Your December 2020 SCBWI Houston Newsletter
Upcoming Meeting: Monday, December 7 2020 7-9 PM
Next Meeting: January 4 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:
Like a Bridge Over Mushy Middles: Strengthening Your Story's Midpoint
with Lynne Kelly
Next meeting: January 4Unforgettable Settings: Creating New Worlds from Familiar Places- Nikki Loftin

Yahoo Listserv ENDING. 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!

MAB Media to Republish Seven Classic Titles by
Ruth Manning-Sanders and
Robin Jacques After a 50-Year Gap.

Melissa Buron, of MAB Media, announced that they have acquired the rights to the seven fairy tale titles and have begun with A Book of Witches. Other titles coming will be A Book of Mermaids, A Book of Dragons, A Book of Ghosts and Goblins, A Book of Princes and Princesses, A Book of Devils and Demons, and A Book of Kings and Queens. Manning-Sanders passed in 1988 having published more than 90 books and Jacques in 1995 having illustrated over a 100. A Book of Witches is now available online and in bookstores.

Eliza Horn Awarded the
2020 Joan Lowery Nixon Award.
Eliza's YA novel is titled, Rom-Com Rules! This award comes with a mentorship that is well known for launching successful careers. Eliza will be mentored by Houston author, Joy Preble. Other deserving nominees were Kimberly Freeman, Amanda Wenger, Kari Gonzalez, Carmela McCain Simmons, and Grey McCallister de Reyes.
Tonya Duncan Ellis Appearing on
Great Day Houston

Tonya Duncan Ellis, author of the middle grade series, Sophie Washington, will appear with Deborah Duncan on Great Day Houston December 10.

Diann Floyd Boehm Releasing Fifth Book in The Little Girl in the Moon Series
Moonling Adventures - The Serengeti, will be released December 14. The adventure begins in the observatory on the Moon, where the Moonlings use a simulated spaceship to visit Earth and explore the Serengeti. For information on upcoming events and book signings, visit her website at and sign up for her newsletter.
Coming February 2021, the SECOND annual NF FEST online challenge!
Houston author Pat Miller and the Nonfiction Chicks invite you to join the second annual NF Fest online challenge. If you’ve ever wanted to write nonfiction, have searched for workshops on writing true, or are an experienced NF writer looking for more advanced help, NF Fest is for you.
In February, 2021, 28 experienced authors and illustrators, many of them best selling and/or award winning creators, will teach, inspire, and support us. Last year we had 673 people registered from nearly every state and four continents. There were 1.2K in our Facebook group. Evaluations of the experience were enthusiastic.
There will be opportunities for you to read, write, and research with guidance and the company of hundreds of writers like yourself. There will be prizes. And it is all FREE!
Registration is January 15 – January 31. You can join the FB page now for updates and immediate camaraderie, All the posts from the first NF Fest are archived at the challenge site: Mark your calendar, and make 2021 your Year of Nonfiction.

Dede Fox has announced that she has signed with Tabitha Pope of SBR Media who will represent her newest book, Jigsaw.
Cathy Nickell Featured in SCBWI Pro-Insider
Our Houston chapter member Cathey Nickell was featured in the Fall SCBWI Pro-Insider e-newsletter. Laurie Miller, SCBWI’s event coordinator and writer-at-large in Los Angeles, reached out to Cathey and asked to interview her about how she found and hired illustrators for her two indie picture books, Arthur Zarr's Amazing Art Car and Yazzy's Amazing Yarn. The Pro-Insider goes out to about 10,000-plus members, and Cathey was thrilled to get this chance brag about her illustrators: Bill Megenhardt and Emily Calimlim. Here is a link to the Pro-Insider article: Cathey also blogged about the experience on her personal author website:
Registration for the SCBWI Winter Conference is now open! 

If you thought the Summer Spectacular was spectacular, you’ll be amazed at what we are offering for the annual Winter Conference! Programming that is contemporary and relevant, focusing on popular genres and behind-the-scenes looks into the children’s publishing industry. There will be:
  • Dynamic keynotes and industry panels
  • A fly-on-the-wall look at the book acquisition and design process
  • The Golden Kite Awards Gala
  • Online networking opportunities and socials
  • The career-launching Portfolio Showcase
  • A full-day, optional Illustrators’ Intensive
The conference will include incredible keynote conversations between Adam Silvera and Becky AlbertalliChristian Robinson and Matt de la PeñaJerry Craft and Victoria Jamieson, plus a rare appearance from the legendary Patricia MacLachlan. The event will also provide an inside look at the children’s book industry through visits, mock meetings, and an in-depth, state-of-the-industry interview with Jean Feiwel. 

The conference takes place live on Zoom, but video recordings will be available to attendees through March 31, 2021. Participate live or watch at your convenience. Visit the SCBWI website for more information.

October 1st the Indiana SCBWI will open registration for their one-day graphic novel conference, "Turning Writer and Illustrator Ideas Into Graphic Novels," which will be held online on January 16th.
Tomie dePaola Masterclass
Released for FREE
All of us in SCBWI and the children's book community lost a dear friend and artist in
Tomie dePaola. Anyone who has been lucky enough to dine or converse with him, or simply to be near his great big gregarious spirit, knows that he was the genuine article: a singular personality, and a master artist.

As we mourn his loss, we also want to celebrate his incredible body of work
and his long and dear friendship with our organization.

We are making available to members his entire Master Class DVD that he shot with Lin Oliver, where the two of them go in depth and discuss the modern picture book, a form he helped to invent and elevate. With outsized generosity, Tomie breaks down the history of the picture book, his approach, his working methods---everything you'd want to know about how he crafts a work of art for children. Tomie was incredibly proud of this Master Class. So please enjoy it, and pull a book or three of his off the shelf.

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

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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.

2021 schedule of meetings will be coming soon.

Jan 4Unforgettable Settings: Creating New Worlds from Familiar Places- Nikki Loftin

Our Staff

Regional Advisor:
Asst. Regional Advisor:
Lynne Kelly
Illustrators Coordinator:
Monthly Program Chair:
Sarah Choi

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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