Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

The Dinner Table

An Inclusive Dinner + Write/Sketch Night 
For Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators who are SCBWI Members

In an effort to prioritize our public health and safe community building during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have canceled all 2020 Dinner Table quarterly events and look forward to bringing this program back in 2021. Stay safe and keep creating with open hearts and minds! 



6:00-7:00p    Dinner Hour – Purchase your items and head upstairs. 
                      Come as your schedule and traffic allows! Get to know some creators.
7:00-9:30p    Work Hours – Time to write and sketch!
9:30-9:45p    Wrap Up – Clean up and final conversations.

Central Market 
Community Room – 2nd Floor
3815 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77027
Phone: (713) 386-1700

There is NO cost to attend except the nominal purchase of dinner, dessert, coffee/tea or all of these things. We will use the community space a wonderful specialty grocery with a multitude of prepared food options, deli, soup, smoothie and coffee bar. NO outside food or beverages are allowed. If you need confidential financial assistance for a meal or beverage, please email Sarah Choi at the email address below.  

To join us at The Dinner Table, please complete this short questionnaire and reserve your place.

Questions? Email the Dinner Table Coordinator Sarah Choi. 

About The Dinner Table
The Dinner Table is a dinner and work night in Houston, Texas, where children’s book authors and illustrators are invited to join a productive night of creating and community building over dinner. 

This quarterly event is inspired by acclaimed children’s book author Linda Sue Park’s concept of “the kitchen table.” When considering safe and accurate representation of characters in our work, it’s important that we have authentic connection or experience with the identity we want to write or illustrate. As the keynote speaker at the SCBWI Houston 2018 Conference, Park suggested that we should reach out to people that already sit at our kitchen table for inspiration, critical feedback and authenticity. And if we want to write/illustrate characters who are not at our kitchen table and outside our identity, then we need to welcome them and develop real community.

The Dinner Table is an opportunity to meet people outside of our identified experiences, a safe place to ask questions, receive feedback on your work, exchange ideas and challenge stereotypes and assumptions. We can widen our perspectives and what our community looks like. We can even civilly agree to disagree.

Local author Sarah Choi’s goal is to create a virtual and physical space where creators of all kinds can meet and have an organic place to write and illustrate, ask questions, address potential problems and grow in perspective. Across so many categories today, our country is revealing and must replace outmoded stereotypes, unjust patterns and broken systems. Houston is the most diverse city in the U.S. Our minds and hearts must reflect this physical representation and adapt to the future. At The Dinner Table, we believe inclusivity and civil dialogue is the way to extinguish exclusivity and discrimination.

Attendee Guidelines/Notes
You are a SCBWI member pursuing the publishing of a children’s book. 

You come with an open mind, compassion and generous spirit to preserve the inclusivity and safety* of the space.

You communicate with civility and respect for others. You understand your perspective is just one way to view a person, issue, work of art, and the world. 

* Safe does not always mean comfortable, as civil exchange requires patience, listening, considering other sides and constant respect for others, not just ourselves.

Save the Date: Proposed 2020 Dates
Dates and location to be confirmed closer to date based on calendar and room availability.

Friday, June 12th (Backup date: Fri, June 19th)
Friday, September 18th (Backup date: Fri, September 11th)
Friday, November 13th (Backup date: Fri, December 4th)