Meet Jane Mruczek

Why did you join SCBW in 1985?

Having been a teacher and always intrigued by children's books, I found myself interested in writing for children. I took a course taught by Oliver Butterworth (author of The Enormous Egg) and Anita Riggio at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. Anita encouraged anyone seriously interested in children's books to join SCBW. So I did. Little did I know that I'd fall in love with the organization and the people in it.

What have you gained by being a member of SCBW(I)?

I have met the most incredible people dedicated to the art and craft of writing and illustrating quality books for children. I've also learned many of the skills needed to produce quality writing. 

Why do you think people who are interested in writing or illustrating children's books should join SCBWI?

The contacts they will make will be invaluable, especially if they volunteer and really get involved. The basic information the organization makes available will help them in their career. People often think, because they tell stories to their kids and grandchildren who enjoy them, that's all it takes to get published. We in the business know that's not true.

What is your favorite SCBWI memory?

There are so many marvelous memories that it's impossible to choose one. I must admit that my favorite memories are of the selfless, unique people I've met. What I remember best are the people!

What do you consider your most important contributions to SCBWI New England?

Coming up with and proposing the concept of a Regional Coordinator with three Regional Advisors to make for a more individual approach to a growing membership while keeping intact the unique characteristics of New England. Doubling the membership and subscriptions to the newsletter while I was the Regional Advisor. Initiating local mini-workshops throughout the region. Finding and encouraging wonderfully able people to volunteer and participate. It's the people who make SCBWI New England the fantastic organization that it is. There is nothing better for morale than active members.