Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Sharon Skinner


Region: Arizona
Age Levels: 5-10, 11-13, and 14-17
Will Travel: Anywhere in my country
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:

SHARON SKINNER grew up in a small town in northern California where she spent most of her time reading books, making up plays, and choreographing her own musicals (when she wasn’t busy climbing trees and playing baseball). She has been writing stories since fourth grade, filling page after page with fantastical creatures, aliens, monsters and, of course, heroes. She loves reading, drawing, arts and crafts, sewing, and costume-making (especially Steampunk). She lives in Arizona with her husband and four lovable cats. Her website is

Presentation Description:

Title: Hook New Readers: Presenting Your Work to the Public (90 minutes)

Target Audience: Newly Published Authors

Length: 1.5 hours

Equipment Requirements: Power Point Projector, Projector Screen

This workshop is designed for writers looking to develop a professional presence and increase audience through personal appearances. The workshop will include information on creating a professional, yet portable display system and how to engage potential readers and methods for engaging more readers (and buyers) faster, including a hands-on approach for developing the perfect quick pitch for relaying the heart of your story in a compelling manner in 30 seconds or less.


Title: The Struggle and the Pay Off: Forging a Strong Character and Plotting a Powerful Conclusion

Target Audience: Adults Writing Fiction

Length: 3.5 hours

Equipment Requirements: Power Point Projector, Projector Screen

Background: The ideal novel combines both a strong plot and genuine characters readers will connect with, but it is often difficult to identify and write the ideal ending. Characters must be fully developed in a believable way to ensure they are prepared for the final challenge at the Climax of the story. Additionally, no matter how masterfully written the story is, if the ending is a letdown it colors and minimizes everything that came before.

Purpose/Description: This creative writing workshop will provide techniques for getting to the heart of the story, finding the thematic meaning in the characters’ experiences, and discovering how character development and plot points drive the story to a satisfying conclusion.

 Key Components include:

Tempering Character: Like forged steel, characters (particularly protagonists) must be tempered for strength. Any antagonist that creates a barrier for your character must provide the necessary growth opportunity for the protagonist to overcome his/her flaws and wounds, and manifest the strength to face the final conflict at the climax of the story. Includes tips for developing solid antagonists that ensure your character is fighting the right battles along the way.

Plotting from Crisis to Climax: Tension must build and the rising action must lead inevitably to the final showdown. Discussion will include using plot points to ensure your character gathers all the resources—both internal and external—necessary to face the climax.  


Tying Up the Ending, But Not Too Tight: The resolution of the story needs to be short and sweet or the reader will lose interest. This section includes tips on how to determine what needs to be left in, tossed out, or relocated in order to ensure a satisfactory resolution that satisfies the reader and doesn’t drag on too long.