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2023 PWID Breakouts

Get CLOSE UP with our industry insiders


2023 PWID Masthead image by Matt Atkins

There are three breakout sessions. When you register, you will be asked to choose one breakout per session. Because of room size restrictions we ask that you attend only your registered breakouts.

ALL 9 BREAKOUTS will be recorded and available for viewing by all attendees for one month for no additional charge. Attend 3 live, in-person and view all again after the event!

To switch your live breakout:

— Go to your MEMBER HOME and click on the EVENTS icon.

— Scroll down to the item you'd like to change.

— Click the 3 dots in the corner


— Return to the registration page to make your new selection.

Breakout I

7 Steps to a Successful Query Letter, MadLibs Edition | Saritza Hernández, Agent, ANDREA BROWN LITERARY AGENCY

Querying agents with your work is an ongoing part of being a novelist. At first, the query is your way to hook an agent with your work, but once you’ve signed with your agent, they may ask that you provide ideas for future projects that can best be pitched to them via a query. Writing a query letter may not be as easy as 1, 2, 3 but with the help of Saritza’s 7-Step Process, and some fun Mad Libs, it could be a lot more fun than you think.

Focus on the Periphery: Strengthening Your Story with Secondary Characters | Kelly Delaney, Editor, CROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

You may know your protagonist backwards and forwards, but how well do you know those around them? Friends, enemies, parents, and siblings can’t exist only as foils to keep the action moving. The better you know those characters, the stronger their relationships with your protagonist will be, and the more authentic your story will feel. This breakout session will help you strengthen your story by giving secondary characters a little TLC

KidLit Illustration Dos and Don'ts | Brian LaRossa, Art Director, SCHOLASTIC

Breakout II

Digging Deeper in an Editors Inbox to final Acquisition | Hannah Hill, Editor, DELACORTE PRESS

Crafting Authentic Representation | D. Ann Williams, Agent, EMERALD CITY LITERARY AGENCY

Each year, more books are being called out for inauthentic or problematic representation of characters, cultures, identities, and issues. Publication dates have been delayed or entirely cancelled due to questions about representation. As authors wanting to create works for our youngest community members, it is critical to do research. In this workshop we will review common categories of inauthentic representation, resources, and finding and working with sensitivity readers, .

Growth Mindset for Creatives | Maryn Arreguin, Senior Art Director, SOURCEBOOKS KIDS

Feeling stuck? Need a pep talk? Join me as we take an interactive, hands-on, CLOSE-UP look at your creative foundation and learn how to unstick your limitless potential to move your children’s book journey forward. 


Michael Leali: Memory Close Up | Michael Leali, Author & SCBWI Golden Kite Winner

Memories are often the seeds that grow into the stories we tell. This interactive craft workshop asks writers to rethink how they engage with memory, zoom in on sensory details, and get a little weird. By the end of the workshop, writers will have exercises and writing material to further their creative journeys.

Recipe for a Successful Picture Book | Adriana Hernandez Bergstrom, Author/Illustrator

Drawing in the Reader | Alice McGinty, Author, Midwest Region Crystal Kite Winner & RAE

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2023 PWID