Marty’s book will be free on Amazon this weekend.

SCBWI.

I never know how to say that, so I try to rattle off — Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. People sometimes still look at me confused. Others just know that the mouthful of words and letters means something to children’s writers.

I love the resources offered by SCBWI, especially the discounts. I joined in 2011, so I could get a discount for a local picture book retreat. Bonus: I can attend the local SCWBI critique sessions organized by two wonderful writers — Marty Mokler Banks and Anne Eliot.

The local meetings are critical for me. While the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge has me writing. I always need a kick in the pants on the revision part. A critique group date forces me to get my work in shape to share with others, so the group helps me on several levels.

SCBWI is my only time for picture book critique. I’ve avoided an online group due to other time commitments. Now, the local SCBWI writers are beginning a monthly in-person group. I hope to hire a babysitter for a few hours and participate. My participation depends heavily on how my class schedule treats me.

At our last meeting, we discussed many issues plus ate jam bars made by Vivian Kirkfield from Postivite Parental Participation. Vivian and I shared many of our online resources with the group like Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 in 2012, Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book, Rate Your Story and The Meter Maids.

Marty Banks shared she’s published her chapter book The Adventures of Tempest & Serena. It’s free this weekend through an Amazon promotion. She wants people to check it out and review it. I haven’t read the book yet, but look forward to it. I enjoyed Marty’s picture book The Splatters Learn Some Manners.

Anne has a young adult novel Almost: A Love Story published.

I appreciate both Marty and Anne for organizing this group of writers to meet, to share work and to talk about writing.

The Rocky Mountain SCBWI will host its fall conference Sept. 22-23 in Denver. I’m excited about this event, especially the two-part workshop on picture book revision by Jean Reidy.

While it does cost an annual fee to join SCBWI, I definitely get my money’s worth from the organization.

Don’t forget, grabbing a copy of Marty Mokler Banks’ book won’t cost you a single penny this weekend (Aug. 24-26).

Happy plotting, writing and revising!