Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


Sunday, September 20, 2015, 12:00pm – 3:30pm

SCBWI members only ($75 participant) 

First-come, first-served basis. You must be registered for one or both days of the conference to register for an intensive. 


WHAT A CHARACTER! – Dan Yaccarino
How do you create a memorable children’s book character? Go behind the scenes with picture book author and illustrator and TV producer Dan Yaccarino (Unlovable, Doug Unplugged, The Backyardigans, Oswald) to see how he creates his unforgettable picture book and TV characters. He also shares tips on how to strengthen your picture book character.

Dan Yaccarino Intensive Handouts – Click the link to download the handouts for the intensive. NOTE: This PDF contains images so it's a large file. Please be patient as it loads!

=> Writing Craft Intensive

Worldbuilding, Culture-Building & Diversity: Writing Diversity in Reality-Based and Fantastic Worlds – Stacy Whitman
With an emphasis on middle grade and young adult novel-writing, dig into how to culture-build in both fantastic worlds and real ones. If you're writing cross-culturally, let's talk about how to know what you don't know. Either way, this will be an in-depth discussion of how to use concrete details to build a world without overwhelming your reader, including character, culture, climate, religion, time, and foodways. Bring 3 pages of your current work-in-progress for discussion.

=> Roundtable Intensives

Each intensive will open with a 30-40 minute presentation by the facilitator. The remaining time will be devoted to participants reading 3-5 pages of their manuscripts and receiving a critique from the editor (and other participants as time permits). Each participant will have 9 minutes for read and critique.

BRING: 16 STAPLED copies of your manuscript pages and give them to the moderator for sorting

Picture Book Roundtable Intensive (Limited to 15 participants)

ReSeeing, Revising vs. Reasons for Rejection  – Deborah Warren & Erin Dealey
East/West Literary Agency founder Deborah Warren & E/W beta-reader Erin Dealey share 5 reasons for rejection, along with 10 examples of picture book manuscripts that got their attention. Learn what caught their eyes, and get feedback on your current PB project.

 ASSIGNMENT FOR PARTICIPANTS – So many picture book submissions could benefit from the process of making a dummy first. We suggest attendees use this as a revision tool before arriving to share your manuscript at the roundtable.
1. Put your manuscript away for two weeks. Read at least five current picture books.
2. What hooks you? (Besides illustrations.) What makes it a "read-it-again" book?   
3. Make a "dummy" of your manuscript: In a 32-page picture book, you don’t actually have 32 pages for your story. You only have 28 pages max since at least 4 are used for the book ends, copyright and title. Twenty-eight pages translates to 14 spreads (an illustration that spans the two opened pages in a book). Often, the opening scene is one page, followed by 13 spreads, and ending with a single page.  Separate your text as it might appear on 28 pages. Next to each, describe or sketch what you see as the illustration. The illustration should reflect the first action described on each page.
4. Use this to show where your manuscript needs revision. Is it too text heavy? Is your story strong enough to carry through a 32-page book? Have you left room for illustrations? Does every word count? Revise accordingly and bring your revised manuscript to share at the Intensive. (Do not bring the dummy.) 


Novel Roundtable Intensive (Limited to 15 participants)

How to Stop Worrying About the Kids in Order to Write Better  – Andrew Karre
Kids are your subjects; readers are your audience. This intensive will focus on treating kids and teens as the subjects of your art instead of the audience. Whether you're writing a playground scene in a middle-grade novel or a sex scene in a YA novel, the only kids you need to think about are the ones on the page.