Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Brazos Valley Blooms: Celebrating Our First 25 Years Creating for Kids

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Date(s) - 03/04/2017
8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Covenant Presbyterian Church
220 Rock Prairie Rd. - College Station, TX 77845


Join the SCBWI Brazos Valley in celebrating our 25th anniversary with an information-packed conference on March 4, 2017. 

Featuring an award-winning faculty:

E. B. Lewis, Caldecott honor-winning artistrator 


E.B. has illustrated over seventy books for children, including Nikki Grimes’ Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, the 2003 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner; Alice Schertle’s Down the Road, an ALA Notable Book; Tolowa M. Mollel’s My Rows and Piles of Coins, an ALA Notable Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Bat Boy and His Violin by Garvin Curtis, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; and Jacqueline Woodson’s The Other Side, a 2002 Notable Book for the Language Arts.





Kathi Appelt, author and founding regional advisor of SCBWI Brazos Valley 


Kathi's books have won numerous national and state awards, including the Irma and Simon Black Award, Children’s Choice Award, Teacher’s Choice Award, the Oppenheimer Gold Award, Parent’s Choice Award, Storytelling World Award, Growing Good Kids Award, Texas Writer’s League Award for Children’s Literature, the Texas Institute of Letters Award, Best Books for Young Adults, VOYA Top of the Shelf Award, and a host of others. Her first novel, The Underneath, was a National Book Award Finalist and a Newbery Honor Book. It also received the Pen USA Award, and was a finalist for the Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Award.



Donna Cooner, author and co-founder of SCBWI Brazos Valley

Donna is the author of over twenty picture books. She has also written children's television shows for PBS and textbooks for future teachers. Donna’s debut novel, SKINNY, was named an ALA's Best Young Adult Fiction Award winner, BEA's Young Adult Buzz Book, and a Bankstreet College's Best Children's Book of the Year. Her second book, CAN'T LOOK AWAY, was a Teen Choice Nominee. Her new book, WORTHY, releases on March 28.

Karen Boss, associate editor at Charlesbridge
"Karen is an associate editor at Charlesbridge where she works on fiction and nonfiction picture books and middle-grade novels. She holds a MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College and regularly acts as a mentor for their Writing for Children MFA program. Karen also has an MA in higher education administration and worked at colleges and in the nonprofit sector for the first 15 years of her career. She still works part-time in development at Hyde Square Task Force, a nonprofit that works with at-risk youth in Jamaica Plain. Some authors she’s currently working with are David L. Harrison, Jane Yolen, Nancy Bo Flood, Rich Michelson, and debut author Tami Charles. Her favorite children’s book is The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White, and she thinks that Holes by Louis Sachar is quite possibly the best thing ever written."
excerpt from www.highlights 
Hornbook Interview-podcast

Jennifer March Soloway, associate agent with Adrea Brown Literary Agency

Jennifer works closely with Executive Agent Laura Rennert. She enjoys all genres and categories, such as laugh-out-loud picture books and middle-grade adventures, but her sweet spot is young adult. 

Jennifer is a suspense junkie. She adores action-packed thrillers and mysteries, full of unexpected twists. Throw in a dash of romance, and she’s hooked! She’s a sucker for conspiracy plots where anyone might be a double agent, even the kid next door. She is a huge fan of psychological horror that blurs the lines between the real and the imagined. But as much as she loves a good thriller, she finds her favorite novels are literary stories about ordinary teens, especially those focused on family, relationships, sexuality, mental illness, or addiction. In such stories, she is particularly drawn to a close, confiding first-person narrative.

Storymaker Interview

Michele4laughs Interview



Registration in the Showcase should be confirmed during registration. If you decide to participate in the Showcase after you register, you may sign in at the door. Please contact Liz Mertz, brazosvalley@, to let her know you plan to participate.

The Portfolio Showcase will be held March 4 from 9am-3:45pm. Drop-off will be from 8:00am-8:45am. Pick-up will be by 4:00pm sharp. Prizes for the winners will be awarded at the end of the conference day.

Remember NO ORIGINAL ARTWORK should be included in your portfolio. Have high-quality color copies of your art in your portfolio instead. Please label all artwork as well as the portfolio case. Promotional materials such as postcards and business cards are permitted, but they must be able to fit in the allotted display place on the showcase tables. 

The portfolio may be leather or vinyl with page sizes from 8”x10” to 11”x14.” It must be no larger than 17 x 26 when opened. It should contain no more than 10 representational pieces of your BEST artwork and any dummies that you may wish to show. If you are bringing a book dummy, remember to attach it to your portfolio. 

If you are preparing an illustration portfolio for the first time, check out the SCBWI Illustrators Guide (page 13) of THE BOOK. Or check out the tips compiled by illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba:

Still have questions? Contact Liz Mertz,



For the 2016 SCBWI Brazos Valley conference, we are excited to be able to offer the Illustrator Breakout with Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E.B. Lewis.


Karen Boss is sold out.
Donna Cooner, Karen Boss, and Jennifer March Soloway will each provide a limited number of face-to-face critiques at the conference. When registering for the conference, attendees may sign up for one critique of a single work, up to 10 pages, for $40. Details for formatting the submission and how to send it will be emailed following registration. The deadline for submitting pages for critique will be Jan. 21. 
Critique Guidelines
For novels, submit 10 pages, double-spaced, in 12 pt. font, with one inch margins. Include a cover letter and a one-page, single-spaced synopsis, so your document is actually 12 pages. For picture books, submit one complete manuscript (10 pages or less). Critiques will be returned in a 15-minute face-to-face meeting during the conference. Email your submission, attached in one Word document, to by Jan. 21. Use the subject line "critique submission."
Cancellation Policy
After February 24, 2017, no refunds will be made.
Nearby Lodging:
La Quinta Inn & Suites College Station South
1838 Graham Rd, College Station, TX 77845
Phone:(979) 704-6100

Sleep Inn & Suites 
Address: 1846 Graham Rd, College Station, TX 77845
Phone:(800) 424-6423

Courtyard by Marriott
3939 Texas 6 Frontage Rd, College Station, TX 77845
(979) 695-8111


Best Western Plus
​950 Arrington Road
College Station, Texas 77845
Toll Free Number: 1(800) 780-7234
Hotel Direct Number: 979/704-6444