SCBWI Japan Blog

SCBWI Japan Region Creative Exchange

Post by Amy Lange Kawamura

We met together via Zoom on Sept 29, 2023 for our regular Remote Creative Exchange. After introducing ourselves, we divided up into groups to give each other tips about our works-in-progress. It’s always great to hear other writers’ thoughts about our manuscripts. Using the ‘rooms’ feature in Zoom also allows us to divide into smaller groups so that each person gets more time for feedback and a chance to discuss their work. This time round we split into two groups, YA and translations, picture books and middle grades. This worked out well, and everyone managed to have their work critiqued.   

 At the end of the critique part of our sessions we got to share some member news. First was the announcement of the publication of The House of the Lost on the Cape. Written by Sachiko Kashiwaba this is the second of her books translated by SCBWI Japan member Avery Fischer-Udagawa. This is an MG book about three generations during the aftermath of the 2011 quake. Avery’s translation of Kashiwaba’s Temple Alley Summer, won the 2022 Batchelder Award, a major award given for outstanding books for children in translation. 

Another recent publication by one of our members, Chris Green, is ‘On the Beach: The Winter Visitor’ Blossom Spring Publishing. This is the second picture book in the series.  

One of our newest members, Ambika Vora-Nagino was also celebrating the cover reveal of her upcoming YA fantasy novel, Spin of Fate, written under the name A. A. Vora. The book’s cover is illustrated by Sidharth Chaturvedi, and it is striking. Spin of Fate will be released on May 7, 2024. Congratulations, Ambika!

Finally, we got to celebrate one of our member’s illustration work. For twenty years, the banner for SCBWI Japan has featured a boy on a carp, illustrated by Naomi Kojima. It’s a beautiful banner, but it was decided that it was time for a change. The new banner is illustrated by Dionnie Takahashi. It shows various animals seated around a red circular table. Dionnie said that the animals were chosen from Japanese myths and legends, and the table represented the flag of Japan. Also, she wanted the animals to reflect the writers, illustrators and translators in our group. It’s very cute, and represents SCBWI Japan so well. 

You can see the new banner and logo on our regional site, and while you’re there you can check out other illustration work and register for some upcoming events.


Amy Lange Kawamura writes middle grade fiction and lives in Japan.

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