Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

New Member Info Page

New Members

Welcome from Regional Advisors Debra Schmidt and Lisa Karmel

Hello and welcome to the California: San Diego region of SCBWI!

We’re here to inspire and support your skills as a writer and/or illustrator for children’s books. We offer monthly meetings for all September through April, as well as an Illustrator Schmooze evening, critique group coordinators, mentorships for authors and illustrators, one-day conference with one-on-one critiques in May and connections through social media. Check out your range of options below.

If you gave a San Diego address when you joined SCBWI, you are automatically on our mailing list. Our regions newsletter, Sandcastle, is emailed to our members September through May, as well as event announcements, so please check your spam folder if you aren’t receiving the emails.


Debra Schmidt and Lisa Karmel are Co-Regional Advisors for our region.

If you have any questions, you can email Debra at:

Or Lisa at:

Deborah Snyder is our Assistant Regional Advisor; you can email her at:


Katrin Azimi is the Illustrator Coordinator for our region. If you have any illustrator questions, you can email her at:

Places to get involved:

Mailing list – FYI we use the email you gave SCBWI when you joined. Expect emails from us end of August through early May.

 Email Debra or Lisa if you aren’t receiving our monthly event announcements.

Email Deborah if you aren’t receiving Zoom links for monthly events you’ve registered to attend or the newsletter.

Monthly Meetings

We will continue to meet virtually one Saturday (please check each month for which Saturday) of the month 2:00-4:00 September 2022 through April 2023, with a one-day conference in May 2023. We’re not certain when, or if, we will start meeting in-person this coming season (along with virtually) starting in December 2021, address to be provided soon.

More info HERE

Writing for Children 101 class runs October 2022 – April 2023: with RAE Patricia Morris Buckley 

If you’ve ever dreamed of writing a children’s book, but don’t know quite where to begin, our class “Writing for Children 101” may be perfect for you.

This class meets before every chapter meeting from noon-2 p.m., October through April. It covers plotting, dialogue and characters, as well as finding an agent,

writing a query and/or cover letter and finding the right publisher. Also included are monthly critiques of students’ work. By the end of the class, participants

should have a work ready to send out. Cost $50.00 for members and $60.00 for nonmembers. It is strongly recommended that students also purchase a

Season Ticket as the meetings serve as classes.

Register for the class opens Sept. 11th click here

Register for a Season Ticket click here.

Critique Group Coordinators

All Genre authors please contact Gigi Orlowski at (Once we start meeting in-person there may be ad hoc groups meeting prior to the chapter meeting. RSVP with Gigi, because material is read in advance, walk-ins cannot be accommodated.)

On-line Critique Groups all genres, please contact Susan Ranscht through the chapter email at

Illustrators, please RSVP to Katrin Azimi at – Note: the Illustrators often meet outside the Saturday timeframe so please contact Katrin for updates.

There is a Monthy Illustrator Meetup/Gathering held the Third Thursday of the month from 7-9 PM For our 2021/2022 Season Schmoozes may vary between in-person and on-line, so it is important you RSVP with Lisa at least a day in advance so she can send you the meeting address or the Zoom link. It’s a time for illustrators to come together to share inspiration and projects. Please contact Lisa Venditelli Karmel for more info at