Earlier today, I posted about the book launches of my good friends Arree Chung (NINJA! from Henry Holt) and Brian Won (HOORAY FOR HAT! from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). And as some of you already know, my very first chapter book illustration project launches in hardcover today, and the books are by JUDY BLUME (!!!). I posted about the Judy Blume project, including how I became a Judy Blume illustrator.
When the three of us discovered we all had books coming out on June 3rd, we decided to do some joint promotion. I met both Arree and Brian through the SCBWI: Arree through one of David Diaz's Lost Weekends (David is one of my SCBWI Illustration Mentors) and Brian through the SCBWI Illustration Mentorship program. We've since become friends and have exchanged mutual encouragement and advice.
Below: photo from the 2013 SCBWI Summer Conference, when Brian, Arree, Christina Forshay, Kimberly Gee and Jen Betton and I were hanging out in the hotel room. I had met Christina, Kimberly and Jen through the SCBWI Mentorship Program as well. They all kindly agreed to pose for one of my I'M BORED In The Wild photos. :-)
I'm grateful to the SCBWI for so many reasons. You can read the thank you letter I sent to the SCBWI a couple of years ago, and their response.
As I was putting together blog posts about Arree and Brian, I was struck the number of similarities in how we found out way to publication. All three of us found our agents because of the SCBWI or SCBWI connections. All three of us got our first "big break" in getting noticed in the kidlit publishing industry largely because of the SCBWI. And of course all three of us met through the SCBWI and SCBWI connections.
So on behalf of Brian, Arree and myself I'd like to send out a big THANK YOU to the SCBWI!
To aspiring children's book writers and illustrators who have never heard of the SCBWI (Society Of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators): I strongly encourage you to check out all that the SCBWI has to offer. Do go over to the SCBWI website RIGHT NOW.
And that's another reason I'm so glad I joined the SCBWI and have been attending their events. It gives me so much joy to watch the blossoming careers of children's book writers and/or illustrators I've met and befriended.
If you're nervous about attending your first SCBWI conference, please do read my SCBWI Conference Newbie comics (which I created when I was a nervous SCBWI Conference newbie).
And I hope to see some of you at the SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles this year!
You can read my posts today about Brian's and Arree's book launches: