Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Editor Brian Geffen, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Date(s) - 09/17/2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Online Workshop
SCBWI - Carolinas, Webinar

Workshop Description: The Art of Characterization: How to Create a Winning Protagonist

Any great story begins, of course, with a great character. The protagonist is integral in so many ways: they are the lens through which we view the world a writer constructs, the source of the emotional stakes that keep a reader invested, and the catalyst that drives the intrigue. But crafting a gripping, flawed, and winning protagonist is no easy feat.

How do you build a great character? How does their past, their back story, inform their present and future, and set the plot in motion? How do you create the layers of personality that make a protagonist feel three-dimensional? How do you ensure the reader will be invested in the character’s arc?

In this presentation, we’ll explore the ins and outs of developing a winning protagonist from the ground up.


Brian Geffen is an editor at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

He has worked with wonderful authors such as Julie C. Dao, Gregory Zuckerman, John Flanagan, Heather Kassner, Remy Lai, Katy Rose Pool, Rocky Callen, Christian McKay Heidicker, Oliver Jeffers, Loren Long, Lorna Scobie, and Andrew Maraniss, among others.

Brian acquires a wide variety of young adult and middle-grade fiction, particularly fantasy, realistic contemporary, and action/adventure, as well as graphic novels and humorous picture books.

Born and raised in Queens, NY, Brian is a fan of traveling, eating, rap, and learning foreign languages.


  • $0.00 SCBWI Carolinas Member, but must use discount code to get this price!
  • $20 all other SCBWI members
  • $30 Non-SCBWI members

When does registration open and close?

OPENS: July 15, 2020
CLOSES: September 2, 2020

Please note: Participation is capped on Zoom (our hosting platform)

Terms and Conditions

  • SCBWI Members MUST login to receive member pricing
  • There are no partial refunds for failure to login
  • All refunds may be subject to a 5% handling fee
  • No registration fees will be refunded after September 15, 2020