December 2022

Chapter Logo and Header by Marissa Valdez



2022: Let's Recap!

I'm pretty sure I say this every December, but I can't believe the year is almost over! When time feels like it's going in a blur, I find it helpful to list the accomplishments and adventures for the year.

So, here is our Houston SCBWI 2022 Recap:

  • Twelve monthly meetings full of craft tips and industry info
  • Four virtual sketch-ins
  • Three in-person socials for general membership
  • Three illustrator socials, both in-person and virtual
  • Two new Regional Team members (Hi, Co-RA Kaye & IC Lisa 👋)
  • Two Newsletter Editors (Hi to current editor, Angela! 👋) and an updated newsletter format
  • One brand new Retreat Chair (Hi, Annie! 👋)
  • One picture book revision workshop with the incredible Kelly Bennett
  • One character and voice intensive with the fantastic Leah Henderson
  • One Graphic Novel Crash Course with the super duper Jarrett Lerner
  • And a WHOLE year of member success (in a pear tree 🎶)!

2023 promises to be full of excitement as we're already working on the next year of programming, including our upcoming retreat (can't wait!) and a return to in-person chapter meetings. In another sign of the return to normalcy, SCBWI National is hosting it's first in-person conference since 2019! Members can attend in-person or virtually at the 2023 Winter Conference in New York City! We're also encouraging all those interested in a local in-person conference to plan for Austin's event in April.

Lastly a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who make all this possible, especially an amazing Regional Team who not only works hard to keeps the lights on, but also keeps my sanity intact with their endless support and humor.

It's been a pleasure to serve another year as your Co-RA. Let's keep working together for an even better 2023 (*cough* we still have empty volunteer spots *cough*). I'm looking forward to all of the successes--big and small--I know 2023 will bring, and I can't wait to hear about it and cheer you on!

Wishing you a very Happy Holiday season and an excellent New Year!

Meghan Senkel

Co-RA, SCBWI Houston


2022 Year in Review

Click to view larger

Click to view larger


DEBBIE’S SONG: The Debbie Friedman Story

Written by Ellen Leventhal and illustrated by the talented Natalia Grebtsova and launching from Kar-Ben on April 4, 2023.

Ellen Leventhal is an author and educator in Houston, TX. Debbie’s Song is her fourth published picture book.

Click here to pre-order!

Camila the Rodeo Star

The next season of the Camila the Star series, published by Capstone, will be released in January 2023!

The series includes Camila the Invention Star, Camila the Spelling Bee Star, Camila the Soccer Star, and Camila the Rodeo Star.

Click here to pre-order!

Have News? Share It With Us!

Submit author & illustrator news for the next newsletter to Angela Yeh by the 25th of each month via this form. Event submissions for member book launches and signings can be added to our regional calendar! Please be sure to include the date, time, and location.


January 2023 Chapter Meeting: In-person? Probably!

We're really excited about who we have lined up for our January meeting, but haven't nailed down all of the details yet. But it looks like we'll be having our first in-person speaker-led meeting in January!

The location and time for in-person meetings will continue to be at the Tracy Gee Community Center (3599 Westcenter Drive, Houston, TX 77042) from 7-9 pm CST on the first Monday of the month (unless preempted by a holiday).

Not looking forward to driving, live too far away, or otherwise unable to attend? We're working towards a hybrid model that will keep a Zoom component to in-person meeting whenever possible and hope to utilize it for all upcoming in-person meetings.

Keep your eyes open for more information coming soon!

December Meeting:

Jolly Holiday Potluck!



7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Tracy Gee Community Center

3599 Westcenter Drive, Houston, TX 77042

Join Houston SCBWI IN-PERSON to celebrate the holiday season with a festive party! We’re doing a no-fuss potluck with plenty of mingling and socializing.


Join the fun for:

  • Games
  • Food & drinks
  • Holiday music (obviously!)


Sign up to bring a potluck item here:

(The chapter will provide paper goods, silverware, and ice.)


To RSVP: Please respond to the Evite so we can keep an eye on numbers.

We hope to see you there! 🎄


We're excited to announce a spring retreat planed for May 19-21, 2023!

The three-day event will be held in the beautiful woods of Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas!

Put it on your calendar now for a fun mix of craft, work time, and socials.

Our schedule will allow attendees to Choose their Own Adventure!


Find many more Regional Virtual Events from the SCBWI website.

MAKING WAVES: Online Illustrator Event



Date(s) - 12/02/2022 - 12/04/2022

SCBWI Alaska and SCBWI MD/DW/WV joined together to put on an online illustrator event the first weekend in December. It’s a fantastic lineup: Will Terry, Elizabeth Dulemba, Rachel Orr, Julie Robine, Young Vo, and Eugenia Mello. There are presentations, hands-on workshops, critiques, an art contest, and scholarships among many other things.

To find out more, click here!

The Underdown Trifecta

December 4, 2022

Kane Press Introduction

30-minute Free Presentation for SCBWI Members and $45 for non-members.

Everything You Need to Know When Getting Started: The Basics in Two Hours

Members are $33; Non-Members $45


January 8, 2023

Read Like an Editor: Understanding Your Reader

Members $33; Non-Members $45


January 22, 2023

What You Need in Your Revision Toolkit

Members are $33; Non-Members $45 and

Click here for more information. Please direct questions to Roberta M. Rivera at

SCBWI Awards & Grants

Bologna Illustrator Scholarship

Two winners will each receive a ticket to the Bologna Book Fair, travel fare, and a stipend for accommodations. Winners will have an opportunity to show their portfolios to publishing professionals, display their portfolio at our industry party in Bologna, and attend the prestigious fair.


You must be a current SCBWI member to submit.

Submissions open December 1, 2022–December 22, 2022.

Click here for more information and to submit.

Featured Illustrator

Open each month to members. Click for submission guidelines.

Past winners & Featured Illustrator Interviews

DrawThis! Monthly Prompt

Open each month to members.

Click for prompts & submission guidelines 

Illustrator Corner

Calling all illustrators! We want to feature you! Please submit your completed works to for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter.

Draw with Sydney Smith

Relax to soft music as Sydney Smith re-creates a wintery illustration from his acclaimed book, Small in the City.


By Jim Smolski

The smallest ray of sunshine can start a leaf to turn and look with hope. I want to be the sunshine that creates that moment for at least one leaf every day. -Jim

Holiday Celebrations

Seems the season is approaching.

I am happy for us all.

Growing up with a strong belief.

From when we got the call.

Religion has a different look.

From my idea to yours.

But seeking good is a common goal.

It’s an “all together “cause.

We each are true to our beliefs.

It gives us a destination.

Helps us be better people.

With a cause for celebration.

We may not all see life the same.

We each have a special day.

So, cheers to the celebrations.

We can share along the way.

Open Opportunities

OPEN Volunteer Positions

We want to create a chapter that is more involved, engaged, and active, and we need your help to do it!

Open Positions:

Critique Connection Coordinator, Event Webmaster & Ticketing Manager, Membership Coordinator, and PAL Coordinator.

Click here for more information or to apply.

Stay on top of the latest SCBWI News!

Join the conversation at! Sign up here! 

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"[Message clipped]  View entire message"

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Suggestion Box

Have an idea on how to improve Houston SCBWI?

Leave a suggestion in our Suggestion Box!

Our Volunteers

Regional Team

Co-Regional Advisor:

Meghan Senkel

Co-Regional Advisor:

Kaye Marc-Charles

Asst. Regional Advisor:

Lynne Kelly

Illustrators Coordinator:

Lisa Chow

Regional Advisor Emeritus:

Vicki Sansum

Chapter Volunteers

Newsletter & Webmaster:

Angela Yeh

Conference/Retreat Chair:

Annie Harmon

Critique Group Coordinator:


Membership Coordinator


Programming Chair & Evite List:

Cheryl McCosh

PAL Coordinator


Social Media Chair:

Heather Walters   

Chapter Logo and Header Design by Marissa Valdez

Join our conversations on the SCBWI Texas discussion board

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News and other information may be passed on without attribution; original artwork and writing are the property of their creators and may be reproduced only with written permission.

Write to Angela Yeh at

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