Oklahoma/Arkansas 2024 Fall Revision Retreat

Sep 20, 2024 - Sep 21, 2024

Sequoyah State Park, Sequoyah Lodge, 19808 Park 10, Hulbert, OK 74441

The OK/AR SCBWI Fall Retreat will feature Deborah Halverson and Scott Magoon. This will be a deep dive into revision for your work, whether you write illustrate, or both. Optional opportunities include: face to face consultations from Deborah and Scott; pre-retreat manuscript exchanges with critiques in groups during the retreat; and time to spend on your writing or illustrating, free from the obligations of home and family.

Oklahoma/Arkansas SCBWI Fall Revision Retreat

September 20-21, 2024

Sequoyah State Park

199808 Park 10

Hulbert, OK 74441

The Oklahoma/Arkansas SCBWI would like to invite you to join us for our Fall 2024 Revision Retreat featuring:


Deborah Halverson

Deborah Halverson is the award-winning author of Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies and Writing New Adult Fiction, as well as numerous teen novels, books in a series for struggling readers, and a picture book. Formerly an editor at Harcourt Children's Books and now a freelance editor specializing in picture books and Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction and nonfiction, Deborah has been working with authors—bestsellers, veterans, debut, and aspiring—for twenty-five years. She is also the founder of the popular writers’ advice site DearEditor.com and serves on the advisory board for the UC San Diego Extension “Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating” certificate program.


Scott Magoon

Scott Magoon is the illustrator of several acclaimed picture books, including the New York Times bestselling RESCUE & JESSICA: A LIFE-CHANGING FRIENDSHIP by Jessica Kensky & Patrick Downes, MISUNDERSTOOD SHARK series by Ame Dyckman and the SPOON series by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. He is also the author/illustrator of the EXTINCTS series of graphic novels, LINUS THE LITTLE YELLOW PENCIL, BREATHE and THE BOY WHO CRIED BIGFOOT. He lives in Massachusetts. Visit him online at:

 The focus on this retreat will be on REVISION. Revision is a vital step you must take with your work, whether you are a writer or an illustrator. Revision is the key to turning your work from a manuscript to a treasure. From a drawing to a piece of art.

     During this retreat, there will be time for learning, not only from our speakers but from each other; or time for individual writing and drawing on your own projects. There will also be ample time for inspiration in the beautiful natural surroundings of Sequoyah State Park. 

     Registration costs for the retreat will be: 

  • Members - $100
  • Nonmembers - $140

    Consultations are optional, and are $50.


     Sequoyah State Park has room options at a variety of price points and includes options that are ideal for sharing with a creative friend (or two). 

     In addition to an excellent on-site restaurant, all rooms have refrigerators. You are welcome, and encouraged, to bring food with you for breakfast and impromptu picnics in the great outdoors.

     A limited number of optional face to face consultations with Deborah Halverson and Scott Magoon are available at $50 for 15 minute consultations. Should you sign up for one of these, you will receive tips and suggestions on how to use this time prior to the retreat.

Oklahoma/Arkansas Fall Revision Retreat Schedule

Friday September 20, 2024 

6:00 to 6:15 PM - Welcome and Opening

6:15 to 7:00 PM - Keynote with Deborah Halverson

7:00 to 7:15 - Break

7:15 to 9:00 PM - Round tables with critique groups while Deborah and Scott are conducting paid consultations, writing and drawing on your own, or spending time with friends.

Saturday September 21, 2024

9:00 AM - Opening - Sequoyah Room

9:15 to 10:00 AM - Deborah Halverson- Sequoyah Room

                              Scott Magoon- Council Room

10:00 to 10:15 AM  Break

10:15 to 11:00 AM - Deborah Halverson- Sequoyah Room

                                Scott Magoon - Council Room

11:00 to 11:15 AM - Break

11:15 to 12:00 PM - Round tables with critique groups, or individual writing and drawing.

 12:00 to 1:15 Lunch (on your own) There is a wonderful restaurant on site, and all rooms are equipped with small fridges, so you are welcome to bring your own food from home for lunch and breakfast.

1:15 to 2:00 PM - Deborah Halverson- Sequoyah Room

                             Scott Magoon - Council Room

2:00 to 2:15 PM - Break

2:15 to 3:30 PM - Final round tables with critique groups or time on your own.

3:45-4:15 - Closing remarks and door prizes

Critique and Feedback Choices

     We are offering a variety of opportunities for you to receive and give feedback on your work. 

     Please remember, though: when you are in a critique group, you are not required to agree with any thoughts of your critiquers. Take any advice or information given to you with a measure of thought, knowing that they mean their very best in sharing their thoughts with you. Tuck it away, and either think about it later or let it go. 

     Likewise, remember when you give your opinion, use the sandwich method. Positive thoughts first and last, all the “meat and veggies” in the middle. 

     The options for critique/manuscript exchanges are: (These are included in your registration fee)

  • Full novel manuscript exchange/critique (middle grade, young adult, graphic novel)
  • Full manuscript exchange/critique (nonfiction)
  • 50 page manuscript exchange/critique  (chapter books, middle grade, young adult fiction or nonfiction)
  • 100 page manuscript exchange/critique (chapter books, middle grade, young adult fiction or nonfiction)
  • PB full manuscript exchange/critique If you wish, bring extra manuscripts with you, in case your group has time to do more than one per person. If you don’t have more than one piece, no worries. 
  • Portfolio Piece(s) (Choose one piece, but bring extras in case there is ample time)
  • PB Dummy - Once again, you might bring extra examples in case you have extra time.
  • Other Options if you do not wish to critique - (see below)

Critique groups will be built according to what pages are submitted, and some groups might be mixed with different lengths of submissions. 

No matter how this works out, remember, you gain almost as much from critiquing others as you do from having your work critiqued.

Manuscript Exchanges for Critique Groups

  • All manuscripts, no matter what length or genre, (i.e. PB, CB, MG, YA, NF) will be due to oklahoma-ra@scbwi.org by July 16, 2024. That gives you one month to get your pages ready
  • When you send me your pages, please remember to number the pages in the footer and use standard 12-pt font with standard margins. In the header of each page put: Last name/MANUSCRIPT TITLE/category: For example, Sanders/HURRICANE HARPER/Middle Grade (Or MG). This will help greatly when all of the pages are printed and collated.
  • In the subject line of your email when you send these pages: Manuscript pages for 2024 Fall Retreat.
  • Attendees will have eight weeks to review and critique other people’s work using the critique form you will receive from me.  
  • On July 17, I will form groups with all manuscripts that have been submitted to me and send them to you. When I send you the pages from your peers, I will send the critique form and instructions on how to access the pages and comment on them.
  •  Critiques are DUE BACK to me by September 15, 2024. I will then print copies to be handed out during the retreat, so there is no need for you to print these manuscript pages.

     Because these manuscripts/pages are being exchanged with others, there are no exceptions on this due date. Should you miss it you can still make great use of your time.

   Lastly, if you send pages to me, but have not registered for the retreat, these pages will not be sent to others.

      Other options during critique group time, should you not choose that option, or should your group finish before others:

  • Time to write or draw on your own
  • Impromptu group or pair critiques
  • Enjoy the beauty of Sequoyah State Park 
  • Sketch crawl
  • Apply what you have learned through the weekend to a work in progress.

Information about Sequoyah State Park

Website for Sequoyah State Park

Lodging and Meals

Sequoyah State Park has a variety of options for your lodging. 

Accommodations Rate

Cottage - Sleeps 2                                         $80

Cottage - Sleeps 2 (Kitchenette)           $90

Cottage Sleeps 4                                            $100

Cottage Sleeps 4 (Kitchenette)                $115

Full Bed + Twin Bed (Pool View)           $109

Single King Bed (Lakeview)                           $109

Single King (Pool View)                                  $109

Queen Bed + Twin Bed (Lakeview)            $109

King Suite w/Balcony                                   $169

King Suite (Pool View)                                    $169

Rates per night are based on single or double occupancy. A $12 charge will be added for each additional adult.

To reserve your room, you will need to call Sequoyah State Park at 918-772-2545.

Make sure you designate that your reservation is with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. If you are staying for only one night, your reservation must be paid for when you book it. If you are staying two nights, you will pay for one night when you book the room and the balance when you arrive.

Are you a true nature lover? There are tent and rustic cabin options as well as RV hookups. Call the above phone number for more information on how to book these if you are interested.


     There will be no meals included with your registration. This is so we can abide by the moratorium on contracts for food/catering, while giving you all the options available to choose for yourself. For this reason, your registration fee is considerably less than the spring conference.

     The Lodge at Sequoyah State Park has a restaurant with excellent food. Many of the rooms also have mini fridges, so you might choose to bring some items for your breakfast or lunch, and eat in the lodge for dinner. (I highly suggest double checking about a fridge when you book your accommodations.) Also, there are several restaurants in Wagoner, Oklahoma. 

Follow this link for restaurant options near Sequoyah:


This retreat will be an active way to take your work to the next level, all while spending time in a beautiful place, with wonderful people. We hope to see many of you there!