Illinois Networks

NETWORKS offers easy, handy access to programs, writing groups, networking opportunities and other interested (and interesting!) writers and illustrators. Check below for your particular NETWORKS’ time, location and Shop Talk.

Networks are free and open to all. You many attend any Network at any time, not just the one in your area.

Interested in starting a NETWORKS group in your area? Contact NETWORKS
Coordinator, Alice McGinty (illinois-ra@scbwi.org).


Winter 2017-2018

(Updated 12/2017)


 


Illustrators’ Networks


Chicago-area Illustrators’ Network

Representatives:

Janet McDonnell 847-632-1918 
Rich Green 815-341-0925

Monthly Meeting: The Illustrators Network meets once a month at the Des Plaines Library, 1501 Ellinwood, Des Plaines, IL, from 9:30 until noon.  If time permits, we reserve the last part of the meeting to critique members’ current works-in-progress or portfolio reviews.

SCBWI member illustrators, make sure you are on the illustrator yahoogroups listserv for updates….or contact Janet McDonnell at the email address shown here to be added.

Scheduled Meetings:

Dec 10 Holiday Brunch Join the festivities for an Illustrators Brunch at Terri Murphy’s house at 11am on Sunday, December 10th.  Specifics to be announced on the listserv.

January 13: Create Your “Dream Portfolio:  The start of the new year is a perfect time to set goals, so we’re assigning homework for this meeting! Collect around 10 illustrations that you admire and want to emulate, then bring them in to share and analyze. Create a Pinterest board, bring them on a flash drive, or bring in physical copies, whatever works for you. Then we’ll think about how to “Steal Like an Artist.”

February 10: Guest Illustrator Mike Petrik:  Mike is an animator by day and a prolific doodler at night. He fills his sketchbook with pen and ink creatures, then finishes them digitally to create texture and emotion.  Mike is currently working on his author-illustrator debut, an untitled Halloween picture book with Two Lions Books-Amazon Publishing. He is also the illustrator of JOHNNY WORKS WITH ONE HAMMER (Cantata Learning). Enjoy some of Mike’s work here: http://www.mikepetrik.com/

March 3: Creative Play Date: Back by popular demand! We’ll spend this meeting exercising our creativity muscles with exercises, games, and experimentation. Leave your inner critic at home and just come and have fun!


Downstate Illustrators’ Network

Representatives:
Louann Brown 217-839-3264 (newlou2008@hotmail.com)
Jerry Barrett 217/621-1369 (Jerry@jerrybarrettdesigns.com)

Shop Talk & Critiques. Optional lunch afterward at a nearby location:

QUARTERLY MEETINGS:   This Network meets at various locations throughout the mid-central area.  We maintain a Facebook page (Downstate Illinois SCBWI Illustrators) for critiques and information sharing between meetings. If you’d like to join us, send us a request via Facebook or email one of the network reps. At our meetings we typically discuss markets, critique work and share our journey. Everyone is welcome.

 

 



Diversity Network


Diversity Committee Network

Representatives:
Susanne Fairfax 312-543-3056 (susannefairfax@gmail.com)
Urania Smith (urania_1@msn.com

We meet the third Wednesday of every month, 7 to 9 PM.  Stay tuned for program details for these upcoming dates:

December 20, 2017

University of Chicago
5733 S. University Ave., Chicago, IL 60637
Community Room

Every month, FREE, non-members welcome. If anyone needs additional ADA support such as sign language interpreter or other resources, please email susannefairfax@gmail.com in advance.Public Transportation info at CTA http://www.transitchicago.com/search/default.aspx?keywords=5733+S.+University+Ave.%2c+Chica

Welcome: This is a space where writers and illustrators who’ve traditionally been left at the margins in children’s publishing can get together. At these meetings we’ll build community, share stories of hurdles and successes, work to dismantle barriers, improve diversity and inclusion in children’s literature and SCBWI-IL, work on our craft and further our writing and/or illustrating careers. And there will often be snacks. Feel free to bring a tasty treat to share.

Our focus on diversity springs from the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement:

We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

*We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization.

Because of the breadth of this focus, we will be particularly conscious of the intersectionality of oppressions and identities. Allies are welcome.


Writers’ Networks


Chicago Network

Representatives:

Jane Hertenstein (773) 303-4089 (janeh@jpusa.org)
Savy Leiser (savyleiser@gmail.com)

Programs:

Thursday, January 18, 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm

Special SCBWI Tour of Thomas Hughes Children’s Library (Downtown)

Thomas Hughes Children’s Library has a new look. After a 2.5 million redesign it has re-opened with areas dedicated to literacy, creative play, and technology around STEM education. There is a “maker space” or “tinkering studio,” which includes a 3D printer. This guided tour will be with Elizabeth McChesney, Director, Children’s Services. It is important to RSVP for this program.

 

The Harold Washington Public Library is located at 400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605. We will meet in the Main Library by Harold Washington’s desk and then go up to the children’s division together. Afterwards, those interested can go across the street to Panera.

 

RSVP to janehertenstein@gmail.com

 

February

House Party

Time and Place to be determined, stay tuned on Listserve

 

Contact janehertenstein@gmail.com if interested in hosting!

 

Thursday, March 15, 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm

Special SCBWI Tour of American Writers Museum (Downtown)

Come join us for a guided tour of Chicago’s newest museum dedicated to American writers. The AWM is located at 180 N. Michigan. Currently the museum is offering an exhibit about Laura Ingalls Wilder. There is also a special Children’s Author Storytime featuring children’s authors and illustrators and a Children’s Literature Gallery. There is a GROUP admission fee of $9. It is important to RSVP for this program.

 

RSVP to janehertenstein@gmail.com

 

 

Thursday, April 5, 7 – 9 pm

Working with Small Presses: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

With Carmela Martino

Wilson Abbey, 939 W. Wilson, ENTER THROUGH WEST DOOR

 

Authors and illustrators typically dream of being published by an imprint of one of the “Big 5” trade publishers. But these imprints tend to accept only agented submissions, and even those that accept unsolicited can be excruciatingly slow to respond. As a result, many authors and illustrators are turning to small presses. Naperville author and writing teacher Carmela Martino interviewed three award-winning authors about their experiences with small presses for the 2018 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market. In this Network presentation, Carmela will share some of the highlights from that interview and discuss her own experiences publishing her new young-adult novel, Playing by Heart, with the small press Vinspire Publishing.

 

RSVP: janehertenstein@gmail.com

 

Street pay parking available out front

 

Thursday, May 3, 7 – 9 pm

Living by your Inner Compass: How to ignore the negative voices and move on with the revision process

With Crystal Chan, Allan Woodrow, and Eileen Meyer

Wilson Abbey, 939 W. Wilson, ENTER THROUGH WEST DOOR

What happens when your manuscript gets trashed—yet you see the golden threads? How do you continue to work the revision process? Many times there are setbacks: publishing deals that fall through, losing an editor, an agent. These award-winning authors have experienced the highs and lows and yet persevered.

Crystal Chan is the author of Bird (Simon & Schuster, 2014) a finalist for Society of Midland Authors and winner of the Wisconsin Library Association Burr/Worzalla Award. Here newest title is All That I Can Fix (Simon & Schuster) due to release June 2018.

www.crystalchanwrites.com

Allan Woodrow is the author of 3,166 books—but only a few of those have been published. Allan writes witty middle grade fiction. His newest middle grade-novel, Unschooled (Scholastic), came out Fall 2017. A companion title will appear Fall 2018.

www.a llanwoodrow.com

Eileen will describes the lengthy process of submitting her rhyming The Superlative A. Lincoln (Charlesbridge Publishing ) coming Fall 2019. She researched the book in 2013 then brought an excerpt to the LA Conference in 2015 where it ended up being awarded the MOST PROMISING PICTURE BOOK. Slowly she attracted agent and editor attention.

www.EileenMeyerBooks.com

RSVP: janehertenstein@gmail.com


Hyde Park Network


Representative:

Kate Hannigan  (katehannigan@gmail.com)

Program: Stay tuned for exciting upcoming programming

Come for the wisdom, stay for the brownies!


Chicago’s Southland Network

Representatives:

Jim Danielson 708-596-4479 (emanjd2003@yahoo.com)
Linda Dryfhout (ladem05@aol.com)

For more information and current shop talk topics, visit the Chicago Southland blog at http://scbwisouthchicago.blogspot.com.

Shop Talks: 
Second Thursday of every month.  Evening Talk Only: 7 P.M., Barnes and Noble, 105 Orland Park Place, LaGrange Rd. (Rte. 45) & 153rd St. in Orland Park.


Northern Suburbs


Cook County (North Suburban Network)

Representatives:

Carolyn Crimi (Crims@aol.com)
Anny Rusk (anny@annyrusk.com)

Shop Talk:
Second Wednesday of each month, from 7-8:30 p.m.

Programs:

December Program:

Our Xmas party will be on Wed, 12/13 at Carolyn’s house.

Festive attire is requested, but not required. If you are coming, pls RSVP to me, anny@annyrusk, with what dish, a savory, sweet, or drink, you are bringing, and I’ll give you Carolyn’s address.

Anny and Carolyn, a hipper, svelter, and more savory Mrs. Claus

January Program:

Join us on January 10 for Middle Grade Mania with author Michele Weber Hurwitz

Come in from the cold and start your new year off by learning about the current middle grade fiction market as well as dos and don’ts for writing in this genre. Michele will share insights and tips from her agent at Trident Media and her editor at Simon & Schuster, and discuss her journey to publication. She will talk about the elements of a good middle grade story, how middle grade is different than chapter books and YA, the current climate and what’s selling, how to strategically pitch your work, as well as offer advice about promotion and marketing.

If you write middle grade fiction or want to, this session is for you! There will be time for Q&A, and Michele’s books will be available for purchase. BYOHC (Bring Your Own Hot Chocolate)!

Wednesday January 10, 7 p.m. at the Book Market in The Glen,2651 Navy Blvd, Glenview

Michele Weber Hurwitz is the author of three middle grade novels with a fourth coming in 2018. Ethan Marcus Stands Up (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin 2017) is a 2018 Illinois Reads selection; The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days(Penguin Random House 2014) has been nominated for several state reading awards; and Calli Be Gold (Penguin Random House 2011), received a 2012 Best Book listing from the Bank Street College of Education. Michele blogs at From the Mixed-Up Files and Smack Dab in the Middle, and lives in Buffalo Grove with her CPA husband. She has three children – a CPA who followed Dad’s footsteps, a middle grade teacher, and a college junior who aspires to be an editor. Find Michele at micheleweberhurwitz.com

February Program: 

SLEUTHING AND WRITING NONFICTION, Laurie Lawlor will talk about current trends in narrative nonfiction, STEM potential, and how to create winning proposals.

Laurie Lawlor is the author of 38 works of fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults. Recipient of the Illinois Reading Council’s Prairie State Award for Excellence in Writing for Children, Lawlor published in June 2017 Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World (Holiday House), middle grade nonfiction profiling remarkable pioneers in a variety of fields—from astronomy to biochemistry. She was awarded the 2012 John Burroughs Riverby Award for Excellence in Nature Writing for her biography of Rachel Carson, which was featured on the ALA Amelia Bloomer Award List. Her distinguished historical fiction for middle grade readers includes Addie Across the Prairie, nominated for six state reading awards. Young adult titles include Dead Reckoning, He Will Go Fearless, and The Two Loves of Will Shakespeare. Trained as a journalist at Northwestern University, she has a M.A.T. from National-Louis University and has taught creative writing at National-Louis University, Northwestern University, and workshops throughout the Midwest.

Author website: www.laurielawlor.com


Far Northern Suburbs


Far North Suburban Network

Representatives:
Erica Weisz (mrsweiszbooks@gmail.com)
Kim Oclon (kaoclon@gmail.com)

Meetings: 

Join us on the 1st Wednesday of every month from 7-9pm

David Adler Music and Arts Center
1700 N Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, IL 60048

Meetings:
Join us on the 1st Wednesday of every month from 7-9pm
David Adler Music and Arts Center

1700 N Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, IL 60048

December:  The Gift of Time

Bring your laptop, pens, notebooks, whatever you need to write or revise as we give you the gift of time to get some writing done. Bring a snack or a beverage because we all work better when we’re not hungry!

January: Critiques

If you would like to share your work with the group, please bring a maximum of five double-spaced pages.  Remember the guidelines on being an effective participant: be positive and constructive.

February:  Show, Don’t Tell

We’ve all gotten this feedback before. Or, we’ve read something that made us stop and think, “That is GOOD writing.” Bring an example of “show, don’t tell” that you found effective. We’ll share them with the group and try amping up our own work.


Far Northwest Suburbs


Far Northwest Suburban Network

Representatives:

Veronica Rundell (vrundell@yahoo.com)
Katie Sparks (kathrynsparkswriter@gmail.com)

Open Critique
Third Wednesday of each month, 7 – 9 p.m. in the cafe of Barnes & Noble, 590 W. Golf Road, Schaumburg. All meetings are open critiques with the last half hour dedicated to answering any new writer questions.


Dundee Area Network

Representatives:

Jennifer Wagh (jwagh@fastmail.net)
Jennifer Kaap  (jennifer@sillylibrarian.com)

Shop Talk/Critique Session
Second Wednesday of the month 7-9 p.m., unless otherwise noted.
Barnes and Noble (at Spring Hill Mall), 1444 Springhill Mall Blvd. West Dundee, 60118


Western Suburbs


Oak Park and Near West Suburban Network

Representatives:

Sarah Hammond (sarahannehammond@yahoo.co.uk)
Karen Walker Ward (kwalkerward@yahoo.com)
Sallie Wolf (salwolf@comcast.net)

Programs: Oak Park Dole or Main Library – See dates for which branch.

Dole Library, 255 Augusta Blvd., Oak Park (708-386-9032)

Main OP Library, 834 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301, 708-383-8200

December 14—New Location– Co-Rep Karen Walker Ward has kindly invited us to hold our Dec. 14 meeting in her South Oak Park home, decorated for the season. Please email salwolf@comcast.net for the address and phone number.

Critique night followed by a social gathering. Manuscripts, art, or submission materials (queries, proposals, cover letters) will be thoughtfully and respectfully considered. Time will be apportioned evenly among participants. If we have more than 10 people with work to share, we will consider the first 10 to arrive and reserve a spot for any others for the next. critique. 2-3 copies to pass around is helpful and not required. Even if you do not have work to share, you can learn a lot by hearing others’ work and weighing in with your thoughts.

January 11—Dole Meeting Room—Fun and Games and Goal-Setting to jumpstart the New Year. We will be creating calendars with events and opportunities scheduled for the year.

February 8—Main Oak Park Library, second floor Book Discussion Room–critique– Manuscripts, art, or submission materials (queries, proposals, cover letters) will be thoughtfully and respectfully considered. Time will be apportioned evenly among participants. If we have more than 10 people with work to share, we will consider the first 10 to arrive and reserve a spot for any others for the next. critique. 2-3 copies to pass around is helpful and not required. Even if you do not have work to share, you can learn a lot by hearing others’ work and weighing in with your thoughts.

March 8–speaker TBA–“I’ve written a book–now what?”

April 12—critique– Manuscripts, art, or submission materials (queries, proposals, cover letters) will be thoughtfully and respectfully considered. Time will be apportioned evenly among participants. If we have more than 10 people with work to share, we will consider the first 10 to arrive and reserve a spot for any others for the next. critique. 2-3 copies to pass around is helpful and not required. Even if you do not have work to share, you can learn a lot by hearing others’ work and weighing in with your thoughts.

May 10—Writing Craft–Story process workshop

June 8—Critique–Manuscripts, art, or submission materials (queries, proposals, cover letters) will be thoughtfully and respectfully considered. Time will be apportioned evenly among participants. If we have more than 10 people with work to share, we will consider the first 10 to arrive and reserve a spot for any others for the next. critique. 2-3 copies to pass around is helpful and not required. Even if you do not have work to share, you can learn a lot by hearing others’ work and weighing in with your thoughts.


LaGrange – Naperville Network

Representatives:

Fran Sammis (flsammis@gmail.com)
Cathy Velasco, cathyannvelasco@yahoo.com

Quarterly Meeting: Saturday, January 20  10 a.m.-noon

Peter Thompson, author of the middle grade novel, Summer on Earth, will talk about his path to publishing, writing humor, and tips on how to make your readers identify with your characters from 10 a.m. to Noon Saturday, January 20 at in Room B at Fountaindale Public Library, 300 West Briarcliff Road in Bolingbrook.

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Feel free to come early and chat. Brooks Cafe will be open and sells tea, coffee, hot chocolate and snacks.

Please contact Cathy Velasco by January 17 at cathyannvelasco@yahoo.com to reserve your spot.

 


Geneva Network

Representatives:

Janet Riehecky 847-695-9781 (jr@janetriehecky.com)
Cheryl App (Cheryl.App@matrixccllc.com)

Shop Talks:
First Wednesday & fourth Tuesday of each month, 7:00 p.m.
Barnes and Noble, 102 Commons Drive, near Randall Road, Geneva


Northern Illinois


Freeport/Rockford Area Network

Representatives:

Leone Anderson 815-947-2780 (leeeric@aeroinc.net)
Debbie Deutsch 815-235-8899 (ddeutsch63@insightbb.net)

Critique Session/Shop Talks:

Fourth Saturday of each month
Freeport Public Library 10-12 p.m.

Please contact Lee or Debbie to verify dates/locations.


DeKalb Area Network

Representative:

Larry Vint (lfvint@yahoo.com)

Shop Talk & Critique Session:

Last Wednesday of the month, January through October, 5:30 – 7 p.m. in the Children’s Storytime and Craft Room of the DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak Street, DeKalb, IL 60115


Central Illinois


Central Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) Network

Representatives:
Ruth Siburt  (rsiburt@gmail.com )
Deb Aronson  (debaronson@nasw.org)

Programs and Shop Talks:

Stay tuned for upcoming programming

 


Bloomington/Normal Network (Near-Normal Writer’s Group)

Representatives:
Kathryn Ault Noble kathryn.noble.illustrations@gmail.com
The Bloomington/Normal Network meets regularly on the first Thursday evening of the month, at 6:30 p.m. Contact Reps for more information.


Springfield Area Network

The Scribes

Representative:
Debra Daugherty (ddaugherty329@gmail.com)

Upcoming Programs:

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Springfield Scribes’ annual holiday party at Bella Milano’s, Springfield, IL. –

to celebrate a year of writing and submissions.

Time: 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

After dinner – a gift exchange and games

 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Meeting at Chatham Library, 200 E. Spruce, Chatham, IL 62629

Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Program by Juli Caveny on agents, questions to ask agents when offered rep.

Critiques – bring pages

All are welcome to join us.

 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Meeting at Chatham Library

Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Program by Maryam Mostoufi – a review of Janice Hardy’s book, Planning Your Novel.

Critiques – bring pages

All are welcome to join us.

 

Questions or for directions, contact Debra Daugherty at ddaugherty329@gmail.com


Southern Illinois


Edwardsville Network

Representatives:
Paul (Geoff) Rutledge (rutledgepg@sbcglobal.net)
Chris Cannon (cctyping@gmail.com) 

Monthly Critique Meeting:
Usually 3rd Wednesday of the month. Contact reps for meeting place and time.


Fairview Heights Network

Representatives:
Leia Johnson (leiamariejohnson@gmail.com)
Katie Otey (katie.otey@gmail.com)

Monthly Critique Meeting:
Usually 3rd Wednesday of the month. Contact reps for meeting place and time.