SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2015-Summer-Conf-Header6 (806 x 156)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Morning Craft Intensives

9:00am – 12:15pm

 

A. Suzanne Morgan Williams Author / Bruce Hale Author: School Visits – the Crash Course Part 1

If you sign up for this intensive you must sign up for both Part 1 and Part 2.

In this hands-on intensive, Bruce Hale and Suzanne Morgan Williams coach you in taking your school/library presentation to the next level. They’ll cover planning, marketing, performance, curriculum tie-ins, and everything in between. You’ll even be videotaped and receive feedback on a brief excerpt from your presentation. Assignment: Please bring a five-minute talk to share, plus: your latest book (or ARC), any marketing materials, and a prop (small enough to fit in a shoebox) that represents you and your work.

 

B. Bonnie Bader SCBWI PAL Advisor:  Supplementing Your Writing Income

Are you in between projects, or waiting for a contract? This class will give you concrete ways to supplement your writing and illustrating income. Learn how to get writer/illustrator work-for-hire, and come away with a list of publishers to contact for work.  In class exercises include writing query letters, writing to a publisher's specifications, and more! 

 

C. Stacey Barney Senior Editor, Penguin/Putnam: Novel Writing: Soup to Nuts

In this session, Stacey Barney will guide you through a comprehensive overview of novel writing devices. It's always helpful to bring a work-in-progress so that you can apply each technique and device to your own work during the discussion. Stacey brings her editorial expertise to help each participant discover what is working with their manuscript and what can be improved.

 

D. Kat Brzozowski Editor, St. Martin's: Writing Voice – Speak Up, I Can’t Hear You
You’ve come up with a plot. You’ve created characters. You have a setting. Now how do you make your readers feel like these characters are really speaking to them? Voice is one of the most important elements of fiction and one of the hardest to master. In this session, we’ll work hands on to improve voice in fiction, with a focus on young adult fiction (and techniques that also apply to middle grade). By reading and discussing how authors create voice on the page and working on our own writing to sharpen our voice, this session focuses on writing that really brings your characters’ individual personalities to life.

 

E. Ginger Clark Agent, Curtis Brown LTD: Speed pitching: Is your work saleable?

Can you describe it succinctly and entertainingly enough to interest a publisher, an editor, or even a reader? In this small group, practical workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to pitch your work to accomplished children’s book agent Ginger Clark from Curtis Brown LTD. She’ll give you an on the spot reaction with tips to improve your pitch and the interest in your work.  Don’t miss this opportunity to get a direct evaluation on your elevator pitch. Assignment: Attendees should come prepared to pitch a current piece of work that they are hoping to sell or bring to market. Pitches should last between three and five minutes maximum.

 

F. Bruce Coville Author: The Ins and Outs of Writing Middle Grade Fantasy

The session begins with an "annotated storytelling" that will analyze a piece of fantasy writing from the macro to the micro—discussing everything from  mythic structure down to the reasons for specific metaphors and word choices. Then we'll examine ten specific tactics to employ while writing middle grade fantasy. We'll conclude with some critiquing, as time allows. Assignment: Please bring a work-in-progress.

 

G. Emma Dryden Founder, drydenbks: Robust Revision SOLD OUT

In this session, we will explore a variety of revision techniques and tools to help authors experience their work with fresh eyes and new perspectives. This intensive will be supplemented by several writing exercises and useful handouts. Assignment: This intensive is for authors who have completed one complete draft of at least one manuscript. Authors should have their complete manuscript accessible during the session on a laptop or device (or hard copy, if preferred). Much of the focus will be on revision of longer manuscripts, but picture book authors and NF authors can and do benefit from the techniques and tools being discussed.

 

H. Allyn Johnston VP & Publisher, Beach Lane / Marla Frazee Author/Illustrator: Death. Pride. Jealousy. Loneliness. Embarrassment. Fear. You Say It’s About a Puppy, But What Is Your Picture Book Really About? SOLD OUT

Two-time Caldecott Honor medalist Marla Frazee and Beach Lane Books publisher Allyn Johnston will co-teach this workshop on how to unearth the beating heart of your picture book. Assignment: read 10-15 published picture books in advance from a list provided to attendees once registered for this intensive.

 

I. Alvina Ling VP & Editor-in-Chief, Little, Brown: Crafting Your Novel’s Narrative: The basics of structure, voice, character, and plot

Whether you’re just starting out, or in the revision stage of your novel, this intensive will give an overview of the four basic elements of your narrative. This workshop also aims to help you work through and brainstorm around any specific issues you're having with your novel’s narrative. Assignment: bring an issue you’re having in your work-in-progress that deals with either structure, voice, character, or plot to discuss and talk through with the group. Optional: Read both Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin.

 

J. Linda Sue Park Author: Sentence Sense: How to make every word count SOLD OUT

This hands-on workshop will introduce you to techniques that will both polish your story and strengthen its uniqueness. You'll learn ways to make your writing seamless and striking by working at the SENTENCE level–an area not often examined in group workshops. Assignment: Participants should bring ten pages of a YA or MG novel in progress, preferably on a laptop: You'll be editing and revising your own sentences, to take your story up a notch—or two or three!

 

K. Susan Rich Editor-at-Large, Little, Brown: Writing for Pictures SOLD OUT

The way that words and illustration work together to tell a story is at the heart of successful picture books. Together, we will explore how this dynamic starts with the words themselves and how visual awareness will elevate your picture book writing. Participate in a series of exercises that will hone a writer's awareness of story pacing, page turns, and the fine art of omission that create texts that beg to be made into picture books. You may be asked to draw a little bit, but you won't be expected to be good at it. We will also look at some published work with a critical eye. Then, using the principles explored together, we will work to elevate the group's works in progress. Assignment: Bring one published picture book you think best succeeds in marrying illustration and words. Submit up to 500 words of a picture book text in progress to  kayla.heinen@scbwi.org by July 4th to be workshopped in class. Please bring a notebook and a writing utensil.

 

L. Sara Sargent Executive Editor, HarperCollins: Live Editing

Ever wonder about the editorial process—what we choose to edit and not edit, and why? In this three-hour intensive, Executive Editor Sara Sargent will line edit live, using one page of each participant’s manuscript to show you how editors think and how they make tough decisions about what stays and what goes.  Assignment: Send in the first page of your MG, YA, or PB manuscript kaylaheinen@scbwi.org by July 1st. Please send the full first page of text, no title page needed.

 

M. Harold Underdown Publishing Consultant: Revising and Re-Imagining Your Picture Book SOLD OUT

Picture books are so simple, but often need to be revised or even re-imagined many times before they are just right. Drawing on our years of experience as independent editors, and in-house children’s book editors in New York before that, Eileen Robinson and I developed this workshop to help writers do just that. This workshop will teach you techniques to enable you to find problems with your picture book manuscript, reshape it, even re-imagine it, and then polish it before you send it out.

 

N. Carole Boston Weatherford Author/Poet: Poetry: From Picture Books to Verse Novels

Examine how narratives unfold through poetry. Consider how poets choose language, channel voices, evoke settings and use structure. Practice creating tableaux, experimenting with structure and writing from different points of view.

 

 

12:15pm – 2:00pm Lunch Break

 

 

Afternoon Craft Intensives

2:00pm – 5:15pm

 

A. Suzanne Morgan Williams Author / Bruce Hale Author: School Visits – the Crash Course Part 2

In this hands-on intensive, Bruce Hale and Suzanne Morgan Williams coach you in taking your school/library presentation to the next level. They’ll cover planning, marketing, performance, curriculum tie-ins, and everything in between. You’ll even be videotaped and receive feedback on a brief excerpt from your presentation. Assignment: Please bring a five-minute talk to share, plus: your latest book (or ARC), any marketing materials, and a prop (small enough to fit in a shoebox) that represents you and your work.

 

B. Victoria Wells Arms Agent, Victoria Wells Arms Literary: Put Your Best Foot Forward: Looking at that crucial first page, and making it better

Sometimes writers start in just the right place, and sometimes the best opening line or scene is hiding on page 27. Some authors seem to think a prologue is the only way to really get their point across. How are you going to hook that reader–any reader–into dying to know more? In this three-hour intensive, Victoria Wells Arms, former editorial director now agent will look at both your first page, and the place you think might actually be a better first page, and we will discuss the various options in how you start a novel (chapter books thru YA, no picture books here). Assignment: Send in the first two pages of your current work-in-progress to victoria@wellsarms.com, and, if you like, the other place that you think might be an alternative starting place, two additional pages max so I can read ahead of time. We are going to have to stick to 5 mins total for each participant. 

 

C.  Martha Brockenbrough Author: Build Your Social Media Presence

Learn the differences between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, and get down to the brass tacks of how you can use each to: build authentic relationships with a variety of readers and power connectors; increase your platform without increasing your workload; and share your books without clobbering people over the head with tone-deaf marketing messages. We’ll focus on best practices for each social media platform, tools you can use to create images that resonate, and website platforms that let you integrate all of it seamlessly. Assignment: Please bring a laptop and 2-3 favorite quotes from your books or about writing.

 

D. Drew Daywalt Author: Writing for Adults and Kids

This intensive is geared toward finding the elements of storytelling and character that appeal to both children and adults, telling stories on multiple levels for multiple audiences, and why that is important in today’s over-stratified literary and entertainment landscape. Bring laptops or other writing materials as we'll be workshopping and writing.

 

E. Deborah Halverson Freelance Editor: Crafting Plots that Push, Pull, and Provoke Characters… and Readers, Too SOLD OUT

For writers of YA or MG fiction, this workshop explores strategies and techniques for sculpting storylines that propel characters through their personal journeys and rivet readers. Learn to identify and manipulate plot rhythms, to spur character growth with tools such as provocation, discomfort, and fear, and to conceive and roll out a series of events that feels at once inevitable and deliciously unpredictable. Attendees must have a working concept and main character vision; full completed first drafts NOT required. Assignment: Submit a summary/pitch of no more than 200 words introducing your concept, character, genre, and target reader age to Deborah@DeborahHalverson.com by July 15.

 

F. Melissa Manlove Editor, Chronicle: Sounding Board: Exploring Voice in Picture Books SOLD OUT

In this playful and hands-on writing intensive, we’ll unpack the many elements of voice, listen to and compare examples of picture book voice, and then we’ll turn to your own work to discover how the tools and techniques of voice can serve and celebrate your narrative. Assignment: bring up to 500 words of a picture book text.

 

G. Krista Marino Executive Editor, Delacorte: Polishing Your YA Novel into the Diamond it Is SOLD OUT

You’ve written all the words, now it’s time to make it sparkle. This intensive will concentrate on refining your novel. We will go over all the elements that make a great YA novel; look at how to grab a reader from the start and make them keep reading; and help you to find the heart of your WIP so you can better focus your storytelling. Assignment: Participants must have a finished WIP (YA or MG) and have a full copy of it accessible to them during the intensive. Please submit the first 20 ages of your novel, and a half-page summary in a word doc, by July 4 to kmarino@penguinrandomhouse.com.

 

H. Elizabeth Partridge Author / Susan Campbell Bartoletti Author: Deepen Your Manuscript

Did you begin writing with enthusiasm, direction, and focus, only to feel it slip away, chapter by chapter? We'll begin with an exercise designed to help you relocate the beating, bloody heart of your ms. Then using practical revision techniques, you'll re-craft two scenes with your renewed clarity. Come prepared to work hard and be open to aha! moments. Assignment: Bring two chapters from a work-in-progress. They do not need to be the first two chapters. These techniques will work for both fiction and narrative nonfiction.

 

I. Matt Ringler Senior Editor, Scholastic: Why Did You Do That?: Creating Strong Characters to Push Your Plot Forward

In this intensive we will take a close look at character motivation through dialogue and back story and how to use that to advance your plot. Will include several (fun!) writing exercises. Assignment: Please come with three characters from books, television, or movies that you find to be particularly strong (whether you love them or hate them!)

 

J. Brooks Sherman Agent, The Bent Agency: Speed Pitching: Is Your Work Saleable?

Can you describe it succinctly and entertainingly enough to interest a publisher, an editor, or even a reader? In this small group, practical workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to pitch your work to accomplished children’s book agent Brooks Sherman from The Bent Agency. He’ll give you an on the spot reaction with tips to improve your pitch and the interest in your work.  Don’t miss this opportunity to get a direct evaluation on your elevator pitch. Assignment: Attendees should come prepared to pitch a current piece of work that they are hoping to sell or bring to market. Pitches should last between three and five minutes maximum.

 

K. Erica Rand Silverman Agent, Stimola Literary: Essentials of Picture Book Writing SOLD OUT

We will begin with an overview of picture book formats and audience and then dive in to examine language, character, plot, and the interplay of text and art.  Assignment: Please bring with you to class two of your own picture book manuscripts and one picture book that informs your work.  We’ll apply what we’ve learned to your manuscripts and drum up ideas for new ones!

 

L. Kate Sullivan Senior Editor, Delacorte: Theme, Motifs, and Symbols: Enriching Your Draft SOLD OUT

For many writers, theme, motif, and symbolism are the last thing they think about when drafting a novel, but these elements can be found in the greatest novels in cultural memory. So, what are these literary elements and how can you think about incorporating them into your fiction. Assignment: Bring your current manuscript, and if you have any, flag or keep in mind scenes that include your theme, or motifs or symbolism. 

 

M. Harold Underdown Publishing Consultant: Revising Your Chapter Book or Novel

What happens after you write your first draft of a novel or chapter book can be the most important and most difficult part of the writing process. Based on my own work with writers, this workshop teaches proven techniques to get useful feedback from others, dig into "big picture" problems with your manuscript, and refine it at the sentence level.

 

N. Andrea Welch Executive Editor, Beach Lane: Help Your Manuscript Hook an Editor

We’ve all heard it’s important for a manuscript to have a hook. But what the heck is a hook, anyway? And what makes an editor fall in love with a manuscript on the very first read? With case studies, activities, and lots of conversation, this session will help you zero in on your story’s hook…and help you get it submission-ready.