Many hardworking, talented SCBWI-WI volunteers help keep our chapter great. Today’s blog focuses on Sandra Nichols, the coordinator for our newsletter, Creative Tap. The newsletter is a wonderful source of helpful information from members. If you haven’t read it, you can check out past issues here or find them on our SCBWI-WI website.
Sandra is a writer, educator, and editor who has a keen interest in helping others find joy in creative expression. She has a passion for history and learning. She teaches developmental writing and civics. She has been an active member in Wisconsin State Reading Association for the past ten years and is a regular contributor to their state journal. She has a BA in History from UW Milwaukee and an MA in English from UW Oshkosh. Currently, she teaches at Mid-State Technical College.
- The newsletter, Creative Tap, is a great asset to our chapter. I really love the “fun facts” section and the tips for writers and illustrators. What inspired you to start it?
I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and also get to know the SCBWI-WI members better, so I began attending events such as the conference. A call went out for volunteers, and one of the positions was newsletter coordinator. What a great opportunity, I thought. A newsletter has a creative aspect about it and connects with so many people: contributors, readers. Leah Danz had volunteered to do the newsletter layout and artwork back in 2018. Together, we came up the name Creative Tap.
- You’ve been a writer, a teacher, an editor, and a committee member at WSRA for many years. Why do you think it’s important to help people find joy in creative expression?
The creative spirit is the soul of individuals, part of what makes us human. Why the Paleolithic Lascaux cave images or the more recent Hmong story cloths? Storytelling is at the heart of this, weaving the past to the present, the tangible with the intangible, in a desire to make sense of the world around us and within us, to shout out “I exist.” What greater mission than to help others voice this?
- That is so true! What are your goals for the newsletter?
I want the chapter members to find a nugget of inspiration in every edition. I want the newsletter to be a collaborative effort, a way to share collective knowledge and showcase members’ writing and illustrations. We all can use a little help now and then––even if it’s just a nudge to keep going.
- Supporting and encouraging each other is important. How can members get involved?
Members can get involved several ways:
- Write a tips article. The newsletter is always looking for short articles highlighting writer or illustrator tips. Send ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Submit to the new author and illustrator challenges: Ready! Set! Write!, a writing prompt activity, and Illustrator Gallery where illustrators submit a visual interpretation on the upcoming newsletter’s theme. All submissions find a place in the newsletter. Calls go out for these submission via the ListServ. Keep an eye out for the fall newsletter challenge sometime in July.
- Share any upcoming author or illustrator events such as a library or bookstore read-aloud and workshops. With the coronavirus shut downs, the upcoming events has been the hardest to gather.
- Submit ideas for an interest article related to writing, illustrating, or publishing. Contact me via my email.
Thank you so much, Sandra, for sharing your insights and for all your work on Creative Tap. I look forward to the next issue––and seeing more members’ contributions.