Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators-SCBWI

We are gearing up to attend the 2015 Prairie Writer’s and Illustrator’s Day on November 14 in Palatine. It will be my first writer’s conference since college and I am super excited. Here is a line up of the fabulous book people who will be there:

2015 Faculty

Chad Beckerman, Creative Director, Abrams 

Linda P. Epstein, Associate Agent, The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency

Sonali Fry, Editorial Director, little bee books

Andrew Karre, Executive Editor, Dutton Children’s Books

Wendy McClure, Senior Editor, Albert Whitman & Company

Stephanie Pitts, Assistant Editor, Schwartz & Wade Books

Adjunct Faculty

John Aardema, Children’s Book Art Director, Sourcebooks
portfolio reviews

Matthew Cordell, Illustrator
portfolio reviews

Esther Hershenhorn
, author
Ask Anything session

Kristin Daly Rens, Executive Editor, Balzer + Bray
off-site manuscript critiques

Yolanda Scott, Editorial Director, Charlesbridge Publishing
off-site manuscript critiques

Andrea Welch, Editor, Beach Lane Books 
off-site manuscript critiques

Woohoo! There will also be an opportunity to give. I will be collecting any gently used books to pack the suburban up with. See the information below and clean out your bookshelves for a good cause!


Since 1997, SCBWI-Illinois has been proud to support the Benld Public Library’s children’s collection in Benld, Illinois. We will be collecting book donations at Prairie Writer’s & Illustrator’s Day. Please join us in helping to “bring the world to” to the children of Benld.

What: New and gently used children’s books
Where: There will be a donation box in the lobby of the Wojcik Center
Questions: Contact Louann Brown.

Our collaboration with Benld:
In 1997, the Illinois State Library contacted Esther Hershenhorn, then SCBWI-Il’s Regional advisor, asking if we would consider “adopting” the Benld library, helping it build and maintain their children’s book collection.  It was the year that the Frank Bertetti Public Library was dedicated and the first time that an actual building was set aside as a library for the town. Our members agreed to accept the challenge.  “Books will bring the world to this town,” Esther commented. “They will also bring possibilities.”  Since then, book donations for Benld have been a part of many Chapter Programs, brought by SCBWI-IL members who want to make a difference.

In the early 1900’s Benld was a boom town in the coal mining industry. Today, only one of the local coalmines is still in operation, but the effects of mining in the area are still felt. In 2009, the seven-year old Benld Elementary School, which housed the local districts’ PreK-5th grades, suffered mine subsidence and was condemned. Again, in April 2015, several homes in the community were damaged by mine subsidence and methane gas leaks. The most recent subsidence is expected to continue for the next ten years.

The library sponsors many community events. Family Reading Nights are held twice a year in conjunction with the South Macoupin County Head Start, which is located next to the library. Summer Reading Programs help students avoid the summer slide. “Lego Tuesday” is a new addition to the library in response to the Maker Movement, which encourages kids to physically explore and build. Over the last year the library checked out 3,550 children’s books and offers many other services to the children and the community.

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