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Hello from the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

Started by MLR, November 25, 2023, 03:59 PM

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Hello! I'm Margie and I live in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia!  SCBWI has been a wealth of information for me as a newbie writer! I am a retired elementary teacher turned school librarian.  I spent most my career teaching young Deaf children before getting a School Library Media degree and working with both Deaf and Blind students. Upon retirement I worked as a manager for a satellite library of the county library system, but retired once again during covid. 
I began this writing adventure in retirement about 1 ½ years ago and hope to get the first book of my picture book series published one day.  SCBWI has been so valuable in providing resources for learning about this craft and about the publishing process.  I'm working my way through The Essential Guide to Publishing and I've participated in several craft and publishing webinars.  But diving into the publishing world is definitely not for the faint-hearted!!   
I am delighted to be part of the SCBWI family and have enjoyed perusing the message board! There's tons of valuable info here! 
I have a question for this group: Although writing is fun, enjoyable, and a lot of hard work, I'm ready for the next step - critiques.  I am needing to find critiques by people who don't know me.  I understand that connections with critique groups/partners can be made through SCBWI.  How do I go about it?

Debbie Vilardi

Welcome, MLR.

Many SCBWI chapters have a  critique coordinator. Check with you RA to see if yours does. This person helps set up groups in the region.

You can also post for critique on these boards here:
And you can post a request for critique partners (or reply to one) here:
Twitter: @dvilardi1


Learning to Swear in America, 2016
What Goes Up, 2017
The Constitution Decoded, 2020
The Presidents Decoded, 2023
Hearts on Thin Ice, 2024

HANGABOUT, FAR FROM HOME, Orange Blossom Publishing, August 2023.


Welcome, MLR! I know that beautiful part of the country--my ancestors founded Hawkinstown. We're glad you're ready for the next (gulp!) step with critiquing. I'm attaching a fun pic/cautionary photo--stay true to your own voice and vision --and because of your background, you know well the value of keeping an open mind!
Tori :pizza :books3 :palmtree
PB CALVIN'S LAST WORD, Tilbury House 2020
PB LITTLE CALABASH, Island Heritage 2020
and 28 more

David Wright


Thanks for the warm welcome! I'm so happy to be part of the SCBWI family.  I belong to a Writing Group and a Writer's Guild, but I'm the only one in either of these groups whose genre is picture books.  How wonderful it was to find a group dedicated to children's literature!!
I will check with our Mid-Atlantic D.C./Virginia region RA and will also check out the critique discussion boards.  Thanks!!

Anne Marie

Hi Margie! I'm not here very often these days, but when I saw your name, I wanted to say hello!

Anne Marie

VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among other


Hi Margie!

I'm Lauren and I've just joined SCWBI. I'm in Leesburg, VA on the other side of the mountain from you. If you're needing people to critique your work, I'm happy to volunteer!



Hi, Margie! Welcome aboard. :sailboat
(Tori, love the photo!  :dr )
Learning to Swear in America, 2016
What Goes Up, 2017
The Constitution Decoded, 2020
The Presidents Decoded, 2023
Hearts on Thin Ice, 2024


 :new Hello! I'm new here. I live in Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley. I've been writing for many many years. I am now looking into agents and publishers. I would like a quitique group to join, too.I write children stories and have a few poems for them,too. Thanks for any information!!


Starred Review, School Library Journal
NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2024


Welcome to the Blueboards! You'll find plenty of support and information here!


Thanks for all the additional welcomes! I am indeed finding lots of helpful information on these discussion boards.  So glad I joined SCBWI!

Anne Marie - good to hear from you! I am still revising and improving my stories. Critiques are so valuable!

Laurenracelabooks, I know Leesburg as I have a daughter who lives there.  It's a lovely town and they have great farmer's markets, too!  I live in Bridgewater.  I'd love to have you critique my stories.  How should we proceed?

Paige - Good to see another Shen Valley resident! It's a gorgeous place to live!


Welcome, Margie! Glad to have you with us. :partytime  As a former elementary teacher and a writer of picture books I can identify with your joy in your new adventure. Best wishes to you.

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