Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 20, 2010

Writing Intensives

Do you write historical fiction?  How about picture books?  Or perhaps you are interested in poetry and would like to learn from a poet laureate.   Do you want to improve your writing skills?  If so, you will want to read this post.

For the last few days I have been dribbling out the information for the New Jersey SCBWI Conference on June 4th and 5th in Princeton.  I am not doing this just to have something to post about, but to inform you as to what  you can look forward to in June.  If you  live out-of-state, ask around and I am sure you will find rave reviews, since we always have a large amount of SCBWI members register.

The conference technically starts with lunch on Friday, but this year we are having three writers intensives on Friday morning. 

Here they are:

Poetry Intensive Workshop conducted by master poet, poet laureate, and author David L Harrison.

 We are very happy to have David L Harrison leave his comfortable home in Springfield Missouri to share his expertise with us this year.  At age five he started making up poems and then illustrated his own comic books at six. He has been a musician, athlete, scientist, editor, and businessman but since his first picture book was published 41 years ago writing has been his joy and passion. His eighty books include poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for young people and professional books for teachers. 

David will add so much to our conference.  He is a master with words.  Last year he had an elementary school named after him.  In 2008, he was honored with the title of Poet Laureate for Drury University.  In 2007, the Missouri Library Association awarded him the Literary Award, for his body of work in literacy.  In 2006 he was given The Missourian Award, a rare and coveted award presented to individuals for outstanding contributions in the areas of business, civics or arts.  This year his book PIRATES was named to the Texas Blue Bonnet Award Master List.”

Beside doing the Intensive Workshop, he will be our keynote speaker on Friday and he has agreed to do eight one-on-one critiques during the conference.  Believe me, you will love him. 

David also has a website, blog and a Monthly Poetry Contest for adults and children.  Click here to visit.

Historical Fiction Intensive Workshop conducted by Carolyn Yoder Editor, Calkins Creek Books – Senior Editor, History, HIGHLIGHTS .  

If you are looking to learn how to make your historical fiction novel the best it can be, then you have come to the right place.  I couldn’t offer you a better person to conduct this workshop.  Historical fiction and the name Carolyn Yoder go hand in hand.  You better sign up for this one early, because five people approached me today about getting in and I hadn’t even announced it.



 Picture Book Intensive Workshop conducted by author Sudipta Bardham.   

Sudipta is the author of thirteen picture books and sixteen nonfiction books for children including The Hog Prince, illustrated by Jason Wolff (Dutton, 2009), Ballots for Belva, illustrated by Courtney Martin (Abrams, 2008) and The Mine-o-saur, illustrated by David Clark (Putnam, 2007).

Last November she conducted a picture book intensive that everyone is still talking about.  On Sunday I talked with one of those people and she gushed over how wonderful was Sudipta and how much she helped her with her manuscript.  Before the Intensive her manuscript was not getting any attention, but afterward she is getting editors asking for it.  She said, “I learned so much from Sudipta.”

Hearing so many similar stories about a new program makes me want to repeat it to help more writers.  You can find the details from last November Picture Book Intensive by clicking here.

We also have an Illustrators Intensive planned, but I do not have the Art Directors confirmed.  I will announce that later.

I promise I will try not to post too many messages about the conference, but you really should consider joining us.  We had great results from last years conference.  Many people got contracts, representation and more have been working with editors to get their manuscripts ready for acquisitions.  You know we are doing something right when editors and agents contact me to express interest in attending.



  1. Kathy, You and Laurie are amazing!! This is so exciting for all writers/illustrators!! Here’s to you and your dedication!!



    • Hallee,

      It looks like it will take six months of bone grafting. The specialist said there is a lot of damage. When that is done he is going to do an implant. The dentist is going to pay for all of that. So it will probably be a year and a half total time to fix one tooth.

      Thanks for asking,



  2. I am thrilled that David is coming!!
    Hopefully I will get to thank him in person for being such a great inspiration.
    Will he be around for the weekend do you think, or just the Friday intensives?

    On a different note, good luck with the dental work Kathy.



    • Mimi,

      You should sign up to get a critique with him.



      • Absolutely Kathy!!

        (Especially in light of the picture book text/poem I just posted on his site, lol!) He’s brilliant, and so kind.

        Also like to meet with someone about the manuscript that I’m working on now, I’ve been working intensely on it since the end of NaNoWriMo. I intend on having it finished and many of the chapters polished by the June conference. I’m about halfway through and I’m so excited about it, I’ve already got a list of “readers” —all types of writers, published and not, and I can’t wait to get some feedback on it. Let me know if you want a peek, I’d be more than happy to add you to my list!



  3. Hey, Kathy 🙂

    I’m guessing the info on your tooth was a reply to a different post! lol Good luck with whatever’s being done. Dental work is such a “pain”.

    Anyway, please don’t apologize about posting conference news and updates. Personally, I get more excited with everything I hear!

    And I know Sudipta is a joy. I sat in on one of her workshops that was very helpful, so I would think the intensive would be great!

    Last year I participated in the illustrator’s intensive and may do so again this year. I absolutely LOVED it!


    • Donna Marie,

      Oh, who knows. I have been dealing with a ton of problems caused by my dentist. I am going to have to go through 6 month of gum and bone grafting and then get an implant to get back to square one.

      I am getting closer to announcing everything for the conference. Just waiting on a couple of things. There’ll be lots of cool space for the illustrators to show off their work to the editors and agents.

      I think this year is really going to be exciting.



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