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Break Out Session #1

Friday, August 2 from 11:00am - 12:00pm PACIFIC

Capturing Your Life: Memoir in Picture Books with Andrea Wang

Using her own and others’ books as examples, author Andrea Wang will discuss the differences and similarities between memoir and memoir-like picture books, including elements such as plot, structure, and theme. She will also talk about some of the methods she’s used to mine her life for emotion and conflict and offer suggestions on how to incorporate memories into your works-in-progress.

Getting to the Next Level: Making Publicity and Marketing Work for You and Your Career with Tracy van Straaten

Publishing veteran Tracy van Straaten will explain PR, marketing, and social media best practices for authors and illustrators. Participants will leave this session with a clearer understanding of how to define and amplify their personal brand; how to collaborate with their publisher for best results; how to determine which marketing and PR activities are worth their time; and how to set achievable publicity/marketing goals for the future.

Make An Impression: How to Curate Your Portfolio with Intention with Aliza R. Hoover 

Have you ever wondered whether to keep old illustrations in your portfolio, how many styles is too many styles, or whether your website should have a "black and white" tab? Portfolio curation can feel daunting, but it is a powerful tool for manifesting your illustration dreams. Learn how to curate your portfolio from illustration agent and former art-buyer Aliza R. Hoover.

Make It a System: How to Handle Business, Manage Your Time, and Organize Everything as a KidLit Author with Emma Otheguy

You thought getting published would be the hard part, but AFTER the debut book is exactly when most authors stumble. Suddenly, you’re running a business, and nothing you learned about plot or character development prepares you for the ins and outs of being a solopreneur. This workshop is your fix. You’ll learn how to manage your time and set up systems to balance creativity, logistics, and promotion. Have your laptop ready to finally get on top of your workflow! 

Self-Publishing Best Practices: How IBPA & ALLi Can Set You Up for Success on Your Publishing Journey with Michael La Ronn and Christopher Locke

Self-publishing requires authors to develop many skills and it can be hard to know where to start. Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) Outreach Manager Michael La Ronn and Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Director of Membership & Member Services Christopher Locke will share important guidelines about the best practices for an author, author-publisher, and author-illustrator from pre-publication to publication to post-publication, including the multitude of ways that IBPA and ALLi provide valuable resources, education, and tools to assist indie publishers at all stages of their publishing careers.

Six Marks to Hit Before You Submit Your Picture Book with Dan Richards

Are you constantly second-guessing whether your picture book manuscript is ready to submit? Do you wish for a way to bring clarity to the age-old question, ‘is it good enough to send out’? Dan Richards will cover six questions that throw back the veil on what agents and editors want. These six questions  will expose manuscript weaknesses before you make the mistake of submitting too soon. This session will also demystify rejection letter double-speak (e.g. ‘too thin,’ ‘too quiet,’, ‘lacks break-out potential,’ etc).

Insight into the Spanish Publishing Industry: A Spanish Language Panel 

In this session, Fanuel Hanan Díaz (Venezuela), Eva Dietrich (Spain-Germany) and Adriana Domínguez (United States) will discuss the characteristics and challenges of publishing Spanish language children's books in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.

Stakes Aren’t Just for Pup Tents and Vampire Slayers with Martha Brockenbrough

We know that fiction is about characters and the reader’s experience of caring about them. There’s a key to making readers care more, though—and that is through the right stakes for your story. When you nail this aspect of craft, you hook readers (including the all-important agents and editors). You also provide the framework your character needs to experience the transformation that happens in great stories. Author and teacher Martha Brockenbrough will help you understand what stakes are, how to develop the right ones for your characters, and how to weave them into a narrative with real emotional punch.

Technique and Style with Rashin Kheiryeh

Rashin Kheiriyeh is an award-winning Iranian-American author/illustrator, noted for her unique illustrative style. Rashin will talk about her illustrations, inspirations, and the techniques she uses to create her books. Participants will watch in real time while Rashin demonstrates how easily Lino cut and stencil printmaking can be done.


Martha Brockenbrough
Fanuel Hanan Diaz
Eva Dietrich
Adriana Dominguez
Aliza R. Hoover
Rashin Kheiriyeh
Art Director, Creative Director
Michael La Ronn
Christopher Locke
Emma Otheguy
Dan Richards
Tracy van Straaten
Andrea Wang
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Register Now for the 2024 Virtual Summer Conference

Invest in you. Choose from 50 jam-packed sessions on the craft and business of children’s book creation. All attendees have access to the content of all sessions for up to one month after the conference concludes. If you’re a children’s book writer, illustrator, or translator, you don’t want to miss one minute.