NESCBWI 2012 Conference: Keeping it Real

Springfield, Massachusetts
Friday, April 20, 2012


FRIDAY Conference Events and Workshops, April 20, 2012



Throughout the day: Assigned Manuscript/Portfolio Critiques, Submission Strategy Consultations, Agent Quick Query Meetings, and NetWit Social Media and Promotion Consultations


11:30 am - 1:30 pm Eric Carle Museum Mix & Mingle with Picture Book Creators
at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Have you wanted to ask your favorite authors/illustrators the secrets to their success? Have you seen them at conferences but were too shy to approach them? Here’s your chance to get personal. Visit with picture book creators Anna Alter, Carlyn Beccia, Harry Bliss, Brian Lies, Shelley Rotner and Dan Yaccarino while you enjoy tasty hors d’oeuvres at the beautiful setting of The Carle. Learn about their knowledge and experience in the field and get your favorite books signed. Don’t forget to take a tour of the museum dedicated to children’s picture book art.


2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Conference Registration Open


2:00 pm - 6:00 pm Conference Bookstore Open


2:30 pm - 4:30 pm INTENSIVE SESSION A
You may attend ONE of the hands-on, creative two-hour intensives, A-1 through A-5, or attend the Special Interest Group meetings for networking and informal discussion.

A1 is full - currently accepting waitlist only
A1 Peer Critiques
with Stacy Mozer
Peer critiques are with conference attendees and there is no additional fee to participate. Learn the best practices for giving and receiving critiques from New England SCBWI Critique Coordinator Stacy Mozer. Then you will be assigned to a group of peers writing in various genres. You will have 15 minutes to read and discuss your manuscript with the group. Plan to bring something that will take you five minutes to read to maximize your feedback. Make sure to bring six copies of your manuscript portion to share.
[Fiction/Nonfiction, PB/MG/YA, All Levels]

A2 Illustrators' Peer Portfolio Review - Speed-Dating Style with David Hyde Costello
Are you hoping to meet and share work with other illustrators? Then let's get as many of them in one room as we can. Bring your portfolio with around 10 illustrations and join us. It works like this: sit down with another illustrator, swap portfolios. For 2 minutes you look at each other’s work, for 2 minutes you talk about your partner's portfolio and for 2 minutes you listen to feedback about your portfolio. When the time is up you get a new partner and do it again. Guidelines for critique will be provided - which piece is strongest and why? What aspect of this illustrator's work should he/she work on? Are there gaps in the kinds of illustrations represented in the portfolio? Etc. Self-improvement is hard; let's make it a game we play together!
[Illustration, Intermediate]

A3 Finding Character Through Improvisation with Jen Nails
How can we create meaty, multi-dimensional characters that our readers will wonder about and wish for long after they’ve finished reading our stuff? Keep it real. One basic rule in improvisation is to tell the TRUTH. During the first hour of this workshop open to all levels, you will engage in basic improvisation exercises, which will help you:
· Gain confidence in the group
· Create environments in which your characters exist
· Become your characters in given circumstances/scenes
After improvising and a short group discussion, in the second hour you will be guided through writing exercises that will address and expand on what you experienced as your characters. You will come away from the workshop having laughed a whole lot, and with greater confidence in your ability to create well-drawn, authentic characters.
[Fiction/Nonfiction, MG/YA, Intermediate/Experienced]

A4 Inner Lives: Acting Techniques that Dig Deep Into Character with Laurie Calkhoven
Using relaxation and guided meditation, writers can find a richer, deeper connection to their characters using 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.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Intermediate/Experienced]

A5 is closed
A5 Keeping It Campy: Writing Camp for Grownups 
with Jo Knowles and Cindy Faughnan
For the past several years, Cindy Faughnan and Jo Knowles have group-taught Writing Camp—a two-week day camp for 7-12 graders. Whenever they mention Writing Camp, their writer friends say, “I want to go!” Well, this is your chance! In this workshop you’ll get to try the most popular, productive, and inspiring writing exercises that have come out of camp. You'll write new pieces as well as draw from characters in your current work-in-progress. You'll leave with a handful of new beginnings, new characters, and most importantly, inspiration! You’ll practice ideas you could use with your own group of young (or older!) writers. Come with pen, paper or laptop and be ready to write up a storm of new words. We'll bring the s'mores and bug juice.
[Fiction, PB/MG/YA, Beginner/Intermediate]

A6 Special Interest Group Meetings (SIGs)
Network with colleagues by interest groups that you proposed. SIGs are informal, casual roundtable conversations facilitated by fellow conference attendees. The topic might be a genre, a format, an area of writing or illustrating craft, an area of professional development, or a notable publishing trend. Past topics include Character Development, Illustrating with Technology, and Magical Realism, among many others. You are welcome to move between groups if you’d like, or stay with one group for the entire time. Come ready to exchange contact information.
Update to A6 (SIGS):
We're excited to welcome Jane Yolen to this spring's conference! Jane will be hosting a Q&A session on Friday from 3:30-4:30pm, during the SIG session. If you're attending the SIGs, please feel free to visit this Q&A and pick Jane's brain about her books, writing, "butt in chair", and more!

[All Genres, All Levels]


4:40 pm - 5:35 pm WORKSHOP SESSION B
New conference attendees are strongly encouraged to come to conference orientation, and seasoned conference veterans are welcome as well. A meet and greet session for the academies is also scheduled during this time.

B1 Conference Orientation with Kathryn Hulick and Joyce Shor Johnson
Is this your first NESCBWI conference? Worried about who to talk to and how to network? Come meet the conference directors and find out how to get the most out of your conference weekend. Seasoned conference-goers are welcome as well to share their advice and experiences. A series of icebreakers will help everyone get to know each other.
[All Genres, Beginner]

Academy registration is closed
ACA1 Nonfiction Academy Introduction with Melissa Stewart
More information on Author Academies

Academy registration is closed
ACA2 Novel Academy Introduction
with Sarah Aronson, Tami Lewis Brown, and Noa Wheeler
More information on Author Academies

Academy registration is closed
ACA3 Picture Book Academy Introduction
with Anne Broyles, Sarah Lamstein, and Laya Steinberg 
More information on Author Academies

Academy registration is closed
ACA4 Advanced Illustrator Academy Introduction 
with Dan Yaccarino, Kristin Sorra, and Martha Rago
More information on Illustrator Academies

Academy registration is closed
ACA5 Beginner Illustrator Academy Introduction 
with Anne Sibley O’Brien, Brian Lies, and Carol Goldenberg
More information on Illustrator Academies


5:40 pm - 6:00 pm Conference Welcome Ceremony


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Portfolio Showcase Open for Faculty and Volunteers
Open to the public 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm on Saturday


6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Dinner on your own


7:45 pm - 8:45 pm KEYNOTE PANEL

Independent Editor Panel: What's Going on in Children's Publishing Today and How to Navigate It with Harold Underdown, Tamson Weston, Eileen Robinson, J.L. Bell and Lionel Bender
Ebooks and apps rising, print sales falling. Big publishers closing their doors and agents opening theirs. Bookstores closing…. What does it all mean to you? Get a unique, unvarnished perspective on events in our industry from a panel of independent editors—all with years of in-house experience, all now working on their own and answerable to nobody but themselves. They'll tell you what is on their minds and answer your questions from their independent perspective.
Special door prizes during panel! Must be present to win.


9:00 pm - 10:00 pm Evening Activities

Friday evening activities include two rooms for Open Mic readings and a room for casual networking with wine and cheese.



SATURDAY Conference Events and Workshops, April 21, 2012



Throughout the day: Assigned Manuscript/Portfolio Critiques, Submission Strategy Consultations, Agent Quick Query Meetings, and NetWit Social Media and Promotion Consultations


7:30 am - 8:30 am Continental Breakfast


7:30 am - 8:30 am Conference Registration Open


8:00 am - 6:00 pm Conference Bookstore Open


8:00 am - 3:00 pm Poster Contest Open for Voting


8:45 am - 9:40 am KEYNOTE ADDRESS

The Meaning is in the Mess: A Case for Writing Life As It Is, Not How We Wish It with Sara Zarr


9:50 am - 11:45 am INTENSIVE SESSION CD
From 9:50 am to 11:45 am, you may choose one two-hour intensive (CD-1 to CD-4) or two one-hour workshops (C-1 to C-5 and D-1 to D-5).

CD1 A Thoughtful Approach to Beginnings (two-hour intensive) with Anita Nolan
Writers often start a new manuscript without giving much thought to the first few sentences or paragraphs, but those first sentences deserve extra attention since they might be all an editor, agent or reader look at before making a decision about your story. We'll identify ways to begin a story, provide lots of examples from middle grade and YA novels (and a few really good beginnings for adult novels as well), and give suggestions for the types of stories the different kinds of beginnings work well in. Please remember to bring a first page of a work in progress to this session.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Intermediate/Experienced]

CD2 is closed
CD2 The Dissection of Small Things: A Microscopic Examination of the Picture Book Form
(two-hour intensive) with Mary Lee Donovan
Using book maps and published models, participants will learn how to plot, pace, and polish a picture book text. Mary Lee Donovan will cover page turns, audible and inaudible language, cadence and rhythm, dialogue, and the many other ingredients that go into this most unique art form, a distilled unity of text and image. Limited to a small group of 20.
[Fiction, PB, Beginner]

CD3 From Blah to Brilliant: Nonfiction Revision Secrets Revealed (two-hour intensive) with Melissa Stewart
After discussing how to focus a nonfiction topic in a way that will interest editors, we will practice a four-step method for transforming a manuscript from okay to outstanding. Bring a work-in-progress.
[Nonfiction, PB/MG/YA, All Levels]

CD4 Character Design 101 (two-hour intensive) with Kelly Light
"Character driven picture books" - the buzz phrase buzzing in all of our ears right now. What goes into creating a great character? How can an illustrator explore the personality through their pencil and give that extra spark that captures the reader and makes a connection with the character? Line and shape and gesture are important visual clues to who your characters are. Regular exercises that play with these three elements of design can help illustrators find their characters. By observing real life and then interpreting form one can reach a desired visual embodiment of a singular personality. We are all looking to create very specific, memorable, non-generic characters that can capture the hearts and minds of young readers. From the manuscript we take our first clues on character then we ask our imaginations to introduce us to them and our pencils to bring them to life. Character design is play, along with exercises that build skills in visual development that are applicable to book illustration as well as product, licensing and animation work. It's also pretty much the most fun you can have with a pencil. Please come to this workshop prepared to draw. Bring pencils, erasers, and tracing paper or vellum.  [Illustration, PB/MG, Beginner/Intermediate]


9:50 am - 10:45 am WORKSHOP SESSION C
From 9:50 am to 11:45 am, you may choose one two-hour intensive (CD-1 to CD-4) or two one-hour workshops (C-1 to C-5 and D-1 to D-5).

C1 Defining the Borders of Reality with J.L. Bell
For authors of speculative fiction, the way your imaginary world works affects the stories you can tell and the themes you can explore most powerfully. This workshop lays out questions to ask as you construct a fantasy or science-fiction universe. How does it relate to the world your readers know? What rules of magic work best for what stories? What do readers expect from different kinds of fantasy or science fiction, and when can you break those expectations? We'll explore what really distinguishes "high fantasy" from "magical realism," and get acquainted with less common terms like "portal fantasy," "intrusion fantasy," and "the talking-animal spectrum."
[Fiction, MG/YA, Beginner]

C2 Keeping it Real After the Signing: Author/Agent Relationships with Vickie Motter, Jennifer Laughran, Stephen Fraser, Kate Messner, Chris Brodien-Jones, and Kristine Carlson Asselin
Also offered on Saturday afternoon as workshop E2
Ever wonder what the author/agent relationship is like? Find out how the agent/author relationship really works from a panel of agents and their clients. Specific things covered will be: How the query process feels from both the agent & author perspective; How submissions/sales to editors work; How agents and authors work together; and more.
[All Genres, All Levels]

C3 Expectations: Understand the Difference Between What's Real, What's Not And Why Neither One Should Stop You from Writing the Book You Want To Write with Linda Urban, Cindy Lord, and Jeannette Larson
Both Cindy Lord and Linda Urban were surprised by the success of their first novels -- Cindy's book, Rules, received a Newbery Honor, after all, and Linda's A Crooked Kind of Perfect landed on more than 20 state award lists. Great, right? Well, yes, it was great. But how to write a second book after that? How to live up to expectations -- both real and imagined. Cindy and Linda will talk about their experiences working on their second novels (Touch Blue and Hound Dog True) and editor Jeannette Larson will join them to discuss the real expectations a publisher might have when it comes to putting out your second novel.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Intermediate/Experienced]

C4 is full - currently accepting waitlist only 
C4 From Inspiration to Publication: The Essentials of A Picture Book Dummy 
with Dan Yaccarino
Also offered on Saturday afternoon as workshop F4
A picture book isn’t just drawings depicting text, but images and words uniquely intertwined to create a story. Dan Yaccarino is a veteran picture book author/illustrator of over 40 books, which have been translated into many languages and have sold over 1.5 million copies. This presentation teaches the fundamentals of putting together a picture book. From format, character development to basic storytelling, Dan reveals how he creates his highly successful picture books. This slide presentation is for both authors and illustrators who are interested in the very exciting and very unique art of storytelling called the picture book. Please bring an idea for a story or a full rough draft to this session. Illustrators should bring rough sketches of a picture book dummy or main character. Bring lots of paper or a laptop for drawing and writing.
[Illustration, PB/MG, Intermediate/Experienced]

C5 Branding Your World: How Apple, Virgin, and other Fortune 500 Companies Can Make You a Better Writer with A.C. Gaughen and Hilary Weisman Graham
Authors are constantly bombarded with the need to define themselves as a brand to successfully market their novels. However, these branding strategies also double as effective world building techniques. Taking main tenets of corporate branding strategies and applying them to world building will teach you how to approach your fiction world as a brand that you can successfully deliver to your readers.
[Marketing, All Genres, Intermediate/Experienced]


10:50 am - 11:45 am WORKSHOP SESSION D
From 9:50 am to 11:45 am, you may choose one two-hour intensive (CD-1 to CD-4) or two one-hour workshops (C-1 to C-5 and D-1 to D-5).

D1 Book Packagers 101 with Lionel Bender
What is a book packager or creation house? How does it differ from a publisher? Why should I know about book packagers? What kind of books do book packagers produce? How do they produce them and how do they commission and work with authors and illustrators? How much do they pay authors and illustrators? How can I meet or pitch to book packagers?
[Marketing, All Genres, Intermediate/Experienced]

D2 From "Quiet" to "I'll Buy it!" Writing Marketable Quiet Novels with Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Moulton, and Audrey Vernick
Also offered on Saturday afternoon as workshop F2
"Lovely writing but too quiet. Wouldn’t break out on our list." This may sound like a kind rejection, but for many writers, it’s a frustrating dead end. We've gathered three novelists and one agent/novelist that had all heard the above quote repeatedly but went on to sell their "quiet novels." Panelists will define what a quiet book actually is, review the quiet-book landmines writers should be mindful of throughout both the writing and revision processes, and help writers identify what techniques they can employ to make their novels a little less quiet without losing the heart of their story.  Lastly, we’ll address finding the most marketable aspects of your book and using them to craft a “loud” query letter.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Intermediate/Experienced]

D3 Saying Stuff Good: A Workshop About Strengthening Your Writing With The Effective Use of Voice with Mark Peter Hughes
Effective use of voice is one of the pillars of vibrant writing. But what exactly is voice, and how can writers use it to make their own stories shine brighter? In this hands-on workshop, Mark Peter Hughes shares some of his secrets to using voice as a way to pump up writing and bring characters to life. Using examples, he’ll walk participants through a handful of short exercises designed to help writers strengthen the voice in their own stories.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Beginner]

D4 The Invisible Art of Children's Book Design with Carol Goldenberg
Using approximately 100 slides to illustrate the process of designing books for children, Carol Goldenberg primarily addresses the picture book form, but also covers nonfiction and jacket design. She features her own book design work to show the audience how a children's trade book is created from the initial sketch and manuscript phase, covering all steps through to the printing and binding process. She will allow plenty of time after the talk for questions and discussion and will bring some of the physical books shown so participants can examine them up close. It is a colorful and informative tour of the book design process for both novices and intermediate book arts people as well.
[Illustration, All Genres, Beginner/Intermediate]

D5 “Red Alert” Book Contract Trends 2011 a/k/a Contract Rights and Wrongs: E-Rights, Sub-Rights and Reversion (Plus other “Gotcha” terms) with Jan Constantine
Published authors will learn the ins and outs of contract negotiation with Jan Constantine, General Counsel for The Authors Guild. Learn contract rights and wrongs, e-rights, sub-rights, reversion, and other “gotcha” terms.
[Fiction/Nonfiction, All Genres, Experienced]


11:50 am - 12:45 pm Lunch


12:45 pm - 1:00 pm KEYNOTE ADDRESS

The Power of "What If..." with Kate Messner
TED talk originally given in March 2012

What does children's author Kate Messner have in common with the founder of LinkedIn, a psychopath expert, the writer of Toy Story, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped end Liberia's civil war?  They all took the stage at the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California this winter. This afternoon, Kate shares her TED talk live, along with a tale or two from her days at TED.


1:00 pm - 1:55 pm KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Laughing Between the Lines: Harry Bliss on Pictures and Humor with Harry Bliss


2:20 pm - 3:15 pm WORKSHOP SESSION E

E1 Get Real: Harnessing the True to Add Depth and Emotion to Your Young Adult Novel with Jo Knowles and Sarah Darer Littman
This will be a hands-on workshop using writing exercises and thoughtful discussion to help participants harness real emotions and situations to help their own writing feel more authentic. Within these emotions, we’ll show participants how to uncover the core truth in their writing, as well as create more realistic characters, situations and dialogue.
[Fiction, YA, Beginner/Intermediate/Experienced]

E2 Keeping it Real After the Signing: Author/Agent Relationships with Vickie Motter, Jennifer Laughran, Stephen Fraser, Kate Messner, Chris Brodien-Jones, and Kristine Carlson Asselin
Also offered on Saturday morning as workshop C2
Ever wonder what the author/agent relationship is like? Find out how the agent/author relationship really works from a panel of agents and their clients. Specific things covered will be: How the query process feels from both the agent & author perspective; How submissions/sales to editors work; How agents and authors work together; and more.
[Fiction/Nonfiction, MG/YA, All Levels]

E3 On Fourth Thought... Revising Your Way To Storytelling Glory with Mark Peter Hughes
Story revision can feel like a daunting and uncomfortable task, but in truth it’s a powerful tool for making your story shine—and believe it or not, the process of revision can be fun! In this hands-on workshop, Mark Peter Hughes shares strategies for revision and leads participants through a handful of short exercises designed to help writers identify ways to strengthen their own stories through “seeing again.”
[Fiction/Nonfiction, All Genres, Beginner/Intermediate] 

E4 is closed
E4 Do your Kid Characters Sound Authentic? with Karen Day
Are your characters multi-dimensional? Do they sound like kids or more like adults masquerading as kids? Do you know what your characters want, both consciously and unconsciously? In this workshop Karen Day will take you through exercises she uses to develop dynamic kid-oriented characters. This will include how to write two-part biographies, how to create sympathetic narrators on the first page and how to revise. This workshop will also look at other authors who have been successful with kid voices. Participants will leave with new strategies that will help them not only deepen and refine their characters, but make them sound more like kids. 

[Fiction, MG/YA, Beginner/ Intermediate]

E5 Amazon For Authors with Jon Fine
The “means of production have been democratized,” so to speak; as a result, opportunities for authors have grown enormously – as have the challenges. This overview of Amazon’s tools and services for authors will focus on those programs that permit you to quickly and easily publish in print and digital forms, including reverted and backlist titles, and help enhance sales after publication. Programs discussed include CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, Author Central, Author Pages and a range of other tools to help authors increase the availability and discoverability of their titles to Amazon's millions of customers. We will also discuss Amazon’s growing publishing program.
[Marketing, All Genres, Beginner/ Intermediate]

E6 Story Basics for Illustrators: Writing a Picture Book with Mary Brigid Barrett
This workshop is specifically designed for illustrators, who often enter into the world of story visually and may not view themselves as wordsmiths. It will address the writing and construction of a picture book text. We will start with the basics, constructing a story that has a beginning, middle, and ending; using words and sentences with muscle that engage and provoke. Other topics to be discussed include: character, action, and plot development; sensory description; and story movement. In addition, attendees will be shown techniques and exercises that will help them assess their written work objectively so that they can improve their writing skills, as well as their visually storytelling abilities.
[Illustration, PB, Beginner/ Intermediate]

E7 Color Your World with Anne Sibley O’Brien
As poet Lucille Clifton said, "The literature of America should reflect the children of America." But in the 21st century, the children's book field is not nearly as racially diverse as our society - neither in those who select, create and produce the books, nor in the books themselves. The introduction will review some of the reasons for this reality, including some good news: research demonstrating that exposure to diverse children's books can actually reduce prejudice. The bulk of the workshop will focus on what illustrators and writers can do now, including exploring your own experience of race, creating characters from races different from your own, drawing racial differences, supporting writers and illustrators of color, and choosing diverse books. Together we’ll imagine possibilities for creating books in which all of our nation’s children can see themselves reflected.
[All Genres, All Levels]

E8 Image Research and Permissions: A Survival Guide with Sarah Albee and Elizabeth Partridge
Congratulations! You just sold a nonfiction book! For many nonfiction writers, it’s a shock to discover that the author is expected to research, negotiate permissions, and pay for her own images. It can be a steep curve, learning about the world of public domain, fair use, and image rights. In this jointly-presented, interactive discussion, authors Elizabeth Partridge and Sarah Albee will cover the basics of photo research (including how and where to find that perfect picture), permissions, and the all-important budget. Published or soon-to-be-published authors can get a crash-course in how to research historical images (from fine art to photography), understand the terminology of image permissions, and learn creative ways to negotiate and pay for their images on a tight budget.
[Nonfiction, PB/MG/YA, Intermediate/Experienced]

E9 The Joys and Challenges of Three-Dimensional Illustration with Sally Mavor
Sally Mavor will talk about her career as an illustrator who works in three dimensions and show how she developed her fabric relief technique. She will also review how different book projects were handled by editors and photographers. She will discuss issues that come up regarding three dimensional illustration and will bring in other published books to use as examples.
[Illustration, PB, Intermediate/Experienced]


3:20 pm - 4:15 pm WORKSHOP SESSION F

F1 Game Plan for a Career as a Freelancer with Lionel Bender
Also offered on Sunday morning as Part I of intensive G7
Whether you are starting from scratch or leaving a full-time job to become a freelance author or illustrator, what skills, techniques, and tools do you need? How should you organize your time, workspace, and family life? How do you find and make contact with publishers, agents, and organizations who can help you find work and give you work? How can you best explore the world of children's publishing and find the niche and lifestyle that suits you?
[Marketing, All Genres, Beginner]

F2 From "Quiet" to "I'll Buy it!" Writing Marketable Quiet Novels with Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Moulton, and Audrey Vernick
Also offered on Saturday morning as workshop D2
“Lovely writing but too quiet. Wouldn’t break out on our list.” It may sound like a kind rejection, but for many writers, it’s a frustrating dead end. We have gathered three novelists and one agent/novelist who have heard the above quote repeatedly and who went on to sell their “quiet novels.” We'll define what a quiet book actually is. We will review the quiet-book landmines writers should be mindful of throughout the writing and revision process. We’ll address finding the most marketable aspects of your book and using them to craft a “loud” query letter. We will also explore the tangible, difference-making things that can be done to push a manuscript into the realm of “quiet but marketable.” Specifically, we will help writers identify what techniques they can employ to make their novels a little less quiet without losing the heart of their story.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Intermediate/Experienced]

F3 Get Unstuck! with Linda Urban
Latest work-in-progress gotcha down? Can't seem to get past page 40? Are your characters flat? Your arc lost its oomph? Can't find a plot point with a flashlight? Honey, could be you are working Too Darn Hard. Could be you need to PLAY!! This session will be filled with fun and games designed to help you see your manuscript in ways you may never have before -- and to have fun doing it! Participants should be prepared to write, scribble, doodle, and otherwise make a mess of their notebook pages.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Intermediate/Experienced]

F4 From Inspiration to Publication: The Essentials of A Picture Book Dummy with Dan Yaccarino
Also offered on Saturday morning as workshop C4
A picture book isn’t just drawings depicting text, but images and words uniquely intertwined to create a story. Dan Yaccarino is a veteran picture book author/illustrator of over 40 books, which have been translated into many languages and have sold over 1.5 million copies. This presentation teaches the fundamentals of putting together a picture book. From format, character development to basic storytelling, Dan reveals how he creates his highly successful picture books. This slide presentation is for both authors and illustrators who are interested in the very exciting and very unique art of storytelling called the picture book. Please bring an idea for a story or a full rough draft to this session. Illustrators should bring rough sketches of a picture book dummy or main character. Bring lots of paper or a laptop for drawing and writing.
[Illustration, PB/MG, Intermediate/Experienced]

F5 How to Polish your First Page with Kristin Miller and Vicki Motter
As agents, Kristen and Vicki have read hundreds of manuscripts, giving them the inside track on common mistakes made by writers. Through a read-aloud activity during this session, you'll discover and gain insight into how agents approach and analyze the first page of a manuscript in regards to voice, style, craft and marketability, and use that insight to polish your own pages. You'll learn to identify and resolve mistakes and concerns in your first pages that might be limiting your request for more pages rates. Join two hands-on, editorial agents in a workshop that will give you tips and tools to turn so-so first pages into something that will have agents clamoring to read more! Please bring a printed copy of the first page of a work in progress with no name, genre, or other identifying information to this workshop.
[Fiction/Nonfiction, PB/MG/YA, Beginner]

F6 Spellcasting: Building Believable Magical Worlds with Cinda Williams Chima
Also offered on Sunday morning as a longer format intensive G2
All novelists engage in world building, even for stories set in the so-called “real world.” Fantasy writers have to work much harder to put the reader in a world they’ve never been to and entice them to stay. A world is more than geography and climate—it’s an organic whole that must have an internal consistency. The old adage, “Write what you know,” doesn’t apply here. Or does it? In this hands-on workshop, learn how to mingle real world elements with the fantastic to create a world your readers believe in. A little prework can pay off handsomely when you create the architecture for magical worlds.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Beginner]

F7 Author Charm School: How not to lose friends and alienate people before, during, and after the publication of your first book with Sara Zarr
We'll talk about smart ways to develop good working relationships with agents, editors, booksellers, publicists, and fellow authors while on the journey to and through publication. This is a fun presentation with great takeaways for authors at the starting point of their careers. We'll cover how to use (and not use) social networking, how to pick your publishing battles, and other issues around finding the sweet spot between being a doormat and an overly squeaky wheel when dealing with things that pertain to ensuring your book is well-published. We'll also talk about the difference between what you can control, what you can't control, and what you can influence in publishing. The format of this workshop is a combination of PowerPoint, informal lecture, and Q&A.
[Marketing, PB/MG/YA, All Levels]

F8 Get Real & Get Published: The Market for Nonfiction with Peggy Thomas
For every one fiction writing opportunity there are eight opportunities in nonfiction. No longer considered textbook boring; nonfiction is innovative and creative. If you are struggling to sell your fiction, then break that first-sale barrier with nonfiction. Drawing on her 20 years of experience writing trade nonfiction, educational materials, and articles, Peggy will discuss the wide range of opportunities that are available for writers and how to approach each market with the appropriate query, proposal or resume. Learn how to make the most out of your research efforts, and how to avoid the biggest mistakes in nonfiction so you can look like a pro and build a base for your writing career.
[Marketing, Beginner/Intermediate]

F9 Creating Traditional Illustration Digitally with Kristin Sorra
This class is meant to explore the transition from working traditionally to the digital medium while still trying to achieve a hand made look. It will emphasize the importance of a traditional painting foundation and translating its subtle nuances using Adobe Photoshop and the Wacom tablet. Examples of working digital artists that have made the transition will be examined. This class is for illustrators who are apprehensive about working digitally in a very traditional field and finding their voice in what’s perceived to be a “cold” medium. It is also for illustrators who already work digitally and want to enhance their work, and finally for those just looking for inspiration. Demonstrations will involve various digital illustration techniques that make a piece look hand painted, also techniques that achieve effects that would otherwise be too time consuming by hand. The results are meant to fool the untrained eye, or simply wow the purist in all of us.
[Illustration, Experienced]


4:30 pm - 5:00 pm Conference Closing and Door Prizes


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Free Time

Book Signing with Conference Faculty

Special Interest Group Meetings
Network with colleagues by interest groups that you proposed. SIGs are informal, casual roundtable conversations facilitated by fellow conference attendees. The topic might be a genre, a format, an area of writing or illustrating craft, an area of professional development, or a notable publishing trend. Past topics include Character Development, Illustrating with Technology, and Magical Realism, among many others. You are welcome to move between groups if you’d like, or stay with one group for the entire time. Come ready to exchange contact information.
[All Genres, All Levels]


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Portfolio Showcase Open


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Dinner on your own


8:00 pm - 10:00 pm Evening Activities

Saturday evening activities include two rooms for Open Mic readings and Regional Meet-Ups with New England SCBWI RAs for attendees interested in meeting and networking with other SCBWI members in their region.



SUNDAY Conference Events and Workshops



7:30 am - 8:30 am Continental Breakfast


8:00 am - 8:30 am Conference Registration Open


8:30 am - 3:30 pm Conference Bookstore Open


8:45 am - 9:40 am KEYNOTE PANEL

It's a Great Time for Nonfiction with Tanya Lee Stone, Elizabeth Partridge, and Susan Campbell Bartolleti, moderated by Ken Wright


9:50 am - 3:05 pm AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR ACADEMIES

Academy registration is closed
ACA1 Nonfiction Academy
with Tanya Lee Stone, Elizabeth Partridge, and Susan Campbell Bartoletti
More information on Author Academies

Academy registration is closed
ACA2 Novel Academy
with Sarah Aronson, Carolyn Coman, and Nancy Werlin
More information on Author Academies

Academy registration is closed
ACA3 Picture Book Academy
with Anne Broyles, Sarah Lamstein, and Laya Steinberg 
More information on Author Academies

Academy registration is closed
ACA4 Advanced Illustrator Academy with Dan Yaccarino, Kristin Sorra, and Martha Rago
More information on Illustrator Academies

Academy registration is closed
ACA5 Beginner Illustrator Academy with Anne Sibley O’Brien, Brian Lies, and Carol Goldenberg
More information on Illustrator Academies


9:50 am - 11:50 am INTENSIVE SESSION G
Workshops G1 through G5 are two-hour intensives focusing on craft. Two marketing options, G6 and G7, are also offered during this time.

G1 Real Revision: Big Picture and Line by Line (two-hour intensive) with Kate Messner
In this workshop, participants will learn tried-and-true strategies for revising a novel, from big-picture concerns like theme and characters to line by line improvements relating to word choice, voice, and cutting unnecessary text. We’ll hear the revision stories behind some award-winning novels for middle grade and young adult readers and learn how to adapt those strategies for our own purposes. Often, revising a novel means returning to an earlier stage in the writing process, so we’ll investigate outlines, organizers, timelines, maps, and sketches as revision tools. We’ll identify situations where a return to research is the best medicine for a hurting manuscript and those where a good pruning is needed. Workshop participants who have a novel in progress at any stage should bring it along for the hands-on, down-and-dirty work of revision. (But don’t be intimidated…we’ll have fun! There will be colored pencils, neon Post-It Notes…and chocolate, too!)
[Fiction/Nonfiction, MG/YA, Intermediate/Experienced]

G2 Spellcasting: Building Believable Magical Worlds (two-hour intensive) with Cinda Williams Chima
Also offered on Saturday morning as the shorter format workshop F6
All novelists engage in world building, even for stories set in the so-called “real world.” Fantasy writers have to work much harder to put the reader in a world they’ve never been to and entice them to stay. A world is more than geography and climate—it’s an organic whole that must have an internal consistency. The old adage, “Write what you know,” doesn’t apply here. Or does it? In this hands-on workshop, learn how to mingle real world elements with the fantastic to create a world your readers believe in. A little prework can pay off handsomely when you create the architecture for magical worlds.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Beginner]

G3 Making Ebooks From Scratch: How to Stop Worrying and Love HTML (two-hour intensive) with Brendan Gannon
If you are interested in e-publishing your work, providing ebook consulting, or simply staying current with publishing technology, you need to know ebooks from the ground up. There is no “magic bullet” for ebook production: any decent ebook requires at least some hand-coding. The good news is that anyone can make ebooks. The first part of the workshop will cover ebook structure, CSS and XML, and a hands-on introduction to HTML tags. We’ll see that you can make ebooks with nothing more than the text editor already installed on your computer. The second part of the workshop will cover rapid ebook development with free software available for Mac and Windows. We’ll address text formatting, common pitfalls, usability testing, and conversion to other formats. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop. You will leave with the skills to produce basic professional ebooks and tons of reference material for refining your technique.
[All Genres, Beginner/Intermediate]

G4 Illustrating the Space Between the Words: A Picture Book Dummy Workshop (two-hour intensive)
with Mary Brigid Barrett
This workshop is designed for illustrators actively engaged in creating books. Participants will bring a dummy-in-progress to the workshop for an intensive, instructional critique and brainstorming session. Using participants’ work as springboard for discussion, information on picture book dummy design, construction, and movement will be shared. We will also discuss: character development and action; picture and text interaction; trim size choice; color themes; the emotional impact of color; and media and stylistic choices that compliment the text. Illustrators who attend this workshop should be prepared for a serious discussion of their work and the dummy process. Limited to a small group of 25.
[Illustration, PB, Intermediate/Experienced]


G5 Picture Book Boot Camp (two-hour intensive) with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
The purpose of this intensive is to effect real-time revisions to the participants' manuscripts based on the principles of good narrative writing that will be discussed in the lecture. Participants should come with a work-in-progress and writing materials. Over the course of the two hours, we will discuss ways to properly pace the manuscript, techniques to heighten tension, and simple ways to self-edit, and then put all these lessons to use. At the end of the workshop, participants will not just leave with theory and lecture, but will have made real changes to their works-in-progess. Limited to a small group of 20.
[Fiction, PB, Experienced]

G6 Part I. Build a Community: Promote Your Work with Viral, Low-Cost Marketing Initiatives with Kellie Celia
It's no secret: authors are increasingly expected to carry the weight of their books’ promotional efforts. But a full-fledged marketing campaign can run into thousands of dollars and more, leaving few options for those with smaller budgets. That said, there are less expensive ways for authors to build buzz and promote themselves and their books. In this workshop, Kellie Celia will show you how to utilize online and relationship-based marketing to spread the word about your current or upcoming titles inexpensively and efficiently. You will learn how to establish relationships with book bloggers and tastemakers, to utilize social networks to build buzz, and to create your own online publicity campaigns.
[Marketing, All Genres, Beginner/Intermediate]
Part II. Blog Tours and Guest Posts: Joining the Blog Parade with Greg Fishbone
A relatively new trend in book promotion is the blog tour: a coordinated series of interviews, reviews, and guest posts that appear across a number of blogs over a short period of time. When done correctly a blog tour can be a low-cost way to draw attention to a book. Greg R. Fishbone will share the process he went through to organize and execute a blog tour for Galaxy Games: The Challengers, and will offer some thoughts on how a blog tour can have a maximum impact even without having a blog of your own.
[Marketing, All Genres, Intermediate]

G7 Part I. Game Plan for a Career as a Freelancer with Lionel Bender
Part I is also offered on Saturday afternoon as workshop F1
Whether you are starting from scratch or leaving a full-time job to become a freelance author or illustrator, what skills, techniques, and tools do you need? How should you organize your time, workspace, and family life? How do you find and make contact with publishers, agents, and organizations who can help you find work and give you work? How can you best explore the world of children's publishing and find the niche and lifestyle that suits you?
[Marketing, Beginner]

Part II. Dear Editor: Writing a Query that Gets You Noticed with Elizabeth Carpentiere and Marcia Lusted
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true when sending a query letter off to an editor. Elizabeth Carpentiere and Marcia Amidon Lusted, who have been reading (and rejecting) query letters for Cobblestone Publishing for a combined 20 years, give you some inside tips on query letter do’s and don’ts. Elizabeth will share examples of queries that were accepted and others that didn’t make the cut and will explain what editors are looking for in a query.
[Marketing, Beginner]


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch


1:00 pm - 1:55 pm Book Signing


2:10 pm - 3:05 pm WORKSHOP SESSION H

H1 It's Tricky to Rock a Rhyme: Real Tips You Can Use with Kelly Fineman
When publishers say that they do not want rhyme,
they say that because far too much of the time,
the stories they get make no sense or rhyme badly;
yet all of us know rhyming tales we love madly.
With focus on scansion, form, rhyming and style,
this workshop is definitely worth your while.

Suitable for intermediate poets and authors who wish to work on their rhyming poems or picture book texts.
[Fiction/Poetry, PB, Intermediate]

H2 What to Expect When You’re Expecting: A Panel Discussion About Seeing Your First Book Into the World with Hillary Graham, Gina Rosati, Diana Renn, AC Gaughen, Lita Judge, Lynda Mullaly-Hunt and Gina Damico
So your book is actually getting published? Time to celebrate! But the time spent awaiting the publication, can sometimes feel as overwhelming as becoming a parent for the first time. Yes, you’re excited, but being a newbie in the publishing world can also open up an onslaught of questions and worries as to how to best care for your “baby” and ensure its success. What happens when you disagree with your editor? What if you don’t like your cover? How do you best set up an online presence to create buzz about your book? And what exactly is copy-editing? From agents and ARCS to revisions and readings—all the specifics of bringing a book into the world will be discussed as this panel of experienced writers (including several first-time novelists still in the trenches!) gives you the low-down on the most pain-free way to deliver your first book into the world.
[Marketing, PB/MG/YA Intermediate/Experienced]

H3 From Pitch to Synopsis with Anita Nolan
Describing your manuscript concisely is one of the most frustrating—and important—things you'll do when trying to get published. From writing a pitch to writing a synopsis, this workshop will provide techniques for briefly and succinctly telling an editor or agent about your story. We'll quickly cover synopsis basics, then move into writing a pitch, expanding it into a blurb and then a synopsis. We'll also discuss how the words and plot points you choose to include in your story description can affect the way the story is perceived.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Intermediate/Experienced]

H4 Research Geeks Rule! (Or, How to Be a Research Geek) with Ann Malaspina and Joan Axelrod-Contrada
Good research can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. In this workshop, two veteran children’s authors share what they’ve learned researching Lizzie Borden’s mysterious blue dress, Thomas Jefferson’s slave family, and how a horned lizard squirts blood from its eyes. Using anecdotes from the trenches, they’ll help writers find the facts and quirky details to craft authentic scenes in genres from YA novels to nonfiction picture books. Writers will come away with a research tool kit that leaves Wikipedia in the dust—including tips on Internet searches, talking to experts, verifying facts, hitting the pavement, and handling a brick wall. (Hint: When in doubt, leave out) Attendees are asked to bring research problems for group brainstorming.
[Fiction/Nonfiction, PB/MG/YA, Beginner/Intermediate]

H5 Dialogue: Crafting Conversation in Fiction for Young Readers with Mitali Perkins
Dialogue is a powerful tool to reveal character and move plot forward. If it isn't done right, however, we risk boring the reader by sounding heavy-handed. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, we'll practice writing lively conversation, learn to avoid seven common dialog busters, and reward our readers with talk that sounds real.
[Fiction, MG/YA, Beginner]


3:10 pm - 3:30 pm Conference Closing Ceremony

With closing remarks from special guest Jane Yolen


 

Contact Information

  • Email: nescbwi12@gmail.com
    Twitter: @nescbwi

    Hotel Phone: (413) 781-1010
    Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place
    (413) 781-1010
    One Monarch Place
    Springfield, Massachusetts 01144
    United States

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    (413) 781-7111

    2 Boland Way
    Springfield, Massachusetts 01115
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Payment Instructions

  • Tuition fees apply for each day of the conference. A discount will apply when you register for the full three days.

    We welcome payment either by credit card or by check. If you prefer to submit a check, please print a copy of your registration invoice and mail it along with a check for the total to:

    SCBWI 
    New England
    19 Francine Drive
    Holliston, MA 01746

    You will receive an email confirmation of payment receipt.

    Your registration can only be confirmed once payment is received.


    SCBWI Member
    Full Conference
    (all three days with discount): $245
    Friday: $75
    Saturday: $125
    Sunday $75

    Non-Member
    Full Conference
    (all three days with discount): $295
    Friday: $100
    Saturday: $150
    Sunday $100

    Join SCBWI

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