Friday, September 20, 2013

Sept 2013: Illustrator Meeting

This month's COSCBWI Illustrator Meeting focused on submitting artwork to the SCBWI bulletin.  Members of SCBWI receive six bulletins per year that are filled with wonderful articles about writing and illustrating.  The bulletins also contain illustrations submitted by members which are used as spot-art throughout the articles.  (I always love seeing the little illustrations in each issue!) 
COSCBWI's Illustrator Coordinator, Nikki Boetger, discussed the bulletin submission process.  Submitting pieces to the SCBWI bulletin can be a great way for new artists to gain exposure and dip their toes into professional illustration.  There is no limit on how many pieces an artist can submit, and an artist may even have multiple pieces accepted for an issue.  Any accepted pieces come with a small stipend, but the real reward is being able to use the experience as a publishing credit on your illustrating resume.  It shows you take illustrating seriously and want to send your work out into the world.  And since the bulletin goes to all SCBWI members, MANY people will see your published pieces!   (Plus, you never know who might take a liking to your art, check out your website, and decide you're the perfect illustrator for their agency/project/etc.!)
Nikki had us browse through the magazines and come up with some common illustration themes.  Of course, writing, illustrating, books, and kids were popular subject matters!  But there were also snowmen, dinosaurs, bunnies, and everything in between, so you never quite know what the bulletin editors are seeking.  Nikki also pointed out some frequent bulletin articles and topics, including:
-News and Notes
-Book Reviews
-Legally Speaking
-Publication Corner
-Art Tips
After brainstorming some illustration ideas, Nikki reminded us to check the national SCBWI website ( for the the latest submission guidelines.  She also discussed the importance of preparing an online site or blog BEFORE submitting work anywhere.  (You don't want someone who sees the bulletin to search for your portfolio or website online and not be able to find you, right?)  Lastly, since it may take a while to see if your illustration is chosen for the bulletin, Nikki recommended keeping all submitted illustrations together in one file so it's easier to keep track of them.  And if you send in an illustration that doesn't get picked, don't give up!  Keep drawing, submitting, and doing everything you can to get your art published.  :)

If you want to learn more about COSCBWI, you can check out the (new) group website at or "like" the group on Facebook.  I hope to see you at the next Illustrator Meeting!

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