SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet The 2017 Faculty

2017 red hot logo for slider 580x400We are pleased to announce the faculty of the SCBWI Carolinas annual conference.  We have included, for each faculty member, the participating conference session(s).  Additionally, our SCBWI Carolinas mentors participate in our faculty and provide critiques for members who submit. Access the conference schedule

 

 

Camille Andros HeadshotCAMILLE ANDROS is a children’s book author whose debut picture book, CHARLOTTE THE SCIENTIST IS SQUISHED, illustrated by Brianne Farley, was released in the spring of 2017, with a sequel to be released a year later. Camille loves asking questions and won first place in the school science fair when she was in kindergarten. She lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with her husband and six children who know a little something about being squished. Her next book, THE DRESS AND THE GIRL, illustrated by Julie Morstad, will hit shelves in the fall of 2018 with a companion book to be released a year later. She is a regular guest/co-host at the KidLitDrinkNight Podcast.
Visit Camille online at www.camilleandros.com on Twitter @camdros and instagram @camilleandros.

BREAKOUT SESSION: How To Write A Picture Book Agents and Editors Can’t Say No To. The most beloved books are the ones that make the reader feel something. Stories that make you laugh, cry, sigh or even shout. Books with emotion are the ones readers go back to again and again; these are the books editors want to buy.  This session will use examples from the best books—both old and new—and show how to inject this vital element into your own work and make it a manuscript agents and editors can’t say no to.


LINDA ASHMAN’s more than 35 picture books have been included on the “best of the year” lists of The New York Times, BankLinda Ashman Street College, CCBC Choices, The Charlotte Zolotow Awards, The New York Public Library, and more.  Recent titles include ELLA WHO? (Sterling), WILLIAM’S WINTER NAP (Disney-Hyperion, October 2017), and ALL WE KNOW (Harper), which Kirkus called “simply beautiful” in a starred review. She’s also the author of THE NUTS AND BOLTS GUIDE TO WRITING PICTURE BOOKS, and contributes to the group blog PictureBookBuilders.com. Linda lives in Chapel Hill, NC. For more, visit lindaashman.com.

BREAKOUT SESSION: Navigating the Author-Agent Relationship [with Jennifer Mattson/Andrea Brown Agency] Ideally, the author-agent relationship is a mutually beneficial, respectful and supportive partnership. But sometimes it is a source of tension and frustration. Often, the differnece comes down to one factor: expectations. In this session we will focus on minimizing the gap between expectation and reality, discuss things you should know before you sign with an agent, how to research potentially compatible agents, and what to ask when an agent expresses interest in your work. 


Carol Baldwin picCAROL BALDWIN enjoys teaching writing and has presented at many teaching and writing conferences. She was an instructor in the continuing education department at Central Piedmont Community College, coordinated the Charlotte SCBWI group for over 20 years, and has published widely in newspapers and magazines. She is a contributing editor to LitChat and co-publishes Talking Story, a newsletter for educators and media specialists. Find her book reviews and writing tips at www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com. When she is not writing, you’ll find her on the golf course or reading to one of her five grandchildren. Carol’s most recent book is TEACHING THE STORY: FICTION WRITING IN GRADES 4-8 (Maupin House, 2008). Her first young adult novel is set in Charlotte, NC, in 1950.

BREAKOUT SESSION: Wikis 101: Powerful Online Tools   Wikis are editable websites that enable collaboration between two or more individuals. Carol Baldwin will show participants how simple it is to create a wiki, using her own Fiction Writing wiki as an example. She’ll demonstrate the different ways in which writers can use wikis: how authors and illustrators can use a wiki for collaboration; how critique groups can use a wiki to give and receive feedback to one another; how beta and sensitivity readers can read and leave comments about your work; and how wikis are used for writing instruction if you wish to supplement your writing with teaching. Participants will learn how to create a wiki and will receive a handout listing wiki websites and instructions on how to set one up.

Participants will brainstorm how they could use a wiki to enhance their work and career. Teams of participants will work together to build a wiki.  Those with Internet access will team with participants without access.  In this way everyone will have a chance to see the simplicity and power of wikis.


headshot outsideTAMEKA FRYER BROWN’s first achievement as a picture book author was receiving a First Prize award in the 2008 Cheerios® Spoonfuls of Stories® New Author Contest. Her debut title, AROUND OUR WAY ON NEIGHBOR’S DAY (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2010), has sold over 100,000 copies, with a large portion purchased by New York’s Board of Education. Her second title, MY COLD PLUM LEMON PIE BLUESY MOOD (Viking Children’s/Penguin Random House, 2013) has been named a 2014 Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book, a Bank Street College Best Book of 2014, a CCBC Choices Best Book of 2014, and one of NYPL’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2013. The forthcoming BROWN BABY LULLABY is scheduled for publication by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in early 2019. Visit her at  www.tamekafryerbrown.com. Tameka’s focus is picture books.

Tameka is a mentor in the SCBWI C Revision Quest program, on faculty for manuscript critiques.


johncusickJOHN M. CUSICK is an agent with Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management, representing picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels. He is also the author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY (Candlewick Press), as well as a regular speaker at writers conferences. You can find him online at www.JohnMCusick.com and on twitter, @johnmcusick.

John will participate in the MODERATED AGENT PANEL

BREAKOUT SESSIONPACING— What to Cut, What to Keep, and What Order to Put it In. This sixty-minute presentation will discuss how to hook readers from the outset and keep them turning the pages by starting near the heart, varying your tension, and eliminating scenes and details that bog your story down. 


Alan Gratz

ALAN GRATZ is the author of a number of novels for young readers, including SAMURAI SHORTSTOP, THE BROOKLYN NINE, PRISONER B-3087, CODE OF HONOR, PROJEKT 1065, and tHE LEAGUE OF SEVEN series. His latest book is REFUGEE, the story of three different refugee families struggling for freedom and safety in three different eras and different parts of the world. A Knoxville, TN, native, Alan is now a full-time writer living in Western North Carolina with his wife and daughter. Visit him online at www.alangratz.com.

Alan will moderate the FIRST PAGES/FIRST IMPRESSIONS PANEL 

Breakout Session: Your Career Starts Here  This is a nuts and bolts beginners session that will answer all those burning questions new conference-goers come armed with: How do I query editors? What editors should I query? Do I query agents instead? How do I write a query letter? If I’m writing a picture book, do I have to find an illustrator? What’s an advance? Do I have to pay it back if my book doesn’t sell? How do royalties work? 

Friday apreś-conference session: Kidlit Family Feud It’s time to play the feud! Join host Alan Gratz and two “families” of agents, editors, illustrators and authors from the faculty who will compete to guess the answers YOU gave to our questionnaire. Survey says you’ll have fun!


CARTER HASEGAWA, associate editor at Candlewick Press, came to children’s publishing in a roundabout way. After a decade ofCarterHasegawa-IMG_3435 working in grocery, followed by a two-year stint in textbook publishing, he left everything behind to follow his passion for children’s books, and he went back to school to get his MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College. Since 2008, he’s been a children’s bookseller at various independent bookstores in Seattle and in Cambridge, which he still continues to do part-time when not at Candlewick. Some of his favorite non-Candlewick books include: The Notorious Benedict Arnold, Jellicoe Road, Ready Player One, Three Times Lucky, The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read, and many, MANY more. Basically anything that has a great voice, is a good story, and is “unputdownable.” Additionally, he is the author-photographer of EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS: A BATHROOM READER IN PICTURES, published by Skyhorse Publishing in 2017.

FRIDAY MORNING INTENSIVEQueries and Blurbs.  From “elevator pitches” to “comp titles,” the idea of querying can fill even the most-seasoned author with anxiety and dread. But fear not! We will demystify the query letter so that in no time you’ll be pitching your project to agents and editors like a boss. Learn the ins and outs of writing a query letter, but most importantly, see how editors pitch your project to their in-house sales and marketing teams. Come prepared to write and share your own work. For this four-hour intensive, please bring the first 10 pages of your manuscript (or full picture book text), your current query letter (if you have one), and, of course, materials for in-class writing.

Carter will participate in the FIRST PAGES/FIRST IMPRESSIONS PANEL

BREAKOUT SESSION: Hearing Voices  Using examples from published picture books and novels, we will look at how authors use ‘voice’ in varying yet successful ways. This will be hands-on and interactive, so please come prepared to talk! 


Lisa KlineLISA WILLIAMS KLINE is the author of eight middle-grade novels, including ELEANOR HILL (Carus), winner of the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award, PRINCESSES OF ATLANTIS (Carus), WRITE BEFORE YOUR EYES (Delacorte), and the 5-book SISTERS IN ALL SEASONS series (Zondervan).  She has also published a collection of short stories for adults entitled TAKE ME. A graduate of Duke University, she has a Masters in Radio, Television and Film from UNC-Chapel Hill, and an MFA from Queens University. Lisa has taught workshops in writing for young people to both adults and teens, and has edited several novels for a small press. Visit Lisa at www.lisawilliamskline.com. Lisa’s focus is middle grade novels.

Lisa will present the conference farewell keynote

Lisa is a mentor in the SCBWI C Revision Quest program, on faculty for manuscript critiques.


LaurentLinnLAURENT LINN, Art Director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, designs picture books, middle-grade, and teen novels, collaborating with illustrators and authors such as Tomie dePaola, Patricia Polacco, Bryan Collier, E. B. Lewis, Raúl Colón, Debbie Ohi, and Taeeun Yoo. He began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop, creating characters for various productions, including the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island films. With Henson for over a decade, he worked primarily on Sesame Street, becoming the Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets, winning an Emmy Award. Currently, Laurent is on the Board of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is Artistic Advisor for the annual Original Art exhibit at the Society of Illustrators in New York. He is also an author: his illustrated teen novel is DRAW THE LINE (DrawTheLineNovel.com). You can follow him on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook and at LaurentLinn.com

FRIDAY MORNING INTENSIVEBringing Your Characters to Life: Whether in picture books or illustrated middle-grade novels, fiction or non-fiction, characters carry the story. The way your characters are designed and drawn make them unique, bring them to life, and invite the reader inside the story. In this illustration intensive, we’ll go into detail about how to design successful characters that are unique and just right for the books they inhabit. For Pre-assignment information for the intensive go to Just For Illustrators

Laurent will participate in the FIRST PAGES/FIRST IMPRESSIONS PANEL

Laurent will participate in the ILLUSTRATOR CAFÉ

BREAKOUT SESSION: Trade Illustration Vs. Mass Market: What are they and where do they fit in?   No matter what your illustration style(s), there are opportunities out there in various publishing genres. We’ll define and explore what these areas are and what art styles are best suited for each. 

BREAKOUT SESSION: Hook the Reader: The Key To Writing Visually in YA and MG Fiction  As a writer, you are building a vivid world, inviting the reader inside. In this session, we’ll explore how to use visual descriptions to enhance your writing, examining how noted authors have achieved this and with an in-session writing exercise.


Starling LyonsKELLY STARLING LYONS began her journey to become a children’s book author in her hometown of Pittsburgh. She learned the art of storytelling from her mom who took her to productions at a children’s theater, wrote plays and made up bedtime tales. Her grandparents, who showed their imagination through cooking and gardening, taught her to honor the magic of history and home. Surrounded by creativity, Lyons began to write. Now a children’s book author, Lyons works to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. Her books include the chapter book, NEATE: EDDIE’s ORDEAL; CCBC Choices-honored picture book ONE MILLION MEN AND ME; ELLEN’S BROOM, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award Book and Junior Library Guild and Bank Street Best selection; TEA CAKES FOR TOSH, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and Phillis Wheatley Book Award winner and HOPE’S GIFT, a 2013 winter/spring Okra Pick by SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance). Find out more about Kelly at www.kellystarlinglyons.com.

Kelly is a mentor in the SCBWI-C Revision Quest program, on faculty for manuscript critiques.


JENNIFER MATTSON has been with Andrea Brown Literary Agency for eight years, and began working in children’s publishing Mattson.Square.Format.Headshotimmediately out of college— including five years as an editor at Dutton and five years as a Books for Youth reviewer with Booklist.  She represents all audiences and genres, and looks for authors or author-illustrators who bring a deep professionalism, an open mind, and a fresh point of view to their work. Fiction that Jennifer represents includes Kate Hannigan’s sweet chapter book series, Cupcake Cousins, and her historical middle-grade novel, THE DETECTIVE’S ASSISTANT (Little, Brown), which won the 2016 Golden Kite Award for Middle Grade Fiction, received two starred reviews, was a Booklist Editor’s Choice, and appeared on the 2016 Amelia Bloomer List. Picture books she represents include noted poet Linda Ashman’s lyrical ode to the rhythms of the natural world, ALL WE KNOW (HarperCollins), illustrated by Jane Dyer, and Ashman’s nearly wordless celebration of optimism, RAIN! (HMH); and Kim Norman’s three Arctic companion books that cleverly spin off favorite preschool songs: TEN ON THE SLED, IF IT’S SNOWY AND YOU KNOW IT, and SHE’LL BE COMIN’ UP THE MOUNTAIN (all Sterling). 

Artists she represents include Geisel Honor winning author-illustrator Paul Meisel, whose backlist includes more than 70 books for young readers; Liz Starin, debut author-illustrator of SPLASHDANCE (FSG/Macmillan), a Junior Library Guild selection and a PW Best Summer Book of 2016; and former Google doodler Katy Wu, illustrator of several forthcoming picture book biographies, including Laurie Wallmark’s GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE (Sterling)  Jennifer has not yet managed to conquer Facebook, but has found her social media home on Twitter (@jannmatt).

To give a broader sense of her book personality, some favorite titles (by non-clients) include Marla Frazee’s The Seven Silly Eaters; anything by Russell Hoban, Arnold Lobel, or Beverly Cleary; Chris Barton’s Shark vs. Train; Mac Barnett’s Extra Yarn; Noel Streatfield’s Ballet Shoes; Esther Hautzig’s survival memoir, The Endless Steppe; and Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass..

Jennifer will participate in the MODERATED AGENT PANEL

BREAKOUT SESSION: Navigating the Author-Agent Relationship [with Linda Ashman, author] Ideally the author-agent relationship is a mutually beneficial, respectful and supportive partnership. But sometimes it is a source of tensionand frustration. Often, the differnece comes down to one factor: expectations. In this session we willl focus on minimizing the gap between expectation and reality, disucss things you should know before you sign with an agent, how to research potentially compatible agents, and what to ask when an agent expresses interest in your work. 

BREAKOUT SESSION:  Putting On The Architect Hat  Structure might feel like the least glamorous of the elements of craft, but like an architect’s blueprints of form and function, structure represents the very bones of your story. Choices about structure can amplify your storytelling intentions and make your novel just plain more interesting to read. In this session, I’ll focus on middle grade realistic fiction, a genre in which convention has often encouraged authors away from challenging structures. We’ll look at examples of middle grade fiction that have bucked tradition, and inspire you to put on the architect’s hat and consider injecting your novel with a little structural creativity of your own.


Caroline McAlisterCAROLINE McALISTER teaches English at Guilford College and every year takes students to Oxford, England, to study fantasy in the setting where Tolkien lived and wrote. She lives in Greensboro, NC.  

BREAKOUT SESSION: Angle, angle, angle–writing the picture book biography A picture book biography is not a Wikipedia entry that begins with a famous person’s birth and ends with their death and has lots of facts stuffed in between.  The writer must pull out and work with one thread, knowing that the subject’s life is made up of many threads woven together. Writers often describe this as having an angle. I will discuss different techniques for finding a creative and child-friendly angle for a picture book biography, learning to recognize the angle in other picture book biographies and how to come up with your own, to conduct primary research and the differences between primary and secondary research and of finding a subject that is child friendly and that lends itself to illustration. 


Stacy_McAnulty_01STACY McANULTY is the author of several books for children, including the picture books MR. FUZZBUSTER KNOWS HE’S THE FAVORITE, illustrated by Edward Hemingway; BEAUTIFUL, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff; 101 REASONS WHY I’M NOT TAKING A BATH, illustrated by Joy Ang; and EXCELLENT ED, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach. She also writes the chapter-book series Goldie Blox, based on the award-winning toys, and The Dino Files. Her debut middle grade novel, THE MISCALCULATIONS OF LIGHTNING GIRL, will publish in 2018. Originally from upstate NY, she now lives in Kernersville, NC, with her three kids, two dogs, and one husband. www.stacymcanulty.com

BREAKOUT SESSION: 25 Things I Wish I Had Known  Unproven Fact: Most writers of children’s literature did not major in children’s literature. Or any literature. Or any kind of writing. The education of kidlit authors is often a winding path through the internet, bookstores, SCBWI conferences, libraries, friendships, and rejections. This was certainly my route. And it works. But it’s slow. So I’m inventing a time-traveling machine to go back to 2007 (or even 2001) to tell younger me all the things I know now that I wish I knew then.  But until I perfect time travel, I’ll share these tips now with other writers.


MESSERSTEPHEN MESSER writes middle grade science fiction and fantasy novels. He is the author of WINDBLOWNE and THE DEATH OF YORICK MORTWELL, both from Random House Books for Young Readers, as well as an upcoming fantasy series from Macmillan, with the first book landing in early 2019. He and his wife live in an old house in Durham, NC. He is represented by Paige Wheeler at Creative Media Agency.

BREAKOUT SESSION: From Standalone to Series—the internal logic of a story Publishers often acquire a novel as a standalone, even if the author hoped to write a series. The decision on a series can come later in the process. How, then, does an author write a book in such a way that it satisfies as a standalone with a strong ending, while maintaining “series potential”? Particularly in the science fiction and fantasy genres, the challenge of girding your story with its own internal logic, while weaving in backstory that can pay off in future books, can be daunting. Stephen will discuss techniques he used in both scenarios, as well as those used successfully by other authors. 


Petruck Gabriel Color_smlREBECCA PETRUCK is the author of STEERING TOWARD NORMAL (2014) and WILL NOLAN EATS BUGS (March 2018), both with ABRAMS/Amulet. STEERING TOWARD NORMAL received a starred review and a Best Book of 2014 Blue Ribbon from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. It was an American Booksellers Association New Voices selection, as well as a Kids Indie Next List title. It also received attention from Vanity Fair’s Hollywood, the L.A. Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the International Reading Association, and ABC Best Books for Children. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction, from UNC Wilmington. Visit Rebecca at http://rebeccapetruck.com. Rebecca’s focus is middle grade and young adult fiction.

Rebecca is a mentor in the SCBWI-C Revision Quest program, on faculty for manuscript critiques.


phillips_8112HIGHRES

LINDA VIGEN PHILLIPS, a retired teacher, is passionate about poetry and better mental health, both of which culminated in her YA debut verse novel, Crazy (Eerdmans/2014).  It was named a notable Social Studies Trade Book, listed as one of the NY Public Library’s Best Books for teens, and one of Bank Street College of Education’s best children’s books of the year, among other accolades. Phillips enjoys presenting writing workshops in schools and libraries, and offering a message of hope and an opportunity for dialogue about mental illness to churches and community organizations. She lives in Charlotte with her husband.  Visit her website:  www.lindavigenphillips.com.

Linda is a mentor in the SCBWI-C Revision Quest program, on faculty for manuscript critiques.


Apoole

AUBREY POOLE is the children’s and YA editor at Hachette Book Group for international bestselling author James Patterson. Prior to joining the Jimmy Patterson imprint, she worked with a number of talented authors at Sourcebooks, including Nancy J. Cavanaugh, Jen Calonita, Suzanne Brockmann, Natasha Preston, Cori McCarthy, Zoraida Cordova, and Bill Cotter. She enjoys books with authentic, diverse voices, strong commercial hooks and thoughtful character development. 

 

Aubrey will participate in the FIRST PAGES/FIRST IMPRESSIONS PANEL

BREAKOUT SESSION: To Do Or Not To Do Small Press? 

BREAKOUT SESSION: Why Characters Need Development

Jocelyn_Rish_headshot


JOCELYN RISH is a writer and filmmaker who loves exploring the magic of stories in all their formats. She has been published in Highlights for Children and The Post & Courier and has won awards for her short stories, screenplays, short films, and novels, including the 2013 SCBWI WIP Grant for Contemporary Novel for Young People, 2nd place in the 2016 SCBWI-Carolinas Writing Contest-Novel, and the 2009 Highlights Fiction contest. Jocelyn previously wrote for the MTV News website and is currently the Interview Coordinator for the Adventures in YA Publishing website. She lives outside of Charleston with her two dogs. 

BREAKOUT SESSION: Write Like a Hollywood Movie Crew It takes a large crew of people to turn a movie into an immersive experience. The set designer creates a world that feels completely real whether it’s a small town grocery store or the landscape of Mars. The sound engineer adds layers of reality like footsteps crossing the linoleum and birds chirping outside. The costume designer conveys information about a character via the clothes selected for them. The gaffer controls the lighting to communicate a certain mood. These people and many more work together to transport the audience to another time and place, but when you’re writing a story, you’re on your own. Discover how to inhabit key movie crew roles to transform your writing from words on a page into a movie for the mind. Attendees will learn how specific wardrobe choices can show a lot about a character in very few words, how to add sounds to enhance the reality of their world, and how to use subtle description to convey mood and tone. 


SCHMIDTGARY SCHMIDT writes nonfiction books and young adult novels. Both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor was awarded to the book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and a Newbery Honor was awarded to The Wednesday Wars.  He is a Professor of English at Calvin College, which is in Grand Rapids, MI. He lives with his family on a 150-year-old farm in Alto, MI, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, and feeds the wild cats that drop by.

Gary will present the conference opening keynote.

FRIDAY MORNING INTENSIVE: Your Narrator, Your Point of View, and You We will explore the role of the narrator in a work—whether that narrator might be overt and direct—as in, say, Bleak House or The Tale of Depereaux—or whether that narrator is a character—as in, say, The Great Gatsby—or if the narrator is unknown—as in, say, The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm. We will focus on three elements of narrators: the narrator’s identity, the narrator’s point of view, and the narrator’s voice—as a way of moving toward each partici- pant developing his or her own narrative stance in a specific work. ASSIGNMENT: Bring the first three pages of your current work 


WeissHeadshot 3ALISON WEISS is an editor at Sky Pony Press, where she works on picture books through YA, and was named a 2016 Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree. She loves assassins and spies and sleuths, friendships that feel like they’ll last forever, and love stories that will twist you in knots before they’re through. She’s especially eager to find a middle grade with a cozy feel, and a voice-driven, sweeping, romantic YA. Recent projects include, the Project Droid series by New York Times bestselling author Nancy Krulik, Amanda Burwasser, and illustrated by Mike Moran; TIMEKEEPER by Tara Sim, dotwav by Mike A. Lancaster, THE DUKE OF BANNERMAN PREP by Katie A. Nelson, THE BAKERSVILLE DOZEN by Kristina McBride, and IT’S A MYSTERY, PIG FACE by Wendy MacLeod McKnight. She’s worked with New York Times best-selling author Jessica Verday (OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS), Agatha Award winner Penny Warner (The Code Busters Club series), YALSA-Award winning Sarah Cross (KILL ME SOFTLY and TEAR YOU APART), ITW Award Finalist Kristen Lippert-Martin (TABULA RASA), Amalie Howard, and Sarah McGuire, among others. She also assisted on Christopher Myers’s H.O.R.S.E., which won a 2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award and the 2014 Odyssey Award. Follow her on Twitter @alioop7.

Alison will participate in the FIRST PAGES/FIRST IMPRESSIONS PANEL

BREAKOUT SESSIONMy Pencils Outlast Their Erasers: Self-Revision Tips to Get You to the Next Step  You’ve written your first draft. Hooray! Now, what? Why, revision of course. But the tricky part is figuring out how to start. This workshop will provide writers a toolbox of tips and techniques to step back from your words and look at your work with a critical eye that will help you get your work deeper and more polished. We’ll explore when to play, when to be brutal with yourself, and when it’s time to stop tinkering and let the work rest. Time will be reserved at the end for Q&A.


Jennifer WillsJENNIFER WILLS has five years’ experience in some of the publishing industry’s leading literary agencies.  She worked with publishers around the world as an assistant in Trident Media Group’s huge foreign rights department, and with domestic publishers as an assistant at Writers House (where, incidentally, she began her career as an intern).  She joined the Seymour Agency in April 2016, where she has quickly moved up the ranks to Associate Agent.  Jennifer has always loved helping fledgling authors become NYT bestsellers and she’s ready to be a relentless champion for her own clients’ work.  You can find her @WillsWork4Books on Twitter.

Jennifer is particularly interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author/illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health conscious, budget friendly or celebrity chef variety.  For fiction, she’s also interested in middle grade and YA with a sci fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the nonfiction side, narrative nonfiction and memoir are also welcome.  If your manuscript has a great hook, a distinct voice, and can make her laugh out loud or ugly cry (or, even better, both), she’d love to see it.

Jennifer will participate in the MODERATED AGENT PANEL 

BREAKOUT SESSION: Eaearwykawsf (Everything Agents, Editors, and Readers Wish You Knew About Writing Speculative Fiction) How to create epic worlds, believable characters, and unputdownable plots in fantasy, horror, and science fiction for MG and YA audiences. Special focus on avoiding common mistakes that send agents, editors, and readers screaming for the nearest exit. Example: avoid exotic but unpronounceable character names, like Eaearwykawsf.