SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Susan Kralovansky named a finalist in the International Latino Book Awards

Head shot of author Susan KralovanskyCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Susan Kralovansky, who has been honored by the prestigious International Latino Book Awards, the largest awards in the country celebrating Latinx literature!  Her picture book, The Book That Jake Borrowed / El libro

Shachi Kaushik announces debut picture-book deal

Author headshot, Shachi KaushikCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Shachi Kaushik on signing a deal for her debut picture book, Diwali in My New Home!  The book, which will be illustrated by Aishwarya Tandon, features a young girl celebrating Diwali for the first …

Carol Kim releases debut picture book

Author headshot of Carol Kim in a pink shirt against a background of beige sidingCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Carol Kim, whose debut picture book, King Sejong Invents an Alphabet, illustrated by Cindy Kang, released on Oct. 1st from Albert Whitman and Company!

The nonfiction picture book tells the story of 15th-century …

Varian Johnson releases new MG novel

Cover of Varian Johnson's 'Playing the Cards You're Dealt,' featuring a Black boy in a red hoodie and jeans jacket deftly handling a pack of cards while standing on the street against a blue sky. Also features a blurb by Jason Reynolds.Close-up author photo of smiling Varian JohnsonCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Varian Johnson on the publication of his newest middle-grade novel, Playing the Cards You’re Dealt!  It launched on Oct. 5th from Scholastic.

The story features ten-year-old Ant Joplin, who is excited to prove himself …

Monthly Meeting September 2021: Illustrator Michelle Lambing

At our monthly meeting, a fun and inspiring live demonstration of block printing techniques was given on Zoom by illustrator Michelle Lambing.
Block Printing Tips:
-Check out Michelle’s influences: block printer Gustav Baumann and the more recent work of …

Welcome New Illustrator Coordinator Laura Fisk

Austin SCBWI says a big WELCOME to a new Illustrator Coordinator this month. Laura Fisk will be taking over for Rivkah LaFille, after Rivkah’s move out of state.

Rivkah said of the changeover: “Serving as Illustrator Coordinator for our …

Numerous Austin SCBWI members honored by Bank Street Children’s Book Committee

Every year, the highly regarded Bank Street College of Education’s Children’s Book Committee announces its picks for the best children’s books of the year.  They grant a few of these books specific named awards and also highlight some with an

Austin SCBWI members honored by the Writers’ League of Texas

On August 20, 2021, the Writers’ League of Texas announced the winners and finalists of the 2020 Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards, celebrating the best books by Texan writers published during the year 2020—and many children’s books by …

Monthly Meeting: August 2021

Adrianna Cuevas, author of THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF NESTOR LOPEZ and CUBA IN MY POCKET, Cover of "Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez" features a boy shining a flashlight running into the arched trees of a forest at night, followed by a deer and a fox; a silver Pura Belpre Honor sticker adorns the bottom left cornerspoke at August’s meeting about making the switch to writing middle grade books from picture books and young adult books.

Why Write Middle Grade?

Meghan P. Browne releases debut picture book

Meghan P. Browne headshotCover of 'Indelible Ann' features illustrated profile of Ann Richards with white hair and white earring against a sky-blue background speckled with bluebonnet flowers.Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Meghan P. Browne, whose debut picture book, Indelible Ann: The Larger-Than-Life Story of Governor Ann Richards, was released on June 22nd from Random House Studio!  The picture-book biography, illustrated by Texan illustrator Carlynn …

Gloria Amescua releases debut picture book

Author photo, Gloria Amescua, against grassy backgroundCover of 'Child of the Flower-Song People' features illsutrates of a woman with two hair-braids, white shirt, and dark blue skirt carrying a bowl of fruit above her head against a backdrop of purple flowers, brown mountains, and blue sky. Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Gloria Amescua, whose debut picture book, Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua, releases from Abrams Books for Young Readers on August 17th! The picture-book biography, illustrated by the …

Anne S. Bustard announces new middle-grade novel

Anne Bustard author photoCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Anne S. Bustard, who just signed a deal for her third middle-grade novel, FAR OUT!  The story features Magnolia Jean Crook, a “would-be detective and UFO-phile,” according to the Publishers Weekly announcement.  Magnolia …

Kristin Wauson announces debut picture book

Kristin Wauson headshotCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member and author-illustrator Kristin Wauson, who recently announced her debut picture book, Mr. Thatcher’s House! The story features Mr. Thatcher, a solitary rabbit who is building the house of his dreams. But no matter …

Cynthia Levinson announces newest picture book

Congratulations to SCBWI member Cynthia Levinson, who just sold her latest picture book, FREE TO LEARN! The book, which will be illustrated by Mirelle Ortega, is based on the life of one boy whose family was part of the

Don Tate releases new picture book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Don Tate on the release of his newest picture-book biography, Pigskins to Paintbrushes: The Story of Football-Playing Artist Ernie Barnes! Don Tate author headshot

Cover of 'Pigskins to Paintbrushes' features a smiling football player in a blue jersey with number 61 on it, holding three paintbrushes and a palette, against a bakdrop of a football field and stadium where some players are passing the ball.Don’s journey to writing this story began with an unexpected personal connection to the …

Lindsay Leslie releases new picture book

Black-and-white author headshot of Lindsay Leslie smiling and looking to the right against a wood-panel/siding backgroundCongratulations to Lindsay Leslie, Assistant Regional Advisor of the Austin SCBWI chapter, on the upcoming release of her fourth picture book, So You Want to Build a Library!  The story turns readers into architects as they imaginatively design …

July 2021 Monthly Meeting: Authors Christine Van Zandt and Moni Ritchie Hadley

  • July’s meeting on Zoom featured two picture book authors discussing their paths to traditional publishing while being unagented.

Christine Van Zandt

Moni Ritchie Hadley

Christine Van Zandt’s Path: A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERPANTS, (April 2021, becker&mayer! kids)
—Book fair …

June 2021 Meeting

The June meeting, via Zoom, featured LGBTQ+ topics relating to kidlit. A panel of speakers discussed their experiences writing and illustrating, including Jason June, Leslea Newman, Emma Virjan, and Rivkah LaFille, who also moderated. Originally also …

Liz Garton Scanlon releases newest picture book

Liz Garton Scanlon author photo against green trees background

Liz Garton Scanlon

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Liz Garton Scanlon on the publication of her fifteenth picture book, I Want a Boat! It launched on June 22nd from Neal Porter Books by way of a BookPeople Zoom event with …

Samantha Clark releases two MG novels

headshot against green leafy backgroundCongratulations to Samantha Clark, Regional Advisor of the Austin SCBWI chapter, on the launch this month of two new middle-grade novels! In Arrow, releasing on June 22nd from Paula Wiseman Books, a boy who has grown up as …

Christina Soontornvat announces deal for MG graphic memoir and new MG

ConAuthor photo of Christina Soontornvat, leaning against a white wallgratulations to Austin SCBWI member and two-time Newbery Honoree Christina Soontornvat, who just signed a deal for her middle-grade graphic-novel memoir, THE TRYOUT, as well as its sequel, THE SQUAD! The books will be illustrated by Joanna Cacao. …

Jason June releases debut YA novel

CongAuthor photo of Jason June, standing against a bright pink backgroundratulations to Austin SCBWI member Jason June on the publication of his debut YA novel, Jay’s Gay Agenda! It launched on June 1st from HarperTeen, just in time for Pride Month.

The YA rom-com tells the story of …

Lindsay Leslie wins Crystal Kite Award

Congratulations to Lindsay Leslie, Assistant Regional Advisor of the Austin SCBWI chapter, for winning a Crystal Kite Award for her picture book, Dusk Explorers! The book, illustrated by Ellen Rooney and released from Page Street Kids in June,

Debbie Loren Dunn wins Cook Prize Honor

Author headshot, Debbie Loren Dunn against blurred green and brown natural background

Debbie Loren Dunn

Cover of 'Perkin's Perfect Purple,' featuring a boy in a red coat in a chemical laboratory with a swathe of purple floating out from a vial and covering half the pageCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Debbie Loren Dunn, whose picture book, Perkin’s Perfect Purple: How a Boy Created Color with Chemistry, co-written with Tami Lewis Brown and illustrated by Francesca Sanna, won a Cook Prize …

Kari Lavelle releases debut picture book

Author phot Kari Lavelle against blue, green, and pink striped backgroundCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Kari Lavelle, whose debut picture book, We Move the World, releases on May 4th!  The book is illustrated by Nabi H. Ali and published by HarperCollins.  By pairing the small everyday accomplishments of

Laekan Zea Kemp releases YA novel

Cover of 'Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet,' featuring half the face of a teenage girl with black hair and a red headband and half the face of a teenage boy with short black hair against a pink-and-yellow background with a sun and prickly pear cactiLaekan Zea Kemp headshotCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Laekan Zea  Kemp on the publication of her YA novel, Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet! It launched on April 6th from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Set in a tight-knit Chicanx community in …

Cynthia Levinson releases new nonfiction picture book

Author photo of Cynthia Levinson again a green grass background.Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Cynthia Levinson, who just published her second nonfiction picture book, The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art!  The book, illustrated by Evan Turk, came out from Abrams Books

Liz Garton Scanlon announces new picture book

Liz Garton Scanlon author photo against green trees backgroundCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Liz Garton Scanlon, who just announced a new picture book, THE WORLD’S BEST CLASS PLANT, sold as part of a two-book deal!  The book is co-written with Audrey Vernick and will be illustrated by …

Marit Weisenberg announces new YA novel

Author photo Marit WeisenbergCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Marit Weisenberg, who just signed a deal for her fourth YA novel, THIS GOLDEN STATE!  The deal was brokered by Kerry Sparks at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency.

The novel features a restless teenager …

April 2021 Meeting

At the April meeting, authors Samantha M. Clark and Lindsay Leslie presented a guide for pitching your story. Your pitch is like a honed tool to keep in your back pocket, ready as needed. Here are some highlights:

Reasons to

Announcing the 2021 RA and Carmen Oliver On-the-Verge Scholarship Winners

The Austin SCBWI Chapter awards the Regional Advisor Scholarship and the Carmen Oliver On-the-Verge Scholarship to pre-published, unagented kidlit or teenlit authors to help them on their writing journey.

This year, our scholarship judges had a tough time narrowing the …

March 2021 Meeting

At the March meeting, illustrators learned about “Building a Better Portfolio.” Special thanks go to our distinguished panelists, previous Austin SCBWI Portfolio Showcase winners, Rachel Bostick, Laura Fisk and Eliza Kinkz. 


Portfolio Panel Highlights:

Best Piece:
Start portfolio with the

Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey release new picture book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI members Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey, Cover of 'The Old Boat,' featuring a boy with a sideways cap smiling on a green and white fishing boat against a yellow sky; visible underneat in the grey water is a curving school of multicolored fish as well as plants and coral in a slope of underwater white sand.brothers and creators of the widely acclaimed picture book The Old Truck, on the publication of their second picture book, The Old Boat! It tells the story of

Lalena Fisher signs deal for debut picture book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Lalena Fisher, who has signed a deal for her debut picture book, Friends Beyond Measure! Lalena, who creates infographics for the New York Times, has applied her expertise in this form

Melissa Coffey signs deal for debut picture book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Melissa Coffey, who just signed a deal for her debut picture book, Fridge-O-Polis! According to the Publishers Weekly announcement, “in this pun-filled picture book that touches on the problem of food waste, …

Congratulations to Our Creators of Diverse Worlds Scholarship

We’re thrilled to celebrate our 2021 Creators of Diverse Worlds Scholarship winners and honor recipients!

To encourage writers and illustrators to create diverse worlds, we launched our annual Austin SCBWI Scholarship for Creators of Diverse Worlds in 2015 and have …

Austin SCBWI members honored by the Texas Institute of Letters

Congratulations to the numerous Austin SCBWI members who have been honored by the Texas Institute of Letters (TIL) this year as part of the annual TIL Literary Awards!  The TIL is “a nonprofit Honor Society founded in 1936 to celebrate …

Varian Johnson announces deals for two new books

Close-up author photo of smiling Varian Johnson

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Varian Johnson, who just signed deals for two new books—a middle-grade novel and a biography—with Scholastic!

The middle-grade novel, Playing the Cards You’re Dealt, “explores themes of toxic masculinity as a 10-year-old card …

Christina Soontornvat and Don Tate win Golden Kite Awards for nonfiction

Don Tate author headshot

Don Tate

Huge congratulations to Don Tate and Christina Soontornvat, 2021 Golden Kite Award winners! Don won the Nonfiction Text for Younger Readers category for William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad, and …

Evan Griffith releases debut picture book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Evan Griffith on the publication of his Cover of 'Secrets of the Sea,' with a woman in a purple suit and tie illustrating sea creatures on a drafting desk at the beach, surrounded by floating fish, a turtle, and various shellsdebut picture book, Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist! The picture-book biography, illustrated by Joanie Stone, tells the story of Jeanne

Susan Kralovansky releases two new picture books

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Susan Kralovansky on the publication of two new picture books, the bilingual The Book That Jake Borrowed / El libro que Jake tomo prestado and We Really, Really Want a Dog!  Susan wrote and illustrated …

Patrice Barton releases new picture book and is featured at Eric Carle Museum

Cover of "I See You See," featuring a boy in a wheelchair, a girl standing bent over next to him, and a dog on hind legs on a grassy hill looking together at a bouquet of orange flowers the boy holds that dissipate in the wind and form the shapes of goldfishCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Patrice Barton—not only has she just released her latest picture book, but she now has some of her art featured at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts!

Members in the Press: Jason June, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Nicholas Solis

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI members Jason June, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Nicholas Solis, who have all been recently featured in various magazines!

Jason June (author of picture books, chapter books, and an upcoming YA novel) was interviewed …

February 2021 Meeting: Author Wendelin Van Draanen

HOPE IN THE MAIL, REFLECTIONS ON WRITING AND LIFE (Penguin Random House, 2020) is more than a book title for Wendelin Van Draanen, bestselling author of more than 30 novels. “Hope in the mail” is also a mantra Wendelin

Jason June releases picture book and launches new chapter book series

Author photo of Jason June, standing against a bright pink background

Photo Credit: Ryan Bilawsky

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Jason June on the release of his picture book Porcupine Cupid and the launch of his new chapter book series, Mermicorn Island!
Porcupine Cupid (released Dec. 1, 2020 by Margaret …

P.J. Hoover signs deal for YA nonfiction book

P.J. Hoover

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member P.J. Hoover, who just signed a deal for a young-adult nonfiction book about contemporary women working in STEM fields! The deal was brokered by Jacqui Lipton at Raven Quill Literary Agency.

P.J. (Tricia), a …

Eliza Kinkz signs with agent

Author photo of Eliza Kinkz, with five red plastic squid-tentacles stuck on each finger of her right hand, one of which rests against her chin.Congratulations to illustrator and Austin SCBWI member Eliza Kinkz on signing with an agent! She is now represented by Stephen Barr at Writers House. In recounting how she landed her agent, Eliza explains: “A good friend, the awesome author/illustrator …

Christina Soontornvat wins double Newbery Honor and multiple other awards

Author photo of Christina Soontornvat, leaning against a white wallGiant congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Christina Soontornvat for the outstanding success of two of her books for young readers, All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team and A Wish in the Dark, each …

Adrianna Cuevas wins Pura Belpré Honor

CongratAuthor photo of Adrianna Cuevas standing against a tree trunkulations to Austin SCBWI member Adrianna Cuevas, whose debut novel The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez just won a Pura Belpré Honor! The award recognizes outstanding children’s and young adult literature that “portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino …

January 2021 Monthly Meeting: Author P. J. Hoover

January’s meeting kicked off 2021 with: Take Control of Your Creative Life, presented by writer, teacher, and coach P.J. Hoover, author of HOMER’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, THE HIDDEN CODE, and TUT, THE STORY OF MY IMMORTAL LIFE, among many …

Austin SCBWI Welcomes New ARA

The new year marks a moment of transition for the Austin SCBWI chapter, as Gayleen Rabakukk concludes her time as Assistant Regional Advisor (ARA) and Lindsay Leslie steps in for her.
“We want to say a huge thank-you to Gayleen …

November 2020 Monthly Meeting: Illustrator Laura Fisk

At November’s Monthly Meeting, illustrator Laura Fisk took us

down a “Different Road to an Illustration Career.”  Her debut book, SLEEPING BAGS TO S’MORES, a camping guide by Heather Balogh Rochfort and William Rochfort, was recently published by Houghton …

Vanessa Roeder announces new picture book

Congratulations to author-illustrator and Austin SCBWI member Vanessa Roeder, who just Author photo of Vanessa Roeder in black and white against a white wall with a window signed a deal for her next picture book, The Stack, as well as a second untitled picture book!  According to the Publishers Weekly announcement, The Stack, “pitched as …

Carol Kim signs with agent and announces debut picture book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Carol Kim, who within a few weeks both signed with a literary agent and announced her debut picture-book deal!  King Sejong Invents an Alphabet, which will be illustrated by Cindy Kang, is set to …

Jennifer Coleman signs deal for new picture book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Jennifer Coleman, who just signed a deal for her second picture book, Come ‘N Git It!: Cookie and His Cowboy Chuckwagon’s Day on the Trail!  The book will be illustrated by Julie Dupre …

October 2020 Monthly Meeting: P.J. Hoover, Britta Jensen, Mariya Prytula

At the online October Monthly meeting, our distinguished panel discussed the nuances of self-publishing. Here are some highlights:

P.J. Hoover:
-Experiences with both traditional and self-publishing can be rewarding
Reasons to self-publish: write what you want; make some

Lindsay Leslie announces deal for next picture book

Black-and-white author headshot of Lindsay Leslie smiling and looking to the right against a wood-panel/siding backgroundCongratulations to Austin SCBWI member Lindsay Leslie, who just signed a deal for her fourth picture book, So You Want to Build a Library!  The story, according to the Publisher’s Weekly announcement, “puts readers in the driver’s seat …

Don Tate releases two new picture books

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Don Tate on the publication of two new picture books, William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad and Swish!: The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters.  Don is both author …

Cynthia Leitich Smith wins NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature

Huge congratulations to long-time Austin SCBWI member Cynthia Leitich Smith on winning the 2021 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature! This prestigious biennial award connected to the University of Oklahoma and the magazine World Literature Today is given on the …

September 2020 Monthly Meeting: Varian Johnson

September’s meeting was hosted by Austin SCBWI member and VCFA faculty member Varian Johnson, award-winning author of nine novels including new middle-grade graphic novel Twins, illustrated by Shannon Wright, from Graphix/Scholastic. TWINS was named a Junior Library Guild …

Austin SCBWI members honored by the Writers’ League of Texas

On September 23rd 2020, the winners of the 2019 Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards were announced, celebrating the best books published by Texan writers during the year 2019—and the Austin SCBWI chapter won big!  Six chapter members placed as …

Britta Jensen releases new YA novel

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Britta Jensen on the Oct. 1st release of her newest YA novel, Hirana’s War!  It’s a story about living with disability, overcoming the ravages of war, and finding hope in the most unusual of …

Varian Johnson releases new MG graphic novel

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Varian Johnson, whose new middle-grade graphic novel Twins, illustrated by Shannon Wright, releases Oct. 6th from Graphix/Scholastic!  The novel has already been named a Junior Library Guild Selection and received starred reviews from …

Nikki Loftin signs deal for debut picture book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Nikki Loftin, whose debut picture book If You Get Lost was just sold at auction to Anne Schwartz Books!  The book will be illustrated by Deborah Marcero.

Told in just 144 words, If You

Bethany Hegedus releases new picture book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Bethany Hegedus on the publication of her newest picture book, Huddle Up! Cuddle Up!  The book, illustrated by Michael Deas, released on August 25th from Viking Books for Young Readers.

The picture book features …

Alisha Gabriel signs with literary agent

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Alisha Gabriel on signing with an agent!  She is now represented by Heather Cashman at Storm Literary Agency.

Alisha is a music educator and the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction in …

Tina Mowrey releases debut picture book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Tina Mowrey, whose debut picture book, What a Prickly Pear, released on August 25th from Clear Fork Publishing!  The book is illustrated by Sarah Williams.Tiny Mowrey author photo against leafy green background

The story features two clever raccoons, Roxy and …

Cynthia Levinson to release graphic-novel adaptation of award-winning nonfiction book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Cynthia Levinson, whose nonfiction book for children and teens, Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws that Affect Us Today, will be released as a graphic novel adaptation

August 2020 Monthly Meeting: Jacqui Lipton

At our August meeting, held on Zoom, local author and illustrator Salima Alikhan led a discussion with literary agent and attorney Jacqui Lipton, author of Law & Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers

Jacqui founded Raven Quill Literary Agency

July 2020 Monthly Meeting: Author Jenny Elder Moke

At the July meeting, Jenny Elder Moke, author of YA novel HOOD (Disney/Hyperion, June 2020), spoke to a well-attended Zoom gathering about the three pillars necessary for a first draft.

HOOD is about the daughter of Robin Hood and …

Candy Wellins publishes picture-book debut

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Candy Wellins, whose debut picture book Saturdays Are for Stella releases August 11th from Page Street Kids!  The book, which is illustrated by Charlie Eve Ryan, has already received a glowing starred review from …

S.G. Wilson releases debut middle-grade novel

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member S.G. Wilson, whose debut MG novel Me Vs. the Multiverse: Pleased to Meet Me releases on August 4th!  The humorous action-adventure novel, the first in a series, will be published by Random House Children’s …

Holly Green announces book deal for her debut YA novel

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Holly Green, who just sold her debut novel!  Holly Green author headshot against green leaves and tree backgroundIn the Same Boat is a YA novel about a teenager named Sadie who is determined to finish an epic canoe race one year after another race …

Jenny Elder Moke releases debut and sells second YA novel

Author portrait of Jenny Elder Moke seated on stairs in front of a doorway.Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Jenny Elder Moke, who in the past month released one novel and sold another!

Her debut novel, Hood, a YA historical adventure that reimagines the story of Robin Hood through the perspective of …

Christina Soontornvat releases new picture book and chapter book

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Christina Soontornvat, who had two new books come out in June!Author portrait of Christina Soontornvat

The first, Slush Puppy Love (released on June 2nd by Scholastic), is the fifth book in the Diary of an Cover of "Diary of an Ice Princess: Slush Puppy Love" featuring two girls sliding down a winding ice slide holding small dogs.Ice Princess chapter …

June 2020 Meeting: Authors Cindy Baldwin, Bethany Hegedus and Catherine Stier

This month, authors Cindy Baldwin, Bethany Hegedus and Catherine Stier discussed writing about difficult topics for young readers.

Cindy Baldwin’s middle grade novel, WHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW, includes a parent with mental illness, and her newest book, BEGINNERS WELCOME, …

New Illustrator Coordinator Rivkah LaFille

Rivkah LaFille

Austin SCBWI has a new Illustrator Coordinator! Please join us in welcoming Rivkah LaFille to this role!

Rivkah is a long-time volunteer for our chapter, helping to run a critique group, sketch meetups, our conference portfolio showcase, as …

Austin SCBWI Member Wins Crystal Kite Award for Third Consecutive Year

Austin SCBWI has a Crystal Kite winner in its chapter for the third consecutive year!

Middle-grade nonfiction book, HER OWN TWO FEET: A RWANDAN GIRL’S BRAVE FIGHT TO WALK by Meredith Davis and Rebeka Uwitonze won the 2020 Crystal Kite …

Jacquetta Nammar Feldman Sells MG Novel

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Jacquetta Nammar Feldman on selling her debut middle grade novel to HarperCollins. Here’s the recent announcement from Publishers Weekly:

Antonia Markiet and Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins have preempted Jacquetta Nammar Feldman’s debut middle grade …

2020 Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Winner

Congratulations to the winner and finalists of Austin SCBWI’s 2020 Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award!

The finalists are chosen by the critiquing faculty at our annual conference. Each faculty member may nominate one of the manuscripts they critiqued, …

Anne Wynter Honored By Sustainable Arts Foundation

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI Member Anne Wynter on receiving an individual artist award from the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Anne was one of 20 winners selected from a field of nearly 1,800 applicants.  The judges commented, “Anne Wynter delighted and …

New Book For Lindsay Leslie

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Lindsay Leslie on the upcoming publication of her third picture book, DUSK EXPLORERS, illustrated by Ellen Rooney and published by Page Street Kids, due out June 2, 2020.

DUSK EXPLORERS received a starred review …

Cynthia Leitich Smith Named Finalist for NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Austin SCBWI member Cynthia Leitich Smith has been announced as a finalist for the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature. The prize recognizes significant achievement of a writer or illustrator, either over a lifetime or in …

Gloria Amescua Sells Picture Book Biography

Publishers Weekly recently announced Austin SCBWI member Gloria Amescua‘s debut picture book biography, Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez will be published by Abrams. The story is about the Indigenous Nahua woman who grew up in Mexico during …

Donna Janell Bowman Teaches Online Picture Book Biography Class

Austin SCBWI member author Donna Janell Bowman will teach Writing Picture Book Biographies from the Inside Out, a six-week online class beginning May 9.

The class will be an introspective and pragmatic deep-dive into writing picture book biographies from the …

April 2020 Meeting: Author Adrianna Cuevas

Tips and Tricks for Pitching Agents and Editors was this month’s Zoom meeting topic, in anticipation of our chapter’s upcoming (virtual) annual conference

“If I can do it, you certainly can!” said Adrianna Cuevas, debut author of middle grade …

March 2020 Meeting: Author Chris Barton

Chris Barton spoke to us this month on Zoom while celebrating his 20th book: FIRE TRUCK VS. DRAGON (Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, 2020). We thank Chris for embracing the new format for our monthly meetings during the COVID-19

New Book for Christina Soontornvat

Congratulations to our member Christina Soontornvat on the release of her newest middle-grade book A WISH IN THE DARK.

The book is a Thai-inspired fantasy twist on Les Miserables and was published by Candlewick.

Christina is faculty for Austin …

P.J. Hoover’s New Book Is Out

Congratulations to our member and former Assistant Regional Advisor P.J. Hoover on the release of her new middle-grade book HOMER’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE.

The book was published by CBAY Books is billed as Homer’s Odyssey meets Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. …

Noah Weisz Wins SCBWI Magazine Merit Award

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Noah Weisz, who was recently awarded a Magazine Merit Award in the fiction category for his short story “A Forest Full of Stars.”

The story was published in the July 2018 issue of Highlights

Daniela Weil Launches New MG Book

Daniela Weil and her new book THE DIARY OF ASSER LEVY

Daniela Weil and her new book THE DIARY OF ASSER LEVY

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Daniela Weil on the release of her new book THE DIARY OF ASSER LEVY: FIRST JEWISH CITIZEN OF NEW YORK. Here’s more about the …

Shachi Kaushik Signs With Agent Lynnette Novak

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Shachi Kaushik who has signed with agent Lynnette Novak of the Seymour Agency!

We asked Shachi if she’d tell us about her journey, and here’s what she said:

HOW I GOT MY AGENT

Your manuscript …

Austin SCBWI Member Noah Weisz Wins SCBWI Magazine Merit Award

Congratulations to our own Noah Weisz, who was recently awarded a Magazine Merit Award in the fiction category for his short story, “A Forest Full of Stars,” which appeared in the July 2018 issue of Highlights.

Noah …

New Permanent Online Critique Group Option

Introducing a new flexible online critique group option for members of Austin SCBWI.

Can’t make it to a ZOOM meeting or regularly scheduled critique group? No problem. The Austin SCBWI Blueboard Critique Group will take place the full third weekend …

2020 Carmen Oliver On-the-Verge Annual Austin SCBWI Conference Scholarship

The Carmen Oliver On-the-Verge Annual Austin SCBWI Conference Scholarship is awarded each year to a children’s book writer who has the passion and desire to pursue a career in this industry. It is designed to give the winning writer a …

2020 Regional Advisor Scholarship Recipients

The Austin SCBWI RA Scholarship is awarded each year to children’s book writers who have the passion and desire to pursue a career in this industry. It is designed to give the winners a good foundation from which they can …

February 2020 Meeting: Mark Mitchell

Author-Illustrator and Instructor Mark Mitchell designed his talk around color palettes at February’s vibrant meeting. 

Mark wrote and illustrated the award-winning RAISING ‘LA BELLE’: THE STORY OF THE LA SALLE SHIPWRECK, Eakin Press, 2002. He is also a contributor to …

Vanessa Roeder’s The Box Turtle Makes Spring 2020 Kids’ Indie Next List

Congratulations to our member Vanessa Roeder on her picture book, THE BOX TURTLE, being included on the Spring 2020 Kids’ Indie Next List!

Here’s a description of the book: Terrance the turtle was born without a shell, so he …

Cynthia Leitich Smith wins with Hearts Unbroken

Congratulations to our member Cynthia Leitich Smith on  winning the 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Young Adult Award for her latest novel HEARTS UNBROKEN.

The award is given by the American Indian Library Association.

Here’s the description of the book:…

2020 Creators of Diverse Worlds Scholarship Winners

Since 2015, the Austin SCBWI chapter has awarded conference scholarships to authors and authors who are creating diverse worlds. The scholarship was inspired by our February 2015 monthly meeting, when author Cynthia Leitich Smith gave an amazing seminar on the …