By Cindy Kobler and Mia Turner

Mia Turner and Cindy Marcus have taken over leadership of the Santa Clarita chapter of SCBWI, after Laurisa White Reyes and Mary Cerny stepped down. Laurisa and Mary are a hard act to follow–both warm and supportive advocates for all things writing–but Mia and Cindy will do their best.

Cindy (who’s manuscript Red Pioneers recently took first place in the middle grade category at the Los Angeles Writers & Illustrators Day) and Mia are both longtime members of SCBWI and wanted to give back to the organization plus, hopefully, inspire other children’s book writers to pursue their dream of getting published. Though the meetings have narrowed in number (they’ve gone from monthly to seasonal), they have not narrowed in scope. The new leaders are focused on creating mingles that will help fellow scribes take their writing to the next level, connect with other writers, and find the support they need to just keep writing!

Our meeting in February was all about crafting that oh-so-scary but super important elevator pitch (a catchy synopsis of your book that can be presented in an elevator ride). Not only were writers given tips on how to write that three-to-five-line pitch–30 seconds max, reveal your genre up front, tell the listener something about your story that’s unique–they were also given a chance to get feedback. The most important tip was: “Remember to be yourself, because in the end, you’re selling you and if you believe in what you’re sharing, so will the listener.”

SCV’s most recent LitMingle was in April. We critiqued each other’s work. Fellow LitMingle attendees were encouraged to bring the first five pages of their novel for some tips on how they could edit and make their book stronger.
Our next meeting is scheduled for September 14th! Keep an eye on the LitMingle Calendar or email us for more info. We welcome all writers—published to pre-published to self-published—and we hope you’ll join us too!


Mia Turner has been an SCBWI member since 1990. Not yet published, she has completed three books and is working on a YA novel and a Christmas story. She has two wonderful sons and a passion for genealogy.


Cindy is a published author in multiple genres. She has three non-fiction books and has co-written over four dozen published plays with her husband, Flip Kobler. Though still pre-published in the children’s book world, Cindy’s novel, Red Pioneers, won first prize in the middle grade category at the 2017 SCBWI So Cal Writer’s and Illustrator’s Day. Twitter: @CindyMAuthor



Photos By: Mia Turner & Cindy Kobler, Christine Van Zandt, and Clyde Robinson