Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

  • How long have you been a member of SCBWI? What’s the most impactful thing you have learned from being in SCBWI? I’ve been an SCBWI member since 2009. The most impactful thing I’ve learned is, literally, everything, including query letter do’s and don’ts, submission formatting, and that two-thirds of networking is king. What genres do you write? I write picture books, poetry, and middle grade masterpieces. (For MG I also write short stories.) What is your writing process like? I empty my pockets, remove my shoes, sit on the beanbag in the corner of my living room and write. Every day. Minimum two hours. Average three. How long have you been writing? How did you first get into writing for children? In second grade, I used to fold in half five or six pieces of blank, white paper, staple the fold for a binding, draw a cover, count the pages, and then divide my story up. I’d add words, draw pictures, and sell the books for 25 cents a copy to my classmates. Considering my current age, that means I’ve been writing for about 3,187 years. I started writing for children when I realized that anything’s possible in a child’s mind. Tables can walk and talk. French fries can refuse to be eaten. Your socks can complain that your feet stink. For me, that’s fun. Did you go to school for writing or take classes? In college, I majored in creative writing. I figured I was already writing so getting my degree would be easy. Do you have a dedicated writing space? My most productive writing time takes place in a bean bag in the corner of my living room where nobody can look over my shoulder. That’s what I worry about. Traitors. What would be your dream book to write and get published? My dream book to write and get published would be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but J.K. Rowling beat me to it. I’d love to have written Flowers for Algernon or A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but again = beat to it. Are you working on any fun projects now? Nope. Never. Writing should be rough, rigorous, and cause calluses. That’s why I’m writing about a duck that lands a job as a rodeo clown, runs for mayor, wins, and then outlaws owls. Do you illustrate as well or have any plans to do so? I illustrated my first three picture books: Silly the Seed, Weird the Beard, and Lerky the Handturkey. Any tips for writers that are starting out? Write every day. Write because you love to. Because you have to. And read in the genre you hope to make your mark in. Start with the classics, award winners, best sellers. Have you won any writing awards? My picture book Fred and the Monster (illustrated by Yves Margarita) won an Independent Publisher Award in 2015. List 3 to 5 interesting things about yourself.  I play blues harmonica.  I’ve lived in four countries on four continents (U.S., Italy, Israel, and Chile).  I climbed Stromboli barefoot with a bottle of wine in my backpack.  I used to do stand-up comedy.  I have a white belt in karate. Where can people find you? Though currently in cocoon, I’m trackable at: AUTHOR WEBSITE: TWITTER: @scottsussman INSTAGRAM: scott.sussman FACEBOOK:   To see our Previous Get to Know Our Writers, click here.
  •   How long have you been a member of SCBWI? What’s the most impactful thing you have learned from being in SCBWI? I recently rejoined after many years.  I decided to get back into illustration to revive a childhood dream of mine. The most impactful thing is joining an organization that is there giving every illustrator the necessary tools and support system with local groups for illustrators to become working professional illustrators. What medium(s) do you use to illustrate? Watercolor, chalk, color pencils, pens, ink and digital.  I get confused as time passes.  There are so many variations of getting an illustration finalized, typically colorization. Which do you prefer? Traditional mixed media.  However, learning digital can be an asset today. What is your illustration process? Doodle, sketch, and play around with color.  Then I retrace the same drawing or draw the same sketch on the final paper I want to use to finish the piece. I've also scanned images into my computer, used Corel to edit and retouch colors. I'd like to learn to use procreate! How long have you been illustrating? How did you first get into illustration? I haven't been published for quite some time.  Recently, I started working on illustrations that I can use for my portfolio work. The first project (over 10 years ago) was a 4-page short prose, The Pumpkin Patch, a CBHI's Children's Playmate (same company that publishes Jack & Jill and a few other publications.) The issue closed after it came out. The art director saw my book dummy, loved it, had a project that would fit for me and contacted me back.  The experience with the art director was wonderful.  Getting paid was no issue. You do generally have to wait about six months for magazine projects. Are you self taught or did you study illustration? Self taught and still learning.  :)  It's unfortunate that I didn't learn earlier so that I can develop all my skills in college. My elective courses, and extra credit courses were dedicated to drawing courses.  Do you have a dedicated art space? I'm starting to create one.  But I use the large desk with my computer.  I'm considering getting another large desk specifically for my art stuff.  What would be your dream book to illustrate? A picture book.  I admire books illustrated by Patrice Barton and Faith Pray.  I like educational books too. After doing some researching in children's book illustrations, I realized Richard Scarry, who is an award-winning illustrator worked on educational materials for school children.  I used to love those workbooks when I was in elementary school!  Do you write children's books as well or have any plans to do so? I would love to in the future!  My children's story, Mustard and Pea, came out in The LA Times when I first started. Any tips for illustrators that are starting out? If it's what you want do, just do it and never give up.   List 3 to 5 interesting things about yourself.   Ready, willing and able. Where can people find more of your work? Instagram - @cat_e_lee __________________________________ To see our Previous Get to Know Our Illustrators, click here.
  • 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 or on her Instagram  

About Us

Twitter: @SCBWI_SoCal
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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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