Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators



FRIDAY, September 13

Pre-conference intensives are available on Friday for an additional fee. Registration is limited. To register for intensives, please check the appropriate box when registering for the conference online. Intensive registrations are non-transferable, and there will be no refunds.

9:0011:00 a.m. | Eric Smith—Social Media and the Author: What It’s For, What It’s Not ($55)

When authors talk about social media and the dreaded “platform,” it often leads to feelings of panic. Are you going to have a hard time selling a book if you don’t have a ton of Twitter followers? Do you HAVE to be on Snapchat? What if your Instagram is just full of family photos? Relax. In this intensive, we’ll take an in-depth look at social media, the best ways to use it (hint: it’s not to sell books), and the mistakes that are often made. Limit 40.

12:002:00 p.m. | Lynda Mullaly Hunt—Organization for the Non-Linear Thinker: How to Organize the Threads Within Your Manuscript, Track Characters, and Deepen Plot ($55)

Novels are usually read from beginning to end, but they don’t necessarily have to be written that way. Author and non-linear thinker Lynda Mullaly Hunt will explain how she pieces together novels from scenes that come to her out of sequence. She will also discuss how she keeps it all organized and how this process aids her in revision, specifically character development and pacing, as well as cutting extraneous information, deepening emotion, and making sure sub-plots don’t drop off. In addition, she will address how she keeps track of many drafts of the same book and organizes notes and ideas for future projects. Hopefully, by the end of this workshop, you will be happy to embrace your non-linear approach and realize it’s actually a strength. Limit 30.

12:002:00 p.m. | Stephani Stilwell—Illustrating a Picture Book Jacket and Case Cover ($55)

Covers are an important way to get readers to pick up a picture book, and there are many issues to consider when illustrating one: composition, story, mood, and tone, as well as how the story is represented in one image. In addition to tackling these topics, designer and illustrator Stephani Stilwell will also discuss how to illustrate a strong case cover for the instances when the jacket is removed from a picture book. In these situations, the art is almost like a second cover and can make for an exciting reveal when a reader takes the jacket off the book. Full participants will create sketches and a final piece for review during the intensive. Illustrator coordinator Mary Uhles will contact these participants with instructions after registration Limit 12. (Want to observe this intensive? Illustrators wishing to observe only may do so for a fee of $25. Observe-only Participants will not participate in creating sketches and a piece but may participate during the final critique. Just check the “observe only” box when you register for the conference online. Limit 15.)

2:304:30 p.m. | Tiffany Liao—What the Heart Wants: How to Make Readers Fall in Love With Your Characters ($55)

With every book she edits, Holt editor Tiffany Liao always starts with one big question: What does the character want? Your character motivation is the heart of the story and will inform every element in your book including voice, plot, pacing, and world-building. Tiffany will show you how to dig deep into your character to establish a motivation that is compelling, believable, and urgently drives the story forward from page to page. Limit 30.

2:304:30 p.m. | Will Akers—The Three-Act Structure and Beyond! ($55)

This intensive will analyze story points from well-constructed movies (and a board book or two) as we explore what each act in a three-act structure must deliver. Screenwriter Will Akers will break acts into building blocks and examine how character drives structure. He will also discuss powerful methods for discovering where and how to begin your story, why an act break must be visible from the moon, how to avoid the dreaded Act II sag, and much more as we unpack why beginning, middle, and end are just the start. Limit 30.