Three-hour intensives give SCBWI members an extra opportunity to work on areas of interest with industry professionals in a smaller group setting. $50 fee, registration required, must be an SCBWI member to register for an intensive.
CHAPTERS AND SCENES THAT PROPEL THE READER Julie Berry (limit 50)
Much has been said about overall story structure, and we love to polish our sentences, but we often overlook the middle level of novel organization: our chapters. The fundamental unit of the picture book is a spread, and its dynamic agent is the page turn. For novels, the fundamental unit is the chapter, and its dynamic agent is the cliffhanger ending. The books that hook their readers best deploy chapter endings artfully to ratchet tension, suspense, emotion, and curiosity. In this intensive workshop, we’ll explore the art of the chapter, considering length; variety and voice; jobs chapters are best equipped to perform; how to organize, reorder, and even cut entire chapters; how to scrutinize them for pacing and redundancy; and how to line them up alongside their siblings to make sure they work in harmony and not in discord. We’ll pay special attention to types of chapter endings, and make sure each chapter propels the reader on to the next. Participants will leave armed with techniques to revise and sharpen their novels into a formidable array of unforgettable chapters.
This masterclass is intended for writers of middle grade and young adult fiction. Participants should bring, if at all possible:
a printout of their entire work in progress (printed one-sided)
a laptop or tablet where they can work with their W.I.P. as a digital file
a tool, whether paper or digital, that allows you to work with complex lists or spreadsheets. Eg, a legal tablet, or a laptop with MS Excel and/or Word, or Mac Numbers and/or Pages.
highlighters in several colors
sticky notes or index cards
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING? Sharon Darrow (limit 50)
We will consider our intentions and aspirations, our goals as people and writers, and if and how our stories’ themes reflect our deepest selves, our intentions, beliefs, and hopes for ourselves and for our readers. We will discuss what motivates us and keeps us going, as well as, in a process that goes well beyond a simple listing of goals and objectives, begin the work of developing our individual and unique Writer’s Statements. All ages/genres.
MIDDLE GRADE (AND Y.A.) PERFECTION Stephen Fraser (limit 25)
This intensive will review title, elevator pitch, synopsis, and opening page for your middle or YA novel to maximize sales potential in today’s competitive marketplace. The session is limited to 25 attendees who will submit materials to be reviewed six weeks prior to the conference. Emphasis will be on “making a good first impression” to publishers.
NAVIGATING THE NONFICTION MARKET Clelia Gore (limit 50)
Literary agent Clelia Gore specializes in nonfiction kid lit and will share her insight on trends, mentor texts, initial concept-hunting and give general advice related to the board book, chapter book, picture book, middle grade, and young adult commercial nonfiction markets. She will discuss the difference between the educational market nonfiction and trade market nonfiction and give advice on how to make your book more commercial. She will also reveal best practices for preparing proposals for middle grade and young adult and talk about research techniques and practices. Finally, she’ll share her current wish list. Bring along your WIPS for an in-class exercise and questions for a Q&A session.
THE FIVE PRINCIPLES OF A SATISFYING PICTURE BOOK Cheryl Klein (limit 50) THIS INTENSIVE IS FULL
A satisfying picture book results from the intimate interplay of five powerful principles: Concept, Form, Arc, Structure, and Sound. In this workshop, we’ll discuss these foundational ideas in depth, examine several published picture books to see how they develop these principles and consider some places where participants’ manuscripts may need revision, reconception, or further growth. Attendees will benefit from bringing a picture book work-in-progress to the session.
WEAVE THE WEB Sarvinder Naberhaus (limit 30)
SOCIAL MEDIA MASTERCLASS FOR AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS Debbie Ridpath Ohi (limit 50 )
This session is geared toward published or about-to-be-published authors and illustrators who are already familiar with the basics of social media and have established a presence on at least one social media platform. Debbie Ridpath Ohi will help participants develop social media strategies to promote themselves and their books (even if they are introverts!), identify their online personal brand. Debbie will also offer social media time management tips. For those who are published: please bring a copy of your book to the session.
THE PICTURE BOOK: A PUZZLE — HOW TO PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER TO CREATE YOUR PICTURE BOOK DUMMY Sharismar Rodriguez (limit 50)
In this session, we will identify the pieces that make for good storytelling and explore these key components to create a solid structure for your picture book dummy.