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February 2021

Welcome! We've got a brand new enewsletter design! We hope you love it as much as we do. There's so much more than freezing weather happening right now! Read on for news on two events to advance your craft happening this week, scholarship deadlines, 2021 conference announcements, a fresh member interview, and sneak peek into March: 

What's coming up? We're glad you asked! Creating in the Midst of Chaos: How to Transform Stress into Energy and Inspiration is happening TONIGHT.  Join author and meditation teacher, Paige Britt, in this interactive webinar focused on teaching writers and artists practices to not just manage stress, but harness it as part of their creative process. 

Cost is our usual low fee of $10 for SCBWI members and $55 for non-members. Austin SCBWI is also continuing to give our webinars FREE to our Austin members until COVID-19 is over! A coupon code has been sent out to our Austin SCBWI members, so look for it in your inbox. Register here now!
Have you wondered what it’s like to have your book made into a movie? Or maybe you’d like insight on the publishing industry from someone who has published more than 30 novels? This weekend kick-up your creative juices at our monthly meeting featuring a Q&A with author Wendelin Van Draanen
The meeting will be open at 9:30am for members to connect and share news, then the presentation will begin at 10am. Get details here.

The Central Austin Writers & Illustrators Critique Group will immediately follow.

Registration for our 2021 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference will open on Feb. 15 at 8am CT! This conference offers you opportunities to learn your craft, boost your career, get feedback on your work, and meet and make friends with fellow children’s book writers and illustrators. The schedule includes keynotes; a publishing panel; 9 breakout sessions on writing, illustrating and professional development; intensives on picture books, novels and illustration; along with critiques, pitches, portfolio showcase, and more.

We're very excited about this year's faculty and schedule. We're finalizing the details, but here are some highlights of the wonderful creators and publishing professionals you'll learn from:
  • Caldecott Honoree LeUyen Pham, author/illustrator of OUTSIDE, INSIDE
  • Award-winning author Kelly Starling Lyons (GOING DOWN HOME WITH DADDY)
  • Sid Fleischman Humor Award winning author Crystal Allen (THE MAGNIFICANT MYA TIBBS)
  • Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor recipient Pat Zietlow Miller, author of SOPHIE'S SQUASH
  • Pura Belpré Honoree Adrianna Cuevas, author of THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF NESTOR LOPEZ
  • Editors Karen Boss of Charlesbridge and Joanna Cárdenas of Penguin Random House
  • Art director Véronique Lefèvre Sweet of Little, Brown Books
  • Agents Adria Goetz of Martin Literary & Media Management and Susan Graham of Einstein Literary
Check out all our faculty so far on our website.
Time is running out! Get your submission in to the Creators of Diverse Worlds Scholarship ASAP. The deadline is this Wednesday, Feb. 10. Current SCBWI members whose work in progress shows worlds that are diverse in race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, gender identity, disabilities, etc., may enter. Judges for the contest will be agents Stefanie Von Borstel of Full Circle Literary and Tanusri Prasanna of YRG Partners. Get submission details here.

Also look out for news about our RA Scholarship and Carmen Oliver On the Verge Scholarship soon.

This March our Monthly Meeting will include a panel with previous Austin SCBWI Portfolio Showcase winners, Eliza Kinkz, Laura Fisk, and Rachel Bostick. We will discuss what goes into making a portfolio that really SHINES, whether it’s for the conference, on a website, on social media, or in-person. Mark your calendars for March 13th so you can get your portfolio ready for our conference
If you missed our wonderful January monthly meeting with author P.J. Hoover (HOMER'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE), check out the highlights.
Speaking of members, Austin SCBWI can help with membership. We know that the past year has been challenging for many, so if you are having trouble paying your membership dues, please let us know. Austin SCBWI would love to comp your next year's membership. Email Regional Advisor Samantha M Clark at
In the latest Member Interview, meet Evan Griffith! Hear about Evan’s career path to a debut picture book, SECRETS OF THE SEA: THE STORY OF JEANNE POWER, REVOLUTIONARY MARINE SCIENTIST (Clarion Books, March 2021), illustrated by Joanie Stone here
Connect with a Critique Group, join Sketch Night or Kidlit Comics club this month too! All groups are online:

Dedicate some time to your work in progress! Log in TONIGHT to Tuesday Sketch Night with your journal or sketchpad for group inspiration and conversations about illustration in the kidlit industry. This month's Sketch Night starts at 8:30pm.

Join Kidlit Comics Club every 3rd Thursday of the month for focus on graphic novels and kidlit comics! Ranging from comic-like picture books, “early reader” comics, mid-grade, all the way up to YA. Comic fans unite!
On March 16, improve your novel-writing craft with author Veera Hiranandani (THE NIGHT DIARY) in "To Plot or Not?" There are many resources out there about plot, but how do you apply it? How much do you really need to outline and how complicated should it be? Walk away from this webinar with a clear sense your plot, a synopsis outline, and next steps to take. Read more and register here. 
SCBWI Regional Webinars over the next few weeks include workshops with: The excitement continues with topics like:
  • Opportunities for Writer and Illustrators in Children's Nonfiction (March 6th)
  • Poetry Speaks Who I Am: Writing Novels in Verse (March 13th)
  • Illustrating Children's Books and Beyond: Portfolios and more for children's markets (March 28th)
Visit the full list of Regional Webinars here
Happy Storytelling!
Your Austin SCBWI Team,
Samantha, Lindsay, Rivkah with newsletter coordinator Alanna
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Your Austin SCBWI Team
Regional Advisor - Samantha M Clark

Assistant Regional Advisor - Lindsay Leslie

Illustrator Coordinator - Rivkah LaFille

Header Design - Eliza Kinkz

Newsletter Coordinator - Alanna Bass
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