SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

  • Hannah Sease is especially fond of drawing animals and comfortable furniture, usually together. Much of her time is spent seeking coziness in all its many forms; from campfires to chicken pot pie, to a nap on the couch, a quality that has also found its way into her art through themes of folklore and rural aesthetics. Stemming from a childhood of reading Beatrix Potter, exploring holes under rotten trees, and keeping a roadkill journal, Hannah enjoys being outdoors camping, biking, swimming, and collecting ideas for her art through woodsy adventures. A good adventure calls for a return to home, a familiar hearth, and a cup of tea, a balance that inspires and focuses much of Hannah’s work.  Nurtured by her younger years spent living around the world with her family, she has garnered a fascination for what we define as home and finding ways to feel at home anywhere. You can visit her at www.hannahsease.com or on her Instagram @hannahsease.art  
  • How long have you been a member of SCBWI? What’s the most impactful thing you have learned from being in SCBWI? I have been a member of SCBWI since 2018. The most impactful thing that SCBWI has taught me is that ‘community helps you become a better writer.’ By volunteering, attending conferences, and participating in critique groups over these past couple of years, I’ve developed faster than I ever could have on my own. The SCBWI community not only has given me the keys to success, but has encouraged me to be better than I thought possible. I am so grateful for this organization. What genres do you write? I write in a variety of areas, from picture books to young adults. Most are based on fantasy fairytale fiction, but I also like to write mild horror short stories. Currently, I’m working on a YA mythologically based novel that was inspired by a short story I wrote a few years ago. What is your writing process like? I’ve been blessed to be a stay-home mom for the most part and find that I write when the kids are in school, but I’m not limited to that time frame. I’m most productive then because I’m not interrupted. For the most part, I write when I feel inspired. There are days I sit and do nothing else (to the chagrin of my family) and other days I write in spurts. I feel it’s important to recognize that trying to write when I don’t feel like it isn’t productive for me. I always find background music without lyrics helps relax me and think clearer. It all depends. If there’s a lot going on around me, I use music to channel it out, but other times I sit and I am so focused I forget to turn the music on. It all depends on how loud my thoughts are that day. LOL I know I sound crazy. How long have you been writing? How did you first get into writing for children? I started writing prose when someone gave me a journal at the age of 14 and I continued my journal writing into my young adult years. But I officially started writing as a career with plays. I have been involved in the theater since I was a child, and it just came naturally to me. With my improv skills, I’ve always been able to come up with stories that make sense. So as story ideas popped into my head, I wrote them down and my writing eventually evolved into writing children’s fairytales. Writing for children has always appealed to me because I enjoy stories with good moral values. Did you go to school for writing or take classes? I took a writing course through the Institute of Children’s literature when it was a correspondence course back in 2000. And attempted some children’s literature courses at college, but honestly, I’m more self-taught by reading books on writing and working with critique groups. Do you have a dedicated writing space? I have my own office space and desk. And because of my husband’s tech skills, I have the best equipment to work with.  I haven’t always had my own space. I wrote my first book at my kitchen table with my laptop. If I have a laptop and access to the internet, I’m good. What would be your dream book to write and get published? Oh, wow that’s a loaded question. My goals are ever-changing, but for now, I would love to see my Mythological-based novel published and sitting on the shelf next to Percy Jackson or Lore. Are you working on any fun projects now? I’m working on two long-term projects right now. The Myth novel and book #2 of my Rose Maidelaiden series that I’ll continue to self-publish. On the side, I work on short stories for contests and picture books when I get ideas. Do you illustrate as well or have any plans to do so? I don’t illustrate. I can draw a little, but I’m not accomplished in it enough to illustrate. I can see a picture and copy it, but that’s about it. Unless scribble art is a skill, then I’m a pro. Any tips for writers that are starting out? I’m not an expert, but what works for me is when I finish one project, I submit it and then start another one while I’m waiting. (This helps with my impatience, and I continue to work on my craft.) I always try to remember everything is subjective. A rejection doesn’t mean you’re not good at writing or have bad ideas, it only means you’re not good for their needs. (This is something I learned from theater and auditioning.) It helps me deal with discouragement because we all feel it. What do they say: “For every no, it only takes one yes!” I believe true failure comes when you lean too much on others for self-approval or when you think you know so much you stop learning. Success comes from one accomplishment at a time, no matter what level you’re at. So, keep going. I measure my success as a writer by being better than I was yesterday. Eventually, I’ll get where I want to be. These are not new ideas or my own, they just work for me. Do you currently have an agent? If so, how did you end up with that agent? I do not have an agent, yet! Have you won any writer awards? I won a scholarship in High School for my senior essay. I wrote it as a journal entry about what it felt like to perform on stage rather than a basic traditional essay. At the time it was a big deal for me.  I won a 100-word Valentine-themed children’s short story contest once and a couple of editor-choice awards for some poems years ago, but nothing significant, recently. List 3 to 5 interesting things about yourself.  So, you want to know more about me, do you? 1.    I’ve been married for 18yrs and have three kids. (2 boys & 1 girl) 2.    I love the performing arts and have been involved with it for over forty years. When I was younger, I would’ve been considered a triple threat. (Singing, dancing, and acting.) 3.    I got my Screen Actors Guild eligibility by working in movies and tv. When I turned 21years I decided it wasn’t for me and preferred writing, directing, and teaching. Mostly because I love food and don’t like having to worry so much about what others think about my looks. 4.    I’m a survivor of a dysfunctional family and a difficult childhood, but it made me the strong independent women I am today. 5.    I love Star Trek, God, and pizza. Where can people find you?   People can find me online at carlenegriffith.com; on Facebook @AuthorCarleneGriffith, on Twitter @ AuthorCGriffith, and on Instagram @cmgriffith123 To see our Previous Get to Know Our Writers, click here.
  •   How long have you been a member of SCBWI?  I’ve been a member for two years. I’ve become more active recently. What’s the most impactful thing you have learned from being in SCBWI? I’ve learned the importance of support networking. Its great being part of a community that shares the same passion for art as you do. The information resources are remarkable. What medium(s) do you use to illustrate? I work digitally. My primary tools are a Surface Pro 7 and iPad. The software’s I primarily use is Clip Studio Paint, Procreate, Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.   What is your illustration process?     I start with thumbnail sketches in my sketchbook. I identify focal points, horizon line, foreground, middle ground, background, and perspective that will be used. Composition is everything. All figures are rendered as simple silhouettes. At this stage, my focus is to solve all visual problems before moving onto the next stage. Next, I gather references and take pictures. (Full disclosure, this is when my family hides from me as I use them as models.) I also figure out my color pallets at this stage as well. Once this is done, I begin layouts. I keep my figures as silhouettes to make certain that they read clear with no confusion. Finally, I scan the art to my computer. At this point, this is where I refine the art and apply either color pallets or tones. (I prefer tones over colors as I see values more clearly.)   How long have you been illustrating? I’ve been illustrating professionally for two years. How did you first get into illustration? When I was young, I really loved newspaper cartoon strips. Especially Prince Valiant. I was 6 when I saw a picture of Hal Foster behind his desk drawing. I knew what I wanted to do ever since. I was hired for my first Illustration job after college when a Gallery owner saw my Instagram page.   Are you self taught or did you study illustration? I studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco with a BFA in Illustration. Do you have a dedicated art space? Is it in your home or outside your home? I have a dedicated space within my home, an Art Cave. Sometimes I’ll go to a local library just for a change of pace.   What would be your dream book to illustrate? My favorite subject is history, and my favorite genre is science fiction. I would love to do a graphic novel about a historical person or a science fiction story.     Are you working on any fun projects now? I’m working on a personal project I hope to pitch soon. It’s a historical fiction during the early days of aviation where two historical pilots crosses paths. I’m hoping it will see the light of day.   Do you write children's books as well or have any plans to do so? I am a writer as well. However, I’m concentrating on establishing myself as an illustrator currently.   Any tips for illustrators that are starting out? Make mistakes. Know what kind of work you want to do and find out everything you can about it. Drink plenty of water. Study artists that you admire. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes. Look for people who are already doing what you want to do and learn from them. Make even more mistakes. Drawing from life will make your art better. Get plenty of rest and remember to have a life. Finding other artists with the same vision is a force multiplier. “If you hang around the barber shop long enough, sooner or later, you are going to get a haircut.” Always remember why you started drawing.   Do you currently have an agent? If so, how did you end up with that agent? I don’t have an agent. However, I am actively looking for one. If an agent is reading this and could use my style, call me!   If you've won any illustrating awards or have any books published, please list them here. Academy of Art University Spring Show 2020 Sketchbook Category Society of Illustrators of Los Angels Illustration West 59 Competition 2020, Certificate of Merit.   List 3 to 5 interesting things about yourself. I’m a retired Marine with 26 years of service and a combat vet. My youngest son and I are on the Autism Spectrum. When I was 10, I washed dishes for an entire summer to earn money to buy a copy of “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way”. It was my first art book and I still have it to this day. I’m a father of three (Two boys and a daughter) and grandfather of five. My youngest son will graduate later this year from the Academy of Art University majoring in Animation.   Where can people find more of your work? IllustratorByNight.weebly.com Instagram.com/saulwashington   __________________________________ To see our Previous Get to Know Our Illustrators, click here.

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Our region includes Orange County, San Bernardino, Riverside and Long Beach. We have sunny beaches, snow-capped mountains, and scenic deserts. We are also home to incredible writers and illustrators who mingle and hone their craft at monthly meet-ups and critique groups, an annual retreat and an

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