SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2022 SCBWI Ohio North Conference Schedule and Session Descriptions

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2022 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE AND

SESSION DESCRIPTIONS

 

(Conference schedule as of June 29, 2022. This is subject to modification.) 

 

 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Afternoon Activities (add-on option to main conference; purchased separately)

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm Registration for Intensives

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Intensives

 

Intensive 1

Participatory Picture Book Workshop with Elizabeth Law, Senior Editor, Holiday House

In this intensive, participatory workshop, Elizabeth will facilitate sharing and group critiquing your picture book manuscripts-in-progress in the same manner editors go over your manuscripts—looking at issues both global and small. Participants will be encouraged to share feedback, ideas, and questions, while Elizabeth notes global observations for the group.  After approximately 90 minutes of working together,  participants will break to work on their own manuscripts, and then will gather together for the final hour to share revisions and new work.  The intensive is designed both to heighten your own critical eye and to give you some key picture book tips and concepts.  Elizabeth will also share feedback on marketability, as relevant, and, as time allows, specific examples from recent picture books and their editorial process. **All participants in this intensive have the opportunity and are encouraged to share your picture book manuscript-in-progress with Elizabeth up to 48 hours in advance if willing to have your work shared with the group. Instructions on how to share your manuscript will be provided after registration.**

 

Intensive 2

The Nonfiction Of Now: Tackling Contemporary Subjects with Miranda Paul, Author and Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency

A look at writing nonfiction that’s relevant, contemporary, and even controversial. From writing about living subjects or cutting-edge science and technology to issues trending online, how does research and writing look differently when tackling a “right-now” subject rather than a solely historical one? This intensive will focus on picture books, but Miranda will also include information relevant to middle grade and young adult nonfiction.

 

Intensive 3

On the Cusp: Writing the Middle Grade Novel with author Tricia Springstubb

Middle grade is such wonderfully rich territory, its characters (and readers) balanced between young childhood and adolescence. This hands-on, generative session offers the chance to take a deeper dive into your middle grade work-in-progress, or to make a start on that novel you’ve been thinking about for so long. Participants will work on creating complex characters, compelling plots, and resonant themes, and explore braiding these three elements into  stories. Tricia will share her own process, as well as great mentor texts classic and brand new. There will be ample time to write, and Tricia will facilitate critiquing and sharing. **If you have a middle grade novel in progress, you are encouraged to bring a page to share with the group during this intensive.**

 

Intensive 4

The Anatomy of Story with author justin a. reynolds

Learn from young adult/middle grade/graphic novel author justin a. reynolds as he leads you through an analysis of classic three-act storytelling, an in-depth guide to building a compelling narrative arc, and the importance of tracking the emotional journey. 

 

Evening Activities (add-on to the main conference; purchased separately)

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Registration for Friday Evening Sessions/Mix and Mingle Dinner

5:00 pm – 5:45 pm Friday Breakout Sessions (Conferencing 101; Kidlit Q&A; Illustrator Shoptalk)

6:00 pm – 7:15 pm Mix and Mingle Dinner (Cash Bar) with SCBWI Ohio North Regional Team and Faculty

7:15 pm – 7:35 pm Mix and Mingle Guest Speaker: Elizabeth Law, Senior Editor, Holiday House

7:35 pm – 8:00 pm More Mingling and Group Activities

 

Saturday, September 17, 2022 (main conference)

7:30 am – 8:15 am Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:15 am – 8:30 am Conference Welcome (SCBWI Ohio North Regional Team)

8:30 am – 9:15 am Opening Address: Do The Thing That Scares You: Taking Risks to Forge Connections (given by author Andrea Wang)

9:15 am – 9:35 am Publication Celebration and Volunteer of the Year 

9:45 am – 11:45 am Morning Concurrent Breakout Sessions 1 and 2 (see descriptions below)

11:45 am – 12:45 pm Lunch and Panels: Editor/Agent Panel with Orlando Dos Reis and Saba Sulaiman OR Art Director Panel 

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Afternoon Concurrent Breakout Sessions 3 and 4 (see descriptions below)

3:00 pm – 3:15  pm Art Show Awards

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm Book Basket Presentation / Volunteer Recognition/ Door Prizes

3:45 pm – 4:30 pm Closing Address: Our Creative Journey is Not One Size Fits All (given by author justin a. reynolds)

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm Conference Faculty Autograph Session

(In-person critiques with on-site faculty will take place throughout the day on Saturday.)

 

SATURDAY CONCURRENT BREAKOUT SESSION DESCRIPTIONS 

 

Morning Breakout Session 1 (Pick One)

A1 – Give ‘Em The Hook! Mastering the Crucial Skill of Getting an Editor or Agent’s Attention: Picture Book Edition  (Elizabeth Law, Senior Editor, Holiday House)

Learn how to find your picture book’s “hook” that will get an editor or agent’s attention while querying or pitching. This skill is important! Elizabeth will share formulas for creating hooks for picture books and recent examples of successful ones.

 

B1 – Tackling (and Surviving!) the Query Trenches (Saba Sulaiman, Agent, Talcott Notch Literary Services)

Seeking representation is a daunting process with all sorts of unspoken rules that can sometimes feel arbitrary and frustrating. Saba will address how best to strategize querying literary agents: the dos, the don’ts, and the don’t worry abouts of composing and sending query letters, along with providing some suggestions for how to cope with the uncertainty of this phase of your writing career. 

 

C1 – Unflatten Your Character (justin a. reynolds, author)

In this breakout session, justin will discuss how to transform “paper doll” caricatures into three-dimensional, fully-formed characters. This session will help middle grade, young adult, and graphic novel writers, but could also benefit picture book writers, too!

 

D1 – The Landscape of the Graphic Novels Industry and How to Navigate It (Kirk Benshoff, Associate Creative Director, First Second Books/Macmillian)

In this session, Kirk will discuss how the industry is broken in 2 essential parts: serial publishers (Marval and DC) and trade publishers (Macmillan, Hachette, etc). He will talk through how Serial publishing has functioned over the years under a completely different business model than trade and how Trade has started to ramp up their graphic novel publishing with dedicated imprints, but there isn’t a defined workflow. So what’s the difference between the two and how do you navigate trade publishing as best as possible?

 

Morning Breakout Session 2 (Pick One)

A2 – Think Outside the Arc: Non-traditional Plot Structures in Picture Books (Andrea Wang, Author)

Do you have a picture book idea that doesn’t fit the usual “3 obstacles and a solution” type of plot? Join award-winning author Andrea Wang for a session on non-traditional plot arcs. She’ll give an overview of a traditional narrative plot arc, talk about different types of picture book story structures, and discuss what elements are important to include to make your story compelling.

 

B2 – Ask the Agent (Miranda Paul, Author/Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency)

Find out about different agent-client relationship styles, revision and submission tips, and other aspects of publishing explored through a short presentation and attendee Q&A with Miranda.

 

C2 – Where Have You Been? Where Are You Going? The Power of Place in Fiction (Tricia Springstubb)

Few things are more important in a child’s life than where they live or feel they belong. In fiction, a fully realized sense of place can be central to a character’s identity. It can be essential to theme or a catalyst to plot. Explore creating settings that are more than just backdrops to your work!

 

D2 – Discover Your Publishing Niche: Unpacking Formats, Defining Categories, and Figuring Out Just How You Fit In (Mallory Grigg)

In this session, Mallory will take participants beyond the picture book and take a deeper look at all the different opportunities there are for people who are interested in illustrating in children’s publishing. Bring a notepad for scribbling, questions you have about the industry, and an open mind. This session is for illustrators and writers looking for a greater understanding of the illustration side of publishing.

 

 

Afternoon Breakout Session 3 (Pick One)

A3 – Nonfiction Picture Books of Now: Tackling Contemporary Subjects (Miranda Paul, Author/Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency)

Miranda will provide a look at writing nonfiction picture books that are relevant, contemporary, and even controversial. From writing about living subjects or cutting-edge science and technology to issues trending online, how does research and writing look differently when tackling a “right-now” subject rather than a solely historical one? 

 

B3 – Editor’s Perspective on the Journey to Publication (Orlando Dos Reis, Editor, Scholastic)

Have you ever wondered what goes through an editor’s mind when they consider a project? Or what the acquisitions process looks like? This session with Orlando will offer an inside look into the process for beginning writers to better prepare them for their journey to publication. Orlando works on middle grade and young adult novels, so this session will have information relevant to those formats specifically.

 

C3 – The Voice In Your Head (justin a. reynolds, author)

In this breakout session, justin will discuss how to find and trust your own narrative voice—and why it matters. Justin writes middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels, so this session will have information most relevant to those formats specifically.

 

D3 – OMG, SO CUTE: How to Design Appealing Characters for Children’s Books, Part 1 of 2 (Blythe Russo, Author-Illustrator)

In the first session of this two session workshop, Blythe will take participants on a deep dive into what makes for an appealing character – going over the general rules and theories of character design. Together the group will analyze various illustrators’ characters to see how they make decisions regarding their work and discuss what makes it so successful. 

 

Afternoon Breakout Session 4 (Pick One)

A4 – Give ‘Em The Hook! Mastering the Crucial Skill of Getting an Editor or Agent’s Attention: Middle Grade Edition  (Elizabeth Law, Senior Editor, Holiday House)

Learn how to find your middle grade book’s “hook” that will get an editor or agent’s attention while querying or pitching. This skill is important! Elizabeth will share formulas for creating hooks for middle grade novels and recent examples of successful ones.

 

B4 – Agent First Pages Feedback and Q&A Session (Saba Sulaiman, Agent, Talcott Notch Literary Services)

Join Saba as she reads anonymously submitted first pages of various (brave!) audience members, discuss her responses to them, and offer some tips and feedback with regard to making them stand out more. Saba will take questions from the audience as well. This session is open for picture books through young adult and a general audience is welcome! **Participants choosing this breakout will receive information on how to submit pages for possible live feedback.**

 

C4 – The Myths and Truths of Independent Publishing: Sorting Out Facts from Fiction (Becky Gehrisch, Author-Illustrator and Florenza Lee, Author)

Becky Gehrisch with Bookling Media and Florenza Lee with Words to Ponder Publishing will discuss their journeys with independent publishing and empower the attendees with knowledge to decide if this is the path for them.

 

D4 – OMG, SO CUTE: How to Design Appealing Characters for Children’s Books, Part 2 of 2 (Blythe Russo, Author-Illustrator)

In the second session of this two-part workshop,  Blythe will help participants apply what you’ve learned in Part 1 to your own work by doing some drawing. We will explore some exercises to help you brainstorm new characters and level-up your current OCs.