Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet Our 2019 Conference Faculty: Samantha M Clark

Meet the faculty of the 2019 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. We’ve asked all our faculty members to answer 4 quick questions so we can get to know them better.

Samantha M Clark, Author

Samantha M Clark is the author of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster) and has always loved stories about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. After all, if four ordinary brothers and sisters can find a magical world at the back of a wardrobe, why can’t she? While she looks for her real-life Narnia, she writes about other ordinary children and teens who’ve stumbled into a wardrobe of their own. In a past life, Samantha was a photojournalist and managing editor for newspapers and magazines. She lives with her husband and two kooky dogs in Austin, Texas. Samantha is the Regional Advisor for the Austin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and explores wardrobes every chance she gets.

Samantha M Clark
Samantha M Clark

What attracted you to children’s books?

I’ve always loved children’s books for their wonder, simplicity and complexity, but when I set out to write, I just wanted to tell stories. It was the stories that steered me to children’s books. I love writing both middle-grade and young adult, but I have a special love of middle-grade because it’s here that you can push your imagination anywhere and readers will follow.

What’s the best part of your job?

Ooh, there are so many! Those moments when the story is flowing and I’m fully within the world of my book. Talking to children about writing, fears, and courage. Helping writers with their own work and careers… It’s a wonderful job.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Time! I want to write all the time, and talk to children all the time, and help writers all the time, and be on Twitter and Instagram and… Finding the balance is a challenge, but a good one to have.

What’s the best piece of advice you were given that helped drive your career?

I think the best advice I’ve been given was to focus on my craft and what kind of a writer I want to be, what stories I want to tell. It took me a while to understand that, but it wasn’t until I truly dug into words and the heart of my stories that my career began. It’s important to keep up with the business of publishing, but an author’s career is made with words and story and that’s always where the focus should be.

Come see Samantha M Clark at the 2019 Austin SCBWI conference, May 18-19, 2019