Have a topic you’d like to share with your fellow kidlit community? Want to share your process and inspire other writers or illustrators? Or maybe you have a list of incredible authors you’d like to interview but no idea where you can publish it? Let Kite Tales be your outlet for creative community and discussion!Continue reading
by Lisa Saint
For over twenty years I have been a fine art painter, card designer, and have taught book making classes for children. But my deepest desire has been to write and illustrate children’s books. I’ve attended SCBWI conferences, workshops, and retreats – and created some nice, even well-received work. But that’s where it all stops. Jobs, family, friends, and numerous commitments continually take up my time and attention. Year after year. The sad revelation is that this pattern could go on forever.
When the most recent Illustrators Day was announced, I made a pledge to commit to my dream. I registered for the one-day conference. Gathering my 10 strongest illustrations for a mail-in portfolio review, I sent them off to be critiqued by an industry professional. Continue reading
by Chris Robertson
Spiderman… Batman… Superman… Elephant and Piggy…Paddington Bear…The Very Hungry Caterpillar? What the…?
You may think that kid-lit does not have a place at L.A. Comic Con, right? Well, maybe 10 – 20 years ago you would’ve been right. But now, given the overwhelming popularity of Comic Cons, there certainly is a place for kid-lit authors and illustrators.
by Jessica Chrysler
Fall brings fond memories for me. Even though I grew up in sunny Southern California, there were a few special trees in the neighborhood that would change color and drop their leaves. I’d dreamt about how endless forests of these trees would look and had read fairytales about how spirits would change the colors of the leaves. I’d wonder how they’d lived with all the other creatures in the wood, and if they would all gather into little caves, sleeping together through the long, cold winters. For a kid that never experienced the seasons, this magic seemed so real, even if just beyond my reach. But I was able to capture some of that magic when it came time for Halloween. Continue reading
by R. S. Mellette
As we prepare for the Los Angeles Comic Con on October 11-13, I’m hearing from some PAL members, “But I don’t write science fiction…”
Last year for the first time, I organized the SCBWI PAL booth at the Los Angeles Comic Con. I had no idea what to expect. The adventure started with a mass of people RUNNING through the aisles. They were not going to see a film star. They were not going to be the first to watch a new Marvel movie trailer. They were going to buy clothes – Hot Topic was having a doorbuster sale. That’s when I realized, this weekend wasn’t going to be what I expected. Continue reading
By Karol Ruth Silverstein, SCBWI-L.A. Contest Coordinator
SCBWI-L.A. PAL member Bethany Barton is the 2019 Mentor! This year’s mentorship contest is for illustrators and author/illustrators and we’ll be accepting applications from February 15 through March 22.
To encourage applicants, we thought we’d check in with last year’s mentees, Monica Mancillas and Jennifer Fitzgerald, to see how their mentorship experience went.
KAROL RUTH SILVERSTEIN: What did you hope to get out of the mentorship when you first applied?
JENNIFER FITZGERALD: I am just starting out writing for children, so initially I was looking for guidance in getting started. My biggest issue is time management. I’m a business owner and a parent, which means time to sit and think can be at a minimum. I needed someone to be accountable to, someone who I could trust to send me an email out of nowhere saying, “How’s it going? What are you working on right now? Send me something.” It made making time to write more real to me and I really needed that. Continue reading
Lisze Bechtold is an animator as well as an author & illustrator of picture books and early readers. Her published works include Edna’s Tale, Sally and the Purple Socks (a Children’s Choice and Imagination Library book), and the award-winning Buster the Very Shy Dog series. She has taught workshops, reviewed portfolios, and studied writing with such luminaries as Myra Cohn Livingston and Patricia Lee Gauch. A long-time member and volunteer for the SCBWI, she’s co-coordinated several SCBWI Illustrator Days, sits on the L.A. Regional Board, and has quite a few ideas and events in mind for our region’s illustrators and author/illustrators. “What ideas and events?” you ask? We wondered that too, along with a few other questions you didn’t even know you wanted to ask. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this installment of “Volunteer Spotlight.”
SARAH PARKER-LEE: Just in case anyone out there has avoided approaching you at events or something because of this, before we go any further, how do you pronounce your name?
LISZE BECHTOLD: “Liz” or “Lizzie”, if you need to pronounce all the extra letters.
SPL: Phew! We haven’t been saying it incorrectly! (Introverts worst nightmare.) With that out of the way… You’ve been an SCBWI volunteer for a long time, off and on, why did you recently take up the mantle of Illustrator Coordinator?
LB: I had too much fun coordinating the illustrator contests at the 2016 Writer/Illustrator Day and realized as an author AND illustrator, I have specific insight into the different needs and interests of each. I love connecting people who should meet, as well as the detective part of helping other artists — pointing out their strengths and the direction they are already taking that perhaps they themselves may not have noticed.
SPL: As an experienced illustrator and author, what types of workshops, exercises, or tools have helped you? Continue reading
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,
SCBWI Cen-Cal 2018 Mentor Program
Our 2018 Mentee is… Continue reading
SCBWI loves celebrating our members’ successes and noteworthy news, and there are many! Read on to find out who’s got something to shout about. Digital high-fives welcome in the comments!
Hatching Chicks in Room 6 by Caroline Arnold was named a 2017 Eureka! Honor book by the California Reading Association. The Eureka! awards are for excellence in nonfiction.