Your September 2019 SCBWI Houston Newsletter
Next Meeting: Oct 7, 2019 7-9 PM
The Next Month's Meeting: November 4
Please join us on the first Monday of every month from 7-9 p.m. at the Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter, Houston.
This month: An Agent's Top 5 Standards:   Query Letters, Manuscript Formats, Communication Skills, Contract Considerations and "Shopping to Publishers" with  Ann Rose , Agent & Author
Next month: November 4:
The Illustrated Biography of an Illustrator & Muralist, Too! Bill Ferguson , Illustrator & Muralist
If you haven't registered for the Houston SCBWI 2019 Conference yet, you still have time. There is SO much to experience and learn from planned for that weekend, AUTHORS, EDITORS, AGENTS, ART DIRECTORS you OWE it to yourself to be there. Click the image for registration and more information.
This is Our Baby, Born Today, rereleased as a board book
Written by Varsha Bajaj and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler as a picture book, This is Our Baby, Born Today , is being rereleased as a board book by Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Group on Sept 9 and is a part of the CBC hot off the press list for September.
Hometown Paper Celebrates Marianne J Dyson
Because of the confluence of the Apollo 50 th  anniversary, Marianne's books with Buzz (Aldrin), and the rising awareness of women’s contributions to the space program, a reporter from her home town (Canton, Ohio) newspaper called and interviewed her in July. Expecting a short piece in the back section, the article ended up on the front page. "I guess this is the advantage of being from a small town ha ha!" The writer showed how MJ's NASA experiences led to writing children’s books, and also specifically mentions SCBWI and the Golden Kite Award. READ THE ARTICLE HERE.
The Silent Auction at the Conference has something for everyone, so come prepared with check, cash or credit cards!

One of the most exciting perks of attending the Houston conference is our silent auction! Some of this year's items include:

Gifts For Writers:
  • Scrivener licenses
  • Books on craft
  • Overnight Writers Retreat in a Tuscan villa-style home

  • Hand-pulled numbered & signed prints by artist Peggy Woods
  • Artwork by Joe Balat of Hoopsnake Graphics
  • Artwork by Thomas Tran

Fantastic Baskets:
  • Doggie Lover
  • Kitty Lover
  • Reading in the Park (Picnic goodies, books, & wine)
  • Snuggle Up & Read (Cozy fleece & sweater, wine, books, chocolate)
  • Vera Bradley
  • Cultural delights from Peru, France, and Mexico
  • Arthur Zarr’s Amazing Art Car (Includes a ride in a real art car!)

Grown Up Treats:
  • Wine Tastings
  • St. Arnold Brewery basket
  • Gift certificate to Josephine’s spa

Art & Craft Supplies:
  • Artist supply basket from Texas Art Supply
  • Online beginner’s course in Photoshop
  • $100 art supplies from Blick Art Materials
  • Knitting kit

  • Schlitterbahn
  • SeaWorld of Texas
  • Houston Zoo
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science Cockerell Butterfly Exhibit 
  • Children's Museum of Houston
  • InnerSpace Caverns
  • Urban Air
  • Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion
  • Air Terminal Museum
  • Scream World
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston
  • Main Street Theater
  • Cypress Trails Equestrian Center
  • Candytopia
  • The Circus
  • Screamfest
  • Magical Winter’s Lights

And More!
  • Mommy and Me aprons & cook set
  • Axe Throwing Session! (Whoa!)
  • Dental kit with Platinum Sonicare toothbrush
  • La Madeline catered meal for 20
  • Pet Fair adoption offer
  • Succulents Box
  • Many signed award winning books by your favorite authors!

All proceeds directly support Houston SCBWI
Funds are used to benefit members by keeping program costs low
Want to help make this year's auction a success?
Consider donating a piece of art, a critique, a weekend retreat at your beach house,
a service, or a basket of goodies! Donate today!

To make a donation, email  or call 281-386-6816.

New Award!
At the Los Angeles SCBWI conference a new award was announced. Details below:

The Kate Dopirak Craft and Community Award provides tuition to the SCBWI Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles to the author of a promising manuscript who is dedicated to honing their craft and expanding their writing community but is experiencing a financial barrier to attending the conference. This award is offered in celebration of Kate Dopirak, a picture book author and beloved SCBWI member who lived her life lighting the way for others.
The KDCC Award will alternate every other year between a picture book winner and a middle grade/young adult winner. The initial 2020 KDCC Award will be given to a picture book manuscript.
In 2020, one picture book writer will be selected by a panel of judges as the recipient of the 2020 Kate Dopirak Craft and Community Award, which includes:
 Note: Award does not include travel, meals, accommodations, or optional conference intensives or critiques.
Create Your Own BookStop until Sept 27
Just a reminder, if you have a book (hard copy, paperback, ebook or app) published in the calendar year of 2019 don't forget to check out the SCBWI BookStop.
The SCBWI BookStop is a fantastic way for SCBWI members to boost your newly published book’s outreach. Design a one-of-a-kind, online page that gives visitors an inside look at you and your book. 
For $25, you can choose from one of our beautiful pre-designed templates, which will be hosted here at  for the general public to browse, purchase and enjoy!
We want you to take full advantage of the entire six-week promotion period, so have your page ready by our launch date, October 8. You can still purchase an SCBWI BookStop any time between then and November 25. 
The SCBWI BookStop promotion will last six weeks, from October 8  to November 25, and is available for all books published in 2019.

WEBINAR: Paper Flat to Three Dimensional : How to make your characters feel real. With Ann Rose (A Recent Conference Faculty member with a new Offering!) September 19, 7:30-9
Struggling with your characters? This webinar is for you!
Literary agent Ann Rose from Prospect Agency will talk about how to create characters that bring your stories to life.
During this webinar she will:
* Go over the building blocks of creating characters
* Discuss what makes an unlikable character likeable
* Review the importance of character goals and character arcs
* Discuss why backstory is important but why you don’t always have to have it on the page
* Answer your questions about characters and characterization
$10 for members
$35 for non-members

Attendees will also have an opportunity to query Ann following the webinar and receive a guaranteed response.
October 19 , 2019 – 10:00 - 11:30am
(Central Time)
Rhymers hear all the time that story is more important than rhyme in a picture book text. But is that really true? In this workshop, picture book author and rhyme enthusiast Rebecca J. Gomez will explore that question and help participants learn how to strike.
$15 for SCBWI Members
$35 for non-members
Region Hosting: Nebraska


Thursday, November 14, 2019 – 7 p.m. (Central Time)
Short description: How can you know when your manuscript is really ready to submit to agents or editors? Learn ten actionable tests for knowing when a novel is really ready to submit—along with ways to whip the manuscript into shape if it fails a single one of them.
Cost: $20 SCBWI Members
Cost: $30 Non-members
Region Hosting: Texas Southwest
Oct 22, 2019 at 5:30pm
Agent, Abigail Frank is lucky to work with brilliant children’s book writers and illustrators at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She loves picture books, middle grade, and YA equally, but for very different reasons.
Texas Teen Book Festival
October 12, 2019 Southwestern University
An annual event featuring 30–40 authors (from Texas and beyond) whose books have been published in 2019 for a teen audience. Authors chosen for the event will participate in a panel or a special session.  Learn more and register here.

A new Opportunity from a Conference Faculty,

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 7:00 PM Eastern/6:00 PM Central/5:00 PM Mountain/4:00 PM Pacific
The first page of your manuscript can hook an agent or editor right away – or turn them off immediately. In this webinar, Talia Benamy, associate editor at Philomel Books gives live feedback on anonymous first pages from picture book, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. Go to link for more info.
Highlights is offering a Tuition scholarship to its Craft & Heart of Poetry Workshop (Oct 13-17, 2019)

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.

Good Reads

Seven Articles about Writing Picture Books
Catching that Expression
in Illustration
When your characters are going through extreme emotions sometimes you have to really feel their pain…

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
November 4 - The Illustrated Biography of an Illustrator & Muralist by Bill Ferguson
December 2 - Self-Publishing: 1st Impressions, Book Trailers, Editing, Promoting & More
Our Staff

Regional Advisor:
Asst. Regional Advisor:
Lynne Kelly
Illustrators Coordinator:
2019 Conference Chairs:
Meghan Senkel
Sarah Choi
Monthly Program Chairs:

Listserv Coordinator:
Twitter Coordinator:
Newsletter & Website
Art Credit
Header Design:
Join our conversations on the  SCBWI Texas discussion board Please send your author/illustrator news for the next newsletter to Bruce Foster by the 25th of the month at   b

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