Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

February 2016 Newsletter

Greetings from a world-weary traveller!

February has been a whirlwind month for me with Regional Advisor duties at the New York Conference (including scoping out faculty for the next Europolitan Conference!) and then a personal trip to London for the Undiscovered Voices launch trip, so I apologize that this newsletter is getting out so late.

There are a few announcements:



I will now be going to the Bologna Book Fair and have booked a regional showcase for us. If you have a PAL book that was published in 2014 or later, you can have your book featured at our showcase and in the booth. I’ve already sent out a how-to email about this. If you need more information go to But hurry, the deadline is March 15th!

I’d love to have a full table of member information to show off. It’s our table, so if you have illustrator postcards, older PAL books, decorations (I have a German flag), please contact me right away.

If you are published but not by a PAL recognized publisher, there is a way to get your publisher listed. Visit for more information.


New Workshop

Join us and author Dina von Lowenkraft for a craft workshop in the Kaiserslautern area.

In short:

Event: Make Them Sweat Workshop

Where: Otterberger Hof, Otterberg (north of Kaiserslautern)

Presenter: Dina Von Lowenkraft, author

Day: Saturday, April 23, 2016

Time: 10:00 AM (CEST) – 4:00 PM (CEST)


Event fee (lunch not included):

€ 45 for SCBWI members

€ 60 for non-members

Additional Manuscript Review fee (optional, limited space, first come first serve):

€ 30 for SCBWI members

€ 40 for non-members

To register go to:


How to Increase Tension in Your Manuscript

Having tension in your set-up gives your world depth. If you have two characters who have no barriers to being together, they can meet, talk, spend time together and be happy. An ideal situation in real life, but not in a book where the more inherent conflict the story has, the more compelling it is.

In this day-long workshop we will look for inherent sources of conflict that you can use to increase tension in your Work-In-Progress whether you are at the story idea stage or working on revisions. Come prepared to use your own work as a starting point for exercises that will explore potential sources of conflict in your story’s physical world, its societal structure, and in the emotional and ethical nature of your characters.

Dina will offer a limited number of manuscript consultations. Submission deadline is March 19, 2016. Submission details: 10 pages max, double-spaced, font size Times New Roman 12, one-inch margins on all sides.

About Dina von Lowenkraft:

Born in the US, Dina has lived on four continents, worked as a graphic artist for television and as a consultant in the fashion industry. Somewhere between New York and Paris she picked up an MBA and a black belt. Dina is currently the Regional Advisor for SCBWI Belgium, where she lives with her husband, two children, three horses and a cat.

Her debut YA fantasy, Dragon Fire, was published by Twilight Times in August 2013.

You can find Dina online at or on Twitter @vonlowenkraft


Future events to keep on your radar:

Summer BBQ – June or July 2016

Writing Retreat with faculty – Fall 2016

Webinars with publishing and illustrating professionals

Europolitan Mentor Program

Frankfurt Book Fair – 19 to 23 October, 2016

Europolitan Conference in Belgium – Spring 2017


Other Regional Offerings

SCBWI Belgium Retreat  –  April 29 – May 1, 2016

For SCBWI Belgium's 3rd Annual Spring Retreat, Belgium will be having Catherine Coe with us! She will give a workshop on Saturday morning as well as offer private one-on ones.

Rather than do a rigid, one-themed workshop, Catherine would like to tailor her workshop to what the attendees want help with the most. To do this, she's inviting each attendee to put forward a question or the topic they'd like to cover – be it on oxford commas, plot drivers or pitching your work. She will then address each question/topic in a 30-minute workshop*.

*If there are more than 3 questions/topics, they will be sent to all

participants to vote on, and Catherine will address the top 3.

For more information go to:


SCBWI Switzerland Webinar on Character Agency  –  March 22, 2016

What is agency and why does your character need it?

Merriam-Webster says agency is the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power.

What can you do to ensure you are writing characters with agency, and what if you've finished a project and think your character needs to demonstrate more agency in your story? 

Join us on 22nd March 2016 for a webinar with Bridget Smith, Literary Agent with Dunham Literary, Inc. to answer these questions and more. 

In addition to the webinar, we will offer a limited number of critique opportunities. Bridget will look at 5 pages from your manuscript, as well as a 1-2 page synopsis, and give you feedback on your character's agency in the story.

For more information go to:


I hope that everyone is doing well and are busy creating. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, requests, concerns, etc.


All the best and happy creating!