Carolinas 2023 Fall Retreat

Career Building for Creatives Track Syllabus

The Career Building for Creatives Track is designed for early-career attendees who are already agented and/or who have begun to publish/are seeking traditional publishing, but find themselves stuck or with questions about the business of children’s publishing. We will examine external factors which influence our careers and positive strategies we can develop to become successful Makers of kids’ books. Attendees may add on a Friday morning intensive from a different track but will not be able to cross tracks throughout the rest of the retreat. Attendees may also add on a Career Consultation, Manuscript Critique or a Portfolio Review.

Track Specific Schedule and Faculty

Please see Itinerary for full retreat schedule.

Please note: Session descriptions are under development.

Friday, Nov 3rd

9:30 am – 11:30 am Intensive with Alison Weiss When Your Publishing Career Falls Apart – There are many factors at play in a stalled career: agents drop clients and/or exhibit other red flags, editors leave, publishers close, bad reviews, books under-perform, publishers decline additional projects, pub dates get pushed, books get canceled (sometimes mid-series).  Or maybe you’re simply stuck. How do you refresh? Or break out to something new? How do you dig back to find the joy? We will examine all of these and consider ways to pick back up, pivot, and use negative experiences to propel us to what could be the next great thing.

Prerequisite: For early-career attendees seeking traditional publishing. Class size: 10 participants This intensive is an optional add-on to your retreat ticket

Saturday, Nov 4th

9 am – 10:30 am Session 1 with Tracy Shaw and Jen Keenan Tools in Your Toolkit – This session will stock your toolkit with insights and strategies useful to a career in kidlit, drawing from two unique career paths. We'll discuss the importance of social media, outreach, and self-promotion, both when you are starting out and once you have published. We'll look at freelance options for YA/MG novelists, PB writers, and illustrators.

1 pm – 2:30 pm Session 2 with Alison Weiss and Ann Rose Who’re You Gonna Call? Understanding the different roles of an agent and an editor.

2:30 pm – 4 pm Lab Hours: Attendees may gather to work on marketing plans, goal setting, works-in-progress, or choose to explore onsite activities. Lab Hours will be attended by Ann Rose and Kelly Dyksterhouse.

4 pm – 5:30 pm Session 3 with Karla Valenti The Business of Writing – In this session we will talk about some things to consider when building a career in writing, including common pitfalls, expectations, mistakes made (by me), how to work with an agent and an editor, finding your niche / writing for different age levels, helpful resources, networking, and why you should never be shy about promoting your work.

Sunday, Nov 5th

9 am – 9:45 am Session 4 with Karla Valenti The Business of Reading – This session will focus on school visits, why they matter, and how to create a dynamic and engaging presentation that will get your audience busy reading your book.

10 am – 10:45 am Session 5 with Alison Weiss The Biz – P&Ls, contracts, pub seasons, etc.

Retreat Navigation

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