Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI Digital Workshops Return September 17


After two extremely successful programs earlier this summer, SCBWI Digital Workshops is back with a third slate of free webinars. Beginning on Thursday, September 17, these hour-long programs will guide SCBWI members through in-depth lessons on craft and creativity, from literary experts David Bowles, S. K. Ali, Linda Sue Park, Lesléa Newman, Emily Balistrieri, Helen Wang, Cathy Hirano, Avery Fischer Udagawa, Kendra Levin, Elana K. Arnold, Brandy Colbert, James Ransom, and Eric Gansworth. The topics explored will include plotting, poetry, memoir, revision, illustrating in multiple mediums, translation, and author identity. Registration, which is free for all members, will open the Monday before each workshop. The webinars will be broadcast live, and then saved in our video archive for an entire month, so you can rewatch your favorites as many times as you want. The last slate of Digital Workshops drew in nearly 4,000 viewers per broadcast, and we expect a similar turnout for the fall line-up, so don’t forget to sign up in advance.


Registration will open for one Digital Workshop at a time. Registration for each workshop opens the Monday before at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT


Workshop Schedule:


Thursday, September 17, 4:00pm – 5:00pm PDT / 7:00pm – 8:00pm EDT

Writing Identity Elements Into Our Stories 

David Bowles, Author

S.K. Ali, Author

Linda Sue Park, Author

How does identity affect story? What are the important craft questions that writers should ask themselves when including identity elements in their work? Three authors discuss the choices they make in creating their stories, and the importance of those choices to young readers.


Thursday, September 24, 4:00pm – 5:00pm PDT / 7:00pm – 8:00pm EDT

The ABC’s of Poetry

Lesléa Newman, Author

Formal poetry is poetry that sticks to a traditional pattern or structure that often uses rhyme, rhythm, and repetition as well as other poetic techniques. This presentation gives an overview of poetic forms including haiku, pantoum, sestina, ballad, ghazal, and villanelle, with many examples of poems written for very young children, middle grade readers, teens, and adults. The poems of Langston Hughes, Jane Yolen, Meg Kearney and Dr. Seuss among others will be discussed.


Thursday, October 1, 4:00pm – 5:00pm PDT / 7:00pm – 8:00pm EDT

How and Why We Translate Books for Children

Emily Balistrieri, Children’s Book Translator

Helen Wang, Children’s Book Translator

Cathy Hirano, Children’s Book Translator

Moderated by Avery Fischer Udagawa, Translator

Translation is a creative (and not a mechanical) act. Three translators who translate books from languages other than English discuss their processes, challenges, and the reasons they translate. Using books authored in East Asian languages as case studies, this panel will lift the veil on a rarely discussed process that brings stories to a global audience.


Thursday, October 8, 4:00pm – 5:00pm PDT / 7:00pm – 8:00pm EDT

Battling the Shadow: Tools for Being the Hero of Your Writing and Illustrating Process During Challenging Times

Kendra Levin, Editorial Director, Simon and Schuster

How can you focus on your writing and illustrating when the world is in chaos? Drawing on the archetypes of the hero’s journey, editorial director and life coach Kendra Levin will offer tools and advice for how to preserve and enhance your creative process during these turbulent times.


Thursday, October 15, 4:00pm – 5:00pm PDT/ 7:00pm – 8:00pm EDT

Revising for Plot

Elana K. Arnold, Author

Brandy Colbert, Author

Through discussion and analysis of their various works, Elana and Brandy explore several techniques for successfully developing plot through revision. Writers will be given tools that will improve their revision techniques and results.


Thursday, October 22, 4:00pm – 5:00pm PDT / 7:00pm – 8:00pm EDT

Picture-Making From a New Perspective: Crafting illustrations that Captivate an Audience

James Ransom, Illustrator

A renowned illustrator of seventy books for children discusses the why, the what, and the creative interpretation and decision process of creating pictures with a variety of mediums. This presentation will also include a tour of James’ studio.


Thursday, October 29, 4:00pm – 5:00pm PDT / 7:00pm – 8:00pm EDT

Transforming the Personal  

Eric Gansworth, Author

Writing from personal experience involves reconstructing the stories of our lives. Whether you are creating memoir or transforming your own story into fiction, writing from personal experience involves translating the facts into a strong narrative. This webinar will explore strategies, from the author’s own work, for cultivating a story based on (or informed by) our personal history.