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By Ann Rousseau Smith, SCBWI CenCal News Liaison

SCBWI CenCal ArtWorks Re-Cap

By Laura-Susan Thomas, CenCal Illustrator Coordinator

Our amazing and talented faculty this year at ArtWorks were Maria Middleton, Art Director for Random House Children’s Books, and Antoinette Portis, author-illustrator of Not A Box, an ALA Geisel Honor book, and Not a Stick, one of the New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books of the Year. Maria Middleton kicked off the day with lots of creative energy, informing us how a middle grade cover gets created, coming up with unique characters and world building, and including a live drawing exercise for all our illustrator attendees. Antoinette inspired us all to get creative, explore, find and work out those perfect picture book images and storytelling.

Attendees for ArtWorks were encouraged to bring and display their portfolios in the ArtWorks portfolio gallery. Our two portfolio winners Molly Ruttan and Matthew Rivera each received a one-on-one portfolio consultation with Maria and Antoinette immediately following the wrap-up of Artworks.

Molly Ruttan

Live critiques were switched up a bit this year with participants encouraged to submit a “sketch” rather than final art as in years past. The sketches were all based around a discovery theme. It was a great opportunity for our attendees to get feedback from professionals in the sketch phase! Throughout the day, Maria Middleton and Antoinette Portis gave fantastic live critique, feedback, and encouragement. Attendees who submitted art to the critique sessions will now get the opportunity to revise those sketches into final art. We at SCBWI CenCal are looking forward to another ArtWorks in 2020. Look forward to seeing you there!

Matthew Rivera

Save the Dates!

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

Coming Soon: Writers’ Day 2018!
October 13, 2018
Writers’ Day 2018
California Lutheran University
Thousand Oaks

SCBWI CenCal is gearing up for another great Writers’ Day on October 13that California Lutheran University. This year, for the first time, when you sign up for Writers’ Day you’ll get two events for the price of one with a free 90-minute follow-up webinar with one of our speakers!

Lorin Oberweger

Our lineup this year includes Lorin Oberweger, a new agent at Adams Literary and a renowned writing instructor, who’ll extend her Writers’ Day talk on “Tension and Desire” two weeks later with a webinar on Saturday, October 27, exclusively for Writers’ Day attendees. Those who can’t attend the webinar live will have access to the recording afterward. In addition, Sarah Jane Abbott, Assistant Editor at Simon & Schuster’s Paula Wiseman Books and Beach Lane Books, will join us, along with Allison Moore, Editor at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, and Hannah Mann, an agent with Writer’s House.

We’ll be spotlighting our local talent with homegrown writers Terry Pierce, Happy LaShelle, and Andrea Loney, as well as illustrator Carol Heyer. As always, there will be a writing contest, opportunities for written critiques, and an illustrators’ display gallery, as well as our ever-popular first pages session. Games, prizes, and a fun, friendly atmosphere are also in store for attendees.  Lunch is included in the price of admission and those who register early will be rewarded with an early bird discount.

Full details will be on our website soon. Registration will open on or before August 1.


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, facilitatedby Lynn Becker. To become a member of the listserv, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/SCBWI-CCal/

AUGUST: We Are Okay, by Nina LaCouer (YA)

Troubled Marin leaves everything behind — home, friends, and a tragedy she can’t face — when she goes to college across the country.

SEPTEMBER: The Wolf, the Duck, & the Mouse,by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen (PB)

When a mouse gets swallowed by a wolf, he meets a duck in the wolf’s belly; they have breakfast and more absurd stuff happens after that.

OCTOBER: Elizabeth and Zenobia,by Jessica Miller (MG)

When Elizabeth Murmur and her father move to creepy old Witheringe House, Elizabeth’s ghostly best friend, Zenobia, goes, too.


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, Laura-Susan Thomas, and Sarah Parker-Lee with Maryann Frasier