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Monthly Meeting

October 2, 7:00 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.

This month... 

Go For It! 

Grants, Awards, Residencies and Other Things You Thought Were For OTHER Writers.Author and Historian, Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail is the featured speaker for our October meeting. Her talk will provide examples and insights (and hopefully inspiration) to stretch your thinking about different opportunities out there.

Next Month:  November 6 - Houston SCBWI Conference Recap - Panel Discussion

Click image to visit registration page.

Its the last week before conference! And here are some updates:

SILENT AUCTION—We would love to have more Silent Auction items. Wonderful gifts are service gift cards such as head shots by a photographer, printing services for business cards or flyers or artist post cards, author-signed books, even personal interactions such as a massage, or beach house rental, or hair styling. Ask friends and business associates if they would like some publicity and new customers.  To arrange donations, please contact: 

DOOR PRIZES—Lynne Kelly will be giving books as door prizes all day long. If you have books to donate, please bring them on the Saturday of the conference. There will be a box at the Registration Table for your donations. Talk to Lynne Kelly if you have any questions.

DIRECTIONS TO THE HOTEL AND FREE PARKING—The Marriott Westchase is located at 2900 Briarpark, just a few blocks east of the West Sam Houston Parkway also known as Beltway 8 West.  If you exit Beltway 8 at the Westheimer/Richmond exit, turn east on Westheimer and in four blocks turn south (right) on Briarpark, a street that runs North-South between Westheimer and Richmond. You will pass the Carillon shopping center with Chili’s, Starbucks and Outback right before you turn. If you are coming from the East on Westheimer, you will cross S. Gessner and see on your left Kroger and a Westin hotel right before your left turn onto Briarpark. The hotel is on the west (right) side of Briarpark. This is a reminder that parking is free at the hotel or you can pay for valet parking. If you want to self-park near the conference, when you are facing the hotel, drive to the left side where you will see the Conference Entrance. The Registration table and meeting rooms are directly inside that entrance. For those of you staying at the hotel, don’t forget there is an indoor/outdoor pool, whirlpool and fitness room with cardiovascular machines and weights.

REGISTRATION AND CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST—Registration opens at 7:30AM on October 7 for your packet of conference materials as well as your manuscript and portfolio critique times. The Continental Breakfast will be available at that time. You may find your seat in the ballroom or visit in the spacious foyer that is ours for the day. There is a Starbucks for those who must have that fix.


Email Address for News Submissions

A reminder: Please note for your records, new submissions should now be sent to

Caroline Leech is giving her SCBWI Houston tribe a sneak preview of the cover of her new novel, In Another Time. Officially the book cover will be revealed to the public Tuesday October 3 on the YA Books Central blog. In Another Time is another Scottish World War Two story about Maisie, a girl who leaves home to join the Women's Timber Corps, more often known as the 'lumberjills'. It is scheduled to be published by Harper Teen on August 28, 2018.


Marianne J. Dyson and Bruce Foster would like to announce that National Geographic Kids will be touching down with our new collaboration with Buzz Aldrin, tentatively titled, To the Moon and Back, Fall 2018.
This pop-up book commemorates the upcoming 2019 50th (!!!!) Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing as it was experienced by Buzz himself.

While we're here, Bruce also has a couple other items to announce: There will be an exhibition of pop up books at the Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation in Cedina, Italy Dec 8-Feb 18 called "Pop-Ups, The Magic of Books", where he will be represented by the inclusion of four of his books.

And this spring, The Children's Museum of Houston is planning an exhibition on paper and creativity. Bruce will be serving as advisor to the museum for this exhibit and will try to schedule some presentations and workshops during its run April through December 2018. 


Crystal Allen is apparently trying to set a new record

Crystal tells us she is scheduled to make 19, yes, I'll say it again, 19 school visits during October. 16 in San Antonio and 3 in the Sugarland/Katy area. If she gives 4 presentations each day, she could be potentially making 76 presentations! Somebody pass her the Ricola, please.


Hurricane Harvey Relief

Many of you have been asking us (at Blue Willow) how you can support the book community in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. To help us donate books, please purchase a gift card and we will use it to purchase books that will be delivered to a shelter or affected library in the greater Houston area. We are not certain this is a tax deductible donation. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, we recommend you support one of our community partners. (Reprinted from  Visit our page here to learn more.


Florence McNeil Jones, a long-time SCBWI member, would like to announce her FIRST picture book, Adam's Atomic Squirrel, illustrated by Nataly Vits. Adam's Atomic Squirrel was released in September by Grace Enterprises and Pam Van Scoyoc.


Mary Wade will present the keynote address at Texas Library Association's District 8 meeting on October 14. Title: Dinosaurs Do Exist. Mary, when asked about the title, hilariously as usual revealed the title is actually self-referential. And we might add, characteristically self-deprecating as well. We love you, Mary!

******************* has officially endorsed Deborah K. Frontiera and Mary H. Wright's Simon and Company Flea Market Mice! They even have a certificate to prove it!


Book Friends Bookshop


A reminder that Vonna Carter has opened a new bookshop on her website, Book Friends Bookshop. The authors and illustrators featured there range from the biggest names in the industry to self-published authors with only one title to offer. This is a work in progress with new authors and illustrators being added every day.

"With a book being added on Amazon every five minutes, the number of good books to choose from is endless. As a writer, an active member of several writing groups, and an administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, I know many authors and illustrators who are consistently supportive and kind to others, who use their time on social media to be encouraging and uplifting. At a time when many use social media in negative ways, I am grateful for those who choose to spread cheer.

This bookshop is dedicated to promoting the works of these kind authors and illustrators."

Bookmark this site here.   


Houston SCBWI Facebook Page

Dotti Enderle has created a new Facebook page for our Houston SCBWI Chapter. It’s a place to see the latest SCBWI news and events, and you’re invited to post your own children’s and YA related news and announcements. Here’s the link.



Our Staff

Regional Advisor:
Vicki Sansum
Asst. Regional Advisor:
Lynne Kelly
Illustrators Coordinator:
Diandra Mae
2016 Conference Chairs:
Lynne Kelly
Mary Riser
Monthly Program Chairs:
Aileen Kirkham
Pat Miller
Listserv Coordinator:
Dotti Enderle
Twitter Coordinator:
Lynne Kelly
Newsletter & Website
Bruce Foster
Art Credit
Header Design:
Layne Johnson

Tales of Harvey


You are looking at a screencap of Google Map: Houston, TX August 28, 2017. I think this is as a good a photo of Hurricane Harvey as many. It succinctly captures one aspect of the Tale of Harvey (or In-Hindsight-Allison-was-just-a-very-rainy day): a paralyzed city. We all know the Houston trauma continued for weeks and is still ongoing for many. What you may not know are the stories of some of our own tribe. Here are a few responses we received when we asked for your stories:
Ellen Leventhal: "Besides sending virtual hugs to everyone, I am writing because my desktop computer drowned, and I lost all my emails that go to my address. That is where I get a lot of my SCBWI info....This was our third flood in two and a half years. I live in a house that never flooded until Memorial Day 2015. Now the flooding seems constant. We lost everything but our will to keep going. Thinking of all who were affected..."
Marianne J. Dyson:
"Two inches of water took out 2-4 feet of the walls, our kitchen/bathroom cabinets, and the particle board bookcases/dressers etc. We stayed in the house & are sleeping on the floor of my upstairs office (with a very confused cat!) surrounded by boxes and tubs of books and contents of closets/cupboards/drawers. We have insurance and a contractor, so hope to have walls and floors by Christmas. Thank you SCBWI for the gift of the conference! I'm grateful to be part of this generous community of writers."
McCourt Thomas: "Thank you Houston SCBWI! My parents and sister were able to get much help thanks to your kindness and responses. A special thanks to Laura Edge who was working to get a volunteer crew out to them tomorrow...But they had someone lend them a truck, and were able to find an apartment to rent for the next 10 months. I could hear the relief in their voices when we talked tonight...They have still lost everything but they are feeling less hopeless thanks to everyone's help and encouragement." UPDATE: parents were also so touched by Florencia Jones who sent my parents a heartfelt card and a donation. The response from the group was really above and beyond - so kind!  I hope you and your family are making some progress with Harvey recovery. I will be thinking of y'all this coming weekend. The Rocky Mountain SCBWI conference is this weekend as well, which I am looking forward to, but my heart will be in Houston! 
Vonna Carter: "We had 7 ft of water for two solid weeks. Until they opened the dams, we had 18 inches that was already receding. We still had electricity, internet, and air-conditioning. Now we have lost three cars, the entire first floor, the garage, and maybe the whole house.....But we had insurance. We've met with two FEMA inspectors but are still waiting (as of Oct.1) for their decision on the house payout. Our car insurance already came through."
Bruce Foster: "First I want to say we are OK! Luckily we were living in a two story rental when it flooded. With the amazing help of friends and my wife's Spillane Middle School family, we were able to save most of our belongings and demo the house until we uncovered black mold and termites. Then what had to be two dozen of those Spillane volunteers descended upon us and packed us up and moved us to a new, high and dry home not too far away. And we want to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone, most especially those in our chapter, who generously donated to the crowdfund in our time of need..."
Carmela Simmons: "Our Cypress home had 17 inches of water in it from the Tax Day flood. Now, just 16 months later....we had 37 inches of water inside...Our new kitchen, new walls, new hardwood floors, many of my books, and my new writing study are at the dump by now, but all of these things can be replaced or rebuilt. We are very blessed....After the storm, an army of old friends and new ones from Mark's work, from our church and other churches, from the school where I worked before retiring, friends from neighborhood, and friends of my kinds, so many friends...rushed in and gutted our house...pulled out the mucky, stinky mess, making a pile 7 feet high in our front yard...SCBWI member Julie Herman and her husband Paul welcomed us back to their garage apartment, and then other friends loaned us their house to stay in. We are beyond grateful...."
Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail: "(I) managed to take the scary events of Hurricane Harvey - and my family's mandatory evacuation from their neighborhood mid-storm - and turn it into a heartwarming story to raise funds for relief. Harvey the Cat made its debut at Blue Willow Bookshop during a special story hour on September 23, and (I'm) currently working with the Houston Chronicle to create a digital project for online sharing. Please stay tuned for more details!"


Launch Party October 28

Liara Tamani invites us all to two upcoming book signings: The launch party for Calling My Name will be at Blue Willow Bookshop on October 28 at 4 pm and then a book signing at Katy Budget Books December 9 5-7pm. 


More opportunities

From New Mexico's SCBWI Newsletter these valuable nuggets:






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 77042-5213

November 6 - Houston SCBWI Conference Recap - Panel Discussion

December 4 - Holiday Party - Potluck, Booktalks & Sales


Workshops and Opportunities


Promote your 2017 Book on the national website with the 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.
Register here.


PW Select offers a way for you to promote your book. Put the marketing power of Publishers Weekly behind your book.

For just $149 your book cover and synopsis appear in front of thousands of book-sellers, librarians, agents, publishers, film producers and production companies.

Learn more here.


Awards and Grants opportunities are maintained and listed on the national website. Stay up to date and don't let something wonderful pass you by! 
Click 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...



SCBWI Book Blast templates are ready to help you create a great new way to promote your book that has been published, or will be published in calendar year 2017.
Go to to get started!


The Book: The Essential Guide to Children's Publishing, the 2016 edition, is an indispensable addition to your resource library.

To get a copy simply log in to the SCBWI website, go to The Resource Library tab in the purple bar at the top of the homepage, then to THE BOOK. There you will find an order form. Ingram promises to ship within 2 days. Total cost, including shipping, is approximately $10 in the US, higher outside the country.

As always, The Book is also available to download as a pdf from a link in the same area of our website. 

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
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SCBWI Houston · 10038 Ella Lee Ln · Houston, TX 77042 · USA

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