Toot Your Horn!


, ,



chicksHatching Chicks in Room 6, by Caroline Arnold, illustrated by Caroline Arnold, Charlesbridge, ages 3-7, Nonfiction, ISBN: 978-1-58089-735-8, released 01/10/17.



The Sundown Kid – A Southwestern Shabbat, by Barbara Bietz, illustrated by John Kanzler, August House, ages 5-8, Picture book, ISBN: 978-1-93-916094-2, released 01/07/17.

Continue reading

Great News!


, , , , ,

GreatNewsSCBWI loves celebrating our members’ successes and noteworthy news, and there are many! Read on to find out who’s got something to shout about. Digital high-fives welcome in the comments!



living-fossils-coversmLiving Fossils: Clues to the Past by Caroline Arnold, is a 2016 CRA Silver Eureka Award winner and on the NYPL Recommends: New Nonfiction for Kids List, Bibliofile July 15, 2016. Continue reading

Melissa Manlove: Editor’s Perspective, 2017 Writers and Illustrators Day Faculty


, , , , , , , ,

melissamanloveMelissa Manlove is an editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. Her acquisitions tend to be all ages in nonfiction; ages 0-8 for fiction. She’s also a keynote speaker, a breakout session speaker, manuscript critique faculty, and an illustration contest judge for the Los Angeles SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Day, coming on February 25th, 2017. When acquiring, Melissa looks for fresh takes on familiar topics as well as the new and unusual. An effective approach and strong, graceful writing are important to her. She also has 17 years of children’s bookselling experience and is currently on staff at Book Passage.

Sarah Parker-Lee: Your workshop intensive for the SCBWI Los Angeles Writer’s and Illustrator’s Day event, “What We Say Without Saying: Developing Voice in the Text and Art of Picture Books,” is for authors and illustrators. “Voice” is so often associated with text. What does it mean for illustrations? Do authors and illustrators find one voice together, or a way to intertwine their individual voices?

overunderMelissa Manlove: Voice is a lot of things at once, but style and point of view are a couple of the biggest parts, whether you’re talking about text or art. Artists can make a lot of decisions that will make an impact on readers without them being very aware of it—choices that are ‘show not tell’ in the art, like palette, texture, composition—and decisions that ought to be deliberately calculated to communicate what’s most important about the book they’re illustrating; to evoke emotion, to tell a story.

Authors and artists always have separate voices, but when they are both working towards the same (or complimentary) narrative goals, they achieve a harmony that makes them feel like two halves of the same whole. Continue reading

Eliza Wheeler: Author/Illustrator Perspective, 2017 Writers & Illustrators Day Faculty


, , , , , , , , , , ,

eliza-wheeler-smallEliza Wheeler is the author and illustrator of Miss Maple’s Seeds, which debuted on the New York Times’ bestseller list. She also is the illustrator of several books, including Alison McGhee’s Tell Me A Tattoo Story, Pat Zietlow Miller’s Wherever You Go, and Holly Black’s Newbery Honor-winning Doll Bones.

Wheeler will be an illustration contest judge at SCBWI’s Writers & Illustrators Day on Feb. 25.

Erlina Vasconcellos: Congratulations on being named a 2017 Sendak Fellow! What will you work on during the retreat?

Eliza Wheeler: Thank you so much. I’ll be working solely on developing my own projects; a mixture of illustrating and writing. My second book will probably be my main focus, which is about my grandma’s childhood. But I’m also going to bring all the other littler story ideas I have on the shelf just in case inspiration strikes in a way that’s different than what I expect. I’m leaving it as open as I can. Continue reading

SCBWI SoCal Regional News – 1st Quarter 2017

By SoCal Regional Team

tahquitz-pines-forestSCBWI SoCal has some great events coming up!

May 5-7, 2017 – SCBWI SoCal Spring Retreat 2017: Finding Gold

YA and middle-grade writers, now’s your chance to work on your novel with the support of professionals in a scenic mountain retreat. Our goals? We want you to find the gold in your manuscript and query letter and inspire you to polish your work until we all holler “Eureka!”  Attendees will participate in four critique-group sessions led by an editor, agent, and published author. You will hear speaker presentations on the craft of writing as well as valuable feedback on query letters and what makes them shine. Plus, you’ll get to mingle with the editor, agent, authors, and fellow Forty-Niner writers during happy hour. Continue reading

Volunteer in the Spotlight: Jessica Chrysler


, , , ,

jesschrysler_designercon2016We love our volunteers at SCBWI and couldn’t exist without them! “Volunteer Spotlight” is a great way to get to know them for yourself and learn more about what they do and how you can volunteer too. Now meet Jessica Chrysler, the Los Angeles Region’s Social Media Coordinator.

goldencompass_bannerdesign_webWhen I joined the SCBWI in 2008, I had just graduated from art school. I had no idea how to get published and I hadn’t read the latest best-seller in middle grade, but I knew without a doubt that I wanted to create stories—books specifically. So I attended the South Bay Schmooze, and within the first two meetings, I became the co-coordinator. I was scared at first—I had no idea how this stuff worked—but soon I discovered that I was in the same place as most of the members in our area. Time to roll up my sleeves and jump into some research! Continue reading

A Whale of a Tale Children’s Bookshoppe: Bookstore Profile


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alex Uhl, owner of A Whale of a Tale Children's Bookshoppe, and JK Rowling

Alex Uhl, left, and JK Rowling

A Whale of Tale Children’s Bookshoppe has been a fixture in Orange County since 1989.

The Irvine store gained a following through owner Alex Uhl’s expert book recommendations and author events, drawing publishing stars like JK Rowling, Julie Andrews, Laura and Jenna Bush, and Lemony Snicket.

Since moving to a smaller location three years ago, Uhl has focused on organizing author events at local schools and libraries.

“Whether you inspire one or five children,” she says. “It’s the glow in their eyes when they say ‘They came to my school.’”

What books are kids gobbling up right now? Continue reading

SCBWI Central Coast Regional News – 1st Quarter 2017


, , , , ,

By Ann Rousseau Smith, SCBWI CenCal News Liaison



I have attended Writers’ Days in the past, but the 2016 Writers’ Day was special. Not only because I was awarded a scholarship grant, but also because the day seemed custom-tailored to my current state as a writer. Stephanie Pitts’ amazing talk about “Writing Irresistible Picture Book Characters” provided a lot of wonderful examples from existing PBs that helped to make her points very easy to understand. By addressing topics such as character personalities, voice, and the idea of non-transformative change, she provided actionable advice to authors of all kinds. Continue reading

Former Mentor Contest Winners Share Experience and Advice


, , , ,

By Marcelle Greene, SCBWI-L.A. Contest Coordinator

Tiger_conductor_v3_crashedHaving a published mentor who helps you improve your work could be the greatest gift you receive on your path to publication. Through its Mentor Program, SCBWI-L.A. has offered this gift to three members in the past two years, and is now running a contest for a 2017 illustration mentorship. (Entry deadline is 2-14-17.)

matthew_rivera_headshot_2016_v2Winning the 2015 mentorship changed illustrator Matthew Rivera’s goals. “Writing my own stories to illustrate wasn’t something I considered before the mentorship,” Rivera says. But mentor Deborah Norse Lattimore encouraged him to do both. “I’m becoming a better writer and I’ve seen improvements in my artwork thanks to Deborah’s advice,” Rivera says. For example: “She suggested adding more movement to my scenes and to make the motion from left to right, so as to drive a page turn.” Continue reading

LitMingle Minute: Resolve to Mingle More in 2017!


, ,

By Karol Ruth Silverstein


2016 Mingle Coordinators Brunch

With 10 LA area LitMingles, why not make a resolution to Mingle more in the new year? LitMingles, which are open to the public and occur throughout the year, are a great way to share ideas, learn the craft and business of writing and illustrating for children, and meet fellow kid lit content creators in your area. Mingles are not only fun and informative, but you might just be the recipient of some career-making Mingle Magic! Continue reading