When I joined SCBWI I was still a bit hardened from working the grind as an actor in Hollywood. Though it did have its good moments, acting really wore down my love for storytelling. I was desperate to find it again. I knew it was there. While working at Vroman’s bookstore I finally realized that writing for kids and teens was my medium.
The first SCBWI event I attended was LA Writer’s Day, and the warmth and support I felt from the get go was exactly what I needed (even though I’m pretty sure I didn’t speak to one person and was happy the outfit I chose matched the walls). Not long after that, the opportunity arose to become a co-editor of Kite Tales, the newsletter for the Southern California tri-regions. I knew I had to jump at the chance to do this. One of the most amazing things about SCBWI is how everything the group does is to help its members be better authors, better illustrators, better marketers etc. This was my way to help do this too. And being one of the editors, I can’t meld into the wall! I must get out there and get to know people. Sign me up. The wonderful Rilla Jaggia passed Kite Tales onto Maggie Grinnell and me, and we were off.
I’ve loved the three years I have done this job. It has been an adventure getting to know authors, illustrators, agents, editors and so many amazing SCBWI volunteers. Thinking back on it, it’s hard not to get emotional. Our tribe really is the best. I hope all who read Kite Tales got as much from it as I have working on it. What the contributors have shared with their fellow SCBWI members on Kite Tales makes such a difference. I hope they realize that. Thank you to all who have contributed while I have been editor. And thank you to the Kite Tales staff and the Los Angeles board, in particular, Sarah Laurenson, Sally Jones Rogan and Nutschell Windsor, who work so hard to provide a haven for children’s writers and illustrators in this crazy city. You are appreciated. And last, but not least, thank you to my co-editor Maggie. It has been such a pleasure to work with you.
As of January first I will be stepping down as Kite Tales editor. It has been a privilege, but it’s time to move on to other things and put even more time into my own writing. I’m proud where Maggie and I took Kite Tales, transitioning to a blog earlier this year. We love being able to give everyone weekly doses of writing and illustrating wisdom and experiences from our more then qualified contributors. I look forward to reading Kite Tales after it is passed down to Sarah Parker-Lee and Christine Van Zandt, who will be taking over as editors at the end of the year. They will take Kite Tales even higher.
Beth Navarro is the author of Grambo (2014) and Your Infinite Heart (due out in 2016) published by Be There Bedtime Stories. To find out more about Beth, go to www.bethnavarro.com