Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illinois Networks

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


Networks are free and open to all. You may attend any Network at any time, not just the one in your area.  All Network participants agree to abide by our SCBWI Anti-harrassment Policy.


Interested in starting a NETWORKS group in your area?
Contact NETWORKS Coordinator, Deb Aronson, Assistant Reginal Advisor

Fall 2019

(Updated 08/2019)


Illustrators’ Networks

Chicago-area Illustrators’ Network


Rich Green – 815-341-0925
Pav Kovacic 773-490-5902 

The Chicago-Area’s Illustrators Network meets monthly from September through May.  Meetings are free and open to the public and include a topic discussion, presentation or guest speaker.  We also leave time at the end of each meeting for peer review of works in progress, book dummies and portfolios.  So be sure to bring yours along!

When: Saturday, September 21st from 9:30-Noon.

Where:  Des Plaines Public Library, Meeting Room A  

1501 Ellinwood Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60016

What: Professional Primer

After a long summer break let’s dust ourselves off,  apply a few coats of primer, and top it off with a shiny new coat of paint so we are ready to go for the busy season ahead.  We will be going over a wide range of topics on how to present yourself as a professional in the world of children’s publishing.  Postcards the do’s and don’ts, building your mailing lists, social media, websites, pricing and much more.  We will also be joined by SCBWI-IL Illustrator Coordinator, Cedric Gliane, who will share some highlights from the LA Summer Conference.

When: Saturday, October 12th from 9:30-Noon,

Where:  Des Plaines Public Library, Meeting Room A

1501 Ellinwood Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60016

What: PWID Prep

Getting to know the faculty of the 2019 Prairie Writers & Illustrators Day.  We love for our Illustrators Network friends to pitch in and pull up some information, bring in some books and fun facts about the faculty so we can all learn about them together. Volunteers are appreciated!  We will be leaving plenty of time for portfolio review and peer critique to ensure everyone is putting their best work forward in those portfolio critiques and showcase at this year’s conference.  So be sure to bring your latest samples and portfolios.

When: Saturday, November 9th from 9:30-Noon,

Where:Des Plaines Public Library,Meeting Room B 

1501 Ellinwood Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60016

What: Lettering, Zentangle and Alcohol (inks) with special guest Starla Snead

Join us for creative demonstrations and inspiration with our guest artist and speaker Starla Snead. Starla has studied with some of the best calligraphers in the world and will inspire you to take on the challenge of doing your own hand lettering. She is also a certified Zentangle teacher. Zentangle is an art form using deliberate and repetitive patterns. Think of how helpful that skill could be in your illustrations! Or imagine creating your own patterns, scanning them in and using them as textures and other design elements in your illustration work. Finally, you won’t want to miss seeing Starla share some tips while working with alcohol inks! This is sure to be a fun and inspiring morning for creatives of all types!

SCBWI-IL Members:

You can also join in the fun at our SCBWI Illinois Illustrators Network Group on Facebook – request to join here:

SCBWI member illustrators please make sure you are on the illustrator listserv for updates….to be added please email Cedric Gliane.


Downstate Illustrators’ Network

Louann Brown 217-839-3264 
Jerry Barrett 217-621-1369

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

Representative: Donna Beasley

December 4, 2019 -Celebrate Your Writing Pizza Party

Topic: Let’s take time to reflect on our writing accomplishments at our final Diversity Group meeting of the year. Join us for a Pizza Party and share what you’re proud of this year.

Location: Medici Restaurant 1327 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Time: 7 pm

Cost: Free

Diversity Network Representative: Donna Beasley

FREE and open to non-members as well as members.


January 8, 2020 – 

Topic: Hot Chocolate Bring a Friend Social

Location: Cafe 53 Restaurant 1369 E. 53rd Street, Chicago

Time: 7 pm                             Cost: Free



February 5, 2020 – Critique Day

Topic:Bring in up to 3 pages and read what you are working on to receive critiques from the group. Must be present to be critiqued.

Location:Cafe 53 Restaurant 1369 E. 53rd Street, Chicago



Wheelchair accessible. Contact with any additional accessibility needs.


About our Diversity Network…

Every month, FREE, non-members welcome. If anyone needs additional ADA support such as sign language interpreter or other resources, please email  Donna Beasley in advance.

Diversity Network Meetings create 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.

Because of the breadth of this focus, we will be particularly conscious of the intersectionality of oppressions and identities. Allies are welcome. (An ally is a person who supports, empowers, or stands up for another person or a group of people.) 

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

– Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s


Writers’ Networks


Chicago Network


Jane Hertenstein (773) 303-4089
 Program: Saturday Sept. 21, 1 – 3 PM

At: Everybody’s Coffee, 935 W. Wilson, Chicago

 Agent Panel:

JOANNA MACKENZIE with Nelson Literary Agency

MARCY POSNER with Folio Lit and Folio Jr.

SCBWI, Chicago Network is jumpstarting its Fall 2019 programming with an agent panel. Come hear what two veteran agents are looking for and how they view the query process. And, as an extra bonus, we will randomly select a few queries to read aloud to get the panel’s reaction.

Marcy Posner started as a librarian and also worked as an editor at several houses before moving to agenting. She has worked with such literary icons as Noam Chomsky, Studs Terkel, Matt Groening and Art Spiegelman. She loves working with authors! “I focus editorially on how to make the book as strong as it can be.” She’d love to represent the next A Wrinkle in Time­—books of that caliber. Her clients include Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestseller Jacqueline Kelly, New York Times bestseller Sheri Reynolds, literary writer Christine Sneed, along with debut authors Lexie Elliott and Christi Clancy.

Joanna Mackenzie came to Chicago via Canada and Poland. She is a self-professed read-aholic, as a child welcoming her local Bookmobile. “I love working with authors who embrace the full publishing process (read: love revisions).” She wants to help writers build an author career. She is looking to expand her list in both adult and YA. In 2018 Nelson Literary requested 442 fulls, gave 110 offers of representation, and took on 14 new clients. They sell foreign rights as well into TV and movies (think: Bird Box on Netflix).


TO SEND A QUERY (Sept 1 – 18, for program):

Cost: FREE

Street parking available

Program: Picture Book Panel

With Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, Sara Shacter, and Elizabeth Brown

Friday, October 25, 2019, 7 – 9 pm

at Everybody’s Coffee, 935 W. Wilson, Chicago

Join us as our panel discusses their journey bringing their picture book from concept to publication.

Claudia Guadalupe Martinez’s debut novel, The Smell of Old Lady Perfume (Cinco Puntos, 2008), received the 2009 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, the 2008 Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book Award, and a 2009 Americas Award Commendation. Her second novel, Pig Park (Cinco Puntos, 2014), won the 2015 Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book and the 2015 NACCS Tejas Foco Young Adult Fiction Award. Claudia’s debut picture book, Not a Bean (Charlesbridge), will be published in October of 2019.  Her second picture book, Leaving (Lee & Low) is due in 2020.

Sarah Shacter began her career in children’s publishing as a contributing editor of ASK, a nonfiction magazine published by the Cricket Magazine Group.  She has articles in magazines such as ASK, Click, Highlights for Children, and YES Mag: Canada’s Science Magazine for Kids. She also contributed articles, created teacher’s guides and served as an editor in the educational market.  Sarah made her fiction debut with the picture book Heading to the Wedding (Red Rock Press) Her new picture book Just So Willow (Sterling Publishing) will be published in October of 2019.

Elizabeth Brown is a children’s book author, writer, film producer, and college teacher. She teaches writing and the humanities at Saint Augustine College in Chicago as well as teaches creative writing for children K-12 at The Center for Gifted in the Chicagoland area. She has taught Screenwriting, Playwriting, Documentary Film Writing, and Writing Books for Children at Oakton Community College ALL and Evanston Township High School Adult and Continuing Education as well as other writing workshops. She currently serves as a judge for the Torrance Legacy Creative Writing Awards.

Elizabeth’s debut picture book DANCING THROUGH FIELDS OF COLOR: THE STORY OF HELEN FRANKENTHALER was published by Abrams Books for Young Readers in March 2019.


Program: Thursday, Nov. 14, 7 – 9 pm

At: Everybody’s Coffee, 935 W. Wilson, Chicago

Marketing Tools: Starting Your Own Podcast and Vlogging for Authors ~ Savy Leiser and Patrick McBriarty

Podcasts are all the rage and everyone is trying to cash in on YouTube—but can these be useful tools for marketing your titles? Here to answer that question are Chicago authors Savy Leiser and Patrick McBriarty. They will help you get started in establishing a new and expanding platform.

Patrick, along with Christopher Lynch, is the co-host of the podcast Windy City Historians. Patrick is the author of the three-time, award-winning Chicago River Bridges, which prompted the PBS documentary Chicago Drawbridges. For more details go to: and

Savy Leiser is a Chicago author, artist, journalist, and business owner. In 2017, Savy founded The Furever Home Friends, a startup that produces children’s books and stuffed animals based on real rescue dogs. Savy is also a young-adult and new-adult author of the novels Sculpt Yourself and Beauty King, and she teaches creative-writing workshops to kids at Open Books in downtown Chicago. She runs a YouTube channel, SAVY, where she talks about books, dogs, art, business, and the overall process of being a self-starting writer.

Cost: FREE


Hyde Park Network

Kate Hannigan  

Middle-Grade Mayhem
Join SCBWI-Illinois’ Hyde Park/South Side Chicago Network for an evening of all things middle-grade! We’ll feature a panel discussion about writing for middle-grade readers with SIX Chicago authors who have new middle-grade novels.

Come for discussion about how to approach series, whether plotting or “pantsing” works, getting words onto a page, promoting books, connecting with agents, and connecting with editors and kids and classrooms. Along with so much more!

WHEN: Saturday, November 9th at 6 p.m.

WHERE: 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th Street 60637

WHO: Six Middle Grade Authors

Lisa Jenn Bigelow (Hazel’s Theory of Evolution from HarperCollins)
Carolyn Crimi (Weird Little Robots from Candlewick)
Keir Graff (The Phantom Tower from Putnam)
Shirin Shamsi (Laila and the Sands of Time from Clear Fork Publishing)
Liesl Shurtliff (The Time Castaways Series from Katherine Tegen Books)

Moderated by Kate Hannigan: (Cape from Simon & Schuster/Aladdin)

As always, come for the wisdom, stay for the brownies! Please email to RSVP for this event.

December ‘Picture Book Bacchanal’ at 57th Street Books

You asked for more picture book programming, and we’re answering! SCBWI-Illinois’ Hyde Park/ South Side of Chicago Network invites you to a Picture Book Bacchanal! Join Chicago-area picture book authors and illustrators for a  discussion about craft, cracking the publishing forcefield, finding an agent and all the ins-and-outs of writing and illustrating fiction and non-fiction picture books.

WHEN: 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, December 6

WHERE: 57th Street Books, 1301 E 57th Street in Hyde Park

WHO: Six Chicago-area authors and illustrators

  • Betsy Bird with The Great Santa Stakeout
  • Elizabeth Brown with Dancing Through Fields of Color: The Story of Helen Frankenthaler
  • Lori Degman with Like a Girl and Just Read
  • Claudia Guadalupe Martinez with Not a Bean
  • Junli Song with Cherry Moon: Little Poems Big Ideas Mindful of Nature
  • Patty Toht with Dress Like a Girl, Pick a Pumpkin, and Pick a Pine Tree

Come shop for all the people on your holiday lists, mix ’n’ mingle with other SCBWI folks, and join us in a little merrymaking! As always, come for the wisdom, stay for the brownies — and a bit of eggnog!

Please RSVP to so we can get a proper headcount. Hope to see you there!

Chicago’s Southland Network


Jim Danielson 708-596-4479 
Linda Dryfhout 

For more information and current shop talk topics, visit the Chicago Southland blog at

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.





DATE:   September 21, 2019


TIME:   Doors open at 9 A.M.                    Program: 9:30-11:30


LOCATION: Old Plank Trail Bank (Downstairs in the Community Room)

                    20901 South LaGrange Rd.

                    Frankfort, IL


(Please park in back but not in the first row closest to door.  These spots are for customers)


Cost:           SCBWI Members are free

                     Non-members are $3.00


SCBWI Southlands is pleased to have Alexandria LaFaye speak to our group in an engaging and hands-on, inspiring talk.  A. LaFaye will help you unlock your creative potential, release your inner muse, and take your writing to the next level.  Grounded in years of coaching, writing, studying the teaching of creative writing, and learning about the way the mind works, A. LaFaye offers a foolproof method for upgrading the creativity of every genre at any stage in their career. Let’s get creative!


Please register via e-mail to Jim Danielson:

When you register, indicate if you would like Alexandrea LaFaye to critique your manuscript (details below).


Alexandria LaFaye is offering critiques for an additional cost of $45. She is limited to 10 critiques. Picture books (full manuscript) or the opening chapter of a longer work up to 10 pages (standard font, double spaced).  Testimonials for her critiques (I have mentor clients who have gone on to publish their work, get nominated for and win national awards).


Please make checks for critique to SCBWI-IL in the amount of 45.00 and mail to:

Linda Dryfhout 

11942 187th St.

Mokena, IL 60448

You may pay and reserve your critique spot before you submit your manuscript.


DEADLINE:   Please e-mail your manuscript to:    by Aug. 30, 2019.

Northern Suburbs


Cook County (North Suburban Network)


Carolyn Crimi 
Anny Rusk 


Librarians Go Behind the Stacks

Wednesday, September 11, 7-8:30 p m 

The Book Market

2651 Navy Blvd

Glenview, IL

Eti Berland and Brian Wilson discuss books they love, books they would like to see written, and how librarians and authors can work together. Q&A at end.

Help Me Help You: How Authors and Booksellers Can Work Together

Wednesday, October 9, 7-8:30 pm

The Book Market

2651 Navy Blvd.

Glenview, IL

Holly Alexander has put children’s and teen’s books into the hands of customers for over a decade. She’s worked at both corporate and indie bookstores, first as a regular seller, then as a buyer and children’s manager, and currently she is Director of Business and Operations at both Bookies Bookstores.

Although indie and corporate bookstores run differently internally, identifying what a customer wants, and then hand selling those books to them is universal. Since coming to Bookies, Holly is focusing on signings, setting up school visits, readers book clubs with the author of the books, panels, and collaborating with other businesses and educational institutions to create author-centric events. She will talk about these various events and how authors can make the most of these opportunities.

If there are other topics you’d like Holly to cover, please email by 10/7 at 9p, so she can let Holly know. There will be a Q&A at the end of her presentation. 

Like last year, Holly is offering a free critique to each person in attendance. (Full picture book or first 50 pages of MG/YA book, she prefers hard copies). Holly’s critiques are unique, in that they are from the bookseller/buyer’s POV. With the understanding she will not get back to you until after the holidays because it is the busy season for her.

If you miss Holly’s event, you can contact her for a paid critique through her new business, Sprout Literary Consulting:


Cultural Currency for Writers: Writing Cross-Culturally

Wednesday, November 13, 7-8:30 pm

The Book Market

2651 Navy Blvd

Glenview, IL

Writing cross-culturally can be a daunting task, but so can writing within our own cultures.  No matter what stage you’re at in your writing career, it’s essential to explore your own approach to cultural representation from the inside out—know your own cultural preconceptions, commit to cultural accuracy, cultural inclusion, and writing about other cultures with respect, accuracy, and deference. Alexandria will present tips and advice/exercises on how we can authentically and respectfully write cross-culturally. This program is suited for folks writing in all genres and at all levels of their careers.

As an associate professor of creative writing and cultural representation in children’s and young adult literature, A. LaFaye has published over a dozen books that cross-cultural boundaries and received critical praise for her work.  Several of her writing students have gone on to publish books and win awards for their cultural portrayals.  You can catch up with A. LaFaye on FB, Twitter, and Instagram @sylvanocity

Far Northern Suburbs


Far North Suburban Network

Erica Weisz
Kim Oclon 


Join us on the 1st Wednesday of every month at:


David Adler Music and Arts Center

1700 North Milwaukee Avenue

Libertyville, Illinois 60048

Time: 7-9 pm 

December 4:  Gift of Time

Join us for our annual tradition of snacks, socializing, and maybe even some writing! If you would like, bring a snack to share and anything you need to write (notebook, laptop) to use your gift of time.

January 8 :  Critiques 

If you would like to share with the group, please bring 7-10 copies of your work. Pages should be double-spaced, 12 point font, and one inch margins.


February 5: Critiques

If you would like to share with the group, please bring 7-10 copies of your work. Pages should be double-spaced, 12 point font, and one inch margins.



Far Northwest Suburbs


Far Northwest Suburban Network


Veronica Rundell
Kathleen Reitmann 

Open Critique- NEW DAY AND TIME!

Northwest Suburban section hosts an open critique night 6:30-9pm on the Third Wednesday of the month. Please join us in the café area of Barnes & Noble 590 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173   Contact reps: Veronica Rundell  or Kathleen Reitmann for more information.



Dundee Area Network


Jennifer Wagh 
Jennifer Kaap  

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
If you are a first time attendee please RSVP Jennifer Wagh 



Western Suburbs


Oak Park and Near West Suburban Network


Sarah Hammond 
Karen Walker Ward 
Sallie Wolf 

Shop Talk: Second Thursday of the month, 7 – 9 pm Our meetings are free and open to all. 

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

September 12–Oak Park Main Library, 2d Floor Book Discussion Room: Marlene Brill, author of numerous books for children, will speak about the pros and cons of publishing houses big and small. Marlene’s website is

Oct. 10–Oak Park Main Library, 2d Floor Book Discussion Room–Critique night

Nov. 14–Oak Park Main Library, 3d Floor Conference Room–Eileen Meyers will speak about the winding path to publication of her latest book, The Superlative A. Lincoln, (Charlesbridge Publishing, coming Fall 2019) and give her top ten tips for publishing success. Eileen’s website is

Dec. 12–Holiday Party–details to come


LaGrange – Naperville Network

Cathy Velasco
Mary and Rich Chamberlain 

LaGrange-Naperville Network meets three times a year on Saturday mornings at

Fountaindale Public Library
300 W Briarcliff Road

10 a.m. to noon: September 28

Think Like a Marketer: Evaluating Your Picture Book Ideas

How do you take your picture book ideas and look at it from a marketing perspective?  Publishing is a business and sometimes we need to step back from our work to see the bigger picture.

Author Becky Cattie will share how to research and utilize resources to evaluate what ideas have the best shot in the marketplace. She will also go through the process of how to find networking groups, how to select editors and agents for your work and what to expect once you’re published. 

Cattie writes with her sister, Tara Luebbe, and is the co-author of “I Am Famous,” “I Used to be Famous” and “Shark Nate-O.” Becky is also, a recruiter in Chicago for marketing and creative professionals. 

Please join the LaGrange-Naperville Network from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, September 28 at at the Fountaindale Public Library, 300 W. Briarcliff Road in Bolingbrook. We will meet in Meeting Room B on the main floor. There is a coffee/tea/snack shop on premises. Please reserve a spot by Sept. 24 at

10 a.m. to noon: November 16

How Flash Can Spark Your Writing

Writing flash (1,000 words or less) can be a springboard to creativity. Jane Hertenstein, author of Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir and Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing, will speak about flash as the building block to launching a picture book or novel. Her latest novel, Cloud of Witnesses (October 2018, Golden Alley Press) employed a system of writing small scenes, and from there, building outward to create an arc with a driving theme. She’ll discuss turning vignettes into scenes and episodic versus epic.

Please join the LaGrange-Naperville Network from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, November 16 at the Fountaindale Public Library, 300 W. Briarcliff Road in Bolingbrook. There is a coffee/tea/snack shop on premises. Please reserve a spot by Nov. 13th at



Geneva Network


Janet Riehecky 847-695-9781 
Cheryl App 

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



Northern Illinois


Rockford Network


Karin Blaski

Jennifer Loescher

All meetings held at the Winnebago Public Library

Address: 210 N Elida St, Winnebago, IL 61088

Contact: Karin Blaski,

September Meeting

September 3, 2019

6-7:30 PM

Queries: creating your best first impression.

Please join us as we discuss standard query structure, query pitch, and what to say about yourself if you have no writing credentials. Successful and not so successful query examples provided. Bring your own query to work on or just come for the discussion.

October Meeting

October 1, 2019

6-7:30 PM

Theme and Irony with Author Matt Bird

All are welcome to join us for an interactive video conference with Matt Bird, author of THE SECRETS OF STORY, Writers Digest, and podcaster, also THE SECRETS OF STORY, as he leads us through a lively discussion on theme and irony, how kids love irony, and how irony can be a writer’s greatest tool. See a snippet at

November Meeting

November 5, 2019

6-7:30 PM

No Pressure Writing Share

Plan on sharing a piece of writing without expecting feedback which can provide you with a deadline to work toward without generating anxieties over whether or not the piece is “good enough” to share. This is a no-pressure way to get to know one another’s projects and writing styles. Nothing to share? That’s ok too. You can talk about the kinds of pre-writing activities you have undertaken (research, reading, editing previous work, meeting with a professor or advisor, etc.). Or you can talk about the obstacles to writing that have hindered your progress (writer’s block, having a big exam this week, needing to gather more data before you can write, etc.).

Freeport/Rockford Area Network


Leone Anderson 815-947-2780 
Debbie Deutsch 815-235-8899 

Critique Session/Shop Talks:

ABC Writers will host Mary Lamphere on Saturday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Freeport Public Library,  100 E. Douglas St. Freeport, IL 61032,  second floor board room. Mary Lamphere, award-winning, best-selling and multi-published author, will be discussing Independent Publishing Options for Ready Writers. She will discuss: 1) How to know when you’re ready to publish 2) Independent Publishing Options. A variety of choices: the costs, commitments, and which is best for you, and 3) Marketing your new release. 

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

Please contact Lee or Debbie to verify dates/locations.


DeKalb Area Network


Sarah Tobias

Shop Talk & Critique Session:

The third Wednesday of the month, January through November, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Adult Services Study Group, Room 1, of the DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak Street, DeKalb, IL 60115 

No meetings in December



Central Illinois


Central Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) Network

Elaine Bearden  
Gabriela Romero


Wednesday October 9, 7-8:30 in the Lewis auditorium of the Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St, Urbana, IL. 

Have you ever considered writing books for children?

Join Illinois native Eileen Meyer as she shares the twists and turns encountered in the process of selling her forthcoming picture book, The Superlative A. Lincoln: Poems About our 16th President.  Eileen will also share her top tips for children’s writers seeking publishing success.

This program presented in collaboration with the Urbana Free Library


Bloomington/Normal Network

(Near-Normal Writer’s Group)


Dawn Malone (

Looking for new leadership. Please contact Dawn if you’re interested in hosting a program.

Springfield Area Network

The Springfield Scribes

Debra Daugherty 

Upcoming Programs:

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

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

Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (5:30 – 6 is social time. Meeting starts at 6.)

Guest author, Jennifer Ward of Southern Illinois, is giving a presentation on writing non-fiction picture books.

All are welcome to join us.


Monday, October 7, 2019

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

Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (5:30 – 6 is social time. Meeting starts at 6 pm.)

Jessica Rubinkowski recently toured Ireland with other writers, while there for a conference. She is going to share her experience.

Discussion on Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by Ann Whitford Paul

Members are to read assigned chapters from this book and discuss how we can apply what we learn to our own work.

Critiques on pages by members.

All are welcome to join us.


Monday, November 4, 2019

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

Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (5:30 – 6 is social time. Meeting starts at 6 pm.)

Discussion on Writing Picture Books Revised and Expanded Edition: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by Ann Whitford Paul

Members are to read assigned chapters from this book and discuss how we can apply what we learn to our own work.

Critiques on pages by members.

All are welcome to join us.

Questions or for directions, contact Debra Daugherty, above.

Schedule may change due to inclement weather.


Southern Illinois


Edwardsville Network

Juli Caveny
Bonnie Swanson 

Monthly Critique Meeting:
We meet at 6:30 on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at Books A Million in Edwardsville. Contact reps if you have any questions!


Fairview Heights Network

Amilia Lingel  
Katie Otey 

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