Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

January 2018

Happy New Year!


Sanne and I would like to wish you a wonderful start to 2018 and we are looking forward to working with you to make 2018 one of the most creatively successful years yet!




Call for Volunteers


In case you didn’t know, all SCBWI regions are organized and run by volunteers. Both Sanne and I are volunteers and have been planning events and maintaining the region in our free time. Last January, I started working outside of the home for the first time in 17 years and was amazed how hard it was to juggle both my work and home responsibilities along with SCBWI and my own creative writing. Unfortunately, the result of this was fewer SCBWI events planned locally throughout 2017.


I finally realized that as RA, I need to become more of a Project Manager and not a Doer-of- All-Tasks. In order for our regional SCBWI community to thrive, I will need to share some of the workload. By doing this, I hope our region will not only be more efficient, but to give more members a greater feeling of connection within the region.


Two members have already stepped up to offer their services, so please join me in welcoming Laurel Decher as our new membership coordinator and Linda Hopke as our new blog coordinator. Laurel will be the friendly face for new members to the region while Linda will help coordinate our blog. Thank you both for volunteering your time!


Other volunteer opportunities:


PAL Coordinator: Be the contact person for all things PAL. Duties include: create and run new projects to help maintain our PAL membership. These might take the form of hosting PAL/Full level workshops/meetings to discuss issues on the other side of being published. Collecting a “Brag Box” for the monthly newsletter for members to brag about upcoming book/article releases, workshops or school visits. Minimum length of volunteering: 1 year. Includes free SCBWI membership for length of commitment.


Website Coordinator: Help Sanne and I set up regional event websites and registration. This would entail creating new website pages as events within the WordPress system SCBWI uses along with tickets for these events. Minimum length of volunteering: 1 year. Includes free SCBWI membership for length of commitment.


Event Coordinator: Help Sanne and I coordinate regional events, either to be held locally or as webinar. Duties include; contact potential faculty (well-known authors/illustrators, agents and editors) and develop a workshop with them, be the contact person for the entire length of the event/submission period. Minimum length of volunteering: from the start to finish of an event. Includes free participation in all events you help organize.


If none of these positions appeal to you, but you’d like to volunteer in other ways (and many already do by organizing local meet ups – and a huge thank you to those people!!), please contact either Sanne or I to discuss your ideas. There is no one way to run this region and I’m always eager for fresh ideas.


Call for Input for 2018 Events


Entering a new year has always meant a fresh start for me. A chance to And to better plan events for this new year, I’ve created a web survey of 5 questions to help Sanne and I understand what people are looking for in terms of events in 2018. Please take a few minutes to fill it out. You can find the web survey here:


Call for Critique Groups


Critique groups are a very important part of SCBWI. There are many on-line critique groups already up and running from members all over Europe. If you are interested in joining an online critique group, please let me know and I can either put you in touch with an existing group or if there is enough interest create a new one.


While most of our groups tend to be in English, Sanne would like to start a German language online critique group for picture book writers. If you are interested, please get in touch with her at:





Our regional website is a showcase for our region. As 2018 is sparkling new, wouldn’t it be lovely to also have some of our sparkling new illustrations up there? If you send one of your illustrations as a jpg-file to Sanne ( by the end of January, she’ll put them up, visible for anyone visiting our site.


We also recommend to keep your SCBWI online portfolios up to date, as they are looked at by editors and art directors frequently.


Here are the dates for the Illustrators’ meetings in Tübingen:

  • Jan. 16: Hand-lettering
  • Feb. 27: Sketching at the Paläontologische Sammlung (Paleontological collection of Tübingen Museum)
  • March 20: Making movement visible – drawing dynamic figures
  • April 17: Creating drama through composition
  • May 15: Drawing animals, anthropomorphic or not – Our rabbits will pose for us!
  • June 13: Sketching ancient Greek and Roman sculptures at the Tübingen Museum (This is a Wednesday. The Museum is closed on Tuesdays!)
  • July 10: Postcards & portfolio pieces: Working on promotional material


All meetings will take place at Sanne’s studio (Paul-Lechler-Strasse11 in Tübingen), from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, except for the ones taking place at the collections of the museums (see links for address).


In addition to our Creative Tuesday meetings, there will be a family sketching day at the Wilhelma (Stuttgart Zoo) Saturday, June 30st. It would be lovely to see some of you who can’t make it to Tübingen during the week!





Hamburg: The Hamburg group will be meeting on Saturday January 20th at 11am at the central library. We’ll be going back to our regular spot and more regular routine, meeting outside the library and going in for conversation and creative work time in the library cafe. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Catherine at:


Stuttgart: The Stuttgart group will meet on Saturday January 20th in the children’s section (2nd floor) of the library at 10.30 am. The morning will be spent working on our creative projects and discussing each others’ work before having lunch together. It would be great if members could bring their favourite / most useful book on craft to share with the group and we’ll also set ourselves some creative goals for 2018. Members sometimes return to the library to work after lunch too. If interested, please email Catherine Friess at:


Munich: The Munich critique group will be meeting on Saturday, January 27th at 11am. We’ll be looking at both illustrations and writing this month. Please send 10 pages to the group for review by January 20th. Due to a surge of new members in the area (yay!), a meeting place has yet to be determined. If you are interested in joining or even hosting us, please contact Twyla at:





Happy Book Birthday! A New SCBWI Program Launches February 1


We’re thrilled to launch a new member benefit—the Happy Book Birthday program.  Beginning in February, 2018, our Happy Book Birthday program invites all members to announce their new book in the month that it is released. Every month, authors and illustrators can send an image of their soon-to-be-published book cover and a 25-word summary to

On the first of each month, we’ll display all of the books on our beautiful Book Birthday page, and advertise them through our social media channels to drive traffic to the Birthday page.  We’ll leave the Book Birthday announcements up on our site for two weeks.  We hope that all of our traditionally and independently published members will take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate their achievement and launch their work into the book-buying community.


The first Book Birthday will be for all books published in February 2018.

On December 15th, members with February books can start submitting their information. The deadline is January 10th, no exceptions.

Please send 1.) Title of book, 2.) name of author and/or illustrator, 3.) book cover, and 4.) summary or statement maximum 25 words to




Crystal Kite


The deadline to submit your book for the 2018 Crystal Kite award is March 21.



  1.  You must be a current member before submissions open to nominate your book.
  2.  Nominated books must be a PAL book first published within the previous calendar year. Click here for more information on PAL publishers.
  3.  Self-Published books cannot be nominated.


The Martha Weston Grant


The Martha Weston Grant was established by the Hairston Family to remember author/illustrator Martha Weston.  Martha published over fifty picture books and her first middle grade novel shortly before her death.  This grant encourages authors and illustrators to nurture their creativity in a different genre of children’s books. SCBWI reserves the right not to confer this award in any given year.


Deadline: Applications may be submitted from April 1 – May 1, 2018

Award: One Grant of $1,500 will be awarded to fund the expenses of attending the SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles.


Work-in-Progress Grant


The Work-in-Progress Awards showcase outstanding manuscripts from the members of the SCBWI. One winner in each of the following 6 categories will be selected.

-Picture Book Text

-Chapter Books/Early Readers

-Middle Grade

-Young Adult Fiction

-Nonfiction (Anna Cross Giblin Nonfiction Award)

-Multicultural Fiction or Nonfiction


Award: The works submitted by winners will be made available on a secure webpage and presented to a hand-selected group of editors for their consideration. Although this is not a guarantee of publication, the opportunity to have your work presented to acquiring editors, along with an SCBWI endorsement, is a unique opportunity.


Deadline: Submissions will be accepted March 1 – March 31, Midnight PDT 2018 only.


For more information about all SCBWI awards and grants, please visit



SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy


Given the current climate, the SCBWI would just like to remind all of our members that we have a firm anti-harassment policy in place.

Here is the official language:


SCBWI is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience in its events and activities for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. SCBWI reserves the right to require anyone not complying with the above to depart from any event at which any such activity has been perpetrated and to bar them from future SCBWI events.


Any member who experiences harassment at an SCBWI event can issue a complaint to executive director Lin Oliver at



Wishing everyone a successful start to 2018!


All the best,


Patti and Sanne