SCBWI Houston

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Welcome to SCBWI Houston!

We are the Houston Region of SCBWI which stretches from the Louisiana border all the way to Brownsville and includes greater Houston metro area. As a professional organization, our chapter prides itself on being warm, welcoming, and fun! If you are passionate about writing, illustrating, or translating books for children and young adults, you've come to the right place!

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Houston Retreat Registration Now Open!

Picture a cozy retreat nestled in the heart of the Navasota woods, surrounded by like-minded writers and illustrators, all eager to share their craft and stories. It's the perfect opportunity to recharge, refuel, and reconnect with your passion. Writers and Illustrators, join us on a retreat at the end of the year to get you ready for 2025!

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Join Our Monthly Chapter Meeting

Our monthly chapter meetings are free and open to the public. Join us and see what we're about!

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Monthly Critique Group

Our next critique group is: July 1, 2024 at 6 pm online!

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July Meeting Recording Available

Sending a huge thank you to everyone who was able to attend live! In case you missed it, Mel Rosenberg introduced us to a new way to create PB dummies and announced a new writing challenge. You'll enjoy this presentation so watch and rewatch, but make sure you've done so before 08.01.24 when we remove access to the recording.

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July Picture Book Study

Join us for our 2nd PB study! In July we will discuss the elements of "Unicorns are the Worst."

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You've got friends who share the same passion- come meet them! We aim to find places where we can share and laugh and have a cup of coffee.

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Write, Draw, Love

Bring your laptop or pen and paper, and join us at Tracy Gee. (or on Zoom!) We are all working quietly together, but energized by being with each other.

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August Meeting with Varsha Bajaj

Join us In-person in August as we "Find the Heart of the Picture Book"

Critique Connection!

Get Involved!

Got Good News?

Newsletter & Archives

Find Us Online! (Coming Soon!)

Newbies Corner (Coming Soon, too!)

PALs Corner (Coming Soon!)

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About Us

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Our Events

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Read Our Blog

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Chapter Critique Group

Illustrator Spotlight

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Meet Kris Durán

Kris Durán is an illustrator who grew up by the sea in Venezuela. For many years, Kris worked as an architect until one day she realized she was tired of drawing straight lines for a living. She received an MFA in Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and has been telling stories with her art ever since. She and her husband live outside of Houston, Texas.


Meet: Paula Rodriguez

Paula Rodriguez is a Colombian illustrator living in the wild state of Texas. Her passion for illustration started in middle school when she used to draw short comics with her best friend during classes–often using the back pages of her math notebook as her canvas. As an artist and former ballet dancer, she always found storytelling captivating and the essence of creativity. Paula is a believer that true joy comes from a genuine connection with ourselves and embracing playfulness. For her, illustration is not only about inspiring children but also about helping adults reconnect with their inner child and honoring that connection. When Paula isn’t making art, you will see her walking with her husband and dog Mango, playing video games, and spending time with her adorable nephews.

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Meet: Lisa Chow

Lisa spent her childhood chasing two little brothers, producing front lawn fashion shows, and biking to her local pet store. Now, Lisa spends her days illustrating mischievous, carefree, and charming characters for young readers. When she’s not whipping up stories in her home studio in Houston, you can find her watching reruns with her husband, losing at boardgames with her two daughters, and having staring contests with the cat.

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Meet: Jennie Smith

Jennie is a wife of 34 years, mother of 3 grown kids and grandmother of 3! She is “that first grade teacher” that would rather sit at the kid’s table than with the adults! Jennie loves camping, crafting and genuine people! A mixed media artist by choice, she's never met an art supply she didn’t want to try or buy, but prefer her watercolors and graphite/pen and ink compositions. Jennie has spent a lot of time creating for her friends and family but she is currently launching what she hopes to be her next career as a promising illustrator/author! Born in Colorado, lived everywhere, but she will forever call Texas her home. Actively seeking representation and open for creative opportunities!

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Meet: Noel Morales

Noel Morales is a Houston based illustrator and designer with roots from Chicago. He is also a former high school art teacher. He is inspired by comics, animation, and all things from pop culture. Noel loves working with graphite to inspire his digital illustrations. His goal is to have viewers have fun looking at his work through his use of movement, color, balance, and proportion.


Meet: Katie Wray Schon

Katie is an author/illustrator who loves making beautiful books. Katie grew up in Rhode Island, but now lives in Texas with a wonderful husband and three inspiring kids. They all love adventures, art, bikes, books, baking bread, camping, climbing, faith, family, gardening, music, and road trips. On most days you can find her out riding bikes or hanging out with the neighbors. The house is rarely tidy, but the door is always open if you're looking for a friend, a snack, or a chat about children's books.


Meet: Kerrisa Treanor

"Since I can remember, I’ve always loved to draw. My dad handed me a Pentax K1000 when I was a kid, and I never looked back. I went to art school in search of how to combine my beloved mediums, where I earned a BFA in photography & digital media. You could say I'm a photographer with a doodling problem."

Local Author Spotlight

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Cathey Nickell

Cathey Nickell is a Houston-based elementary school speaker and author of two indie picture books: Arthur Zarr’s Amazing Art Car and Yazzy’s Amazing Yarn. This has offered her the opportunity to present about writing, inspiration, and creativity at more than 150 elementary schools, bookstores, and children’s museums in Texas, Louisiana, and other states. She is also sometimes asked to speak at writer's workshops and local women's clubs, which she jokingly refers to as her "grownup talks," noting that kids are an easier audience. When she's not writing or presenting to children, you might find her showing off by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance … in Latin! Cathey has a background in journalism and public relations, a Master of Arts, and is now writing middle grade novels that she hopes to someday see on bookshelves. She's a proud member of SCBWI, IBPA, and the Writers League of Texas; she is represented by her fantastic literary agent, Keely Boeving of WordServe Literary.


Sydney Dunlap

Sydney Dunlap is an award-winning author and former elementary school teacher who has worked with at-risk youth in a variety of settings. She enjoys reading and writing heartfelt, hopeful fiction that expands young readers’ awareness of tough topics. She is a published poet and has also written for a newspaper. Her debut contemporary middle grade novel, It Happened on Saturday, is the recipient of a gold medal in the Moonbeam Book Awards and is listed on School Library Journal's Mock Newbery blog. It is also featured in Kirkus as promoting children's mental health and has been chosen for an all-community read in Virginia. When she's not writing, Sydney is likely tutoring a student, walking her dog, or spending time with friends and family. She is represented by Ann Rose at Tobias Literary Agency.

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Tonya Duncan Ellis

TONYA DUNCAN ELLIS is author of the award-winning, 13-book, SOPHIE WASHINGTON children’s chapter series and THEY BUILT ME FOR FREEDOM (HarperCollins, Balzer + Bray, 2024). She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Authors Guild, and the Brown Bookshelf’s Highlights Foundation-sponsored Amplify Black Stories storyteller cohort. Tonya has spoken and taught at writing conferences at the Highlights Foundation and for SCBWI in New York City and for SCBWI Houston and Austin, TX chapters. A former journalist and freelance magazine writer, she holds a BA degree in French from Centre College of Kentucky and an MBA degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Tonya is represented by Sara Megibow of kt Literary. She lives in Houston, Texas and is married with three children.


Kacy Ritter

Kacy Ritter is a fantasy geek and author of The Great Texas Dragon Race (Clarion/HarperCollins). She has lived all across the Lone Star State and holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas. Her upcoming release, Elvira Vance and the Marfa Monster Mystery, promises another tall Texas tale for middle grade readers and is forthcoming from HarperCollins Children's in 2025. Kacy's debut earned a starred Publishers Weekly review, was a Cybils award nominee, and was selected for the 2024 Spirit of Texas Reading Program by the Texas Library Association. She daylights as a marketing professional and loves writing at the intersection of fantasy and Texas Americana.

Chapter Volunteers & Openings

Programming Chair & Evite List: Cheryl McCosh

Critique Group Coordinator: Nancy Blair

Newsletter Column Writer: Jim Smolski

PAL Coordinator: Sydney Dunlap

Social Event Coordinator: Christine Wengler

Kidlit Correspondent: Margaret Lea

New Membership Coordinator: Michelle Bryant

Newsletter Editor: OPEN

Webmaster: OPEN!

Donation Coordinator: OPEN!

Social Media Crew: OPEN!

Active member volunteers are integral to our region's success.

For details and to apply, click here.

Connect With Your Regional Team

Kaye Marc-Charles
Co-Regional Advisor
Annie Roi Harmon
Co-Regional Advisor
Lynne Kelly
Assistant Regional Advisor
Jennie Smith
Illustrator Coordinator
Vicki Sansum