Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Career & Social Media Consultations

Back to Summer Spectacular

*Career Consultations – $125


Option 1 – Consult with Harold Underdown

Do you have questions about your career as a writer or illustrator? Get answers in a career consultation with industry expert Harold Underdown. Your consultation is an opportunity to receive advice on anything from the specifics of a query letter or art sample submission, to checking in on where the market is for a particular kind of book. You can also get feedback on a personal business plan or discuss what to do next after writing or illustrating and publishing over the 5 or 10 or 20 or more years of your particular career.

After you register, Harold will contact you with instructions on sending him up to ten pages of materials to review in advance of a 30-minute discussion to be scheduled between August 16-30.  The pages can include such things as a rundown of published books, a list of manuscripts with descriptions and submission histories, art samples, writing samples, sample query letters—anything that will provide a picture of where you are in your career or what you want to consult about. Harold will schedule a Zoom meeting with you and will be available to continue the conversation via email through September.

Harold Underdown is an independent children’s book editor and consultant. In his 30-year career, he has worked at Macmillan, Orchard Books, Charlesbridge, and McGraw-Hill. He wrote The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books and founded and runs The Purple Crayon website ( In addition to his editorial and consulting work, he collaborates with Eileen Robinson in Kid’s Book Revisions, their venture offering workshops, retreats, and online classes on revision; he also speaks at SCBWI conferences and at the Highlights Foundation.



Option 2 – Career Consult with Emma D. Dryden

Editorial and publishing consultant, Emma D. Dryden, meet with authors or illustrators through 30-minute career consultations over Zoom or Skype to discuss or address any one of the following: Career questions/concerns/conundrums; a draft query letter assessment; synopsis (of fewer than 500 words) assessment; a digital portfolio or website review; submission/query questions; agent research/advice; or marketplace questions. Note: Emma will neither recommend nor refer specific agents/agencies.  Emma will not be looking at manuscripts. In advance of the consultation, Emma will contact the author/illustrator via email to discuss their specific needs so she can determine what she’d like them to send to her prior to their consultation. She will also schedule a mutually convenient virtual meeting time. 


Emma D. Dryden is the director of drydenbks LLC (, a premiere children’s editorial & publishing consultancy firm she founded after twenty-five years as a children’s editor and publisher with several major publishing houses. She’s edited over 1,000 books for children, consults on writing and illustration careers and publishing strategies, and teaches extensively about writing craft as well as traditional and non-traditional publishing best practices. Emma is co-author of the award-winning picture book, What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur? and serves as an advisory board member of SCBWI.  


*Social Media Consultations – $125

Receive direction, advice, and strategies for getting the most out of social media from consultant Greg Pincus. Greg will look at what you’re doing (and not doing) and discuss how social media can help with your marketing goals. Once you’ve registered, Greg will contact you about sending him links to your website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages, plus answers to a short questionnaire. He will also schedule your 30-minute consultation and send you the Zoom link. The consultations will take place sometime between August 5-15.  After your online meeting, you’ll receive a write-up of ideas and suggestions and a clear way to follow up with Greg on anything that is covered during the consultation.

Greg Pincus is a novelist, poet, screenwriter, blogger, speaker, and social media consultant. He and his work have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and blogs and websites all around the globe. His latest novel, The Homework Strike from Arthur A. Levine Books, grew from a childhood fascination with oddball laws sparked by a book he ordered from a Scholastic Book Club flyer, where Strike itself eventually also became available to order, fulfilling a childhood dream. He can be found online at and as @GregPincus on Twitter.


*Please note: Anything discussed during the career or social media consultations will be kept in the strictest confidence; nothing will be shared or discussed outside of the consultancy.