Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators




Jo Kittinger (Southern Breeze)

Ahhhhh, contentment. Hakuna-matata. Pura vida. Feeling satisfied with your life. Why is that so hard to hold on to?

As RT members, we enjoy fantastic opportunities to network with writers, illustrators, editors, agents and others in the industry. That’s amazing! It also gives us greater access to witness the success of members in our own regions and hear of book deals and awards granted to so many we have met through SCBWI.

We gladly extend our hand with kudos, but in that same action, contentment often slips through our fingers and lands as dust at our feet. Where is our agent signed? Qur three book deal? Our success? If we are not careful, resentment, envy, and bitterness can take root in the dust.

Regional Team members are generous — giving time, energy and genuine care to their regions. It often feels thankless. When negative emotion creeps in, it is best to name it and claim it. Examine those feelings. Acknowledge your own ambitions and disappointments. Have a mini pity party. But don’t stay there.

Count your blessings, as they old lyrics say. Give close examination to all that you have going for you. You have incredible contacts, support, encouragement and camaraderie in this organization. Thankfulness will revive contentment.


Jo Kittinger served as Co-RA in the Southern Breeze region (AL, GA and FL panhandle) for eleven years. Now she has more time for adventure, family and friends! Her latest book is ALABAMA in the My United States series by Scholastic. You can find Jo here.