Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Marjorie van Heerden received RA emerita status from SCBWI

On the 1st of December 2018 Marjorie van Heerden resigned as Co-RA of the South African chapter of the SCBWI. She received Regional Advisor Emerita status from SCBWI after 18 years of enthusiastic and dedicated Leadership

Kathleen Ahrens, International Advisor Chair & Angela Cerrito, Assistant International Advisor wrote…

Thank you for 18 years of Leadership

Many of you know Marjorie van Heerden ( who has been founder and Co-RA of SCBWI’s South Africa chapter since 2003. But I bet you didn’t know that she was started the chapter in Greece and was RA for there for 3 years in 2000-2003.

Marjorie began illustrating children’s books in 1983. Before joining SCBWI, she was gathering children’s book people together for talks, workshops, lectures, and university courses. So, you can imagine the result when Marjorie and SCBWI finally connected!

In her own words: When I found out about the SCBWI I felt as if I had discovered friends and family I had never known about and since becoming a member I have been encouraged and supported to follow my dream of helping the children’s book writers and illustrators of Africa to develop their craft and to follow their own dreams.

Marjorie led SCBWI South Africa with a Co-RA by her side (first Paddy Bouma and since 2008 Elaine Ridge) and Jenny Hatton as ARA. Marjorie’s also had a team of dedicated committee members helping to make the magic happen. This team has organized an event at least every other month and several large international conferences hosting superstars like Ken Brown, Harriett Barton, Tony Ross, Katherine Patterson, Steve Mooser, and many others. The conferences and special events are too many to mention here, so I’ll mention only one. Marjorie initiated the first children’s book conference in South Africa. Towards Understanding hosted 550 delegates with keynote speaker Joseph H. Scwarcz, author of Ways of the Illustrator: Visual Communication in Children’s Literature and The Picture Book Comes of Age: Looking at Childhood Through the Art of Illustration.

Marjorie, we can’t thank you enough for all that you have done for SCBWI and for the world of children’s literature!

Marjorie’s last day as Co-RA was 1 December. She now joins the ranks of RAE. To congratulate her off list please write to

Kathleen Ahrens, International Advisor Chair & Angela Cerrito, Assistant International Advisor