SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Congratulations to our Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award Winner

Austin SCBWI wishes a big congratulations to Romy Natalia Goldberg, who has won our 2019 Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award. Natalia wins a year’s mentorship with author Varian Johnson.

Varian is a Vermont College of Fine …

PAL Members Meet Librarians

Austin SCBWI sponsored a booth at the recent Texas Library Association’s Annual Assembly.

PAL members were invited to sign and sell books, while RA Samantha Clark and ARA Gayleen Rabakukk shared SCBWI resources including the Speakers Bureau with its searchable …

Agent Jennie Dunham Discusses Character at Austin SCBWI Workshop

Nineteen writers gathered at the Writing Barn for the Protagonist on the Page, led by literary agent Jennie Dunham, founder of Dunham Literary.

Jennie reminded attendees that the protagonist drives the story, so consider carefully which character you’ll …

June Meeting: Author Donna Janell Bowman

“Every creation begins with the inspiration from another creation,” expressed Donna Janell Bowman, at our monthly meeting. She is the award-winning author of picture book biographies Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness, …

Austin Member Wins Crystal Kite for 2nd Consecutive Year

The Boy, The Boat, and The Beast by Samantha M ClarkAustin SCBWI has a Crystal Kite winner in its chapter for the second consecutive year!

Middle-grade novel THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST by Samantha M Clark won the 2019 Crystal Kite Award for the Texas/Oklahoma region. Samantha is …

Austin SCBWI 2019 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference Highlights

More than 215 people attended the Austin SCBWI 2019 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference on May 18-19 and left inspired and ready to create.

Author P.J. Hoover moderates the publishing panel.

Author P.J. Hoover moderates the publishing panel. Photo: Susan Johnston Taylor

Three large publishing houses were …

May Meeting: Author Charlotte Sullivan Wild

This month, Charlotte Sullivan Wild, author of The Amazing Idea of You (Bloomsbury, 2019), gifted our audience with “The Amazing Idea of Play!”

Now, quickly, grab a pencil and draw a scribble! Next, add onto that scribble to make it …

Samantha M Clark teaches at The Writing Barn

Austin SCBWI Regional Advisor Samantha M Clark is teaching her first class with The Writing Barn.

She was a student at The Writing Barn long before she signed with her agent and is excited to now be teaching there.

Samantha …

Austin SCBWI Members Tour Lark & Owl Booksellers

More than a dozen Austin SCBWI members braved the rain to enjoy a sneak peek at Lark & Owl Booksellers in Georgetown last month. Founder and general manager Jane Estes led a tour of the new independent bookstore a few

Farrar, Straus & Giroux Acquires Adrianna Cuevas Debut MG Novel

Trisha de Guzman at FSG has acquired world rights to Adrianna Cuevas’s debut middle grade novel, Nestor’s Guide to Unpacking, about a Cuban-American boy named Nestor with a secret ability to speak to animals. Nestor and his mother move to …

SCBWI Booth at Texas Library Association Conference

April Meeting: Author and Illustrator C.S. Jennings

At our monthly meeting, in anticipation of the upcoming Austin Annual Conference May 18-19, C.S. Jennings drew attention to “Polishing Your Portfolio.” An illustrator of 24 books and author of two, Christopher Jennings is also our chapter Regional Illustrator Coordinator, …

Congratulations to the Recipients of the First Austin SCBWI RA Scholarship

Congratulations to the recipients of Austin SCBWI’s first RA Scholarship.

The scholarship was started this year by Regional Advisor Samantha M Clark to lift up a voice that shows great promise in children’s books.

We were thrilled to see the …

Texas Institute of Letters Honor Chris Barton & Varian Johnson

The Texas Institute of Letters recently honored two Austin SCBWI members.

Varian Johnson received the Jean Flynn Award for Best Middle Grade Book for THE PARKER INHERITANCE (Scholastic, 2018).

Chris Barton received the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Best …

March Meeting: Author P.J. Hoover

Ten Tips to Make the Most of Your [Critique] Submission

(“Oh, No…Not Another Top Ten!”)

With this humorous subtitle, P.J. Hoover set the stage for her lively presentation at our March meeting. She is the author of multiple novels, including …

Amy Bearce Signs With Agent

Congratulations to author Amy Bearce, who recently signed with agent Alice Sutherland-Hawes of the Madeleine Milburn Agency. A Southwest Texas chapter member, Amy was last year’s Honor recipient of the Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentor Award at Austin’s annual conference. Author …

February Meeting: Author Cynthia Leitich Smith

What could be more fitting for our February meeting than hearing Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick, 2018) author, Cynthia Leitich Smith speak about the tough questions we must ask ourselves when crafting romance novels, and other stories?

What can we ask ourselves …

Crystal Kite Award Winner: Cynthia Levinson

Congratulations to Austin author Cynthia Levinson, winner of the 2018 Crystal Kite Award, for The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton and published by Atheneum Books for Young …

Varian Johnson Wins Coretta Scott King Honor Award!

Austin SCBWI member Varian Johnson recently received a Coretta Scott King Honor award for his MG novel, THE PARKER INHERITANCE (Arthur A. Levine, 2018) from the American Library Association.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding …

Creators of Diverse Worlds Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our 2019 Diverse Worlds Scholarship! The contest was judged by agents Stefanie Von Borstel of Full Circle Literary and Tanusri Prasanna of Foundry Literary + Media.

The winners are:
Illustration: Reggie Brown (New Friend/First …

January Meeting: Author Tara Dairman

To ring in the New Year, Tara Dairman, author of The Great Hibernation (Random House) and The Four Stars foodie series (Putnam/Penguin) informed a full house how to deal with anxiety in the writing process. First, she confessed to …

Austin SCBWI Auction 2019

What do you love about SCBWI?Austin SCBWI logo

• Speakers
• Webinars
• Workshops
• Scholarships
• Networking
• Annual conference

How does Austin SCBWI afford these amazing events?

Austin SCBWI is run by an enthusiastic group of volunteers! And we keep …

November Meeting: Author and Illustrator Vanessa Roeder

At the November meeting Vanessa Roeder, author and illustrator of LUCY AND THE STRING (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018) offered tips on writing picture books.
Simplify the Concept – What’s the essence of your story?
Visualize the Action

Random House Acquires S.G. Wilson’s Debut Novel and Sequel

 S.G. Wilson's debut novel, ME VS. THE MULTIVERSE, sells to Random House.
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SCBWI Member Meghan P. Browne Signs with Agent

Meghan P. Browne recently signed with agent Alyssa Henkin of Trident Media.
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SCBWI Member and Author Lindsey Lane to Teach “Writing Children’s Literature” Course at ACC

Lindsey Lane will be teaching a course called “Writing Children’s Literature” at Austin Community College next semester, beginning January 22nd for 16 weeks.
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The Impossible Winterbourne’s AlphaBots Awarded “Best ‘Bots” by The Austin Chronicle

The AlphaBots, written and illustrated by SCBWI Austin member The Impossible Winterbourne, was just awarded "Best 'Bots" in Austin by The Austin Chronicle. 
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Lee Zarnikau Launches Ellie’s Car Kindergarten

Under her pen name Lee Zee, Lee Zarnikau launches her debut picture book, Ellie's Car Kindergarten.
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October 2018 Meeting – What You Don’t Know About SCBWI

By Susan Johnston Taylor

Membership has its perks, as they say. But SCBWI has so many programs for writers and illustrators that even long-time members may not know about all the opportunities available to them.

The October meeting of the …

The Impossible Winterbourne Featured on Portland’s KGW8-TV with the AlphaBots

The Impossible Winterbourne features The AlphaBots alphabet picture book featuring steampunk robots on local Portland news station.
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SCBWI Reception with Kwame Alexander

Writers braved the rain October 8 for a special chat with Newbery-winning author Kwame Alexander prior to his BookPeople event in celebration of his latest novel, SWING.

In a casual and candid conversation, Kwame talked about the 18 years it …

2018 Picture Book Retreat for Authors & Illustrators Highlights

The hill country bloomed with more than wildflowers the weekend of September 14-16, 2018. Inspiration was in the air at Austin SCBWI’s first Picture Book Retreat for Authors & Illustrators.

Ariel Richardson, Chronicle Books, Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary and

September 2018 Meeting

Wow , what an incredible turn out for our September meeting! SCBWI Austin was privileged to have such a talented panel present at our September monthly meeting.

Our panel included Ann Rose, agent with the Prospect Agency, Ariane

Austin SCBWI Member Sue Meredith Cleveland Publishes New Novel in Crispin Leads Mystery

Digging Up the Dead follows on the heels of the 2017 award-winning debut novel Shrouded.
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Authors Nikki Loftin and Kat Shepherd Teach Area Youth How to Write Scary

Author and SCBWI member Nikki Loftin and author Kat Shepherd are hosting a A SPOOKY STORY CELEBRATION writing workshop at BookPeople on Oct. 20.
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Gloria Amescua Signs with Full Circle Literary

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Gloria Amescua for signing with agent Taylor Martindale Kean at Full Circle Literary.

Gloria met Full Circle Literary agent Stephanie Von Borstel at the 2017 Austin SCBWI conference, where Stephanie critiqued one of …

SCBWI Member Rebekah Manley Signs with Bradford Literary’s Natalie Lakosil

Networking at the most recent SCBWI Austin annual conference led Rebekah Manley to her agent match.
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Lindsey Lane and Shelli Cornelison Teach Six-week Short Story Class

Writers of short stories for all ages welcome to Lindsey and Shelli's short story class at Austin Creative Alliance.
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Connection at SCBWI Summer Conference

Connection seemed to be the theme of SCBWI’s 2018 Summer Conference in Los Angeles, Aug. 3-6.

Libba Bray, Lois Lowry and Lynda Mullaly Hunt all talked about how writing connects us in their keynotes.

All equal parts hilarious and emotional, …

Austin SCBWI Promotes Members at TLA Annual Meeting

Austin SCBWI joined the Texas Authors and Illustrators RoundTable of TLA to co-sponsor a booth at the TLA Annual Meeting this month.

At the booth, local authors and illustrators who are members of both organizations promoted their own books and …

Gayleen Rabakukk steps up as ARA

The Austin SCBWI chapter bids a huge THANK YOU to P.J. Hoover, who’s stepped down as the Assistant Regional Advisor after serving for the last three years.

Stepping into her duties, we’re excited to welcome Gayleen Rabakukk, who has …

June 2018 Monthly Meeting

SCBWI Austin was privileged to have a wonderful team of librarians at our June monthly meeting. Filled with information about books, requirements, selection and state lists, the librarians gave us a peek into what the process looks like when selecting …

Varian Johnson’s The Parker Inheritance Selected as 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book

The Parker Inheritance (Levine/Scholastic), written by Austin SCBWI member and author Varian Johnson, was selected as a 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book in the fiction and poetry category. These awards are among the most prestigious honors in the field …

2018 Crystal Kite Award Goes to Cynthia Levinson and The Youngest Marcher

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson (illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton) won the 2018 Crystal Kite Award for the Texas/Oklahoma region. The Crystal Kite Award is given to fifteen books …

2018 Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Awards Chosen

Congratulations to Aimee Thomas, who has won Austin SCBWI’s 2018 Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award! Plus, our mentor Jennifer Ziegler has decided to expand her mentorship to include an Honor recipient, Amy Bearce.

Aimee receives a year’s mentorship …

2018 Austin SCBWI Conference Highlights

A record 250 people attended the Austin SCBWI 2018 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference on April 28-29 and left feeling inspired and ready to work.

A rapt audience listens to Simon & Schuster art director Lucy Ruth Cummins.

Three of …

SHROUDED by Meredith Lee Receives Starred Review

SCBWI member Sue Meredith Cleveland and Dixie Lee Evatt, aka Meredith Lee...
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February 2018 Monthly Meeting

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN.

GEORGE ELIOT

The topic of our February SCBWI meeting led by Melissa Buron, MAB Media, was Learning, Fear and Creativity: How to use Science to Improve Your Creative …

Congratulations to our Diversity Scholarship Winners!

Austin SCBWI’s annual Creators of Diverse Characters Scholarship gives scholarships in three categories: novels, picture books and illustration. We awarded two scholarships in each category: The winner gets a full scholarship to the 2018 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working

SHROUDED Receives Starred Review from Blue Ink

SHROUDED: A Crispin Leads Mystery by Meredith Lee (pen name for authors Dixie Lee Evatt and Sue Meredith Cleveland) received a starred review from Blue Ink Review
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SE Witschorke Signs with Natascha Morris, BookEnds Agency

SE focuses on middle-grade and young-adult novels.
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Helping Kidlit’s Hurricane Harvey Victims

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims of Hurricane Harvey across the south and eastern areas of Texas. Libraries have lost their collections and so many people have lost their homes or experienced severe damage. So we're …

SCBWI Member Lindsay Leslie Sells Picture Book to Page Street Publishing

THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS slated for a Winter 2019 launch date.
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SCBWI Member Sue Meredith Cleveland and Dixie Lee Evatt to Launch Debut Mystery Novel SHROUDED on Sept. 9

Launch event for SHROUDED at The Writing Barn from 3-6 p.m.
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Cate Berry Graduates with VCFA MFA

Cate Berry, an Austin SCBWI member, recently received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts...
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Illustrator Patrice Barton’s Latest Picture Book Set to Release July 25

Illustrator and SCBWI Austin member Patrice Barton will welcome a new picture book, Hello Goodbye Dog (Roaring Brook Press), into the world on July 25, 2017.
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Congratulations to our 2017 Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentorship Winners

Twelve finalists were nominated for our 2017 Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award at our 2017 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference, two of them nominated twice for difference manuscripts. And now we're thrilled to announce not one but two …

Perseverence at 2017 SCBWI Summer Conference

Perseverence seemed to be the buzz word at the 2017 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles July 7-9. From debut authors Stephanie Garber, who wrote the New York Times bestselling novel CARAVAL, and Kim Turrisi, who wrote the YA novel JUST …

Lindsay Leslie Signs with Agent Stephanie Fretwell-Hill/Red Fox Literary

Congratulations to Lindsay Leslie, an Austin SCBWI member, who has signed with agent Stephanie Fretwell-Hill with Red Fox Literary!
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RA Samantha M Clark sells book to Simon & Schuster

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI Regional Advisor Samantha M Clark.…

2017 Austin SCBWI Authors & Illustrators Working Conference Highlights

All the highlights from this year's working conference.
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Austin SCBWI Members’ Books Recognized by Bank Street College of Education

Bank Street College selects four books by Austin SCBWI authors/illustrators to 2017 Best Children's Book list
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Award-winning Author Debra Winegarten Releases New Picture Book

ALMOST A MINYAN, a new picture book by author Debra Winegarten, released this week.
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Author Deanna Roy Launches Final Book in Magic Mayhem Trilogy

Author Deanna Roy's final book in the Magic Mayhem series, ELEKTRA CHAOS, based on daughter with epilepsy.
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Guest Post by Misha Maynerick Blaise: How Winning the SCBWI Portfolio Contest Supported My Path to Publication

How Winning the SCBWI Portfolio Contest Supported My Path to Publication
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Inspiration and Support at Marketing Boot Camp

Austin SCBWI writers and illustrators gathered to learn and share tips about speaking, booking events, marketing and career strategies on Feb. 25 at our Marketing Boot Camp.
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Artist Daniel Minter Talks Illustration of STEP RIGHT UP by Donna Janell Bowman

Watch this video of artist Daniel Minter showing how he created the beautiful woodcut illustrations for STEP RIGHT UP
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Congratulations to our Diverse Characters Scholarship Winners

Austin SCBWI's annual Creators of Diverse Characters Scholarship expanded in 2017 to give scholarships in three categories: novels, picture books and illustration. We awarded two scholarships in each category: The winner gets a full scholarship to the 2017 Austin SCBWI

WHOOSH! Named 2017 Cook Prize Finalist

WHOOSH! LONNIE JOHNSON'S SUPER-SOAKING STREAM OF INVENTIONS by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate was named a 2017 Cook Prize finalist.
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Noah Weisz Shortlisted for Bath Children’s Novel Award

A manuscript written by Austin SCBWI member Noah Weisz was shortlisted for the 2016 Bath Children's Novel Award.
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Donna Janell Bowman’s STEP RIGHT UP Receives Two Honors

STEP RIGHT UP: HOW DOC AND JIM KEY TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT KINDNESS by Donna Janell Bowman was selected
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Gloria Amescua Chosen for LEE & LOW BOOKS 2016 New Voices Award Honor

LEE & LOW BOOKS announced today that Gloria Amescua, an Austin SCBWI member, has been chosen to receive the New Voices Award Honor for her manuscript Luz Jiménez, No Ordinary Girl.
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SCBWI Member Kit Rosewater Leads Six-Week Fiction Writing Course @BookPeople

Kit Rosewater will lead a six-week fiction writing course called "Write the Book!" at BookPeople beginning Feb. 1
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Food, Fun and 2016 Festivities

About 70 Austin SCBWI members and guests came together to enjoy good company and bid goodbye to 2016.
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Carmen Oliver’s Bears Ring Bell

Carmen Oliver's debut picture book is on the shortlist for the 2017 Colorado Libraries for Early Literary (CLEL) Bell Picture Book Award
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Donna Janell Bowman Steps Up to CYBILS

Congratulations to Donna Janell Bowman, whose debut picture book biography has a finalist for the 2016 CYBILS awards.
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Cynthia Levinson’s Young Marcher Marches Into Mixed Up Files

Cynthia Levinson's debut picture book, THE YOUNGEST MARCHER, was featured on popular blog From the Mixed Up Files
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Carmen Oliver’s Bears are Bestsellers!

Carmen Oliver's debut picture book BEARS MAKE THE BEST READING BUDDIES is on the Austin Statesman's bestseller list.
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Kit Rosewater Signs with The Bent Agency’s Susan Hawk

SCBWI Austin member Kit Rosewater recently signed with agent Susan Hawk of The Best Agency.
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November Monthly Meeting

During our November monthly meeting, we were privileged to hear from author Shelli Cornelison, poet and author E. Kristin Anderson, and artist C. S. Jennings. They discussed writing and illustrating for the magazine market.
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GRENDEL’s MOTHER by Susan Morrison Wins WOW YA Book Award

Author Susan Signe Morrison received the Words on Wings YA Book Award for GRENDEL'S MOTHER.
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WHOOSH! on 2017-2018 Bluebonnet Award Master List

WHOOSH! LONNIE JOHNSON'S SUPER-SOAKING STREAM OF INVENTIONS by Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate (Charlesbridge) is on the 2017-2018 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List announced today at the 2016 Texas Book Festival.
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Gayleen Rabakukk Signs with Agent Andrea Cascardi with Transatlantic Agency

Gayleen Rabakukk, an SCBWI member and Austinite, has signed with agent Andrea Cascardi with Transatlantic Agency.
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ALIVE by Chandler Baker No. 1 on YALSA Teen Top Ten List

Austin SCBWI member and author Chandler Baker's ALIVE (Disney/Hyperion) tops Young Adult Library Services Association's Teens' Top Ten
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Mari Mancusi Reveals Cover for PRINCESSES, INC.

Author Mari Mancusi reveals the cover and back cover copy for PRINCESSES, INC.
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C.S. Jennings Steps Up as IC

Author/illustrator C.S. Jennings has taken over as the Illustrator Coordinator for the Austin SCBWI chapter.
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Jason Gallaher Reveals Cover for Upcoming PB

Jason Gallaher's upcoming picture book, WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE, has a cover.
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Project Picture Book : An Illustrator (& Writer) Challenge Workshop

Picture books seem simple. They’re somewhere around thirty-two pages. They generally don’t have a lot of words. Cute characters galavant throughout. Sitting down, however, to actually create a picture book, the process presents itself as a tangled knot.
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Don Tate Awarded 2016 Illumine Award for Children’s Literature

Author and illustrator Don Tate will be honored with the 2016 Illumine Award for children's literature at The Austin Public Library Friends Foundation's Annual Gala, Illumine.
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Austin SCBWI Members Represent at the 2016 Texas Book Festival

The list of 2016 Texas Book Festival authors is out!
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Illustrators Get Funny at Monthly Meeting

At our Austin SCBWI September monthly meeting, brand-new Illustrator Coordinator C.S. Jennings led illustrators Emma Virjan (PIG IN A WIG series), Jeff Crosby (THE ROCKABILLY GOATS GRUFF, WEINER WOLF) and Mary Sullivan (NOBODY'S DUCK, BALL) in a discussion about how they use humor on their work.
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Full Novel Workshop Recap

On Aug. 27, SCBWI Austin members enjoyed a day of full-novel-workshopping with authors Anne Bustard (ANYWHERE BUT PARADISE), Greg Leitich Smith (CHRONAL ENGINE) and P.J. Hoover (TUT: THE STORY OF MY IMMORTAL LIFE).
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Donna Janell Bowman Book Launch Party

Donna Janell Bowman launches her new book STEP RIGHT UP: HOW DOC AND JIM KEY TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT KINDNESS.
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Patrice Barton to Illustrate Two New PBs

Hats off to SCBWI member Patrice Barton.
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Betty X. Davis Honored by National SCBWI

Austin SCBWI member Betty X. Davis has been given a lifetime membership.
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Anne Bustard Finalist for Willa Award

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Anne Bustard on being a finalist for the Willa Literary Award for her book ANYWHERE BUT PARADISE.
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August Monthly Meeting

For our August monthly meeting, we had the pleasure to hear from author/illustrator Don Tate and author Chris Barton.
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Austin SCBWI Members Teach at The Writing Barn

Come learn from Austin SCBWI members Lindsey Lane, Shelli Cornelison, and K.A. Holt who are teaching at the Writing Barn this fall.
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PIG IN A WIG Wins Award!

Congratulations to Austin SCBWI member Emma Virjan for winning the Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award in the Beginning Fiction category for her book A PIG IN A WIG.
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