Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

From the RA Desk, by Margo Lemieux

From the RA’s Desk
by Margo Lemieux RAE (Regional Advisor Emerita)

The new year always feels like a new beginning, but sometimes sad, thinking about the great things that happened in 2019 – or the things I hoped to accomplish and didn’t. But one accomplishment is seeing the real community that has grown up around NESCBWI. Since retiring as RA Central New England in 2018, I have found a new perspective from a short distance away. I have stayed active as NEWS editor as well as being involved in the social media and other tasks. And I see the current Regional Team moving ahead with brand new ideas and lots of activities.

NESCBWI is an all-volunteer organization. Our team members stay involved because of the remarkable sharing and cooperation, qualities which seem to permeate the children’s book community. Respect and kindness prevail in the policies and plans. I am proud to be associated with such a caring organization.

I’d like to give a shout out for all the work the team members are doing. Besides the fabulous annual spring conference (organized by two members – Casey Robinson & Juliana Spink Mills – and Kris Asselin, Central NERA), we have the Meet & Greets organized by Shawn Anderson (Northern RA) and proving very popular.

New this year are Shoptalks organized by Stacy Mozer (Southern NERA) and Christy Yaros, Southern ARA. Jeanette Bradley (Southern IC) has initiated the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Assistant Regional Advisor for Central NE Pam Vaughan has been steering Whispering Pines Retreat, which sells out within hours. And the Northern Retreat at Squam Lake also sold out quickly – organized BY TWO FORMER RAs Denise Ortakales and Marilyn Salerno.

Another former Regional Advisor Sally Riley still moderates the list serve and is active in the conference tasks. Our illustrator coordinators Milanka Reardon and Russ Cox are planning workshops and an exhibit for illustrators in 2020.

And we have a superb group of critique group coordinators; Rajani Larocca, Sally Wilkins, and Cindy Rodriguez.

Plus many behind-the -scenes volunteers. I can’t begin to name them all, there are so many. People who lead crit groups, write articles for the NEWS, help out at events and conferences, organize Meet & Greets, it goes on. Thanks everyone for making 2019 such an NESCBWI success.

So wishing everyone even more success in the coming year. Happy 2020!