Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

New Members

Message to new members from Regional Advisor Tim Burke

Hello and welcome!

If you gave a Southern California address when you joined SCBWI, you are automatically on our mailing list. Our Regional Advisor regularly sends out email announcements to the chapter, so check your spam folder if you aren’t receiving the emails.

Our website has most of the information you need to know! Visit our site and poke around:

Here are some special places to check out on the website:



The schedule of events (including monthly meetings and critique groups) are on the calendar of the SoCal SCBWI homepage. Any date colored is an event. ALL EVENTS ARE ONLINE VIA ZOOM UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO PANDEMIC CONCERNS. Click here to view the homepage and the calendar of events.



Usually the last Sunday of the month, we have a full monthly meeting with the first hour (11:00 AM to noon) discussing some aspect of writing or with a presentation on a topic of interest. Then we break off into critique groups from noon to roughly 1:30 PM.

Use this Zoom info to join all future monthly meetings until otherwise instructed:

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 204 720 592

Password: 010911

We often invite guest speakers (authors, agents, editors) who present after our critique sessions. If no guest speaker, we do various writing activities, share resources, etc.



Critique groups meet by genre during the monthly meetings (roughly noon to 1:30 PM).

You can simply observe, or if you wish to participate in the critique sessions, the guidelines are here:



We have two Facebook groups: one for writing and one for illustrators.

To join the illustrators FB page, search for OC Illustrators Meet-Up on Facebook and send a friend request to Cynthia De La Torre.Here’s her logo to make sure you have the correct person:



We also have a private “secret” (Facebook’s term, not ours!) SCBWI OC group for writers. It is not open or even visible to the public. You can only join by invitation from me. If interested in joining our Facebook page, send a FB friend request to me at Tim Cappy Burke. We discuss various topics and always post important announcements, so you’ll be sure to stay in the loop.



Check out our newsletter, fresh off the press:

If you have an idea of how YOU can contribute to our newsletter, please contact me!



To get involved in our social media (Twitter/Instagram/Facebook), please see this awesome post by our social media maven, Esther Tenenbaum:


1. Follow us on Twitter/Instagram at @SCBWI_SoCal. We’ll follow you back! Also, please use #SCBWISoCAL or #SoCalSCBWI or @SCBWI_SoCal in posts that apply to us so we can help build our online community!


2. If you have member news, please share it with us so we can post it and celebrate your accomplishments!


3. Social media takes time, but it’s necessary to help you directly connect to your audience. Choose two platforms to focus on and then concentrate on building those up. (Agents and editors also like to see that you’re part of the modern world.) Don’t worry about how many followers you have, but rather focus on activity and engagement. It’s not about who’s watching, it’s about you and your people, so take care to cater to them.


4. Remember three important keywords to ACE social media:

  • (A) Activity: Set up some sort of posting schedule to keep your account active. Share links and photos, and if you run out of ideas, photos of stacks of books or funny memes are always winners!
  • (C) Courtesy: You can make your account as personal or professional as you want, but remember, keep your account polite and positive! Don’t troll and don’t engage with trolls; it won’t end well. And everything online lasts forever.
  • (E) Engagement: Engage with others on social media! Like posts, retweet posts, share links from other people, show how to support others through example.


5. Using the @ is how you tag someone, who will then be notified that they’ve been included in your post. (For example, if you’re posting a book you’re reading, @ that author! If you want to tell others about how awesome our chapter is, tag us with @SCBWI_SoCal)


6. # is how you start a hashtag, which is a way to create keywords that describe your posts, but, more importantly, help in post searches. For example, #SCBWISoCal. If I type that hashtag into the search box, all posts with it will come up.


7. Facebook is good for creating an author page, a page separate from your personal account and a place where fans and authors can connect and interact. There is no limit to the length of your posts, and you can share posts from other people, create polls, etc.


8. Twitter is good for short thoughts/one-liners. There’s a character limit to posts, but you can retweet, comment, create polls, etc. Twitter has a very strong writer-editor-agent community, and different hashtags will help you find them. Top one is #mswl, as that is what agents use for spur of the moment manuscript wishlists they’d like to be queried about.


9. Instagram is a picture-centric site. Clean interface, great for illustrators and artists to showcase their work, but also great for writers to connect with readers. It has a strong reader-oriented community, where users enjoy posting cool photos of books. Also, Instagram is owned by Facebook, so you can link your accounts to get a 2fer on one post.