Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Kelli McKinney


Region: Texas: North
Age Levels: 5-10
Will Travel: < 500 miles
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:


Hi, I'm Kelli McKinney.

I'm eager to meet other middle grade authors both online and in person. I’m looking for critique partners – I would love to exchange chapters and share feedback.

My debut middle grade contemporary novel, JEFF PENNANT'S FIELD GUIDE TO RAISING HAPPY PARENTS, released fall of 2022 from Chicken Scratch Books, and I couldn't be more excited!

I’m a freelance copywriter, and spent twenty years in marketing/advertising.

 Find me on IG @kellimckinneywrites, at, or at


Presentation Description:
I will work with you to tailor any presentation to support your curriculum goals.

These work best for students 2nd-4th grade.

Wheel of Unfortunate Happenings: Spin the wheel of writing prompts for a fun storytelling exercise! We talk about the essentials of the three-act structure and how conflict works to propel a story forward.

Do You Haiku? In my book, the main character writes haikus as a way of expressing his feelings. We talk about what haikus are and compare them to other styles of poetry, talk about meter and rhyme, read haiku examples aloud, and write haikus both as a group and individually. 

How I Became an Author in 7,462* Simple Steps: I talk about my journey to publication, emphasizing practice, being humble and willing to learn, and understanding the art of the do-over (editing).
*Not the actual number of steps but it felt that way sometimes