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Monthly Meeting

May 7, 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... 

Ann Rose, author, will highlight the do’s and don’ts of querying so your submission will rise above the slush. A.M. will workshop willing participant’s queries to optimize the chance of an offer of representation. Please note these queries have been chosen and submissions closed as of this posting.


Next Month:  

June 4 – Best of Books: Early Childhood - Teen

Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Book Shop


Email Address for News Submissions

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

Mary D. Wade was recently interviewed about her new book, "Amazing Texas Girls" April 5 by the Dallas Observer. Read the interview here. Amazing Texas Girls was published by Lone Star Books.

In the interview Mary states that all the women featured in her book had "...Nerve, drive, ambition..." 
attributes that arguably can also be applied to the author.


Varsha Bajaj with Paige Britt will be giving a presentation called "Stress and the Writing Life: How to Nurture Your Creativity" at the Austin SCBWI chapter meeting May 12.




Donations for Silent Auction Needed for our Houston SCBWI Conference in September:
Please help support our local chapter's activities and service projects. You know there is a special "something-something" you can donate. Be creative! Consider donating a wine or coffee basket, a bed and breakfast or beach house weekend stay, a Little Free Library, critiques, headshots, original artwork, professional services, signed copies of your books, passes or tickets to museums or local entertainment, gift cards for restaurants, etc.



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 tied for a silver medal for "Best Illustrated Children's E-Book" by the Independent Publisher's Association.  It also was awarded First Place for children's book by Press Women of Texas.


Marianne J Dyson will be speaking at the Laredo Public Library on Tuesday, May 15, and at the Westview School in Houston on May 22. She will be participating in programming at Comicpalooza May 25-27 at GRB in Houston, and have a booth at the Setting the Trend Librarians conference on Thursday, June 7. 


Opening Saturday May 12: Children's Museum of Houston: Paper Engineering, a new interactive exhibit

A reminder that on May 12, Bruce Foster will be a featured guest at the opening of their new interactive exhibit with plans underway for presentations and workshops. Also appearing will be Sheila McGraw, who created the original illustrations used in Bruce's pop-up edition of Love You Forever. 

 For more, visit


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.





Denise Ditto Satterfield  announced that the second book in the "Tooth Collector Fairies" series has been released. She is currently organizing an official launch for sometime in May 2018. 

"Jolene's first day as a Tooth Collector Fairy was amazing, but her friend Batina collected a poorly brushed tooth and has been banished to the horrible Decay Valley.  Will Jolene and her fairy friends, Lainey and the twins, know what they must do to save Batina from this dreadful place and bring her home?"

Also, C.KIDZ Theatre School, the junior division of the Players Theatre Company, will be the next to perform the musical version of Denise Ditto's book titled, "Batina's Best First Day."  Showtimes at the Owen Theatre, 225 Metcalf St. in Conroe, will be Thursday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday May 12 at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets are free, but the theatre gratefully accepts donations for the performances.  Reserve seats by texting 936-524-4242 or arrive 30 minutes before showtime for seating.


Chelsea Smith is very excited to announce that her YA novel, Bryn, is finally live on Swoon Reads! Swoon Reads is a cool imprint of Macmillan in which you submit your novel to a community that can comment on it and rate it. Periodically, Macmillan selects several books from the community for publication. 


What to do when your antagonist is not a bad guy.



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. 


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.


Little Brown Emerging Artist Award
This initiative seeks promising new talent and encourages the development of high-quality picture books that resonate with readers of diverse backgrounds and experience, while also providing valuable mentorship by an acclaimed illustrator and children’s book professionals.

  • What: submit a mockup of a PB manuscript that resonates with readers of diverse backgrounds or experiences; may not be agented or under submission elsewhere
  • Who: legal residents of US or Puerto Rico over 18, unaccented and unpublished 
  • Prize: $1500, trip to NY offices of LBYR; mentorship by Artist mentor, possible consideration for publication 
Submissions accepted Jan 15 until May 15.


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

Brazos Valley Book Festival will be held May 19 in Bryan.

Hosted by Texas Authors, Inc. the book festival offers opportunities for the public to meet authors and purchase autographed copies of their books. We want to promote our region’s authors as well as our organization. We will give away SCBWI folders filled with swag–bookmarks, postcards, flyers–and the membership brochure. Members may contact Liz Mertz at to arrange drop-off or mailing.

Learn more here.


From BookBub, top 20 designs for your book's ad campaign.

How to repurchase the rights of your published book.
Learn more from Book Publishing Professionals here.



How Indie Authors can use Preorders to crack the bestseller lists.


Your Book Needs Editing, Design, and Marketing (even if CreateSpace no longer offers those author services)

From BookBaby 



First Pages: New Webinar hosted by the Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia SCBWI Chapter.

There are several opportunities with this one; webinar only and critiques. For those who register, the webinar recording will be available for one month after the live event.

Webinar: First Pages with Editor Karen Chaplin. Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 3:00 PM Eastern/2:00 PM Central/1:00 PM Mountain/12 PM Pacific. Sponsored by the MD/DE/WV Region.  (Recording will be available for 1 month after live webinar.) The first page of your manuscript can hook an agent or editor right away – or turn them off immediately. In this webinar, Karen Chaplin, Senior Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books/HarperTeen, gives live feedback on anonymous first pages from picture book, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. Whether you choose to submit your first pages or just view the feedback our publishing pro offers to others, you’ll gain insights in how to improve your own first pages.

Karen is also offering a limited number of 10-page written manuscript critiques following the webinar. (Submission date for critiques will be one week after the webinar to allow participants time to revise using what they have learned.) Registration with in-webinar first page critique: SCBWI Members: $40.00; Non-members: $60.00; Registration to view webinar only: SCBWI Members: $15; Non-members: $25; Optional written 10-page manuscript critique following webinar: $50.00.

Register now at

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
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