Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Retreat Schedule


This event is an intensive retreat! We’re here to learn, and then to put that knowledge to work! Creative Spaces will be open throughout the entire weekend for your use when you are not in an intensive! Keep an eye on the schedule for which rooms are open and when. You do not HAVE to use these spaces when you work. Feel free to use other common areas in the hotel, or to retreat to your room, if you are staying. Please respect others who may be working in Creative Spaces and keep socializing to the common areas. Thanks!


Friday, September 16

* The retreat officially begins at 6 pm, when registration opens, but feel free to come to the hotel any time Friday afternoon! Meet up with friends, or find a quiet place to create!

6:00-7:00 pm: Registration

7:00-8:00 pm: Opening Night!
Join our brilliant faculty as they help us get to know one another! Spend the hour chatting and getting ready to invest in your craft! Includes dessert. Bar available in hotel lobby.

8:00-10:00 pm: Creative Spaces open in Williamson and Franklin (level 2, opposite the elevators!)
If creating at night is your thing, find a seat and get to work!


Saturday, September 17


Saturday Create Space Schedule:         

            Williamson and Franklin—8:00 am-10:00 pm           

            Poplar/Redbud/Sycamore—7:00 am-10:00 am and 12:00-4:00 pm

            Chestnut— 10:15 am-4:00 pm

            Atrium— Open any time


Retreat Schedule:

8:00-10:00 am:   Writer’s intensive (picture books through young adult) 

Language in Service of Story with Linda Sue Park: We often think of story in terms of character, plot, and setting. What about language–the very way story is conveyed? This workshop will introduce tools and techniques that will expand your ability to regard your use of language with a critical eye, and make every word count. NOTE: Participants should bring their WIP as a digital file on a laptop. Some of the techniques can be done by hand on hard copy, but please note that they were designed for keyboarding.


10:15-11:45:  Illustrator’s intensive, part 1

Character Design with Kelly Light: In this workshop we’ll discuss design choices, character construction, personality, and acting. We will use drawing assignments and walk through all of the steps to make sure your characters feel real to your readers. Participants will be given an assignment in advance of the retreat weekend, and will arrive with 3 characters roughly designed. On Saturday we’ll revise the homework together with goals to work on for the following day.


12:00-1:30 pm: Lunch—taco bar and buffet (included with registration!)

Chips & Salsa, Beef Tamales, Build Your Own Taco Station: Chipotle Chicken, Chorizo, Roasted Peppers & Onions, Shredded Lettuce, Cojito, Cheddar Cheese, Mango Salsa, Sour Cream, Napa Slaw,
Elote (Mexican Street Corn Nuggets), Spanish Rice, Hot Sauce Station, Sopapillas & Churros


2:00-3:00 pm: Add-on writing intensive (ideal for chapter books through young adult)

Scene as Basis for Narrative Structure with Linda Sue Park: Just as the line is the basic structural unit for poetry, the scene serves the same purpose for narrative storytelling. When Linda Sue writes her novels, she doesn’t think in chapters—she thinks in scenes, and writes her way through a story by threading scenes together. She’ll explain how using scenes in this way helps with everything from setting to character illumination, and is crucial to plot development and narrative cohesion. Writers will have the opportunity to try out some of the techniques on their own manuscripts.


6:00-7:30 pm: Optional Italian Buffet Dinner—you must add this ticket item during registration if you would like to join us!

Salad, Pastas (including GF options) with Pesto, Marinara, Alfredo, and/or Vodka Sauce, grilled chicken, baked eggplant, Shredded Parmesan cheese, Ratatouille, Garlic Herb Bread, Cannolis, and Tiramisu


Sunday, September 18


Sunday Create Space Schedule: 

            Williamson and Franklin—8:00 am-12:30 pm           

            Poplar/Redbud/Sycamore—7:00 am-8:45 am and 10:45 am-12:30 pm

            Chestnut— 7:00 am-10:15 am and 11:30 am-12:45 pm

            Atrium— Open any time


Retreat Schedule:

9:00-10:30: Illustrator’s intensive, part 2

Wrap-up and Q&A with Kelly Light: Learn about finalizing characters with consistency and clarity, and tie up any thoughts and questions you may have from Saturday.


10:30-11:30: Writing intensive wrap-up with Linda Sue Park

You’ve been learning and working all weekend, now join Linda Sue as she answers questions you may have after putting what she’s taught you to use!


11:45-12:30: Book signing with Linda Sue Park and Kelly Light!


12:45-1:00: closing address and grand-prize drawing!



To register, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page