Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 24, 2011

Writer’s Retreat September 30th – October 2nd – plus update

This year’s Writer’s Retreat is set for the weekend of September 30th to October 2nd at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton, NJ. 

Connie Hsu and Heather Alexander will be our Mentors for the weekend.

Connie Hsu has edited the whole spectrum, from board books to The A-List­: Hollywood Royalty. She’s also the editor of The Devouring, a YA horror trilogy, Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles series, and Moonshadow, a middle grade ninja adventure.  Her acquisitions include Happyface, a fully illustrated YA novel, The Adventures of Nanny Piggins, a laugh-out-loud middle grade novel about a nanny pig, and Fifty Cents and a Dream, a picture book biography about Booker T. Washington

Heather Alexander has been with Dial for three years.  She has worked on, Beyond Lucky, a middle-grade novel by Sarah Aronson; and Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. She is also editor for the Charlie and Lola series by Lauren Child, and co-edited Every Cowgirl Needs a Horseby Rebecca Janni. 

Heather is always on the lookout for stories with real-kid emotions, and stories with a really unique hook or a great voice. She loves books with one foot in fantasy, but grounded in reality—she is not the go-to gal for paranormal. She is a sucker for a good underdog story. Her current favorite books are Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes, The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, and Mouse Was Mad by Linda Urban.

For the June Conference:  We had a couple of people sign up for critiques and then changed their mind.  I was not keeping a waiting list, so if you are interested in the below agents, please let me know.  Ammi does Picture book through YA and Carlie does Middle Grade and Young Adult.

Ammi-Joan Paquette agent opening

Carlie Webber agent opening

Self Editing Intensive with Harold Underdown and Eileen Robinson opening.   

NEW!  We have Marlena Torzecka, Artist Rep. or Illustrator Agent coming into The Illustrator Intensive during the Q & A at the end of the day on Friday.  She has agreed to come back on Saturday afternoon to talk with illustrators individually.  The cost to sit down, talk and go over your work and illustrations with her is $65.  If you would like to grab a spot, please let me know.  Here is the website link:

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Kathy,
    When does the Retreat sign-up begin?


  2. I saw Connie Hsu speak at a SCBWI NY panel. She’s a good speaker, had a good presentation and was funny. I bet she’ll be a great mentor for this event. I’m so jealous that I live in NYC.

    BTW, I started a hashtag (mostly at Laurie and Connie’s request) about the conference over at twitter, #NJSCBWICONF .


    • Nicole,

      No need to be jealous. You don’t have to live in New jersey to attend. And it is only a short train ride to Princeton. We have lots of people attend from other states.



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