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.


SCBWI recommends virtual events until further notice. 

If you are interested in hosting a VIRTUAL Meet & Greet until that time, please contact  Heather Stigall at




Butt-in-Chair-a-Thon 2021
Are you stuck?
Do you need some inspiration?
Dedicated just writing time?
Well, we’ve got you covered!
Whether you need to journal, work on a new manuscript,
or revise an old one, we’ve got the time and place for you!
Come join us the Third Thursday each month from 8:00 P.M. EST until about 10:30 P.M. EST for our monthly BIC-A-Thon
(they’re free!). 
We start off with a 10 minute Brain Dump,
then two 40 minute sessions.
Can’t make it on time? Need to leave early?
That’s totally fine! Come for as long as you can!
We’ve got prompts if you need the help that you can write for,
or use to help you with your manuscript.
Our next BIC-A-Thon will be Thursday, March 18th, 2021
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


“Critique Groups”

Virtual MEET & GREET

WHO: those who want to start their own, or learn more about, Critique Groups

WHERE: Online (via Zoom)

WHEN: Tuesday, March 9, 7:00 PM

HOST: Heather Stigall


Have you thought about joining a critique group, but want to know more about why you would benefit from joining one, how they work, or even how to go about joining one before making the leap?

Have you looked for a critique group, but haven’t found one that fits your needs?

Have you thought about starting your own critique group, but want to know more about how?

Are you already a member or leader of a critique group, but want to give/receive feedback or tips about making your group the best it can be?

Then join me for this FREE Virtual Meet & Greet

about Critique Groups! 

I’ll be providing an overview of the benefits of critique groups and focusing on starting new groups, but I want to address YOUR questions and concerns!

Maybe some of you will connect to form your own group!

Please RSVP to Heather Stigall
She will send you the Zoom link for the meeting the day before.
I hope to see you there!
WHEN: Saturday March 14, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM (with optional add on of author signing from 2-4) EVENT POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
WHERE: Firefly Bookstore, 271 West Main Street, Kutztown, PA 19530
WHAT: The Eastern PA annual Pocono Retreat is right around the corner! Come meet with conference veterans & newbies to find out what to expect when you attend a conference. After we talk all things conferences from 11-1, feel free to join others to grab a quick lunch and then regroup at the Firefly Bookstore for author Amy Impellizzeri signing event from 2-4.
HOSTED BY: Nadine Poper
RSVP: Nadine at
WHERE: The Gathering Place, 304 S. State Street, Clarks Summit, PA 18411, 570-575-8352
WHAT: Join us at The Gathering Place on State Street in Clarks Summit on March 21st at 2 PM for 
“Coffee and Conversations Concerning the Coming Conferences” 

We will have coffee, tea, and light snacks amid some beautiful works of art. Feel free to BYOB as we discuss all things kid lit.

HOSTED BY: Kate Foley



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.