It’s a Different World: A Juneteenth Panel Celebrating Black Joy

Jun 18, 2024

Online event

Juneteenth is a reminder to embrace, celebrate, and share Black joy. For writers, the holiday is a reminder that there is room in the market for more books that showcase Black joy! Today’s young Black readers want—and need—PB, MG, and YA books (fiction and nonfiction) in which they see themselves and their lives reflected on the printed page. But, from light to tough topics, how can writers pen material that steer away from stereotypical, trauma-focused material? Brianna Peppins and Kelly J. Baptist will join Lisa A. Crayton to address that question and others in this Juneteenth Panel centering Black joy. Join us as they discuss their creative journey, writing books that bring joy to Black children, pitching projects—and more! This webinar is for ANYONE who is creating books for Black children--fiction or nonfiction. Join us to learn how to maximize joy for your intended audience(s).

Webinar Date and Time

Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 10:00-11:30 AM Eastern

The webinar is 90 minutes long.

Registration will close at NOON, Monday, June 17, 2024

Please note registration confirmations are no longer emailed. You can find your confirmation and the Zoom link on your member home page under My events. The button is located between your News feed and Resources buttons

(if you do not register for a critique, please check Show this registration in My Events when you register).

If you do not receive your registration confirmation, please email mddewv@scbwi.org with “(name of event) registration issue” in the subject line. Emails must be sent no later than 24 hours prior to an event to ensure a response.

A link to a recording of this event will be emailed the day after the webinar and will be available to registered attendees for 30 days.


Premium member price: $15

Regular price: $30

You must be an SCBWI member and logged in to your SCBWI member account in order to register.

Not a member yet? Learn more here.

Note: if you have a current paid SCBWI membership, you are now a Premium Member.

Optional Critiques

Kelly J. Baptist is offering post-event written middle grade manuscript critiques (up to 10 pages) and written middle grade first page critiques.

Brianna Peppins is offering post-event written young adult manuscript critiques (up to 10 pages), written young adult query letter critiques, and written young adult first page critiques.

Critiques are available to Premium Members only.

If you DO NOT purchase a critique, when you register you must check Show this registration in My Events (if you signed up for a critique you DO NOT NEED to check this choice)

Details on submitting your manuscript will be emailed the day after the webinar. Submissions are due one week after the webinar. 

Critique fees paid are non-refundable.

Manuscript critiques: $70

Query Letter critiques: $25

First Page critiques: $25

About the Panelists


Brianna Peppins

is the author of young adult contemporary books, including BRIARCLIFF PREP and AS LONG AS WE’RE TOGETHER. She was raised in PG County, Maryland and graduated from Spelman College with a B.A. in Psychology. When not writing, Brianna takes special interest in spending time with her loved ones, social justice issues, and is a self-proclaimed movie aficionado. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @Lexi_pep, or Brianna Peppins on Facebook. Visit her website at:


Kelly J. Baptist

was born and raised in the great state of Michigan, and although she has lived in Alabama, Florida, and Minnesota, she found her way right back home. She’s been writing since. . . well, since she learned how to write!  Kelly won the 2015 We Need Diverse Books short story contest with “The Beans and Rice Chronicles of Isaiah Dunn”, which is included in the middle grade anthology, FLYING LESSONS AND OTHER STORIES. As a result of her work in an urban school district, Kelly felt compelled to continue Isaiah’s story with ISAIAH DUNN IS MY HERO and ISAIAH DUNN SAVES THE DAY. Kelly has also written a picture book, THE ELECTRIC SLIDE AND KAI, and the middle grade novels, THE SWAG IS IN THE SOCKS and EB & FLOW. Kelly is a huge Kobe Bryant fan and incorporates Mamba Mentality in all aspects of her life, especially writing! She keeps beyond busy with her five children, who always give her plenty of story ideas and background noise to write to. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @kellyiswrite. Visit her website at:


Lisa A. Crayton

is a writer and editor with more than 35 years’ experience who writes a variety of material for children and adults, and for general and Christian audiences. She is the author of 18 books, including 17 children’s books, and the co-author of 8 others. Her December 2023 release, co-authored with Sharifa Stevens and illustrated by Camilla Ru, is ONLY LIGHT CAN DO THAT: 60 DAY OF MLK DEVOTIONS FOR KIDS. An editor and collaborative writer (“ghostwriter”), Lisa provides writing and editing services to publishers and authors that help develop and/or polish manuscripts and/or book proposals. Lisa also provides sensitivity/authenticity readings of KidLit, and adult fiction and nonfiction titles to publishers, authors, and other entities. A recent client was an assistant professor at a renowned local university. Lisa is also a popular speaker at writing conferences, and other events. A co-Regional Advisor for the SCBWI MD/DE/WV Region, Lisa earned her MFA in Creative Writing from National University, and her dual B.S. degree in public relations and journalism (cum laude) from Utica College (now Utica University). Connect with her on X or Instagram: @SpiritLedWriter. Visit her website at:


Questions? Email us at md/de/wv@scbwi.org