Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet & Greets

A Meet & Greet is a gathering of kid-lit writers and illustrators. Like-minded people come together to chat, network, share news and resources, socialize, and learn from one another. In short, it’s a no-pressure (usually FREE of charge) way to expand your kid lit kin. Past Meet & Greets have included meet-ups at local coffee shops; gatherings after author visits and book festivals; and pre-arranged book store and guest speaking events and studio tours. And now we’ve gone virtual! Check here for upcoming events in your area.

Who plans Meet & Greets? YOU!

If you are interested in planning a Meet & Greet, contact Heather Stigall at to talk about ideas and to advertise your event on the EPA blog and Meet & Greet page.








Wake-Up Write-In

Increase your productivity by joining fellow kidlit writers at our morning write-in!

Bring your writing project at any stage (brainstorming, outlining, drafting, or revising).

We’ll write during timed sprints and chat during brief breaks.


Now TWICE a month!

from 9:30 – 11:30 AM (EST)

Next Wake-Up Write-Ins are:

 Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Monday, April 3, 2023

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Once you register, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail
with the link and PASSWORD to get in once the event starts. 
If you have any questions,
please feel free to contact




Zoom into

Picture Books! 

A picture book discussion group

where we dive in and discuss a different picture book each month.

During the forty minutes we will discuss…

 Different aspects of the book including themes, characters, voice, etc.

Things we learned from the book that will help us as writers or illustrators

Monthly, on a Friday or Saturday 

from 8 – 8:40 PM (EST)

Next Zoom into Picture Books is

No Meeting in March/ Next Meeting will be: 

April 15, 2023


To register, email Jenny Pease

and put Zoom into picture books in the subject line


You will receive the zoom link and the title of the book through email.

***Please make sure to read the book before the zoom discussion. We will not be reading the book during the meeting.***

If you have any questions or suggestions of books to discuss,
please feel free to contact 
Butt-in-Chair-a-Thon 2022
What is a BIC-A-Thon you ask?
Well, it stands for Butt-In-Chair-A-Thon, and it’s time for writers to get their butt in the chair and get some good quality writing and editing time in. Illustrators you are more than welcome, too!
Joyce Schriebman and I began them back in July of 2020, with a few writers looking for some time to make our selves sit and write, and be accountable for the craft we love.
Every month, from 8:00 P.M. EST until, well, the time’s up!
Next BIC-a-Thon is
April 20, 2023
from 8:00 P.M. EST until about 10:30 P.M. EST
(they’re free!). 

We start each session with a 10 minute session to plan what you want to do for the night, get the day’s thoughts out of your brain to clear your mind for quality words, or to just get started.

We then have two 40 minute sessions, with a prompt to help you out. You don’t need to use the prompts, but sometimes they can help spark something. Feel free to use them or not, or save them for another day!

If you can’t stay the whole time, or can’t make it on time, still register and join us when and for as long as you can!

Once you register, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail
with the link and PASSWORD to get in once the event starts. 
If you have any questions,
please feel free to contact me at erik (at) erikammon (dot) com
Thanks, and we hope you’ll join us!
Erik Ammon

Eastern PA SCBWI

Peer Critique “Open Mic” Night


WHAT: Join Critique Group Coordinator, Heather Stigall,

and other EPA members

to give/receive LIVE critiques on your manuscript

WHEN: Wednesday, April 12, 6:45 – 9:00 PM

WHERE: Zoom (link will be provided when you RSVP)

WHO: Eastern PA SCBWI members who want to experience a live “Open Mic”-style peer critique group


RSVP: Heather Stigall,

by Midnight, 4/11/23

DETAILS: Please read below for an explanation of how this event will work so we don’t have to spend too much time the night of the event explaining details.

*On the night of the event, after a brief introduction, the moderator will share her screen to reveal a submission.

*The author/illustrator of the submission will read their pages aloud.

*The moderator will allow 10-12 minutes for other attendees to offer constructive criticism** on the work.

*If time allows, the author can ask follow-up questions.

*This will continue for no more than 7 submissions.

* If time allows, we will conclude with some general Q&A about critiquing or critique groups.


*Other notes:

*Only 7 attendees will have their work critiqued,

but there will be no limit to attendees who wish to critique and observe

*You must RSVP to Heather at

by midnight the day before the event in order to attend.

* The event will NOT be recorded

*The first 7 people who RSVP and want to submit work

will have their pages critiqued by peers who attend the meeting

(NOTES: You do not have to submit; if you are one of the first 7,

Heather will give you the option when you RSVP.

When possible, Heather will give priority to authors/illustrators who have not had the opportunity to share at a prior event).

 *If you are one of the first 7 to respond,

and wish to have your work critiqued,

you will receive instructions on when and how to send your submission

*You may submit in any children’s genre (board book/BB, picture book/PB, graphic novel/GN, chapter book/CB, middle grade/MG, young adult/YA) and may submit a text-only manuscript OR dummy.

All experience levels welcome!

**Please remember to provide your peers with constructive criticism which can be defined as a “helpful, well-reasoned opinions and actionable suggestions, including both positive and negative comments, in a friendly way.”

For more on how to GIVE and RECEIVE critiques, please read the document entitled “Critiquing Guidelines for Writers” that can be found on our Critique Group Resources page here:






Meet & Greet at the Alchemist & Barrister Following the Princeton Children’s Book Festival

When: Saturday, October 8, 2022

Where: Princeton, NJ

Organized by: Virginia Law Manning



When: Saturday, June 26, 2021

Where: In your home via Zoom

Organized by: Lindsay Bandy

Published members of Eastern PA SCBWI joined PAL coordinator Lindsay Bandy for a virtual, Saturday-morning-mixer. They networked and discussed some upcoming opportunities for PAL members.


PAL Virtual Meet & Greet

When: Thursday, Ma y 27, 7:00 PM

Where: In your home via Zoom

Organized by: Lindsay Bandy

EPA PAL Coordinator, Lindsay Bandy, met with other PAL members to chat about upcoming opportunities for local PAL members.


“Critique Groups” 
Virtual MEET & GREET

When: Monday, May 17, 7:00 PM

Where: In your home via Zoom

Organized by: Heather Stigall

EPA Critique Group Coordinator, Heather Stigall, opened the floor for discussion and took questions about critique groups–how to start a new group, how to make your group the best it can be, what to do when various issues arise, and more.


“Critique Groups” Virtual MEET & GREET

When: Tuesday, March 9, 7:00 PM

Where: In your home via Zoom

Organized by: Heather Stigall

EPA Critique Group Coordinator, Heather Stigall, provided an overview of critique groups and shared the nuts and bolts about how to start a new group. She addressed participant questions and concerns on all things critique group.


When: Thursday, February 18, 2021
Where: In your home via Zoom
Organized by: Lindsay Bandy
Eastern PA members gathered together virtually to meet, greet, and eat in anticipation of the kickoff of the 2021 SCBWI Winter Conference. Everyone introduced themselves, played a few icebreaker games, and connected on social media.
“8 & UNDER” Virtual MEET & GREET
When: Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Where: in your home via Zoom
Organized by: Virginia Law Manning & Heather Stigall
Eastern PA members who write for children ages 8 & under learned about last year’s “8 & Under” program, provided feedback, and learned about plans for the 2022 8 & Under program.
When: Saturday, June 27th from 9am – 10am
Where: In your home via Zoom
Organized by: Alison Green-Meyers
This virtual meet & greet started with a quick introduction of attendees who then started two rounds of writing sprints (with a brief break between). Writing sprints are short bursts of focused writing, sometimes done in community.
When: Thursday, February 13, 2020,
Where: Aneu, Paoli, PA
Organized by: Heather Stigall
Local writers and illustrators, new and veteran, networked with and learned about the upcoming Eastern PA SCBWI Pocono Retreat (and other area events).
When: Thursday February 6th

Where: Newtown Bookshop, Newtown, PA

Organized by: Virginia Law Manning

Local writers and illustrators networked and learned about the upcoming Eastern PA SCBWI Pocono Retreat. In addition, bookstore owner Kathy Morrison gave a short presentation on Valentine’s Day books for children and sales of A.L.A. winners in independent bookstores.

When: Sunday, January 26th
Where: the lobby bar at the Philadelphia Marriott at 1201 Market Street
Organized By: Your EPA Volunteer Team
This Meet & Greet was open to all of our members, and any children’s book friends who visited the ALA Midwinter event.
When: Monday, September 16th
Where: Manheim Township Public Library
Organized by: Jeanne Moran
KidLit authors and illustrators local to Lancaster snacked & met new & “old” friends in an informal setting.


When: Thursday, August 22
Where: Firefly Bookstore, Kutztown, PA
Organized by: Nadine Poper
Kutztown area participants gathered to network, socialize, snack, sip, and meet special guest,  Kay Haring, author of KEITH HARING, THE BOY WHO JUST KEPT DRAWING. Her book was available for purchase and signing.




When: Friday, June 21, 2019
Where: World of Beer in Exton, PA
Organized by: Lesley Grigg
Participants celebrated the first day of summer with a happy hour gathering of kid lit writers in the Exton area.
 When: Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Where: Aneu Kitchen & Juicery, Paoli, PA
Organized by: Heather Stigall
Participants gathered to talk about conferences, but also also anything and everything kid lit! Seasoned and new members got to know each other, shared resources, and networked.



When: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Where: Cafe Lilah,, Olyphant, PA
Organized by: Fawn Contreras
Participants discussed the best parts of the Poconos Retreat conference and future conferences as well as talked about what the next steps will be on their writing/illustrating journeys.



When: April 7, 2019

Where: Zummo’s Coffee House & Eatery, Scranton, PA

Organized by Joanne Roberts & Fawn Contreras

Eastern PA members gathered to calm their nerves before attending the EPA’s annual conference, The Pocono Mountain Retreat


When: March 20, 2019
Organized by : Bux Mont Writers Group Coordinator, Wendy Greenley,


When: March 8, 2019

Where: Books-a-Million, 100 Viewmont Mall, Scranton, PA

Organized by: Alison Green Myers, by 3/1/19

Writers and illustrators drank coffee, browsed books, and chatted with fellow members about current works-in-progress. Some even shared up to 500 words of a current work-in-progress during the get together.


SOUTH CENTRAL PAWhen: Sunday, February 10, 2019, 2:00-4:00 PM

Where: The Bookery at the Bosler Library, 158 W High St (intersection of High and West Sts.), Carlisle, PA

Organized By: Melissa Sheperd

Writers and illustrators met at the Historic Bookery at Bosler Library in Carlisle, PA to share in their craft and love of children’s literature, as well as perused the shelves for books, music, magazines, games and media.

DELAWARE COUNTYWhen: Friday, February 8, 2019, 12:30-2:00 PM

Where: Cafe Isla, 24 South Plum Street, Media, PA

Organized By: Berrie Torgan-Randall

The February meet and greet at Cafe Isla (formerly Seven Stones Cafe) in Media, PA was well attended with about 15 members in attendance – many local to Delco and some as far as North Jersey.  Almost all who attended were authors with a small smattering of author/illustrators.  Information was shared about hot topics to write about for children and upcoming conferences including the Pocono retreat.  A list was gathered and shared with the members who attended the event.

When: Monday, November 12th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM

Where: Newtown Bookshop, 2835 S. Eagle Road, Newtown, PA 18940.

Special Guests: Author Frank Murphy and Store Owner Kathy Tholey Morrison

Organized by: Virginia Law Manning, Illustrator Coordinator,

On Monday, November 12, 2018, author Frank Murphy and bookseller Kathy Tholey Morrison, engaged a group of writers and illustrators at the Newtown Bookshop in Bucks County, PA and demonstrated a healthy author/independent bookseller relationship. Kathy inspired us with personal words of support and Frank offered insights about writing non-fiction for children. EPA members and non-members enjoyed an evening of book talk, networking and celebrated Love Your Bookstore Week! For more information about this holiday for booklovers and the Love Your Bookstore Challenge, please visit

Frank Murphy is the author of fun historical fiction/biography books for children, including six leveled readers published by Random House in the popular Step into Reading series. In July 2019, Sleeping Bear Press will publish A Boy Like You written by Frank Murphy, illustrated by Kayla Harren.






Group photo courtesy of Frank Murphy.

When: Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 12:30 PM
 Where: Pour Richard’s Coffee Co, 36 Berkley Rd, Devon, PA 19333
 RSVP: Heather Stigall at
About 15 writers and illustrators from the Delaware, Chester, and Montgomery County area sipped, snacked and chatted about all things kid lit. We welcomed many new attendees to this group, including some brand new to SCBWI! If you live near the intersection of these three counties, feel free to request to join their facebook group, SCBWI EPA Ches-Mont-Del Meet & Greet.

When: Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 4 PM following the Princeton Children’s Book Festival
Where: The Alchemist & Barrister, 28 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ
RSVP: Virginia Law Manning  at

For those of us who love children’s books, the annual Princeton Children’s Book Festival is a dream come true. Each year eighty children’s book authors and illustrators congregate at this outdoor festival. Writers, illustrators, parents and children have the opportunity to hear them speak and meet them one-on-one. Copies of their books are available for sale with proceeds benefiting the Princeton Public Library.

Following the festival, please join fellow SCBWI members at The Alchemist & Barrister for food, drinks and lively book discussion.

The Princeton Children’s Book Festival begins at 11 AM and ends at 4 PM on Saturday, September 22nd. The event is located at Hinds Plaza directly in front of the Princeton Public Library at 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ. Here’s the link for more information,

At 4 PM, we’ll be meeting in the back room of the Alchemist & Barrister. The address is: 28 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ. Here’s the link to the restaurant’s website,  Attendees are responsible for food and drink purchases.

The book festival is a free, outdoor, rain-or-shine event.



When: Saturday, September 29, 2018, 3:00-4:45 pm

Where: Otto Bookstore; 107 West Fourth Street; Williamsport, PA 17701
For more information, please contact Aaron Barth (570-337-5869;
Aaron’s gathering of kid lit-minded attendees discussed shared interests, the benefits of SCBWI membership, and critique groups.

When: Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 10 AM
Where: Children’s Book World, 17 Haverford Station Rd, Haverford, PA 19041
Organized by Heather Stigall at

Heather Hebert, manager of Children’s Book World, spoke with writers and illustrators at a special Meet & Greet event. She spoke to the group about what goes into running an independent children’s book store–things like her process of buying/displaying books, arranging store events, supporting author/illustrator school visits, and more.

A little about Children’s Book World from their website: Children’s Book World is an independent, full-service children’s bookstore featuring a comprehensive inventory, knowledgeable staff, and exciting events. Children’s Book World opened its doors for the first time in July, 1989—and now, over twenty-five years later, we’re going strong! For more information about Children’s Book World, including author/illustrator events, summer reading program, and other resources, go to


When: Friday, February 9, 2018 at 10 AM
Where: Towne Book Center, 220 Plaza Drive, Suite B-3, Collegeville, PA 19426
RSVP: Virginia Law Manning at

Two special guests joined us on February 9th at the Towne Book Center in Collegeville, PA. First, EPA member Jennifer Hanson Merutka gave us a tour of children’s section and talked about her role as the store’s book buyer. Then, author Nancy Viau shared her thoughts on author school visits, including how to make connections, secure speaking events and engage and entertain children.

Nancy Viau’s picture books include Pruitt and Soo (TBA), First Snow (Sept. 2018), City Street Beat, Look What I Can Do! and Storm Song. She is also the author of novels for kids ages 8-12: Beauty and Bernice (Sept. 2018), Just One Thing!, Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head and Something is Bugging Samantha Hansen (2019). A former teacher and kid-at-heart, Nancy loves to visit schools to share her journey to publication and the writing process. She is employed by the Cape May County (NJ) Library System as an assistant librarian, and when not reading or writing, she travels wherever her frequent flyer miles take her.





When: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Where: Pour Richard’s Coffee Co, 36 Berkeley Rd, Devon, PA 19333

RSVP: Heather Stigall at

Writers and illustrators in the Delaware, Chester, and Montgomery County areas met to sip, snack and chat. We shared resources and publishing news, talked about upcoming writing/illustrating events, and networked. We started a contact list and created a Facebook page so we could continue to stay in touch.


When: Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 4 PM
Where: Alchemist & Barrister, 28 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ

The annual Princeton Children’s Book Festival is a wonderful opportunity to meet your favorite authors and illustrators while browsing new children’s books. After this free event, SCBWI members gathered at the Alchemist & Barrister pub to discuss all things kidlit.