Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 16, 2012

Writing and Illustrating Workshop Descriptions

NJ SCBWI 2012 CONFERENCE

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS 

FRIDAY JUNE 8TH

11:00 am – 12:30 pm  Registration      

12:30-4:30 INTENSIVE Workshops  – Each one is a four-hour session

–        NOTE —

INTENSIVES ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE CONFERENCE FEE

The Power of Prose  Agent Scott Treimel, S©ott Treimel/NY

Max: 25 Writers, MG, YA, Mid-range, Experienced 

Editors talk about creating voice and character, but no one explains the HOW TO techniques to do it. Scott will show techniques to ACHIEVE WHAT A WRITER INTENDS: learn how to create voice, character, atmosphere, tension, mystery, and moderate pace to achieve different effects. In the course of his discussion, Scott will also explore the secrets of precise, vivid, brisk, powerful writing.
Crucial Steps to Revising Your Novel – Editorial Consultant Tamson Weston

Max: 20, Writing, MG or YA, Mid-Range, Experienced 

Tamson will walk you through the most crucial steps in revising your manuscript. These steps mirror her own process as an editor and will help you get a sense of what acquiring editors and agents might be looking for, and the pitfalls that are most likely to derail your reader. This Intensive is limited to twenty middle grade or young adult authors in order to work on everyone’s manuscripts.

The twenty people accepted will submit the first 15 pages of their manuscript and synopsis prior to the conference. Tamson will address what acquiring editors and agents might be looking for, pitfalls most likely to derail your reader, and how to address common problems with voice, plotting and character development. She will also show you how to tailor your revision process to the specific problems that are facing you in your own work. Finally, she will address the difficult question of when to persevere with a project and when to set it aside.

Focusing on Picture Books –  Editor Daniel Nayeri from Clarion Children’s Books

Max: 40, Mid Range, Experienced

Daniel will discuss how to prime your idea pump, understand and write for the picture book market.  You will work on honing your writing skills and revise your manuscript.

Pacing Your First Pages – Publisher Eileen Robinson from Move Books

Max: 20 people Mid-Range to Experienced

Do you insist your tale is great if only the editor would skip the first few pages? Does your beginning drag or does it feel like a race, giving the reader no time to get to know the characters or observe the setting? Is there a feeling of conflict or suspense? Have you planted seeds that will blossom later in the story? Do you have a “quiet” page-turner, a “noisy” one, or something in between? Have you captured my interest? In this workshop, we’ll focus on first pages only. Writers will submit the first 3 pages of a work finished or one in progress and in groups, we’ll look at the tone, style and sound in regards to the target audience, focus on conflict and suspense and how the pacing feels in those pages. Some first pages will also be read aloud anonymously for feedback, published and unpublished. This will be hands-on from beginning to end. Goal to walk out of this Intensive with a get noticed first page.

Working in Children’s Nonfiction – Editor Lionel Bender, Bender, Richardson, White.

Max: No limit, all levels.

Nonfiction includes not only information books but also educational materials, magazines, games, electronic products. We’ll look at examples and discuss age ranges, reading levels, the international co-edition market and illustration and design of children’s nonfiction.
We’ll discuss how authors and illustrators can enter this field and how to pitch a nonfiction idea.

Once we discuss that, we’ll talk about the art and craft of nonfiction writing: research; approach, and voice, working with editors, managing time; contractual issues of payment, copyright; ensuring accuracy; deadlines; picture research.

Finally, we’ll discuss how a typical nonfiction book is produced, the author and illustrator as part of a team, stages of production of a children’s nonfiction book and checking stages.

Writing Children’s Books 101 – Author Anita Nolan

Max: No Limit, All Genres, Beginners

New to writing for children? Not sure how to format a manuscript or the differences between a picture book, chapter book, middle grade, or young adult or typical word count ranges for each? We’ll discuss how to find an agent, agent/editor etiquette, whether to copyright your manuscript,  what a query is and what you should do before querying, and lots more. Come with your questions!

Body of Writing– Mimi Cross, Children’s Writer, Musician, and Yoga Instructor

Max:40, All Welcome

Using a variety of simple yoga postures and creative writing exercises we will explore our writing and our bodies and receive the benefits of more closely connecting the two.

Our session will be filled with movement, writing, music, meditation, and, a few laughs!

The artistic aspect of your self will be challenged and nurtured, and you will leave class feeling both relaxed and stimulated, with new goals for your writing life (and a tool or two to help keep you centered and calm in those meetings with agents and editors!).

In Body of Writing you’ll learn to listen to your body instead of your inner critic. You’ll find inspiration and techniques to get, and keep, your pen moving.

What you’ll need for the workshop: A yoga mat, a blanket, a new notebook of 8 x 10 paper, and a pen or pencil. Please wear comfortable non-restrictive clothing.*

Please note: no previous experience with yoga is necessary.

*This intensive is priced slightly lower in order for participants to purchase workshop materials, however six yoga mats can be made available.

Please contact mimi@mimicrossmusic.com if you have questions or need a mat.

Illustrator Intensive – Art Director, Lucy Cummins Associate Art Director with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Max: 10 illustrators

This workshop requires executing a prior assignment for the day.

A few months before conference, participants receive an assignment of producing an illustration for a double-page spread created from the text of a few books that Lucy will provide.  A deadline will be given for the illustrators to work on their sketch and send back.  Lucy will review your submission and reply with comments on what she thinks you should worked on to improve the two page spread. You will take those comments into consideration and complete the assignment. Illustrators will bring a final color illustration on the day of the intensive. Each illustration will be discussed by the art director and the group. Detailed instructions and exact dates will be supplied to illustrators after initial registration.

Illustrator Intensive – Art Director, Katrina Damkoehler Assistant Art Director at Sterling Children’s Books

Max: 10 illustrators

This workshop requires executing a prior assignment for the day.

A few months before conference, participants receive an assignment of producing an illustration for a double-page spread created from the text of a few books that Lucy will provide.  A deadline will be given for the illustrators to work on their sketch and send back.  Lucy will review your submission and reply with comments on what she thinks you should worked on to improve the two page spread. You will take those comments into consideration and complete the assignment. Illustrators will bring a final color illustration on the day of the intensive. Each illustration will be discussed by the art director and the group. Detailed instructions and exact dates will be supplied to illustrators after initial registration.

3:30-4:30  Registration  

4:00-5:00 First Timers Meeting with Ame Dyckman & Connie Colon – Free

4:30-5:00  Meeting Editors/Agents/Authors

5:10 – 5:25   One-on-One Critiques editors, agents & art directors.
5:30 – 5:45  One-on-One Critiques editors, agents & art directors.
5:50 – 6:05  One-on-One Critiques editors, agents & art directors.

6:10 – 6:25  One-on-One Critiques editors, agents & art directors.

5:10 – 5:30  Consultations
5:30 – 6:00  Consultations
6:00 – 6:30  Consultations

7:00 – 7:30 pm  Registration
7:30 – 9:30+  Mix and Mingle Editors/agents/overnighters – Additional Cost

SATURDAY, JUNE 9TH

8:00 – 9:00  Registration & Breakfast Art Exhibit set-up
8:40 – 9:00  Announcements Kathy
9:00 – 9:55  Keynote – “SAY YES” Dan Yaccarino 

10:05-11:00 Workshops

1A Agents Panel – Agents Talk and Answer Questions.
Max: No limit

1B Getting It out the Door: Are Your Synopsis and Cover or Query Letter Ready? – Editor Harold Underdown & Publisher Eileen Robinson

Max: 50, Writers. All Genres, All Levels

Your manuscript is done–revised, critiqued, revised again, polished. Now it’s time to send it out into the world. To do that, you’ll need to write a dreaded “query letter” and, if it’s a novel, a synopsis. Later, if the manuscript is requested, you’ll need a cover letter to go with it.

In this workshop, learn what to do and what not to do in a query letter, how to put together an effective synopsis, and the simple requirements of a cover letter. We’ll also look at what struggles with drafting a query letter may say about your manuscript.

The workshop will move from theory to looking at actual examples: if you would like your query letter or synopsis to be examined (anonymously) please submit it by April 1, 2012.

1C From Submission to Book Store Shelves Sr. Editor, Alexandra Cooper

Max: No limit, Writers, All Genres, Beginner, Mid-Range, Experienced

Alexandra will give you a behind the scenes view of what goes on once an editor decides they love your book and wants to publish your manuscript.  Production, Design, Marketing, Pulicity, Sales, Book Buyers, Distribution, etc.

 1D Book Packagers 101 Publisher, Lionel Bender

Max: No Limit. Writers and Illustrators, All Levels

We’ll discuss what are book packagers and why should you know about them? How do they differ from publishers? What types of books do they produce? Why do they exist and how do they work with publishers? How do they commission and work with authors and illustrators. How much do they pay? How do SCBWI members get to meet them and work with them?

Workshop includes examples of book packagers’ products and what is special about them; handout with list of book packagers.

1E Picture Books/Graphic Novels – Editor Connie Hsu from Little, Brown, and Co.

Max: no limit. This workshop is geared for illustrators or author/illustrators.

            Connie will focus this session on how to pitch and submit illustrated projects.

1F Writing Picture Books: From Ideas to Revision – Editorial Consultant Tamson Weston

Writers, PB, Beginners, Mid-Range, Experienced 

Tamson will talk about how to write picture books for today’s market. This workshop will discuss the use of rhyme and playful language, how to keep your manuscript trim, and how to generate ideas when you’re stuck.

First Page Sessions – two editors or agents listen to your first page and give feedback. Everyone has their first page critiqued.

First Page Session – Executive Editor, Krista Marino & copy editor, Susan O’Keefe
First Page Session – Editor, Karen Chaplin & Executive Director, Rebecca Frazer
First Page Session – Executive Editor, Regina Griffin & Publisher, Margery Cuyler
First Page Session – Sr. Editor, Catherine Onder & Editor, Heather Alexander

11:10-12:05 WORKSHOPS

2A Visiting Book Fairs: Why & How? Publisher, Lionel Bender

Writers & Illustrators, All Genres, All Levels

What and where are the major book fairs? Why should you visit them? What opportunities do they offer authors and illustrators? How can you maximize your chances of meeting publishers at these events? How do you get past the gatekeepers on the booths? How should you prepare for a visit? What should you do on the day? How do you follow up meetings? Learn the tricks of the trade from a regular book fair visitor and exhibitor. Question and answer time.

2B Re-Imagining Your Picture BookEditor Harold Underdown & Editor Eileen Robinson

Max: 40, Writers, PB, Beginners, Mid-Range, Experienced

When tweaks or critiques or “letting it sit” just aren’t enough, sometimes a picture book manuscript needs to be re-imagined and a new direction taken. With the help of some picture book classics, we’ll discuss and try out ways to re-imagine a story focusing on such aspects as voice, POV, setting and character.

Required: a picture book manuscript to work with.

Recommended Reading: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, and A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams.

2C Writing Better Bad GuysAgent, John Cusick

No Max: Writers, Beginners, Mid-Range, Experienced

Where would Luke be without Darth Vader? Bilbo without Golem? Harry without Voldemort? Villains, antagonists, and anti-heroes turn everyday characters into Heroes. They are often the driving forces of our stories. Don’t settle for generic baddies and derivative dark lords. Learn how strong motivation, passion, and sympathy can turn cardboard blocking characters into compelling, terrifying, memorable villains that will keep your readers up nights.

Bring your mustaches and black capes.

2D An Agent Talks about Query Letters That Grab AttentionAgent, Stephen Fraser

Max: unlimited. All levels

Apart from writing synopses, one of the tasks that writers hate most is creating query letters. It’s a necessary evil, though, because in the USA at least, a well-written, dynamic query letter may be your one shot at getting a reputable literary agent’s attention.  Stephen will discuss what you need to know to grab and agent or editor’s attention.

2D Photography vs. Imagination in Illustration Illustrator, Amal Karzai

Illustrators, All Levels

Amal will speak briefly (and take questions) about an illustration’s first stages and which illustrators use what methods. It’s nearly impossible for most of us to create an illustration without an idea already in mind, so we produce sketches. Your illustration must evolve from the sketch to a complete drawing, but by which methods? Some work better than others depending on the target age and genre. For example, historical fiction versus picture books

A Power Point presentation will exhibit completed results of working directly (from the model), working purely from sketches, a combination of photo and imagination, and finally working purely from the photograph (often one that’s been collaged).

Each participant will produce thumbnail sketches for one of five thematic book titles for: PB, middle grade, YA, Historical fiction, and Steampunk. To arrive at completed work will you continue refining our sketch by imagining our way through it, occasionally jumping in front of a mirror to make certain things check out? Or, will you hit the camera and then, how far should you go?

We’ll discuss what it is that you’re looking for from this illustration, what tone needs to be set before taking another step in its development. Once decided, the illustrator can complete the page– hopefully adding it as a portfolio piece.

2E Dog Gone: Insider secrets, from words and pictures to publication! – Author/IllustratorLeeza Hernandez

Writers & Illustrators, Beginner, Mid-ranged, Experienced

Take a trip with Leeza Hernandez and the making of her debut-authored picture book Dog Gone! Sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the book’s journey—from sketches to final art, manuscript revisions, insider secrets, and what it took to get the book (and Leeza) in shape for publication. WOOF!

First Page Session – Executive Director/Editor, Rebecca Frazer & Sr. Editor, Catherine Onder
First Page Session – Executive Editor, Erin Clarke & Editor, Tamra Tuller
First Page Session – Editor, Daniel Nayeri & Editor, Karen Chaplin
First Page Session –  Connie Hsu and Ginger Clarke

12:05-1:15  Lunch  

1:20-2:15 WORKSHOPS

3A Wordless Picture Books  Art Director, Lucy Cummins & Sr. Editor, Alexandra Cooper

Max: 30, Illustrators, all levels

Art Director and Editor Alexandra Cooper will discuss wordless picture books and show example of what is being done in the market and answer questions from illustrators.  Great chance to pick two expert brains on how to spark an idea to how to execute a this type of book.

3B Plot Points & Pinch Scenes: Using Screenwriting Techniques to Plot Your Novel – Laurie Calkhoven

Max: No Limit, Genres: PB, MG, YA, Levels: All

This workshop unravels the mysteries of the standard three-act dramatic structure employed by Hollywood’s best screenwriters.

From inciting incidents and plot points to the final twist in the climax, Calkhoven draws on her own novels and well-known books like Where the Wild Things Are and Hunger Games along with popular movies like Toy Story and E.T. to outline the classic plot structure that keeps readers turning the pages.

3C Pitch Critique Session – Agent, Scott Treimel & Editor, Daniel Nayeri

Max: 40, PB through YA, all levels

A Pitch Critique Workshop with an agent and editor is for attendees who would like to possibly have their pitches reviewed by industry professionals. The attendees will put their names in a basket. If their name is chosen, they will give their pitch out loud to the group. The editor and agent will respond with their thoughts and ideas.

3D Pitch Critique Session  Agent, Sarah Davies & Executive Editor, Erin Clarke

Max: 40, PB through YA, all levels

A Pitch Critique Workshop with an editor and agent is for attendees who would like to possibly have their pitches reviewed by industry professionals. The attendees will put their names in a basket. If their name is chosen, they will give their pitch out loud to the group. The agent and editor will respond with their thoughts and ideas.

3E Protecting Your Work; Protecting Expression; Basic Copyright Law for Writers Sharon Sorkin James

Max: No Limit, Writers & Illustrators, All Genres, All Levels

In this workshop, we will discuss the basic concepts of copyright law and how copyright law protects a writer’s work. As writers, we know how to read and decode books.  As illustrators, we know how to read and decode images. But many writers and illustrators do not know how to read and decode a legal contract. We will discuss how a contract expresses a relationship and we will review and discuss several provisions from a sample book contract.

3F Summoning the Muse: Let Poetry Add Precision & Punch to Your Picture Book Prose  Felicia Chernesky

Max: 25, Writers, PB, All Levels

Formalist poetry employs all the stylistic elements children’s book editors and publishers are looking for in a viable picture book manuscript: precise, concise language that is thoughtfully structured and visually rich and evocative. In this hands-on workshop, participants learn to manage some of the tools poets use that slashes word count, strengthens storylines, and creates the kind of vivid imagery illustrators and readers love!

3G BOY + BOT: AN AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR’S JOURNEY – Author Ame Dyckman & Author/Illustrator Dan Yaccarino

Max: No Limit, Writers & Illustrators, PB, All Levels

Join a debut author and a seasoned pro as they share details and answer questions about their book-making adventure—from concept and character sketches to publication and beyond.

First Page Session – Heather Alexander & Rebecca Frazer
First Page Session – Krista Marino & Susan O’Keefe
First Page Session – Regina Griffin & Erin Clarke

2:25-3:20 WORKSHOPS

4A Stretching, Pulling, Reshaping Fairy Tales, Legends, and Tall Tales Kitty Griffin

Max: No Limit, Writers, All genres, All levels

Ever been haunted by a fairytale? Thought you might like to retell it your way? How about a Tall Tale? Got an idea for a twist on an old one or new one? The same for legends, how can you go about reworking one? This workshop will help writers looks at familiar stories and discover new ways to stretch them. We’ll start with an introduction of the three forms, examine their characteristics, and then dive into some familiar tales and workshop ways to change them.

4B Plotting and Producing Freebies to Market Your Book–  Author Charlotte Bennardo & Author Natalie Zaman

Max: 10, Writers & Illustrators, All Genres, Advanced, Published, Under Contract or Self Published

The publishing industry is changing; authors are now largely responsible to market their own books. Nat and Char will show you how to plan and create your own marketing materials to promote your book. There is a max of ten people for this workshop so that we can discuss each participant’s book. Participants will need to submit a partial or full electronic copy of their manuscript and/or an ARC and/or cover art if available by May 10th.

Outline:  

  1. Review of what each attendee has sent in for workshop (text, cover art, objects, etc.).
  2. Budgeting.
  3. Usefulness of items.
  4. Using Photoshop to create items unique to your book.
  5. Hosting giveaways on line and in person
  6. Packaging and presentation

4C World Building in Fantasy – Author, Christine Norris

Max: No Limit, Writers, Genres: MG, YA, Levels: B/N, M-R

This workshop focuses on the basics of fantasy world building. Major topics include geography, culture, economics, politics, religion, and technology, and why an author really needs to explore these topics when writing fantasy and touches on the differences between different types of fantasy – high, urban, historical, steampunk, alternative universe.

 

 

4D Self-Publishing: The Last Taboo in Children’s Writing – Carmen Ferreiro 

 

Max: No Limit, Writers, All genres, All Levels

Tired of waiting for the next rejection? Want to take charge of your writing career but afraid or intimidated by the prospect of self-publishing? Learn the steps required to take your masterpiece from Microsoft Word document to printed copy or e-book and what happens afterwards, to make an informed decision on whether self-publishing is for you

4E From Seed to Series: Developing a Chapter Book Series – Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Max 50, Writing, MG, All Levels

Creating a publishable manuscript is challenging enough; creating one with series potential can be a different animal altogether. The writer must develop a complete stand-alone plot which, at the same time, is open for continued interpretation. In addition, the main character must both develop throughout the pilot book but retain some consistent characteristic/circumstance that can tie the series together. This workshop discusses ways to create character-driven books that editors may see as strong enough to support a series.

4F Use Academic Standards as a Key Mktg Tool – Jane Kirkland

Max: No Limit, Marketing, PB, MG, YA, NF, All Levels

Academic Standards drive what teachers do in their classes and there is often a need for supplemental material. Both fiction and nonfiction books can correlate to Academic Standards and become useful tools for teachers. Learn about standards; how to find them, and how to use them in marketing your books to schools.

4G Illustrating in Clay – Illustrator Helena Bogosian

Max:25 Illustrators, All Levels

In this hands on workshop, Helena will share her expertise in using clay to create her illustrations for picture books.

4H Yin & Yang of Character Development – Kami Kinard

Max 100 Writing, MG, YA, B/N, M-R, Adv

Light cannot exist without darkness, and darkness cannot exist without light. When we strive to create fully rounded, believable characters, we need to remember this. Writers often have a difficult time giving their main characters flaws. Likewise, they are reluctant to give their villains redeeming qualities. But balancing the good and bad qualities in all characters makes them easier for readers to identify with. Participants will learn techniques to show the humane sides of the worst antagonists, making them more believable. And they will learn techniques for adding character flaws to their main characters, and how to use those flaws to help reach the turning point of the novel.

4I Poetry Power – Using Classic Poetic Elements to Make Words Sing – Carol Murray

Max: No Limit, Writers, Marketing/Bus., Genres: Poetry, PB, NF, Magazines, Levels: All

Carol will discuss poetic elements, including rhythm and rhyme, imagery, consonance and assonance, etc. She’ll also discuss free verse, line breaks, language, and the five senses.

4J Agent Pitches – 5 minutes with an agent. You pick the agent and the time slot. So register early before your ideal spot if take and moves off the list.

3:25 – 4:25  Bookfair – Published authors and author/editors will sell and sign their books.  Kate DiCamillo’s books will be on sale for her signing on Sunday.  Editors/Agents will attend. 

4:30-5:25 WORKSHOPS

5A Good Bad Guys: Antagonists Who Go Beyond the Stereotype – Meg Wiviott

Max: No Limit, Writing, Genres: MG,YA, Levels: M-R, Adv

Developing real, believable, and interesting antagonists is just as important as creating real, believable and interesting protagonists. But how does a writer make a bad-guy likeable? And why should she bother? This lecture/workshop will present The What, How, and Why of creating “good” antagonists by looking closely at some “good” bad guys and some “not-so-good” bad guys. We will discuss what works and what doesn’t, and how to apply this to your own work.

5B Quitting Your Day Job: Making a Living as a Freelance Writer – Laurie Calkhoven

Max: No Limit, Writing, Business/Marketing, Levels: M-R, Adv, Pub

From ghostwriting to media tie-in novels and series nonfiction, having “your” book published isn’t the only way to make a living as a children’s author. Calkhoven—who has made her living as a freelance children’s writer since 2003—will share her techniques for everything from getting ready to make the big move and building a resume to networking, getting hired, and keeping publishers coming back for more in the sometimes rocky world of work-for-hire.

5C World Building 101– John Cusick

Max: No Limit, Writers, All Genres, All Levels

Whether you’re writing science fiction or contemporary family drama, a believable, memorable setting, with its own history, mythology, and atmosphere, can bring your characters and story to life. Learn to create detailed, unique worlds your readers will never want to leave.

5D An Agent Talks about Query Letters That Grab AttentionAgent, Stephen Fraser

Max: unlimited. All levels- All Genres

Apart from writing synopses, one of the tasks that writers hate most is creating query letters. It’s a necessary evil, though, because in the USA at least, a well-written, dynamic query letter may be your one shot at getting a reputable literary agent’s attention.  Stephen will discuss what you need to know to grab and agent or editor’s attention.

5E Pitch Critique Session – Agent, Sean McCarthy & Editor, Daniel Nayeri

Max: 40, PB through YA, all levels

A Pitch Critique Workshop with an editor and agent is for attendees who would like to possibly have their pitches reviewed by industry professionals. The attendees will put their names in a basket. If their name is chosen, they will give their pitch out loud to the group. The agent and editor will respond with their thoughts and ideas. 

5F Reading as a Writer – Ann DeForest

Max 15 Writers, All Types, All Levels

All writers begin as readers. The books we loved as kids first opened us to language’s power and enticed us to create our own worlds with words. Reading still can guide and inspire us today. This hands-on workshop will transform your reading from pastime into fruitful apprenticeship. Stuck on dialogue? Having trouble choreographing a battle scene? Dissatisfied with your denouement? Turn to the experts all around you: the books that line your shelves at home or the local library. The workshop will address practical matters like incorporating reading into your writing schedule and setting up a reader’s notebook. We’ll also discuss “imitation,” “annotation,” and other methods of active, engaged reading that will sharpen your writing skills. Participants will have time to solve a particular craft problem (e.g. dialogue, conflict, beginnings) using favorite books as models. Please bring a blank notebook, a work-in-progress, and a book you love.

5G Perfect Picture Book Pacing – Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Max: No limit, Writing, Genre: PB, Levels: Beginner/Novice, Middle-Range, Experienced

Picture Book Plotting, Pacing, and Paging: A Parable in Three Parts. This workshop teaches effective pacing techniques to develop picture book manuscripts that are publication-ready. Participants are led through a structured outline that explains how a picture book story should unfold to captivate the audience of both young children and adult children’s book editors. Techniques are discussed to make self-editing easy and to troubleshoot in a productive way. This workshop clearly enumerates “rules” for picture book writing and gives concrete guidelines to follow.

5H Ins & Outs of Small-Press Publishing – Suzie Ismail

Max: No Limit, Writing, Genres: MG, NF, Levels: B/N, M-R

Are you stuck in a publication rut, unsure of which way to go? Has your manuscript already been through rounds of editors and agents with little success? Have you considered alternate avenues such as self-publishing? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s time to discover the industry’s best-kept secret… small press publishing! Presented by a three-time internationally published author, this workshop will open up an alternative world of publishing to help your writing career take off and enable you to reach your target audience. You CAN achieve your dreams of publication in this focused and successful way!

5I Tension in Revision: Adding Tension to Reduce Revision Stress – Kami Kinard

Max 15, Writing, MG, YA, B/N, M-R, Adv

What one word describes why a reader turns the page? Tension. When revising novels it is crucial to make sure there is enough tension to pull the reader through the story. Tension can be added in many ways and on many levels. This hands-on workshop will address techniques for adding tension through dialogue, setting, plot, and character.

Participants will be asked to bring all or part of a novel in progress with them to the workshop. During the intensive we will work through sections of the novels, employing the techniques discussed. There will be time for sharing and feedback. Participants will feel less stressed about revision when they leave because they’ll know how to dish out tension!

5J Working with Watercolors Doris Ettlinger

Max: 25, Illustrators, Genres: PB, Levels: Beginning/Novice, Mid-range, Advanced

Many artists shy away from watercolor because it can be unpredictable. Rather than trying to conquer watercolor, it’s best to develop a partnership. Lay down your washes, then step back and let the medium do its work. Doris Ettlinger will demonstrate some of the techniques she uses in her picture book illustrations, as well as discussing the nature of pigments, color composition and theory, materials, and resources.

5:20 – 6:30  Critiques
6:00- 7:30  Attendee Dinner
7:30 – 9:30  Faculty Dinner  

7:30 – 10:30  Optional critiques groups  & illustrator critique groups

SUNDAY, JUNE 10TH

8:00 – 9:00  Breakfast Art Exhibit set-up
9:00-9:55  State of the Children’s Market Report and Digital Opportunites – Steve Meltzer

10:05-11:00 WORKSHOPS

6A Re-Imagining Your Picture Book – Editor, Harold Underdown & Publisher, Eileen Robinson

Max: 40, Writers, PB, Beginners, Mid-Range, Experienced

When tweaks or critiques or “letting it sit” just aren’t enough, sometimes a picture book manuscript just needs to be re-imagined and a new direction taken. With the help of some picture book classics, we’ll discuss and try out ways to re-imagine a story focusing on such aspects as voice, POV, setting and character.

Required: a picture book manuscript to work with.

Recommended Reading: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, and A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams.

6B Career Building –  Agent, Scott Treimel from the Scott Treimel Agency

Max: No Limit, Writers & Author/Illustrators, Mid -Range, Experienced

It is more than just selling a book; it is selling the right books in the right order. Scott will discuss the variety career trajectories an agent might consider for different clients. it entails evaluating different kinds of talent in the context of the ever-changing publishing scene. Learn about the behind-the-sceens discussions between agents and editors, discussions that fix the path of an author or illustrator’s career.

6C Book Packagers 101 – Lionel Bender

Max: No Limit. Writers and Illustrators, All Levels

What are book packagers and why should you know about them? How do they differ from publishers? What types of books do they produce? Why do they exist and how do they work with publishers? How do they commission and work with authors and illustrators. How much do they pay? How do SCBWI get to meet them and work with them?
Workshop includes examples of book packagers products and what is special about them; handout with list of book packagers. Question and answer time.

6D Summoning the Muse: Let Poetry Add Precision & Punch to Your Novel – Felicia Chernesky

Max: 25 Writers, Genres: MG, YA, Mid-range to Experienced

Formalist poetry employs all the stylistic elements children’s book editors and publishers are looking for in a viable middle grade/YA manuscript: precise, concise language that is thoughtfully structured and visually rich and evocative. In this hands-on workshop, participants learn to manage some of the tools poets use that slashes word count, strengthens storylines, and creates the kind of vivid imagery illustrators and readers love!

6E Stretching, Pulling, Reshaping Fairy Tales, Legends, and Tall Tales – Kitty Griffin

Max: Unlimited, Writing, All genres, all levels

Ever been haunted by a fairytale? Thought you might like to retell it your way? How about a Tall Tale? Got an idea for a twist on an old one or new one? The same for legends, how can you go about reworking one? This workshop will help writers looks at familiar stories and discover new ways to stretch them. We’ll start with an introduction of the three forms, examine their characteristics, and then dive into some familiar tales and workshop ways to change them.

6F Quitting Your Day Job: Making a Living as a Freelance writer

Max: No Limit, Writing, Business/Marketing, Levels: M-R, Adv, Pub

From ghostwriting to media tie-in novels and series nonfiction, having “your” book published isn’t the only way to make a living as a children’s author. Calkhoven—who has made her living as a freelance children’s writer since 2003—will share her techniques for everything from getting ready to make the big move and building a resume to networking, getting hired, and keeping publishers coming back for more in the sometimes rocky world of work-for-hire.

6G “It’s Gesture that Counts: Telling a Story Through Body Language–  Katrina Damkoehler – Assistant Art Director at Sterling Children’s Books

Max: 30

                Katrina will discuss how using body language can help you flush out your story.

First Page Session – Executive Publisher, Steve Meltzer & Executive Editor, Regina Griffin
First Page Session -Executive Director, Rebecca Frazer & Sr. Editor, Tamra Tuller
First Page Session – Sr. Editor, Connie Hsu & Editor, Daniel Nayeri
First Page Session – Editor, Heather Alexander  &  Sr. Editor, Alexandra Cooper

11:10– 12:05  WORKSHOPS

7A Getting It out the Door: Are Your Synopsis and Cover or Query Letter Ready? – Harold Underdown & Eileen Robinson

Max: 40, Writers. All Genres, All Levels

Your manuscript is done–revised, critiqued, revised again, polished. Now it’s time to send it out into the world. To do that, you’ll need to write a dreaded “query letter” and, if it’s a novel, a synopsis. Later, if the manuscript is requested, you’ll need a cover letter to go with it.

In this workshop, learn what to do and what not to do in a query letter, how to put together an effective synopsis, and the simple requirements of a cover letter. We’ll also look at what struggles with drafting a query letter may say about your manuscript.

The workshop will move from theory to looking at actual examples: if you would like your query letter or synopsis to be examined (anonymously) please submit it  by April 1, 2012.

7B Contracts and Negotiations – Agent, Sarah Davies from Greenhouse Literary

Max: No limit. Mid-range writers and illustrators.

Sarah will discuss the things that need to be considered when negotiating a contract and the parts of a standard contract.  She will talk about the what you need to include and why you need specific clauses.  Come with your questions. Sarah will allow time to answer what inquiring minds want to know.

7C VISITING BOOK FAIRS: WHY AND HOW? – Publisher, Lionel Bender

Max: No Limit Writers & Illustrators, All Genres, All Levels

What and where are the major book fairs? Why should you visit them? What opportunities do they offer authors and illustrators? How can you maximize your chances of meeting publishers at these events? How do you get past the gatekeepers on the booths? How should you prepare for a visit? What should you do on the day? How do you follow up meetings? Learn the tricks of the trade from a regular book fair visitor and exhibitor. Question and answer time.

7D From Seed to Series: Developing a Chapter Book Series – Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Max 50, Writing, MG, All Levels

Creating a publishable manuscript is challenging enough; creating one with series potential can be a different animal altogether. The writer must develop a complete stand-alone plot which, at the same time, is open for continued interpretation. In addition, the main character must both develop throughout the pilot book but retain some consistent characteristic/circumstance that can tie the series together. This workshop discusses ways to create character-driven books that editors may see as strong enough to support a series.

7E Good Bad Guys: Antagonists Who go Beyond the Stereotype – Meg Wiviott

Max: No Limit, Writing, Genres: MG,YA, Levels: M-R, Adv

Developing real, believable, and interesting antagonists is just as important as creating real, believable and interesting protagonists. But how does a writer make a bad-guy likeable? And why should she bother? This lecture/workshop will present The What, How, and Why of creating “good” antagonists by looking closely at some “good” bad guys and some “not-so-good” bad guys. We will discuss what works and what doesn’t, and how to apply this to your own work.

7F World Building in Fantasy – Author, Christine Norris

Max: No Limit, Writers, Genres: MG, YA, Levels: B/N, M-R

This workshop focuses on the basics of fantasy world building. Major topics include geography, culture, economics, politics, religion, and technology, and why an author really needs to explore these topics when writing fantasy and touches on the differences between different types of fantasy – high, urban, historical, steampunk, alternative universe.  The attached outline is from the original 3 hour presentation, which included a long Q&A. I will be cutting this down considerably for the 45 minutes allotted, but still hope to touch on each of the major topics.

 7G Meter Maids: Sparkling Rhyme, Every Time – Corey Schwartz & Tiffany Strelitz Haber

Max 20 Writers, PB, All Levels

Learn how to effectively use internal rhyme, alliteration, wordplay, scansion, and more, to turn run-of-the-mill stanzas into rhyming extravaganzas!

Note: All participants are encouraged to submit a rhyming PB manuscript ahead of the conference.  Select submissions will be used to demonstrate writing/editing techniques during the workshop. Special Squeaky Clean Bonus:  The Meter Maids will “polish” one verse from every submission, and return to you, “bookstore ready”!

7H PICTURE BOOK DUMMY ESSENTIALS – Dan Yaccarino

Max:25, Illustrators- all levels

7I Use Academic Standards as a Key Mktg Tool – Jane Kirkland

Max: No Limit, Marketing, Genres: PB, MG, YA, NF, All Levels

Academic Standards drive what teachers do in their classes and there is often a need for supplemental material. Both fiction and nonfiction books can correlate to Academic Standards and become useful tools for teachers. Learn about standards; how to find them, and how to use them in marketing your books to schools.

7JAgents Panel – Agents Talk and Answer Questions

12:15–1:10 WORKSHOPS

8A Beginnings Bonanza – Anita Nolan

Max: 40, Writing, MG & YA, Beginner/Novice, Mid-Range, Experienced

An editor or agent might decide whether to read further at the end of the first page. Want to make sure your first page is the best it can be? This workshop will focus on common first page problems, what should be included in a first page, how to intrigue the reader, etc.

Attendees will submit their first pages at least one month before the conference. During the workshop, we’ll evaluate bits and pieces from the pages submitted and published novels to illustrate successful elements, problems, and how to fix them. We will not read entire first pages, just pull a sentence or two from them to illustrate points.

Anita will critique all first pages submitted by May 10. The first pages should be a max of 25 lines, double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman, one-inch margins.

8B Agent Pitches – 5 minutes with an agent.

8C Tough Love: The Art of Critiquing – Ramsey, Brewster Wiersbitzky, Resides

Max: 30, All Genres, Beginner, Mid-range

The Chester County Children’s Writers (CCCW) will present a panel discussion that focuses on tips for critique groups and how to avoid potential pitfalls. Group members will share how they have critiqued together, laughed together, read together, and supported each other on their writing journeys. Here’s what CRITIQUE means to this writing group–

C: Cheerleading

R: Regularly scheduled meetings…which means regularly scheduled writing!

I: Inspiration and brainstorming

T: Tough love and honest opinions

I: Ideas and information

Q: Questions to ask your characters

U: It’s not about you; it’s about the work.

E: Editing expertise and objectivity.

The session will be an informal discussion, with opportunities for questions and audience participation. CCCW members will conclude the discussion by giving examples of how the group has promoted their growth as writers. A handout with practical tips participants can apply to their writing and critiquing will be provided.

8D Protecting Your Work; Protecting Expression; Basic Copyright Law for Writers  Sharon Sorokin James

Max: No Limit, Both Writers & Illustrators, all levels, all genres.

In this workshop, we will discuss the basic concepts of copyright law and how copyright law protects a writer’s work.  As writers, we know how to read and decode books.  As illustrators, we know how to read and decode images.  But many writers and illustrators do not know how to read and decode a legal contract.  We will discuss how a contract expresses a relationship and we will review and discuss several provisions from a sample book contract.

8E Plotting and Producing Freebies to Market Your BookAuthor Charlotte Bennardo & Author Natalie Zaman

Max: 10, Writers & Illustrators, All Genres, Advanced, Published, Under Contract or Self Published

The publishing industry is changing; authors are now largely responsible to market their own books. Nat and Char will show you how to plan and create your own marketing materials to promote your book. There is a max of ten people for this workshop so that we can discuss each participant’s book. Participants will need to submit a partial or full electronic copy of their manuscript and/or an ARC and/or cover art if available by May 10th.

Outline:

  1. Review of what each attendee has sent in for workshop (text, cover art, objects, etc.).
  2. Budgeting.
  3. Usefulness of items.
  4. Using Photoshop to create items unique to your book.
  5. Hosting giveaways on line and in person
  6. Packaging and presentation

8F Use Academic Standards as a Key Marketing Tool  – Jane Kirkland

Max: No Limit, Marketing, PB, MG, YA, NF, All Levels

Academic Standards drive what teachers do in their classes and there is often a need for supplemental material. Both fiction and nonfiction books can correlate to Academic Standards and become useful tools for teachers. Learn about standards; how to find them, and how to use them in marketing your books to schools.

8G Inner Lives: Acting Techniques that dig Deep into Character – Laurie Calkhoven

Max: No Limit, Writers, Genres: PB, MG, YA, All Levels

Using relaxation and guided meditation, writers can find a richer, deeper connection to their characters with the same techniques that actors use to step into someone else’s skin.

Guided meditation exercises will be followed by writing periods, and—time permitting—opportunities to share your work. The focus is on exploring new territory with your character and your story.

Writers should come to the workshop with a character in mind and a willingness to be surprised.

8H Beyond the Book: Interactive Storybooks – Stacey Williams-Ng

Limited to 20 Illustrators, Genres: PB, MG, NF, Levels: M-R, Adv.

Children’s book illustrator and creative director Stacey Williams-Ng will take you behind the scenes of interactive book development to discuss the various considerations that authors and illustrators must face in creating stories that are well-suited for this medium. Using a variety of real-life case studies from her work as Creative Director at Demibooks, Williams-Ng will explain how such projects get developed and published, and what the ingredients look like. The workshop will offer a balance of business concerns as well as pragmatic advice for real-life story and asset production.

8I Pitch Critique Session – Agent, Holly McGhee & Publisher, Steve Meltzer

8J Chick Lit for Chicklets – Kami Kinard & Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Max 50, Writing, Genres: MG, YA, All levels

The need for literature representing issues important to women is evident from the entire genre known as Chick Lit, but this is not a grown up phenomenon only – children’s literature is slowly evolving its own form of Chick Lit, and these books are becoming increasingly popular. This workshop discusses the challenges and specifics of writing for girls from preschool through high school, how to create Chick Lit characters readers will find both amusing and realistic, and techniques for effectively marketing these manuscripts to publishers.

1:15-2:25  Lunch  

2:30-3:30  Keynote:  “SOME CONTRADICTORY ADVICE”  Kate DiCamillo 

3:30 pm Kate DiCamillo Book Signing

Hope you are thinking about joining us in June.  With 80 workshops, and 40 faculty members doing critiques and consultations, you have a lot to decide.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. This line-up looks amazing! Even better than last year. Can’t wait for June!

    Like

  2. wow Kathy….wonderful workshops!!!! and wonderful talented people! this’ll be quite the conference! 🙂

    Like


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