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By Ann Rousseau Smith, SCBWI CenCal News Liaison

A Changing of the Guard

By Mary Ann Fraser

Change seems to be one of the few reliable constants at play in the universe, and so it is with our region. I will soon be moving, and since regional advisors must live within the areas they serve, as of March 1, 2018 I officially stepped down from my post. Thankfully, the talented, hard-working, and did I mention best Assistant Regional Advisor a region could ask for, Rebecca Langston-George, stepped up to take my place. I have no doubt that she will do an outstanding job. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving our region for the past many years, first as Regional Kite Tales Editor, then as Illustrator Coordinator, and most recently as Regional Advisor. Before all of that, along with Lisze Bechtold, I also coordinated several local SCBWI Illustrator Retreats. As a result, I have had the joy of meeting and working with so many people I admire and the honor of calling many of them friends. I will miss you all, but please know that in my heart I will forever be a CenCal Gal!

Wishing you all endless inspiration and great success in all you do,

Mary Ann

SCBWI Cen-Cal 2018 Mentor Program

Our 2018 Mentee is…

Mentor Mary Penney Hershey

Karin Just! Karin Just will work with Mary Hershey for six months on her manuscript Pending Moxie. The mentorship will run from March 5 to September 5, 2018 with the mentor and mentee communicating at least twice a month.

Our mentor, Mary Penney Hershey (a.k.a. Mary Penney), is the author of five humorous (and heartfelt, she hopes) middle grade novels. She is profoundly grateful for all the guidance she has received over the years from other writers and is thrilled to serve as our 2018 mentor.

Save the Dates!

For information, go to http://cencal.scbwi.org

All events are subject to change:

Maria Middleton

May 5, 2018
9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Box lunch included
Thousand Oaks Library Community Room

Presentations by Maria Middleton, Art Director at Random House Children’s Books, and Antoinette Portis, best-selling author and illustrator.

Antoinette Portis

Portfolio Display

Character Discovery Pre-Assignment (optional)

Golden Unicorn Art Tool Exchange


June 9, 2018
Picture Book Workshop
9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Faculty: Tammi Sauer
California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks


Book Talk is a monthly book discussion group taking place on the SCBWI Central-Coastal California listserv. Discussions begin on the first of each month, facilitated by Lynn Becker. To become a member of the listserv, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/SCBWI-CCal/

MAY: A Different Pond, written by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui (PB)
In the pre-dawn hours, while catching fish for their evening meal, a boy hears about a pond from his father’s childhood in Vietnam.

JUNE: Big Cat, Little Cat, by Elisha Cooper (PB)
Big Cat lives alone until Little Cat arrives, and the two spend many happy days together. Until Big Cat is gone, and that’s hard for everyone. But then…

JULY: Hello, Universe, by Erin Entrada Kelly (MG)
Four misfits band together after a prank turns disastrous, in this story of bullying, bravery, and friendship.

For more fantastic content, community, events, and other professional development opportunities, become a member today! Not sure if there is a chapter in your area? Check here.


Images provided by SCBWI Central-Coastal Region, and Sarah Parker-Lee with Maryann Frasier