Each person gets 15 minutes to show their work or art, and get feedback. Or discuss any topic they want, sharing an article or illustration.

Mark your calendar for 6:30 to 8:30 PM:
February 27, 2024

Want to join the fun? Please contact Jamie for the Google Chat Link.
Email Network Rep Jamie Petras for more information.
Springfield Area Scribes Network

Critique Night

Springfield Scribes will meet via Zoom to critique 5 pages of MG & YA or entire PB.

When: Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Time: 6:00 PM

via Zoom
Email Network Rep Debra Daugherty for more info.
Edwardsville Network
The Network meets from 6 to 8 PM on the third Wednesday of the month at Books-A-Million, 6601 Edwardsville Crossing Drive in Edwardsville.

Mark your calendars for:
Wednesday: February 21, 2024

Bring 5 pages to critique! We do in-person critiques but have traditionally asked that writers new to the group wait until their second meeting to submit work for critique. New writers welcome!
Email Network Juli Caveny for more information.
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