Introducing our new Critique Group Coordinator Virginia Law Manning by Kim Briggs

I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of the Eastern PA SCBWI Chapter Board–Virginia Law Manning. Virginia will serve as our Critique Group Coordinator!!


I met Virginia at the NY SCBWI a few years back. Upon shaking her hand, I knew at once I met a member who would make significant contributions to the Eastern PA SCBWI Chapter (and I secretly rubbed my hands together greedily.)

Virginia regularly contributes posts to our blog. She lead a Scrivener Workshop during her free time at the Pocono Retreat last year. She helped plan and coordinate the Illustrator Workshop Idea to Dummy with Annie Ericsson currently going on with our IC, Adrienne Wright. She’s found us multiple venue locations for several regional events, along with contacting those places. She’s planned a Meet and Greet with Anita Nolan. I’ll add those details below. She’s in several critique groups for both writers and illustrators…I know I’m probably forgetting a few things, but the point is Virginia has made herself an invaluable volunteer for our region, and we appreciate her contributions.

Virginia, tell me a little about yourself. 

Looking back, I started creating stories at a very young age. Although I grew up in the heart of NYC, my favorite place in the world was the corner where I sat tucked behind my dollshouse. I spent hours there each day. This was my world. My dolls were my characters. I also had argin early interest in art. I remember creating life-size paper dolls that led to a greedy consumption of construction paper.

I later studied children’s book illustration and writing at Kenyon College and Parsons School of Design and had a career in children’s publishing. I worked in the sales department at Penguin, Candlewick Press and HarperCollins children’s books. I loved reading and talking about each seasons’ frontlist titles. To give you an idea of how many books I’ve read, when I was at Penguin we published 300-500 books a season. Since then, I’ve raised a 12-year old with weekly trips to the library.

I miss children’s publishing, but I’m so happy to have found the SCBWI. I now have a network of author and illustrator friends. I’m in four critique groups (two for writers and two for illustrators). I attend workshops and conferences offered by the Eastern PA, NJ and Metro-NY chapters and these meetings are helping me improve my chapter book and picture book manuscripts. I’m also a member of the Children’s Book Illustrators Group in NYC and was a 2015 RUCCL conference participant.

I’m very excited to take on this new role with the Eastern PA chapter! I look forward to giving back to this amazing community.

And Virginia, we’re excited to have you! Be sure to congratulate her below, and chat with her through her website blog and Twitter.

Virginia’s Website and Blog 

Twitter: @v_lawmanning

In the next few weeks, there will changes to the Critique Group Link on the website, and if you’re a critique group contact person, Virginia will be in touch (if she hasn’t already, because she’s ahead of the game). Virginia will also be writing some blog posts on the ins and outs of Critique Groups. 

If you’re interested in Critique Groups or volunteering (I love rubbing my hands greedily together), be sure to check out EPA SCBWI WEBSITE.

Write on,

Kim Briggs

P.S. Here’s the info on Virginia and Anita’s event:


Eastern PA members Anita Nolan and Virginia Law Manning are hoping to meet children’s book authors and illustrators at a Bucks County Meet & Greet in Newtown, PA on Wednesday March 16th. Come join them for lively book chat, networking and coffee at Cosi’s Restaurant.

What: Bucks County Meet & Greet
Where: Cosi’s Restaurant, 104 Pheasant Run, Newtown, PA
When: Wednesday March 16th, 10:00 to 11:30 AM
Why: Casual conversation with some book-obsessed SCBWI members
Who: Please contact Virginia Law Manning at if you have any questions. No RSVPs necessary.

P.S.S. Don’t forget to Congratulate Virginia below!


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14 Responses to Introducing our new Critique Group Coordinator Virginia Law Manning by Kim Briggs

  1. Helen Kitrosser says:

    Virginia, thank you for taking on the duties of Critique Coordinator for our chapter. You sound like a real fireball with all the courses you take and the events you participate in and help to create. I will try to attend your Meet and Greet in March in Buck’s County. I appreciate the help you have provided to me in my attempt to start a new critque group in the Downingtown area.

  2. Kim, thank you for that amazingly warm welcome! I’m so excited to join you, Donna, Alison, Adrienne and Lindsay on the EPA team! I love spending time with you all at the EPA meetings and conferences and have wondered how you make these events so successful with such a small team. I look forward to some hard work : )

  3. Kudos, Virginia thanks for taking on the job of critique group coordinator. I found my critique partners through EPASCBWI and I’m sure you’ll make it even easier for like minded people find each other.

  4. Congratulations, Virginia! My critique group info (Montgomery County) needs to be updated and I was wondering who to contact. 🙂 We are currently full, and changed to meeting twice a month instead of once. But we do keep a wait list.

  5. Congratulations, Virginia! The EPA SCBWI group are in great hands with you as Critique Group Coordinator. I’ll see you at the meet and greet, among other places:)

  6. Nadine Poper says:

    Welcome Virginia! I will wait patiently for you to contact me as I was chatting with Lindsay about starting a critique group in the Berks County/Reading area.

  7. erikammon says:

    Congratulations Virginia!!! Thanks for helping us all out!!!!

  8. Kristen C.S. says:

    So glad you’ll be heading this up, Virginia! I would love to get a critique crew more active in my area [NEPA]. Willing to travel, and looking forward to reading and sharing with others! =)

  9. Elizabeth Loane says:

    Nice work Virginia! You amaze me with all you do!!!

  10. Diane Hanington says:

    Congratulations Virginia! I know you have a lot to offer and you make a great addition to the board.

  11. Lindsay Bandy says:

    We’re lucky to have you, Virginia! Thank you for taking on this role, and for all of your hard work. Hugs!

  12. Susan Sempeles says:

    Welcome, Virginia! Sounds as if you will be a real asset to the board. I am fairly new to SCBWI and attended my first EP chapter event last summer. It was super! I am looking for a critique group and don’t mind travelling, but perhaps there is enough interest for something in my area, near Harrisburg, Pa. Look forward to meeting you at some point!

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