Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Season Overview

SCBWI WWA 2016-2017 Monthly Programming Registration Coming Soon!

Our season of regular monthly programming will get underway on the Second Wednesday of each month, beginning October 12, 2016.

Place: Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall 150
Time: Second Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Cost: Each of our monthly meetings costs $10 for SCBWI members and $15 for non-members, if you pay at the door. If you purchase a Passport and pay a onetime fee of $40 for members or $80 for non-members, you are pre-paid for all meetings and you have access to some of the additional opportunities listed below, so be sure to check it out.
(Become a SCBWI member at

Registration is now open!


September 17
Join the illustrators of our Super Duper Summer Show at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle for a family Draw-Along from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Art supplies provided!


Late September
Registration opens for our November Illustrator Retreat at Dumas Bay Centre. See below for juicy details.


October 12 & 13 October Agent Meeting & Additional Opportunities with Jennifer March Soloway, Associate Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

October 12 Monthly Meeting Presentation: Perseverance through the Process: How to Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off, and Get Your Writing Noticed

Additional Opportunities:
Wednesday, October 12, 6:15 to 7:00 p.m.: Keep It Simple Art Showcase
Illustrators are invited to showcase their work to peers and agent Jennifer March Soloway in the Demaray Hall lobby, prior to the Agent Meeting. Plan to bring tear sheets, printouts, or copies of your color or black-and-white work (Five samples maximum, each piece no larger than 9 x 12 inches). Portfolios and original work will not be accepted. Additionally, you may bring up to three leave-behinds (postcards or tear sheets) no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches to deposit in a goodie bag that Jennifer will take back to San Francisco when she leaves.

There is no cost to participate, but space will be limited to the first 40 illustrators who select this optional item. Open to Passport holders only. Must be a member of SCBWI International.

Thursday, October 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: individual critiques
Thursday, October 13, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.:  Master Class: Preparing for Submission: Pitches and Opening Pages

The critiques and master class are available to Passport holders only (SCBWI members and non-members alike). The one-on-one critiques are available to SCBWI member passport holders only.  Both have limited capacity; so don’t delay in signing up for your Passport. Individual critiques and master class require additional payment.


October 21 – 23 Writer Retreat, Dumas Bay Centre
(Not part of Passport) Registration is closed for this event.


November 9 Monthly Meeting
Main Presentation: Ben Clanton. Let's INTERPLAY! (A.K.A. When Words and Pictures Meet)
This hands-on workshop (yes, there will be drawing and writing games!) will cover how illustrations can parallel, augment, and/or contradict the text in a book, AND how the text can set up fun and/or interesting illustration opportunities. Writing illustration notes, working out pagination, and learning from mentor texts will also be explored.

Mini Presentation: Dan Gemeinhart, Crunchy and Chewy: How to combine great plot and killer emotion in MG. Like a Snickers bar, great middle grade novels have both "crunch" (A high-stakes, exciting plot) and "Chew" (A gooey, compelling emotional center). Learn to combine these elements to create a novel that will please both readers and agents. Learn to hone the emotional heart of your story, and bring it forward into action for one delicious, satisfying narrative.


November 11 – 13 Illustrator Retreat at Dumas Bay Centre
(Not part of Passport – requires separate registration.)
Join us for this year’s SCBWI WWA Illustrator Retreat at Dumas Bay in Federal Way where we will welcome faculty Christian Robinson (Last Stop On Market Street) and Catia Chien (A Boy And A Jaguar). We will consider character development, endpapers and covers. Don’t miss this opportunity to create artwork with your fellow illustrators in a beautiful, serene setting. An invitation to register for this event will be sent in mid-September. This is a joint retreat with the Oregon chapter, so don’t delay to secure your space.


November 15 Inside Story: Free event, open to all
7 to 9 p.m. at University Book Store, 990 102nd Ave NE #5, Bellevue, WA 98004
The Inside Story is presented twice a year so booksellers, librarians, teachers, and other children’s book lovers can hear the two-minute “stories behind the stories” of new and upcoming books by our local authors and illustrators. Going on its 17th year, the Inside Story is not to be missed!


December 14 Monthly Meeting
Mini Presentation: Katherine Pryor, Show Me the Money: Grant Writing for Creative Professionals.
Drawing on her long experience in the grant-writing world, Pryor will give writers and illustrators an understanding of the elements of writing compelling proposals to fund new artistic endeavors. You will leave with a list of funding resources for Washington artists.

Main Presentation: J. Anderson Coats, Resurrecting Your Frankendraft.
That long, rambling, confusing first draft you’ve written – the one that’s cobbled together like Frankenstein’s monster? You might feel it can’t be salvaged, but it can! Award-winning author J. Anderson Coats will walk you through techniques to revise your Frankendraft into something engaging, compelling, and ready for the your next steps.

And don’t miss our ever-popular holiday cookie contest and book exchange!


January  11 The Great Critique
That’s right! Another opportunity to take your project from good to GREAT! And just in time for the conference this spring. This popular event offers you the opportunity to have your project critiqued by a published author or illustrator and your peers. This event requires additional payment. Register under Additional Opportunities.

PLEASE NOTE: This event usually fills up quickly, so don’t delay. If you are not registered for the Great Critique, do not show up on January 11. There is no general meeting, only the Great Critique.


February 8 Additional Opportunity
Three-hour Nonfiction Afternoon Workshop, 2 to 5 p.m.
Mary Cronk Farrell, Talking with the Dead and Other Secrets to Writing Nonfiction for a New Generation
Today’s successful nonfiction sets the bar so high that writers must be prepared to take smart, calculated risks to get a book published and gain notice. Mary will offer five techniques for turning facts, figures and information into compelling nonfiction, then show you how to push the envelope so your work successfully competes with technology for kids’ attention, nudges them beyond binary thinking, trains them to solve problems, and helps foster empathy. Please bring a recently published nonfiction book for Children/YA that you like, or that is similar to what you hope to publish. This workshop requires additional payment.
Register under Additional Opportunities.


February 8 Monthly Meeting
Presentation 1: Claire Rudolph Murphy, Building Powerful Sentences
An introduction to techniques to develop more effective sentences, based on the work of Professor Brooks Landon in his book Building Great Sentences. We will begin with kernel sentences, then grow our sentences through the use of cumulative phrases. Participants will be encouraged to bring three of their own sentences from their creative writing to work on during the presentation.

Presentation 2: Mary Cronk Farrell, The Hidden Architecture of Compelling Nonfiction
In writing non-fiction, nothing is more important than getting the facts right — unless it’s putting those facts together in a knock-your-socks-off way. Mary will demonstrate how the pillars of action and emotion reinforce narrative structure in nonfiction. Combining words and pictures into compelling architecture will help you touch readers’ minds and hearts.


March 8 Monthly Meeting
Mini Presentation: Adina Gillett, Improv for Storytellers  
Lean how to use improv fundamentals to boost your creativity and storytelling — both in writing and in presentations from this veteran teacher and 17-year Jet City Improv company member.

Main Presentation: Beth Bacon, Surprise and Story: How Surprising Yourself While Writing Can Be Key to Finding Your Story
When — boom! — something completely unexpected shows up in your manuscript, such as a new character, motif or voice, where does it come from? And how can we make that magic happen more often? Because when it does, the results are always deeper, more disturbing, or more beautiful than we originally intended. Working from her Vermont College of Fine Arts thesis, Beth offers six techniques and a writing exercise that foster these “Aha” moments and help make them happen more often.


April 7-9  The 25th SCBWI Western Washington Conference for Writers and Illustrators
We’re keeping the details under wraps for now, but trust us, there will be thrills, chills, lotsa larfs and literary shenanigans with some serious luminaries in the kidlit world. Registration will be separate from the Passport and will require additional payment.


May 9 Inside Story: Free event, open to all
7 to 9 pm University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE Seattle WA 98105. We said it was twice a year, and this proves it. Same info as above, but this one is in on the Seattle side of Lake Washington.


May 10 Monthly Meeting
Presentation 1: Movie Night! This year it’s the screening of The Author/Illustrator Biz with Toni and Liz, starring Liz Wong and Toni Yuly. Liz Wong is the author and illustrator of Quackers, (March 2016, Knopf Books for Young Readers) and illustrator of the 2016 SCBWI LA Summer Conference poster and folder. Toni Yuly is the author and illustrator of Early Bird, Night Owl and Cat Nap (January 2014, 2015, 2016, Feiwel & Friends). Dana Sullivan will catch all their dirty little secrets in these short, Emmy award-worthy videos. Q&A follows the screenings.

Presentation 2: Sara Wilson Etienne, The New Heroine: She’s Badass and She Doesn’t Have to Prove it! Sara Wilson Etienne leads a nuanced discussion and craft-based workshop on bringing a new generation of powerful, three-dimensional, female characters to life. In our evolving world, girl heroes don’t have to spend their energy keeping up with (and/or besting) the boys. How do we walk the gender lines that let our girls see strong versions of themselves, while still allowing them to occupy the gendered spaces they might like to inhabit? We’ll examine examples from middle grade and young adult novels, movies and pop culture. Swashbuckling pirates, creative inventors, and daring courtesans await.


Passport Pricing:

SCBWI Members $40. Join at
Non-members $80

October Consultations with Jennifer March Soloway: $55 for 10 minute consult and editorial letter (Members only)

October Master Class with Jennifer March Soloway:
SCBWI Members $60
Non-members $80

November Master Class with Mary Cronk Farrell:
SCBWI Members $45
Non-members $60

January Great Critique
SCBWI Members $15
Non-members $25
Must sign up for Passport