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August 2017


The first day back to school for me, as a child, was a mix of excitement and a million skittish butterflies in my stomach. I loved to admire my new pencil box filled with tie-dyed erasers, unsharpened pencils, fresh crayons. But I also lay awake at night worrying over which friends would be in my new class, if I were assigned the “mean” teacher or the “nice” teacher, and if my new outfit was “cool” enough.
Now, preparing my kids for back-to-school brings back those memories. It also inspires me to think like a child again.
Sometimes our best writing material comes when we dig deep into those memories of childhood—when we bring up the sights, smells, sounds, feelings and relive an experience. And a new school year can inspire us to tackle new creative challenges, too. “Back to school,” for me, means creating new challenges and goals for myself in my writing journey.
Those challenges may include increasing our time spent writing stories or creating illustrations, preparing school visit presentations, building an online presence, critiquing, researching, or spending time in professional development.
This fall, our chapter has planned some exciting events to help each member tackle those challenges. We hope you will join us for our monthly meetings, and, in particular, our fall regional conference, which will be a jam-packed day of learning and inspiration. 
So, if you are inspired, grab a fresh box of pencils or crayons and jot down some goals for this “new” year.  Take a few moments to reflect on your writing or illustrating journey, and  think of ways to challenge  yourself to reach new heights in your kid lit careers. Looking forward to learning and growing with you!
North Texas Assistant Regional Advisor

Jennifer Cole Judd is a picture book author and poet, and the Assistant Regional Advisor for the North Texas chapter of SCBWI. Her first picture book, Circus Train, was published in 2015 (Two Lions). Her poems have been published in Highlights High Five, Cricket, and Spider. She lives in Coppell with her husband, five children, a spunky terrier and a few sassy chickens.



It’s Your Business - SCBWI North Texas Regional Conference: Registration for the 2017 conference is open! The full-day conference will feature keynote speakers, workshops, pitches, critiques, and a host of new exciting features. Held at the Addison Conference Center, there will be opportunities to network, perfect your craft, build your business, interface with industry professionals, and make new friendships. 9/23/2017 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Addison Conference Center.

Behind the Bluebonnet: 
August's monthly meeting is all about the Bluebonnet Award. A previous judge will be discussing how books are selected and guidelines for the award. 8/19/2017 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Interabang Books, 10720 Preston Rd, Dallas.

Illustration Coffee Hour:
Come to an illustrator meetup where we discuss illustration work, projects, and recent news. Bring your art, stories, questions, and come hang out, or if you need work critiqued – bring it! A member who attended the SCBWI LA Conference in July will be in attendance to share her experience as well. 8/5/2017 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Café Brazil, Plano (200 Coit Road).

Don't miss out! 

North Texas SCBWI t-shirts are available for order again
and we would love for everyone to wear
their shirts to the fall conference.
To receive the shirt in time you must
complete your order by August 25. 

Membership Corner

Member Melanie Sumrow’s debut middle grade, The Prophet Calls, was sold to Sonali Fry at Bonnier for publication in Summer 2018 by Rick Richter at Aevitas Creative Management. Set in a polygamous cult in the foothills of New Mexico in a world where many of life’s pleasures are banned by the Prophet who dictates community policy from jail, a young girl must defend her younger sister and escape her arranged marriage.
SCBWI Assistant Regional Advisor Jennifer Judd interviewed picture book author Susanna Hill and literary agent Melissa Edwards on the SCBWI North Texas Blog this month. Both will be featured faculty at the SCBWI North Texas fall conference.
SCBWI Houston Conference:
Registration for the 2017 Houston conference is open! The two-day conference features tiered pricing based on the activities you want to attend, making it an affordable option for members on a budget. 10/7 and 10/18/2017 at the The Marriott Houston Westchase. For a list of speakers, times, and more information, visit the Tools of the Trade conference page.



Crystal Kite Winners 2017

Congratulations to the 2017 Crystal Kite winners! The Crystal Kite awards are a peer-voted honor bestowed for excellence in children’s books upon winners in 15 US and international regions. SCBWI members vote to recognize outstanding books written and illustrated by their peers for books published in 2016. Over 1,000 books across all categories including picture books, middle grade, chapter books, young adult and nonfiction were entered in the competition. Click to see the full list of  2017 Crystal Kite Winners.


Did you know?
The Crystal Kite Awards is just one of the many awards or grants available to authors, illustrators, published authors and illustrators, students, and communities through SCBWI. Check out the Awards and Grants page to read more and learn how to apply!


2017 Summer Conference Portfolio Showcase
and Mentorship Awards

Congratulations to all the winners, especially Grand Prize Winner Ashlyn Anstee. To see a full list of honors and their work, click here.

Donate the books you wrote or illustrated!

SCBWI BOOKS FOR READERS BOOK DRIVE is officially accepting books for the collection until September 8, 2017. The worldwide book drive will collect SCBWI members’ published new fiction and non-fiction hard cover and paperback titles for children and teens (ages 0-17) including board books, early readers, picture books, chapter books, and middle grade novels, YA novels, and graphic novels. The Refugee Dream Center in Providence, RI and Kinship House in Portland, OR will receive the books. To learn more about the mission or other answers to frequently asked questions, check out the SCBWI BOOKS FOR READERS page. If you are ready to donate, books should be sent to: 

4727 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 301
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Attn:  SCBWI Books for Readers
Meet the Spotlight Editor and Designer

Liz Edelbrock is a public relations consultant, stay-at-home super mom, and MG/YA writer. She likes hats, sarcasm, and cute animal videos. You can connect with Liz on Twitter or email

Chris Schechner is an art director, designer, illustrator and writer of MG and adult fiction. He was art director of Pockets magazine for 25 years and has art directed over 25 picture books. He enjoys drawing, music, British television and being with friends. You can connect with Chris through his website,
Copyright © 2017 SCBWI North Texas newsletter, All rights reserved.

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