Here's the latest SCBWI Houston News!
View this email in your browser

Monthly Meeting

June 4, 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...  A Late Change to our Agenda

Melissa Buron, author, will discuss the latest research on learning and how to use that knowledge to increase creativity and improve your craft.


Next Month:  

July 9 – Blind Beginnings: A Game of First Pages

Bring up to 400 words of your first pages (printed out or on your phone or tablet).  We’ll read them and try to determine the genre. Then, for fun, we’ll guess where we think the storyline is headed. This is not a critique. The goal is to see how well your first two pages foreshadows the book’s genre.  There will be prizes for the winners and the authors, and lots of chocolate for all! -Dotti Enderle/Dax Varley

Email Address for News Submissions

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

Ana M Rodriguez is pleased to share that her Animal Secrets Revealed series has caught the eyes of librarians and book reviewers. 

THE STORIES THEMSELVES ARE HIGHLY ENGAGING; FASCINATING ANIMAL SCIENCE FOR READERS.” "Animal Secrets Revealed! stands out for its lively exploration of contemporary scientists and their discoveries.”  Read the review here. -SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, SERIES MADE SIMPLE
About The Secret of the Scuba Diving Spider:
"Informative, fun, filled with unexpected surprises about weird creatures - this book's all that plus a hands-on activity at the end." - 
Archimedes Notebook

[The Secret of the Scuba Diving Spider] "is filled with photos that will engage kids and draw them into the strange lives of these critters." - STEM FRIDAY


Wayne Edwards read his humorous, rhyming poetry to 98 5th and 6th graders May 21 at the Bush Library. The Library purchased and gave one of his books to each student and teacher. Wayne says "publishers refuse to acknowledge that kids love humorous rhyming and poetry. (Many Mothers have contacted me and told me that their children have memorized every poem in my book, that the Library gave them)".

Wayne has been posting one of his illustrated poems for grownups at for the last three years and a kids illustrated poem at HIs Bush Library program from last year is also on Facebook.   


Michelle Nott tells us that she’ll be doing a book reading and signing at Treasure Trove Booksellers in Tervuren, Belgium on July 1 with her Early Reader, Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses.



Donations for Silent Auction Needed for our Houston SCBWI Conference in September:

Don't procrastinate! It's time to donate! We need items for our  SCBWI Conference :
Be creative: Pet items, coffee/tea items,  critiques, headshots, original artwork, professional services, signed copies of your books, passes or tickets to museums or local entertainment, gift cards for restaurants, etc.



UPDATE:  Debra Weingarten is pleased to announce that Almost a Minyan, by Lois S. Kline and Susan Simon, published by her Sociosights Press in Austin, has WON the Texas Press Women's Children's Book Fiction competition and placed SECOND in the National Press Women's competition.  On Memorial Day the book received a silver medal from the Independent Publishers Association for Best Illustrated Children's e-book. 

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.






Announcing June 1st Illustrator Contest

Tina Wissner invites all artists who are members of Houston SCBWI to enter. However, to qualify for cash/cash value prizes artist must be without representation. 

To enter: 
Send 10.00 check payable to Tina Wissner/Texas Writers House (proceeds will go to JDRF: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) 
Send a copy of artwork. Paint, sketch or draw one image of SANTA with SEVEN KITTENS (Watercolor, Oil, Pen and Ink, Pencil, Mixed Media, Acrylic, Pastels- No Digital Please)

AUSTIN, TX 78738

1st Place-150.00 plus possible contract to illustrate entire book. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram exposure.
2nd Place-100.00  plus possible contract to illustrate entire book. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram exposure.
3rd Place-50.00  plus possible contract to illustrate entire book. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram exposure.

Honorable Mentions (up to 3)
25.00 Barnes & Noble GiftCard Facebook, Twitter, Instagram exposure.

DEADLINE: All submissions MUST BE POSTMARKED by JULY 15, 2018

Please note this contest is NOT sponsored by SCBWI. 


Sherry Garland had a booth at the Brazos Valley Book Festival and has a sunburn to prove it!  She will also have a booth at the Texas Home School Coalition Convention on May 31-June 02, located at the convention center in The Woodlands. Booth # 726.


And now from the You have GOT to be Kidding Department. Romance writer ignites copyright war after securing ownership of the word ‘cocky’. 

Apparently several of her books have the word in the title, so of course she is entitled to the word.   Read about it here and shake your head with me. 


Our own Jessica Blank was the guest lecturer at the College Station chapter's monthly meeting just this morning.


Rules of the Road:  Chapter Length


Editor Betty Kelly Sargent discusses: Finding an Agent


While Jane Friedman has:
6 Reasons to Relaunch your book

Workshops and Opportunities

August 3 – 6, 2018 in LA, California, . This year’s Summer Conference will soon be here, so save the date and plan to sign up early when registration opens in mid-April. The Conference features some of the most renowned names in children’s literature: Lois Lowry, Libba Bray, Marc Brown, Ekua Holmes, Mike Curato, Brian & Andrea Pinkney, Daniel Jose Older, Eliza Wheeler, and Lynda Mullaly Hunt (plus acquiring agents and editors actively seeking new work from writers and illustrators).

In addition to keynote presentations, panels of industry experts, and craft and business-related breakout sessions, this year’s Conference gives participants more opportunities than ever to meet with editors and agents about their work. There will be paid manuscript, portfolio, and social media consultations with agents, editors and art directors, plus several all-new events on Monday, August 6: 

For Writers: A full-day session titled A Closer Look, where writers can get feedback on the first 500 words of their manuscripts from acquiring agents, editors, and their peers. 
For Illustrators: A full-day Illustrator’s Intensive with art directors, editors, and renowned illustrators of children’s books. 
For Published Writers and Illustrators: A full-day Pro-Intensive designed to help you take your career to the next level.

Registration for the Summer Conference opens online on April 17. Please check the SCBWI website around April 13 for more information. 


Have you heard of

This is an incredible opportunity for people of all disciplines. I've been skipping videos on Youtube advertising screenwriting or movie directing for months. Finally one caught my eye: Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point, will be teaching an online class on how to find, research and write stories that capture Big Ideas. Sounded intriguing. 
Did you know that there are dozens of classes in so many areas? Besides Ron Howard, and Martin Scorsese, as seen in the skippable ads, you can attend classes for musicians, photographers, chefs, basketball players, even astronauts!
Or Judy Blume. Or R. L. Stine
For only $180/year (or $90 for one class) you can watch and learn from ALL of them. This is an incredible opportunity to learn from the leaders of so many fields. 
Check it out.


The First Round of the Annual Writing Contest sponsored by Booklife and Publishers Weekly kicks off April 1.

The BookLife Prize is back and looking for great novels and memoirs.
Now in its third year, the BookLife Prize—a writing contest sponsored by Publishers Weekly and BookLife—will be accepting submissions from April 1 to August 31, 2018.

Authors may enter unpublished or self-published books in six categories: Romance/Erotica; Mystery/Thriller; Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror; General Fiction; Memoir/Autobiography; and YA/Middle-Grade.

All entrants will receive a Critic’s Report, a brief critical assessment of their book written by a Publishers Weekly reviewer; the grand-prize winner will receive a $5,000 writing stipend and be profiled in Publishers Weekly Click here for more details.


Support EVERY Library with this new organization
You can help libraries get the funding they need to provide the kinds of services that communities deserve.
Join the cause! Visit these sites to learn more.



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

June 4 – Best of Books: Early Childhood – Teen

Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Book Shop –

July 9 – Blind Beginnings: A Game of First Pages

Dotti Enderle, Author –

Aug 6 – Humor in Presentations & Writing

Crystal Allen, Author –

Sept. 4 – National SCBWI Conference Review – Panel Discussion by Attendees

Oct. 7 – The A-Zs of a Professional Approach to Self-Publishing

Jason Phinney, Author –

Nov. 6 – Houston SCBWI Conference Recap – Panel Discussion

Dec. 4 – Holiday Party – Potluck, Games & Sales



More opportunities

Book EXPO NY is this week

And PW has posted their preview issue. Who will be there? 
Learn more here.


The Austin chapter's monthly meeting June 9, 10 am will host a rockstar panel of librarians who have served on the state list committees. They will discuss the selection process, the benefits and the programming. 603 N. Lamar, Austin


San Antonio PB Workshop with Donna Janell Bowman

June 9. San Antonio. Learn more. Picture Book Biographies


New Webinar on Graphic Novels.

Graphic Novel 101

A workshop for illustrators and authors interested in comics-based storytelling and graphic novels. Participants will learn the basics of cartooning—from the general rules and common beginners’ mistakes, to the unique story-telling possibilities of the medium. The class will cover the general history of graphic novels, scripting, adapting a script, thumbnails, penciling, inking, coloring, various ways to create lettering and balloons, and pitching to publishers.

Colleen Ann Felicity Venable is a comics writer and Creative Director at Macmillan Publishing and was recently named a Publisher's Weekly StarWatch Top 5 Finalist. For years she was the sole designer for First Second Books where she designed more then 150 graphic novels. Her graphic novel series Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye (Graphic Universe)—illustrated by Stephanie Yue—was nominated for an Eisner for Best Publication for Kids and awarded “Best Book” recognition from Kirkus Reviews, NYPL, Bank Street, and the Junior Library Guild. Her other books include comic-based picture books Mervin the Sloth is About to Do the Best Thing in the World and Amy the Red Panda Writes the Best Story in the World (HarperCollins/Greenwillow), both illustrated by Ruth Chan, and the upcoming YA graphic novel Kiss Number 8 with Ellen Crenshaw (First Second Books).

DATE: Saturday, June 30, 2018
 TIME: 5:00pm (Central European Time) / 11:00am (Eastern Standard Time)
PLACE: chez vous! This webinar will use  ZOOM video conferencing.
COST: 35€ for SCBWI members
50€ for non-members
Payment must be in EUROS via PayPal.
PAID INDIVIDUAL FEEDBACK: video chat (not a written critique):
A 15-minute virtual face-to-face meeting with Colleen AF Venable on your first 5 pages (with synopsis) or a dummy (PDF 5MB max) or an outline/pitch. SCBWI France must receive your pages by June 15, 2018. The video chats will take place immediately after the webinar on June 30th.
COST: 30€  (Limited: 5 video chats.)
Questions? contact Dana Carey, ARA SCBWI France:
This webinar is limited to 25 participants.
**A computer, webcam and reliable internet connection are necessary. Program and speaker subject to change without notice.**
This webinar is not available as a recording. A recording will be available to participants only for 2 weeks after the webinar.


Sneak Peek at North Texas chapter's Annual Conference

September 21 and 22 in Addison, TX  Theme this year is Keep on Truckin".

And on the same weekend:


(16th annual) September 21-23, 2018. Intensive craft-based seminar for up to 16 writers. WHOLE-NOVEL critiques by top-notch editor *or* agent. Also, critiques on PARTIALS by our editor *and* agent. Plus a flexible category (inquire) and feedback by smart teens in concurrent workshop. Faculty includes Molly Ker Hawn, former Dial Books editor, now director of the Bent Agency-UK. Focus sessions on advanced craft; marketing. At serene, inspiring beach for extended retreat; lodging and meals included. Applications accepted first-come. Contact via website for SCBWI-NM discount. Limited space. Apply now!


BookBaby Independent Authors Conference announces Joanna Penn as closing Keynote speaker

November 2-4
Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel
1 Dock Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

The best and brightest minds in self-publishing are coming to the 2018 BookBaby Independent Authors Conference this fall, and one of the most acclaimed experts in independent book publishing — Joanna Penn — is wrapping up the conference with the closing keynote address.


SCBWI Recommended Reading List
The yearly SCBWI Recommended Reading List has returned with more great books by PAL members. Members were invited to list one of their books along with a link to their website. The new 2017 list is hundreds of titles strong across all different categories and genres. The list is divided by region, or so that users can download only local authors/illustrators or they can chose to download the entire list.


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. 


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
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
Copyright © 2015 SCBWI-Houston, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
SCBWI Houston · 10038 Ella Lee Ln · Houston, TX 77042 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp