Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

December 2016 Newsletter

Happy Holidays!

2016 is nearly over. One that will be remembered as one of the most tumultuous and game-changing years in history. Not only have we seen the U.K. leave the European Union and the rise of populism in the West, but it was also a year that stole musical greats such as David Bowie and Prince as well as literary giants such as Lois Duncan, Elie Wiesel, Harper Lee and Umberto Eco.


But before we leave 2016 behind and start thinking about 2017, I’d like to take a brief look at how we stand as a region.


Membership data as of Dec 2016

SCBWI Germany and Austria currently has 60 members

  •  5 in Austria
  • 55 in Germany

Although our numbers fluctuate over the course of the year, we tend to hold pretty steady at this number, making us one of the largest regions in continental Europe.

I made a map with locations of all members. This will give you an idea of how we are spread out across the two countries:

If you are surprised to find other members living nearby and would like to contact them, feel free to send me an email and I will forward your name and email address to those in your area and let them know you are interested in meeting.


Other details

There are…

  • 51 members who identify as writers/illustrators/translators
  • 7 as illustrators
  • 2 members didn’t list any of the given options.


There are…

  • 38 associate members (unpublished)
  • 8 full members (published but not yet listed)
  • 14 PAL members (published and listed)


There are…

  • 6 members who have been members for 10 years or longer! (Dec 2006 or earlier)
  • 15 members who have been members for 5 years or longer
  • 49 members who have been members for less than five years

Currently, there are 22 members who don’t have a picture on their SCBWI profile page. Something I'd like to see changed in the next few months. Think of your SCBWI member page as your calling card within the kidlit community. It's a great place for people to get to know you and your writing/illustrations. 

And finally, for several members, 2016 was a successful year with almost a dozen books published this year, ranging from picture and coloring books to young adult and even adult non-fiction. So you can see, we are a varied group of people and have many talents to draw from.


Enough about who we are. What do we have to look forward to in 2017?


Europolitan Conference 2017

The biggest event on the calendar is the Europolitan Conference 2017. This will be held Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14, 2017 in Belgium, and as in years past, the conference will also include pre- and post-conference activities on Friday May 12 and Monday May 15. All of the regional advisors in Europe are busy putting the final touches on the website at the new SCBWI Europolitan region page so you can browse and plan your conference before registration starts mid-January. Look for announcements in the upcoming weeks.


Mentor Program

Development of the Europolitan Mentor Program is almost complete and the final details will be announced at the Europolitan Conference in Brussels. This brand new program will be open to all SCBWI members in Europe and will start September 2017.


Undiscovered Voices 2018

The sixth installment of the Undiscovered Voices Anthology, a joint project between Working Partners, SCBWI British Isles, and SCBWI Europolitan will be looking for unpublished authors and illustrators starting Spring 2017. This biannual anthology was developed to help unpublished writers achieve their dream of publication and is only open to SCBWI members. Go to the Undiscovered Voices website to get on the mailing list for more information. 



Although a series of webinars will be offered before the conference, I am also working with publishing professionals in order to host a wide range of topics for future events.


Writing Retreat?

Several members have asked if SCBWI could host another weekend-long writing retreat – perhaps in the Fall of 2017. I am certainly willing to put one together again if people are interested. In order to gauge interest, I’ll send out a survey in the early months of next year.


I hope that all of these events excite you about all the possibilities 2017 holds. Sanne, our illustrator coordinator, also has lots of goodies planned for 2017 as you’ll see in her letter below.

Wishing each and every one of you peace and joy in this holiday season and a Happy New Year!




Dear fellow illustrators,

In September, some of us got together here in Tübingen for the Illustrators' Retreat. We were all very inspired by creating together. Those of the attendees who live in the area decided to meet regularly in my studio to talk about ongoing projects and everything about illustration, to learn from one another, and create together.

We decided to meet once a month on a Tuesday at 9:30 am in my studio. On each Creative Tuesday, we are going to focus on a theme or illustration technique, one of those things we all had always wanted to do but never found time for. 

If anyone else in the region would like to join us, regularly or just every now and then, that would be great. If anyone who lives too far from Tübingen to come for half a day, do contact me! It would be wonderful to also have a Creative Saturday once or twice a year!

These are the dates for the Creative Tuesdays in the first half of 2017, and our focus for each week:

10.1.2017: Experimenting with Mixed Media: There's this box of crayons in the very back of the drawer that we've always wanted to try out, but never knew how, this technique another illustrator uses but we never dared to try, this ink someone else makes such great stuff with, but that seems to look messy whenever you work with in… This morning, we'll try them all out and help each other with each one's experience.  

7.2.2017: Working on Promotional Work: The Bologna Children's Book Fair and The Europolitan Conference in mind, we are going to work on promotional postcards or business cards, helping each other to select or create a strong peace for that purpose.

14.3.2017: Hand Lettering: We'll all bring whatever we use to create lettering, practice our skills and show one another the techniques we use.

11.4.2017: Structures and Surfaces: This session will be an experimental one again: There are uncountable ways to create structures, by painting , scratching, frottage, splashing, stamping to be used in traditional as well as well as in (half-)digital illustration. Let's show each other the techniques we use and explore new ones together.

9.5.2017: Inking: Which pen, which paper do we use in order to create which effect? Let's learn from each other here, too!

13.6.2017: Character Design: When working on illustrations, we all struggle to make a character consistent. This morning, we want to share the techniques we use to develop a character, develop our skills and look at our work together, focussing on character design.

11.7.2017: Black and White Drawing/Painting: What techniques do we use to create a piece in black and white? What are our experiences with different techniques, and with rendering them digitally?  


It would be wonderful to see some of you there, or find other ways of being creative together in 2017!

Wishing you all a light-filled festive season, EINEN GUTEN RUTSCH (sorry, can't translate this one…) and a creative 2017!