, ,

SoCal Logo

We hope everyone is enjoying summer, but it’s time to mark your calendars for our upcoming Editor’s Day on October 3, 2015 at Cal State University Fullerton!

Editor’s Day is packed with plenty of opportunities for our attendees, including Manuscript Critiques, Pitch Sessions, a pre-conference Friday night Illustrator’s art exhibit, First Pages Panel, Portfolio Displays, Promo and Tear Sheet Critiques, lunch with the editors, PAL Book displays, book signings, and book giveaways. Don’t miss out on this fabulous chance to connect with industry professionals!

To kick off Editors’ Day this year we are calling all illustrators attending the conference to take part in our Friday night art exhibit on October 2nd, 2015.

Registration is now open for Editor’s Day. Visit the following for registration and editor details (or go to www.scbwi.org and click on SoCal Region);


An Interview with Henry Herz

HerzHenry1small copy

SCBWI member, Henry Herz, recently shared some very good news with us. It began when his manuscript, MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES, won Best Picture Book at the 2013 SCBWI SoCal (OC/IE) Editor’s Day. Another of Henry’s picture books, LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH, received an Editor’s Choice award at the same event.

Although none of the attending editors or agents snapped up the manuscript, Henry decided to submit MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES to Pelican Publishing, and was soon contacted by their editor! The book was published by Pelican in 2015, and received praise from Publishers Weekly, Drew Daywalt, Molly Idle, Dan Yaccarino, and others. And there is even more good news. His picture books, WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY and LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH, are both scheduled for publication by Pelican in 2016.

Henry, tell us a little about your book.

The concept for my first traditionally published book, MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES, is exactly what it sounds like – classic nursery rhymes given a monstrous twist. The fantastic artwork is slightly dark, but not scary.

MGFront-s72 copy

What was most enjoyable to you while working on this book?

I enjoy seeing the manuscript evolve over time, like a tree maturing and bearing fruit. Having the patience and diligence to go through multiple revisions are acquired skills. Even now, I think a new manuscript is ready for submission half a dozen times before it really is. You cannot rush the fermentation process.

What part has SCBWI played in your journey as an author?

SCBWI has played a very helpful role in my literary journey. I’ve found the critique groups to be enormously helpful in honing my craft. Hearing from editors and agents at SCBWI events has helped me learn about the business of publishing. And it’s a blast to meet fellow authors at the annual LA conference.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Ugh, that is an impossible question – there are so many amazing ones. I love the humorous illustrations contradicting the protagonist’s narration in Jon Klassen’s THIS IS NOT MY HAT. I love the voice and artistic illustrations of Molly Idle’s TEA REX. And no list would be complete without Maurice Sendak’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.

What was the best advice you received as you began to pursue your career?

Be patient, never stop, and don’t take rejection personally. The first is very challenging for me, as I’m a “get things done” kind of person. But publishing a picture book is a deliberative team effort. Be persistent. Never stop honing your craft and submitting manuscripts. There could be any number of reasons (beside the quality of a story) that an agent or editor declines your manuscript. They might already have something on a similar topic, the character voice might not resonate with them, or they might not be looking for that genre right now. Literary professionals have different tastes, just like everyone else. Even the great Jane Yolen still gets rejection letters. So, we are all in good company.

Henry also edited the YA dark fantasy anthology, BEYOND THE PALE, featuring short stories by New York Times bestsellers Peter S. Beagle, Nancy Holder, Jane Yolen and more.  He currently writes for TheWriteLife.com, reviews children’s books for The San Francisco Book Review and interviews popular KidLit authors and illustrators at www.henryherz.com.

Welcome to our new Illustrator Coordinator!

For years our beloved IC, Priscilla Burris, has been wearing three hats as an award-winning illustrator, SCBWI National Illustrator Coordinator and SoCal IC. Now she has decided to turn over the reins here in the OC/IE and they will be in amazing and capable hands.

Gina Capaldi has written and illustrated books for trade, nonfiction and educational publishers. As the author/illustrator of the picture books A BOY NAMED BECKONING and RED BIRD SINGS, Gina has received such accolades as

The Carter G. Woodson Award gold medal, the Eureka! silver medal, and the Independent Publisher Book Award gold medal.

Gina studied fine arts at Pepperdine University and Pitzer College; and illustration at Art Center: College of Design. She is the acting Vice President of programs for Delta Kappa Gamma International Society of Women Educators and a board member for the Festival of Western Arts in San Dimas, CA.

Welcome aboard Gina!

Children’s Book Illustrators Gallery Exhibition Focuses on Literacy

By the time this is printed our 1st Annual Gallery Exhibition, Imagine: The Art of Children’s Book Illustrations Exhibition will be drawing to a close. Running from June 13–July 18, 2015 at the dA Center for the Arts in the Pomona Arts Colony, the show presented original illustrations from published children’s books and included the work of many amazing SCBWI illustrators.

The gallery featured interactive areas for children based on popular themes; an illustrator’s studio, a sustainable garden, a glitter star factory, a music studio, and a special Story & Art Project Time held every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during the show. Priscilla Burris presented a workshop for illustrators. With the exception of that workshop, all events were free.

The next exhibition will take place 2017.

We are looking forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.


Francesca Rusackas, Regional Advisor

  1. L. Pearce, Assistant Regional Advisor