Your April 2021 SCBWI Houston Newsletter
Upcoming Meeting: Monday, April 5 7-9 PM
Next Meeting: May 3 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:
Behind the Newbery Scene with Sondy Eklund
Last month: Young Adult Yearnings: Meaning & Identity with Liara Tamani and Anna Meriano Check with website for link to Zoom recording soon.
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!

Netflix Has Released a Film Adaptation of Jennifer Mattieu's YA, Moxie
Houston-based author and Bellaire High School English teacher Jennifer Mathieu raised a glass recently after the trailer for the Netflix movie based on her young adult novel, Moxie, was aired. The trailer has been shared around the world in myriad media outlets.
(View it here.)
The film stars and is directed by comedy legend Amy Poehler. The former Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation star’s production company, Paper Kite, optioned the rights to Moxie in 2018, and it began airing on the streaming giant March 3.
Deborah K. Frontiera is Releasing a New NF Book in May

Superior Tapestry: Weaving the Threads of Upper Michigan History by Deborah K. Frontiera will be released mid to late May, 2021, by Modern History Press. This work of creative nonfiction will be suitable for middle school and up, families and interested adults.
It features segments of Upper Michigan history told from the point of view of rocks, rivers, trees, and artifacts at various museums from Copper Harbor to Menominee and Ironwood to Sault Ste. Marie. These include a replica of a birch bark canoe, the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald, a propeller from a B-24 bomber, a crosscut saw, player piano from Seney's "wild west" days, a 500 year old pine tree, the "man car" from the Quincy copper
mine and many more.
Susan McCauley's Ghost Hunters Series Receiving Positive Feedback
Susan McCauley has good news about her middle grade paranormal/horror series. Kirkus Reviews selected Ghost Hunters: Bones in the Wall (Book 1) for their new “Indies Worth Discovering” publication, which will come out in May 2021, and Barnes & Noble selected Ghost Hunters: Pirates’ Curse (Book 2) as a “Top 100 Indie New Release” April-June 2021.
Joy Saxton Announces Plans for a Sequel to Her First Book
Joy, a relatively new member of our group, is announcing that she has plans to print her second book in a series called Joy Goes to Mexico with her publisher, Longtale Publishing later this summer. 

The book teaches children to love one another, and to respect diversity and culture. The book will include Spanish as well as English on each page. 

Joy tells us, "I want to teach children to love the world, and to grow up to not fear one another. My first book Joy and the Far Away Land is based on a true story of my travels to Russia when I was a child with a performing arts troop called Peace Child, before the end of the Cold War. The story tells of my adventure with a boy named Sergey, who shares his family and country with me, and I vow to never forget and to teach children to love the world. 

In my current book my character Joy, travels to Mexico and makes friends with a little boy named Jose, and he shows her his country and culture and family.

Just thought I'd mention.... During Covid, my job and world went virtual and a bit upside down like everyone else. I had so much time to be creative and to start this book, and to realize how important doing the books is to me. Honestly, if it weren't for Covid I very likely wouldn't have taken the opportunity to do the next book. The silver lining I guess. I'm so thrilled that I'm doing it, and feel with everything going on in our country and world, my message of this next book is very relevant.

I'm also developing a Virtual (Zoom) presentation for Librarians and Teachers. I know other authors in SCBWI are probably figuring out this virtual world just as much as me!"

Charles Beyl's Second PB Finally Arrives
After COVID related shipping delays my book My Friend Ben Won’t Share is out! This is my second picture book and will be a series with Albert Whitman called Chip & Ben Stories. 

From Charles: "I have the Houston chapter of SCBWI to thank for getting the ball rolling for me. I attended the local conference back in 2016 which allowed me to get on the road to being an author/illustrator."

Charles' first book, Scout, the Mighty Tugboat, is on the list for the Crystal Kite Award, currently under first round of voting. Learn more about the Crystal Kite
Award below.
Join Our Illustrator Coordinator, Joe Balat, on a virtual sketch crawl in Scotland.
April 17, 10-11 am we will be experiencing a virtual city sketch crawl through the beautiful city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Bring your sketching supplies and walk this historic city (minus the sore feet). Join the Zoom session that morning a little before 10am here.
Alda P. Dobbs Launches Her Newsletter
In her newsletter she’ll share the latest news, give writing tips and sneak peeks to behind the scenes. She will also spotlight authors and provide special content. Sign up below and be eligible for giveaways!

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.

Art by Michaela Goade from I Sang You Down from the Stars
The Kweili Color of Children's Literature Conference
Join us April 9th - 11th, 2021 for an incredible weekend with top editors, agents, authors and illustrators in the children's book publishing world. Our spring conference is an excellent opportunity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color writers and illustrators to learn, get inspired and network with others in the industry. The conference features a stellar lineup of authors and illustrators, including award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors and illustrators Derrick Barnes, Carole Boston Weatherford, Brandy Colbert, Floyd Cooper, Jerry Craft, Christine Day, Michaela Goade, Veera Hiranandani, Minh Lê, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Juana Martinez-Neal, Meg Medina, Aida Salazar, Kelly Starling Lyons, Javaka Steptoe, Jasmine Warga, Renee Watson, Alicia Williams, Rita Williams Garcia and Ibi Zoboi. 

Inspiring keynote addresses by Angeline Boulley and Safia Elhillo will bookend a day of panels on Saturday, April 10th. We will end Sunday, April 11th with a closing keynote conversation between Newberry award winners, Meg Medina and Jerry Craft. 

This conference is not associated with or endorsed by SCBWI.
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.

May 2
June 2021 Kelly Starling Lyons

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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