SCBWI Local Chapters

Chapter Newsletter

March 2022

Illustration by Marissa Valdez



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Welcome to Your *NEW* Newsletter!


It's March in Houston and beginning to feel like spring in more ways than one. For starters, the weather is absolutely glorious! I hope you all have the opportunity to get out there and soak up some (mild) sun before things return to our usual setting of swamp-inferno!

And second, we also have this beautiful new newsletter from our new editor, Lisa Chow. Lisa is a fun and creative author-illustrator with a penchant for rainbows and pastel...perfect for fresh starts!

With this refresh of our newsletter, we thought we'd shake it up a bit--this column, for example. I'm hoping to pop in each month to write a note updating you all on the chapter and upcoming events. And if nothing else, to cheer you on as you make your way along this creative path.

We are also introducing a new regular column: Folk Wisdom and Other Thoughts by Jim Smolski. I've come to know Jim through the fun poems he shares with me via email. Many are about creativity, but also about life. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

In that vein, we are also considering two additional columns: one for illustrators where we share a rotation of member work and other craft-based resources; and one for writers that would feature a rotation of topics. Topics and featured artists would be selected from a pool of member submitted proposals. If you would like to voice your support for one or both of these please send me an email at

Lastly, I'm excited to announce our first IN-PERSON SOCIAL! While we work on transitioning back to in-person meetings, we wanted to provide an opportunity to socialize after so much time apart. We're planning casual get togethers every quarter in different parts of the greater Houston area. See the Houston Chapter Events section below for more details.

I'd like to end this first note with a GIGANTIC THANK YOU to member Bruce Foster for his tireless, faithful, and always friendly dedication to our chapter. He retires (at long last!) as newsletter editor and webmaster after eight years of service. Bruce was one of the many welcoming and friendly faces I met when I took on the role of RA, and I would not have had nearly as much success without his support and guidance. Thank you from all of us, Bruce!

Take care,

Meghan Senkel

Regional Advisor, Houston SCBWI



Kelsy Thompson at Jolly Fish has bought IT HAPPENED ON SATURDAY, a middle grade contemporary novel by debut author Sydney Dunlap. After 13-year-old Julia nearly becomes a victim of human trafficking, she must find the courage to speak up about her experience or else her friend could end up becoming a victim too. Publication is set for spring 2023; local agent, and friend of Houston SCBWI, Ann Rose at Prospect Agency brokered the deal for world rights.

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Sarah Allison's debut picture book AUDREY-SAURUS releases March 11. Audrey-Saurus is spirited, silly and totally obsessed with dinosaurs! Join her as she adventures her way through each day and does things exactly her own way! Illustrations by Lauren Mocelin. The book is currently available for pre-order online at Brazos, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Hardcovers are available at The Monogram Shop and Threadfare.


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This month's topic: INDIE PUBLISHING

March 7th

7pm-9pm CT (via zoom)

Considering self publishing? Learn the pros and cons and best practices to follow to successfully self publish your children’s book with Tonya Duncan Ellis, author of the bestselling SOPHIE WASHINGTON children’s book series. Learn more here.

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March 19th

Draw-A-Long: 10am-11am CT (via zoom)

Critique session: 11:10am-12:00pm CT (via zoom)

During this creative time together, Regional Illustrator Coordinator, Yousef Balat, will post an inspiration board with a variety of ways emotions can be visually communicated. Following the drawing session, Yousef will host a critique session where we can help each other with our current illustration work. Learn more here.

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Please join us at Karbach Brewing Co. on Saturday, March 26 from 11-1pm. We will be sitting at the covered picnic tables in the outdoor biergarten. Join us for a cool drink, some chapter-provided snacks, and friendly faces! An Evite will be coming soon.

Click to view the Goole map.


SCBWI California San Diego

Virtual PB Intensive


Getting the Most Story Out of Your Illustrations

with author/illustrator Adam Rex

March 12, 9am-12pm PT (via zoom)

Rex will discuss his steps of art-making, design and text decisions, dummy creation and presentation, and the publication process. More info here.

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SCBWI California San Diego


with author Minh Le

March 12, 2pm-4pm PT (via zoom)

Le will provide tips on writing picture book manuscripts (including how to leave room for the illustrator to work their magic). More information here.

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Highlights Foundation


A Two-Night Mini for Beginning Illustrators

March 28-29 (via zoom)

Join children's book author/illustrator Courtney Pippin-Mathur to talk about approaches to using different media (traditional and/or digital) in your illustrations. Learn more here.


Find many more Regional Virtual Events from the SCBWI website.



By Jim Smolski

Yesterday I Had A Thought

Yesterday I had a thought

And didn’t write it somewhere.

Now I can’t remember it

Which causes much despair.

An idea so profound and new.

I’m certain they would say.

Its great and so intelligent

But I let it slip away.

So yesterday I learned a lesson.

When I have a thought to share

I’ll write it down right away

And hope I remember where?


Suggestion Box

Have an idea on how to improve Houston SCBWI?

Leave a suggestion in our new Suggestion Box!

Our Volunteers

Regional Team

Regional Advisor:

Meghan Senkel

Asst. Regional Advisor:

Lynne Kelly

Illustrators Coordinator:

Joe Balat

Regional Advisor Emeritus:

Vicki Sansum

Chapter Volunteers

Newsletter & Webmaster:

Lisa Chow

Monthly Program Chair & Evite List:

Cheryl McCosh

Critique Group Coordinator:

Sylvia Drake

Social Media Chair:

Heather Walters   

Chapter Logo and Header Design by Marissa Valdez

Join our conversations on the SCBWI Texas discussion board

Please send your author/illustrator news for the next newsletter to Lisa Chow by the 25th of the month at

Copyright © 2022 SCBWI-Houston, All rights reserved. 

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