Monday, December 5, 2011

Looking for art for the Golden Penn

ChrisAnn Goossen is looking for art for this month's Golden Penn newsletter. Pieces with a winter or holiday theme would be great for this issue. Also, any pieces featuring kids and/or literature and art are always appropriate.

Email her at

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tri-Regional SCBWI Conference

E.B. Lewis signs prints

Abrams Art Director Chad Beckerman

SCBWI's Tri-Regional Conference ran smoothly over the weekend, making camp just outside beautiful downtown Gettysburg. Attendees enjoyed breakout sessions from several industry professionals including Abrams Creative Director Chad Beckerman and illustrator E.B. Lewis. Saturday afternoon included "First Looks" where six faculty members gave their first impressions of illustrations submitted by conference attendees.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Portfolio display at Tri-Regional Conference

For those of you attending the Tri-Regional SCBWI Conference in Gettysburg this weekend, we now have a space to display our portfolios. Portfolios will only be on display on Saturday as we won't have anyone to guard them, and the room will be unlocked until 11:00 pm for people to use for peer critiquing. The tables will be set up around the perimeter of the large general session room. Each illustrator will be responsible for her/his own work.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

SCBWI Tri-Regional Fall Conference

This year the Western Pennsylvania chapter of SCBWI will be teaming up with the Eastern and Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia SCBWI chapters for a tri-regional fall conference in Gettysburg, PA.

Friday-Sunday, November 11-13, 2011
Gettysburg Wyndham Hotel, Gettysburg PA

Complete conference information
Conference faculty

So far, plans are for illustrators to bring their portfolios to set out for conference attendees to view. We'll confirm details as we get them.

For an additional fee, you can also have your portfolio critiqued privately by a member of the conference faculty. Also included Saturday afternoon: First Looks. In an open panel discussion, conference faculty will offer their responses to a limited number of illustrations sent in by conference attendees. Details about critiques and First Looks can be found here.

Plans are still being solidified for shared transportation to and from the conference.

The Golden Penn needs your art

The WPA SCBWI's Fall issue of The Golden Penn needs art to liven up its pages. This issue will highlight the November conference in Gettysburg, PA. Please send ChrisAnn Goossen ( digital files (jpeg is fine) for a one time use. We'll include a credit line along with your piece. Seasonal art is welcome as well as a variety of subject matter including animals, nature, kids, books, and the writing and illustration professions.

Thanks for sharing your talents with our readers. If you have any questions, please contact, ChrisAnn.

Monday, July 18, 2011

An Interview With Abrams Creative Director, Chad Beckerman

Chad Beckerman is the Creative Director for Amulet Books, Abrams Books for Young Readers and ComicArts. Here's an insightful interview with him on the Web site. An Art Director from Abrams will be joining us for our fall conference in Gettysburg this November 11-13. Details soon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Science to Go" art contest

The Carnegie Science Center and Pittsburgh-Area Dunkin’ Donuts Franchisees Partner to Host “Science to Go” Contest

Designed to motivate local science lovers and artists to go “above and beyond”, the contest winner will receive a $700 prize package and the chance to have their design featured on a Dunkin’ Donuts’ Travel Mug later this year.

Age: 18 or older
To enter: Visit
Deadline: August 7, 2011
Contact: Dena Rose at 412-481-5807 or

Entrants are invited to submit an original work of art representing their adaptation of what is above or beyond the earth, including the, sky, weather, clouds, solar system, stars, planets, and more. Original works of art can be submitted as drawings, paintings, watercolors, photography, or graphic art. Submission deadline is 11:59.59 p.m., August 7, 2011.  Mail-in entry information can be found in participating Pittsburgh-area Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants. Entries by mail must be postmarked no later than August 1, 2011 in order to be eligible.

The winner will be selected on or around August 11, 2011 by a panel of judges from Carnegie Science Center and Dunkin’ Donuts. The winning artwork may appear on a limited-edition Dunkin’ Donuts’ Travel Mug, which will be sold in participating Pittsburgh-area Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants beginning approximately October 1 through December 31, 2011. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Carnegie Science Center’s mentoring and youth training initiatives.

For more eligibility, submission requirements and the Official Rules, please visit: or any Pittsburgh-area Dunkin’ Donuts Restaurant.

Critiquenic map

Here's a map to help you find our Critiquenic at Monroeville Community Park:

View Larger Map

And a link to the map on Google Maps in case the map above doesn't load.

Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Time: 5:30 to 9:00 PM
Place: Monroeville Park
What to bring:
  • A finished illustration to have critiqued in peer critique groups
  • Either a main dish salad, side dish salad, or dessert
Cost: FREE
Registration: Email and include
  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • What dish you will bring

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July Critiquenic for Illustrators too!

Each year, writers from the WPaSCBWI get together to picnic and critique each others' work, and this year the illustrators will be eating and critiquing right along with them!

Since we're just getting our feet wet and feeling our way as we go, this year our plans will be to critique whatever you want to bring along. We're already making plans for next year's event, but we're open to any ideas you might have that can make this exciting and worthwhile.

Here are the details:

Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Time: 5:30 to 9:00 PM
Place: Monroeville Park
What to bring:
  • A finished illustration to have critiqued in peer critique groups
  • Either a main dish salad, side dish salad, or dessert
Cost: FREE
Registration: Email and include
  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • What dish you will bring

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Advanced Illustrators Workshop

Openings are still available for the Advanced Illustrators Workshop offered by the Highlights Foundation September 1-5.

It's designed for illustrators seeking a technique-driven workshop to sharpen their skills in the field of children’s picture-book illustration.

Join award-winning illustrators Floyd Cooper, Eric Rohmann, Melanie Hall, Suzanne Bloom, and Lindsay Barrett George as they guide you through today’s best techniques.

Complete information and application form are available online at:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sewickley Public Library call for entries

Sewickley Public Library will host Hello Kitty, an exhibit of cat paintings, drawings and prints (woodblock, litho, etc.; no photographs or photo-based images) during the months of July & August. Artists of any age are invited to submit entries. The library has a hallway of lighted and secure display cases, and receives over 25,000 visits per month. 

Entries must be no larger than 30” x 30” and mounted on a material firm enough to stand on an easel; framing is not necessary. You may submit up to two entries via email to: entry should include title, medium and size, as well as your name, address, phone number and email.

The deadline for submission is June 1st. A jury of four cat lovers and art professionals will select the works for the show, and a “Best of Show” will be selected. If your cat image is selected for the exhibit, you will be notified by email or phone by mid-June. All artists will be responsible for delivery and pick-up of their art work.

Good luck and happy painting!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Golden Penn call for art

The Golden Penn, Western Pennsylvania's SCBWI quarterly newsletter, is asking for illustration submissions for upcoming newsletters.

Now that The Golden Penn is online, color jpeg files (computer generated or scans) are acceptable. If you have any pieces with a spring theme or that show kids reading or just being kids, please consider submitting them. If they aren't used for this issue, they will be kept on file for future issues. It's a great way to participate in our region's chapter and to get your art out there for others to see and enjoy.

Please email files to:

And thanks for your contributions, past and future!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kadir Nelson at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture

Kadir Nelson details his work on We Are the Ship,
a book he both wrote and illustrated.
Illustrator Kadir Nelson spoke at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture last Sunday afternoon as part of the Black, White and Read All Over series from Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. His illustration work for children has earned him several awards including Caldecott Honors for both Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom and Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story From the Underground Railroad. Moses also garnered him an NAACP Image Award and both Moses and Ellington Was Not a Street have received Coretta Scott King Awards.

Prior to Nelson's talk, a handful of illustrators from SCBWI met for lunch and to review and discuss his many books for children. We noticed his varied styles from book to book, which he actually addressed during his presentation, saying he wanted to try something new with each book. His styles have ranged from watercolor and gouache to oil painting to fabric collage.

The afternoon included a slide presentation of not only his completed illustrations but also sketches, reference photos (he uses himself as a model), artwork he created as a child and concept art for the Steven Spielberg movie Amistad. He spoke about how his book We Are the Ship grew from single paintings submitted to Sports Illustrated to a 96-page, fully illustrated book.

While showing his childhood paintings and drawings, he shared a story about how his mother taught him to take hold of his dreams. "He gives his mother credit for teaching him to dream (in very specific terms)," Rose Gauss noted, "and then to work hard and practice long to make them come true."

"Dream big but work for it," Leda Miller agreed.

Kadir Nelson was soft-spoken, humble and inspirational, and I personally felt very privileged having been at the Center to hear him speak. But I doubt I was the only one. "Listening to him speak renewed my own confidence," Leda remarked. "There are no free rides and no magic pill."

Anne Trimble discusses
the various styles
in Kadir Nelson's
picture books.
After speaking, Mr. Nelson answered questions from the audience and then signed books and programs in the lobby of this beautiful downtown building.

Also in attendance:

Anne Trimble
Judith Lauso
Nora Thompson

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kadir Nelson at the August Wilson Center

It looks like we won't have enough people confirmed to purchase tickets as a group for the Kadir Nelson talk at the August Wilson Center, so anyone who plans to attend will need to purchase tickets individually. Tickets are available online through the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust:

Individual tickets cost $10 and include Nelson's talk, a Q&A, a book signing and refreshments. The program begins at 2:00 and runs until 5:00 on Sunday, February 20 at the August Wilson Center, downtown.

We will meet at the Panera Bread at the Waterfront at 11:00 for lunch and to discuss Nelson's books before we carpool to the program. Be sure to bring any books you may have that are illustrated by Kadir Nelson including ones you've borrowed from your library. Please feel free to meet us for lunch at Panera even if you don't plan on attending the program that afternoon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reminder: RSVP for Kadir Nelson

Just a reminder that if you plan on going to Kadir Nelson's talk at the August Wilson Center with the WPaSCBWI group on February 20, you'll need to RSVP Rose or Nora by January 30.


We need to know ahead of time so we can purchase group-rate tickets. If you don't know that you will be able to make it to the event by January 30, you can still purchase a ticket on your own through the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust after this date. Tickets on your own will cost $10.

Also a reminder that we will be meeting at the Panera Bread at the Waterfront that morning at 11:00 for lunch and to discuss Mr. Nelson's work before carpooling to the event. If you would like to meet us for lunch but can't make it to the event itself, please feel free to join us anyway; no RSVP necessary.

Please see the previous blog post for more detailed information.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Kadir Nelson at the August Wilson Center

The Carnegie Library’s yearly Black, White & Read All Over series this year includes double Caldecott Honor recipient Kadir Nelson speaking at the August Wilson Center at 2 pm on Sunday, February 20.

On the morning of the 20th, and prior to Nelson’s presentation, the illustrators group from WPaSCBWI will be meeting for lunch and to discuss Mr. Nelson’s children’s books. Please bring any and all Kadir Nelson books in your possession, including those borrowed from your local library.

Discussion can include:
  • his illustration styles
  • page compositions
  • color choices and palettes
  • lighting
  • details added that weren't part of the text
  • perspectives (camera angles)
  • the "why's" for all of the above
  • and what makes his books worthy of the Caldecott Honor

The group will meet for lunch at the Panera Bread at the Waterfront at 11 am and carpool to the August Wilson Center that afternoon. Tickets are $10, but rates are discounted if a group of five people or more attend and we order tickets online in advance. Please RSVP by January 30 and let us know if you plan to attend.

Rose Gauss:
Nora Thompson:
Sunday, February 20, 2011
2:00 pm
August Wilson Center
980 Liberty Avenue, Downtown