February 2017
2017 Annual Summer Conference in LA July 7 - 10

We're excited to announce that the 46th and 47th annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles will be held at the JW Marriott at LA Live. This beautiful hotel is located directly next to LA Live, the premier downtown campus featuring sports and music venues, night clubs, restaurants, a bowling alley, museum, and movie theaters.

General Conference: July 7 - 9, 2017
Optional Intensives: July 10, 2017

Plan ahead for this life-changing event! Registration will open in MARCH. We will announce exact registration dates soon!
A Timely Editorial
By Lin Oliver 
There's no doubt that we are living in a highly charged political environment.  Everyone has an opinion and is expressing it vigorously, as well we should  This freedom of expression is one of the precious rights guaranteed to Americans by the First Amendment.  All of us at SCBWI cherish our First Amendment freedoms, which are so crucial to the work of writers and artists.
The SCBWI is made up of 25,000 individuals, individuals whose beliefs range broadly across the political spectrum. There is no one profile of an SCBWI member; nevertheless, we are bound together by a common goal. This goal, as stated in our mission statement, is "to support the creation and availability of quality children's books around the world by fostering a vibrant community...and to act as a consolidated voice for writers and illustrators of children's books worldwide." 
In working towards this goal, we believe SCBWI members share certain core values.  As creative people, we promote and advocate for freedom of expression.  As providers of windows into all worlds, we support inclusion, diversity and equality of opportunity for all individuals.  As visionaries for today's children, we strive to avoid hate and hate-speech while promoting acceptance and understanding .  As teachers and role models, we hope to inspire young people to be curious, to question and think critically and humanely about the world they are inheriting.
The climate of our nation, and increasingly of the world, has become deeply polarized.  It's easy for all of us to resort to social media to express our opinions, frustrations and feelings.  With that fact in mind, it's important to state here that the SCBWI as an organization does not represent a particular political point of view.  We would hope that you, our members, never confuse individual political points of view expressed by our staff, board or your fellow members, with those of SCBWI.  Although we encourage the expression of individual ideas, they do not represent the organization.  What does represent the SCBWI are the GOALS we've listed above.  We stand for freedom of expression, for inclusion, for absence of hate, and for equality of opportunity for all. These are not political ideologies, but expressions of our shared human values.
Each and every one of us should be free to create. Children should be free to read.  Our hope for these times is that our organization can stand for positivity, that our shared consolidated voice will be a beacon of freedom and love and civility, and that these values rise above ideology in support of the best possible future for our children.
---- Lin Oliver, Stephen Mooser and the SCBWI Board of Advisors    

SCBWI Exclusive with...
Arianne Lewin, Executive Editor, G.P. Putnam's Sons
Arianne Lewin is an Executive Editor at G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House USA. A native New Yorker, Arianne started her publishing career in 2002 at Disney-Hyperion Books for Children, where she worked on picture books with Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Laura Numeroff; chapter books with Deborah Underwood and Whoopi Goldberg; and young adult novels with Cinda Williams Chima, Chris Bradford, and Julie Anne Peters.

Since joining Penguin Random House in 2010, Arianne has acquired and published the work of the Geisel Award-winning picture book author/illustrator Ethan Long, middle grade and young adult fiction from New York Times best-selling author Rachel Hawkins, and Rick Yancey's #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling 5th Wave series.

 What are the elements in a query letter that reel you in to make you request a full manuscript?
I most want to hear what a story is about, so I can consider whether it will be a good fit for my list (or entice me to dip into an unfamiliar category).  If an author has a bit of knowledge about the market, I'd be interested in hearing about who they think the book is for, or other stories the work might evoke.   PRO TIP: Query letters are more like business letters than getting-to-know-you opportunities, so I'd avoid saying anything that feels too wacky or personal. 
Illustrator Info
Conference Prep
In preparation for this year's NY Winter Conference, I asked three of the recipients of the 2016 Student Illustrator Scholarships to give their best advice on attending a SCBWI conference for the first time. A lot of this advice also applies to SCBWI events of all sorts, so even if you aren't coming to the NY conference, read up!
Oge Mora

* Everyone is here to meet new people. If you see someone at a mixer you admire, it isn't weird to approach them and introduce yourself, it's expected. It felt awkward at first, but I slowly got used to approaching people and trading postcards. A lot of amazing people attend SCBWI so feel free to take advantage of the opportunity to meet them. 


* Know why you are here. It seems simple, but I think it is important to be clear about what you want from SCBWI. You're going to receive a lot of feedback, whether it is in a workshop, a portfolio consultation, or at the portfolio showcase. If you know what direction you want to go with you work, you'll be better able to decide what advice to act on and what advice to simply keep in mind.


* You aren't here for long. The conference goes by faster than you would think, so make sure you do as much as possible. Attend all the lectures, eat with new friends during lunch, ask questions in the workshops, and catch all the social events. It's an incredible time so enjoy it to the end!



On the Shelves                    

Kids Ink  

A thirty-year resident of Indianapolis, Indiana, Kids Ink has some veteran's advice for what's on the shelves. 

What sets Kid's Ink apart from other bookstores?
Often new customers come in and say, "This looks just like the bookstore where we used to live or This is just like the bookstore in that movie." I don't think of Kids Ink as apart from other children's bookstores. In many ways we are all alike in carrying quality books and offering the best service possible. One difference is that Kids Ink is now over thirty years old...a dinosaur in bookstores!  

What has been a successful author visit and why do you believe it was more successful than others? 
If success is measured in sales, the most successful are those visits where one has to have tickets and people line up down the block! Those visits have included Jeff Kinney, Patricia Polacco, Tomie DePaola, Stephen Kellogg, Jan Brett, Ann Martin, Brian Selznick, Kate Di Camillo, Sara Dessen and Chris Van Allsburg. For several of these we have partnered with the library to have more room.
We want your photos! Tag us on Twitter/Instagram/ Facebook with pictures relating to kids or kids books. Use #scbwitribeshare and we'll choose new snaps each month to share. 

David LaRochelle thrills the students at the Talahi School in Minnesota as part of the prize of the Amber Brown Grant
Nancy Day, A.H. Taylor, and Janell Agyeman
Photo Credit: A.H. Taylor, www.TheAtlantaIllustrator.com


Executive Editor, Jordan Brown, gets in on the action at the SCBWI Happy Hour at ALA

Lin Oliver sports her pink pussy hat in support of the woman's march movement

Our very own Special Projects Director and debut author, Kim Turrisi, signing her novel JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY at ALA
Draw This!
Draw This! is our monthly prompt word for illustrators.  

Draw This is back! 

February's prompt is . . .  LOVE
Entries are due February 20 to scbwidrawthis@scbwi.org 
Submissions for February will be up in our March gallery.