• Critique Group Information


Take a look at the map of our region. It is vast, extending from the Oregon border southward to Kings, Tulare and Inyo counties. Endless inspiration abounds from such majestic sites as Yosemite, the Eastern Sierra, South Lake Tahoe, the Mendocino coast, Lassen and Mt. Shasta, not to mention the

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News & Regional Updates: October 2017


Ah, the smell of Autumn is in the air! Or is that candy corn?

Here are the headlines for our Oct 2017 issue of your regional SCBWI NorCal email blast:

1.       Register NOW for “Killer Editing Workshop” Oct 28 (A second webinar version on 11/11 too!)

2.       Oct “Critique Carousel” blends into the Killer Writing Workshop; Nov will have a surprise twist. Plus, CC changes afoot!

3.       Illustrators: Enter our Logo Contest—with over $300 worth of prizes!

4.       New: Illustrator’s Travelling Sketchbook Project

5.       Regional Updates: Scholarship winners, 2017 Holiday Showcase Opportunity

6.       Calendar of Events


1. There's a Killer Story in Here Somewhere: Writing&Editing Workshop with Multi-Published Author Karen Sandler – WITH CRITIQUE CAROUSEL BONUS, Oct 28th at 9:30am

Have you registered for our big October craft-based writing event yet? Not many people have so far—yet we know many are planning on attending–so please get moving on this great opportunity and register soon! The beginner AND advanced writer will learn how both a sharp eye for detail and the perspective to see the bigger picture will transform your manuscript into an irresistible, killer story. Whether you love the editing process or hate it, the agonizing question is usually, as Bob Seger sang, What to leave in, what to leave out? In this ruthless re-write workshop, multi-published Author Karen Sandler will cover word repetition and adverb overload, shaky story structure and characterization problems in a 90-minute workshop that will be followed by a free “Critique Carousel.” Karen will stay on to guide peer critique breakout sessions for feedback on your own work (see details on the reg page). Only $45 for this entire 3.5-hour event! There will be a drawing for a free partial critique too. Karen will also offer low-cost professional manuscript critiques as an add-on for those looking for a little extra help. There's a Killer Story in Here Somewhere: Writing&Editing Workshop

There’s a WEBINAR version too! Can’t attend the in-person workshop? Have no fear. Karen is offering the same great content via live webinar on 11/11 at 11am. It’ll be available to view for two weeks afterward too. [Note: you choose either one to attend, not both, as they present the same content.] So affordable too! Sign up for the WEBINAR (not in-person event) here: https://canorthcentral.scbwi.org/events webinar Also pls note you can only get add-on professional critiques at the in-person event Oct 28th, and there is no free critique raffle at the webinar either.


2.  Critique Carousel Updates: In September's Critique Carousel, we talked about elevator pitches in addition to the regular manuscript critiques. We discussed how elevator pitches look different depending on whether your manuscript is a picture book or novel, and also that parts of your elevator pitch can be used in various situations beyond the traditional writer's conference. Attendees received an exclusive handout for building their own pitches.

On October 28th, Critique Carousel stops in El Dorado Hills immediately after the Workshop as explained above. If you plan on attending both, please check the appropriate box on the Workshop registration page. PLEASE NOTE you do not have to attend the workshop to attend Critique Carousel. Simply email JEN Garrett to let her know if you will be attending the Critique Carousel portion only. WE ONLY HAVE ONE PERSON SIGNED UP FOR OCT CRIT CAROUSEL SO PLEASE SIGN UP ASAP! There's a Killer Story in Here Somewhere: Writing&Editing Workshop

On November 18th, Critique Carousel stops in North Natomas. Registration opens October 30th. For a change of pace, we will be focusing on query letters instead of manuscripts. We encourage you to attend even if you don't feel ready to query yet. Sometimes working on the query letter can help hone in on the best way to polish your work in progress! Great for all levels of writers at all stages of progress.

We’ve got more Crit Carousel news.  Based on participation, regional needs and resources, changes are on the horizon for the Critique Carousel program. The goal is to help as many members as possible (up attendance at meetings) while offering even greater resources (continued support from speakers and/or PAL Guides). Details will be announced in the coming months. Looking forward to learning together in 2018!


3. Illustrators: Our region's 2018 Spring Spirit Logo Contest is open! If you're a member of our CA North/Central region, you're eligible to enter for a chance at winning:

1. A $50 gift card to their choice of either Aaron Brothers stores or DickBlick.com (and lots of appreciation)! Runner up will get a $25 card (and lots of appreciation!).

2. Free registration to the 2018 Spring Spirit Conference, an up to $225 value!

3. Attendance at the exclusive faculty-only dinner the night before the conference to schmooze with editors and agents. Value: priceless!

4. The winning image, with the artist’s signed name, will also be displayed prominently on the SCBWI regional webpage (with international reach) starting Dec 2017, in the regional newsletter, and will be unveiled in person at our region's Holiday Mixer.

Full details at https://canorthcentral.scbwi.org/2018-spring-spirit-logo-contest/ Exciting stuff!!


4. New Traveling Sketchbook project: But wait, illustrators, there’s more… We’d like to get an idea of how many people would like to join in on our region’s new Traveling Sketchbook project. The idea is that those who are interested will each take a turn writing, doodling, drawing, collaging, and/or painting, before mailing the sketchbook to the next member who will do the same until the book's pages are filled with words and images representative of our community's own unique voices. Please enter your email address in our form at http://bit.ly/2x6zTQM and members Kristen Schwartz and/or Elizabeth Stevens Omlor will contact you soon with more information about this new and exciting project!


5. Regional Updates

·         Scholarship Winners Announced! Our Regional Team was thrilled with the number of scholarship applications we received in both the General Scholarship and the Own Voices Scholarship categories. The entries included illustrators, author/illustrators, and writers of everything from picture books to new adult. Own Voices applicants represented a variety of backgrounds. Thank you to all who applied. The judges' decisions came in early, so we thought there should be no delay in awarding and announcing the winners! Both recipients will receive free Spring Spirit Tuition, a free manuscript critique, a book store credit, an invitation to the Post-Conference Dinner, and one year's membership to SCBWI. They'll also receive a travel grant to assist with getting to the conference and a one-night stay in the conference hotel.


Congratulations to our recipients of the 2018 Spring Spirit Scholarships:

o   General Scholarship: Landon Spencer, CIRCUS GIRL (Middle Grade)

o   Own Voices Scholarship: Kelley York, THE INBETWEEN SPACES (New Adult)


We're running the scholarship program again for the 2019 Spring Spirit Conference, so we hope you'll all enter next year.


·         Our Annual Holiday Mixer on Dec 1st, 6:15-8:30pm, has a location: the Imaginarium on 37th Ave in Sacramento. Registration will open in late October. We’re well underway creating the 2017 Showcase for all member titles released this year, that will be displayed (and perhaps for sale) at the event. OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL MEMBERS TO PARTICPATE: If you have a title that came out this year and haven’t contacted Lois Lunford with your details yet, CHOP CHOP! Member Martha Longshore is taking that info and creating a beautiful and dedicated website to display all the titles for those that won’t be able to join us in person this Holiday season. Deadline to be included is the end of the month so get in touch with Lois asap: loislunsford06@yahoo.com Please note this showcase is for MEMBER titles released in 2017 only.

As always, send us your ideas and thoughts. And don’t be afraid to volunteer! :-)


6. COMING UP –our calendar of events are available at ttps://canorthcentral.scbwi.org/events/