Sunday, February 12, 2023

Thank you for joining us for the In-Person SCBWI 2023 Winter Conference #scbwiNY23

#scbwiNY23 Team Blog, from right to left:
Jolie Stekly, Jaime Temairik, Justin Campbell, and Lee Wind
(Thanks for the photo, Laurent Linn!)

Thank you!

On behalf of Jolie Stekly, Jaime Temairik, Justin Campbell, and myself, Lee Wind, thank you for visiting the official SCBWI Conference Blog for this taste of the in-person experience. 

If you want to jump on the virtual experience, you can still sign up and learn more here.

Closing Keynote: Aisha Saeed

Aisha Saeed is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of books for children. Her books, including the middle grade novel Amal Unbound (Penguin), the young adult novel Yes No Maybe So (co-written with Becky Albertalli), and the anthology Once Upon Eid (co-edited with S.K. Ali) received multiple starred reviews. Amal Unbound was selected as a Global Read Aloud for 2018 and was the winner of the South Asian book award. Her picture book Bilal Cooks Daal (Simon and Schuster) received an APALA honor. Aisha is also a founding member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books™. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her family. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram via @aishacs.

Aisha as a child was an avid library-goer and reader. So much so that she pretended to be afraid of the dark so she could get a nightlight to read at night. But as much as she read, she didn't see someone that looked like her in the stories she read. She had lots of "window" books, but not "mirror" books. Not that they didn't exist but she didn't have access to any of them. 

Success for her early on was the joy of the creation, filling notebook after notebook. but she didn't have any thought of becoming a published author. She didn't really know it was possible. 

"You can't be what you can't see." Marian Wright Edelman 


But in college she came across SHABANU by Suzanne Fisher Staples and it was the first time she saw
someone who looked like her on the cover of a book. It was a profound moment. 

Later that year, Aisha found Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri written by a South Asian writer. This gave Aisha an "oh" moment, that maybe she could do this and have this dream. 

So she wrote. Aisha wrote a terrible draft and saw that it something wrong with her. Successfully completely a book felt elusive. And so she went to law school, as people do. 

But later, a piece of advice made Aisha realize she wanted to go back to this dream. And with each draft the book got even better. Success...her first book!

This is when success shifted. Now she needed an agent. With agent another shift. A book to sale. And then the rejections started. Twenty-nine editors, over three years, all said no. 

Three years of "no" was hard, but the reasons why were harder. Reasons like: I have another Indian author on my list. But there was one last editor the book was going to be sent, and this was the one!

But even after being published Aisha found what was being written about her book, books by marginalized people, were hard read. She found Ellen Oh's website and information on the diversity gap. 

Aisha then stumbled across a conversation happening on Twitter that grew and grew about how America is getting more diverse, but why aren't our books. A hashtag started out of that #weneeddiversebooks, and many amazing post like this:

They were invited to BookCon and had a standing room only crowd and in that moment they knew it wasn't just a moment, it was a movement. 

At this point Aisha was going to conferences and meeting writers she admired, but success shifted again. She wanted to write another book and so she wrote AMAL UNBOUND, but she was being told readers didn't care about character living in a far off place (in this case Pakistan). Again, self-doubt creeps in.

Then something amazing happened. AMAL UNBOUND was selected for a Global Read Aloud, followed by hitting the bestseller list. This it. Success, she thought. But again. All those goal posts keep shifting. 

The definition of success starts to get squishy. Aisha had all these markers of success, but why didn't she feel it. What would make her feel like she was a success?

She reached out to the author of MAKE YOUR ART NO MATTER WHAT by Beth Pickens.
She told Aisha that how she was feeling was normal. That goals shift. That they keep on shifting. But if you define making each goal, you won't ever feel successful.  Rather the need it's the focus on connection and personal meaning that allow you to feel success. When Aisha set aside the external markers of success, that's when things changed. 

Aisha shared with us so many beautiful and moving stories of these successes, of these meaningful connections and moments that have come from doing the work. 

"Our stories and our words matter," she said. "The telling of the stories is the heart of the work." 

And with that, a standing ovations that I hope brought her another moment of success, because she connected with the hundreds of hearts in the room. 

Regina Brooks - The Outlook for Children's Publishing 2023

 Regina Brooks

Founder and President, Serendipity Literary Agency

Why are you a children's editor and agent?

Regina started in adult textbooks that focused on technology, science, and engineering but she wanted a different experience. Having attended the School of the Arts in high school, Regina loved being around artistic people and that is how she found her way into children's books. She loved the space, the people, and the creators and stayed for the joy.

With the question "What job experience did you have before becoming an agent that shaped the way you work?" the room erupted in surprise as Regina revealed that prior to agenting she was an aerospace engineer! That is how the agency got its name Serendipity. Regina wasn't looking for publishing but soon realized that the two fields shared a lot of aspects. 

"As an engineer, you look at systems and find out where they might fail. You troubleshoot and design which is the same for an editor but with a book." When asked, what three words that describe her taste, Regina described herself as:



Things that don't necessarily go together

With a love of educational work, she enjoys reading books that you don't KNOW that you are learning.

What would you change about the process?

When asked about the process, and how would you change it for the better, Arthur Levine, Founder and Publisher Levine Querido, brought up auctions, and Regina chimed in, finding the auctions nerving racking. 

"You don't always get the best editor when driven by finances." 

She considers herself "more of a feeler when picking an editor" and believes that money shouldn't matter. She's more interested in finding the right "shepherd" for the project and auctions can take that away. Finding the right editor is so important. One of her best sellers didn't get a big advance, but with the right editor, the book was a success.

Personally, Regina would like to see a change when it comes to the publicity side. When you submit a project, the editor becomes the ring leader. Regina would like to shift the process so the entire team ("ensemble") can all work together to ensure a successful life of the book. 

But change happens very slowly, and it is hard to make shifts in processes in publishing. With the shift of technology in the world, Regina feels that publishing needs to move in pace with that. 

What sort of work stands out to you?

Early on Regina would fall in love with the author and would get so excited by the person, but realize the manuscript isn't quite there. She is now interested in working with good people that she gets along with but also, can she franchise this person? Do they have many stories to tell or are they a one-hit wonder? These are things that you have to keep in mind. as you take on new artists and creators.

With the pandemic and the changing world, Regina recommends keeping your hand on the pulse of what is happening and how we can serve our community-the young readers.

Regina Brooks is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency. Her agency is the largest African American-owned agency in the country and has represented and established a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature. Her authors have appeared in USA Today, the New York Times, and the Washington Post as well as on Oprah, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSBNC, TV One, BET, and a host of others. In 2015, Publishers Weekly nominated Regina Brooks as a PW Star Watch Finalist, and she was honored with a Stevie Award in Business. Writer’s Digest Magazine named Serendipity Literary Agency as one of the top 25 literary agencies. Formerly, she held senior editorial positions at John Wiley and Sons (where she was not only the youngest but also the first African American editor in their college division) and McGraw-Hill.

SCBWI Winter Conference 2023 Wrap-Up

Final words from our incredible Executive Director, Sarah Baker!

- Breathe it in and bring the amazing energy of this weekend to all of your projects

- Remember what you learn and let it empower you

- Everyone needs your stories. Kids all over the world need your stories.

-Keep in touch. People make life-long connections through these conferences. You've found a support system that thrives on your success! 

Super thankful to you, the faculty, the staff, and the volunteers!

Thank you for coming and investing in yourself!


Sarah Baker is the Executive Director of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She joined the SCBWI staff in 2011, and most recently held the position of Associate Executive Director. Her career in children’s book publishing began at Penguin Young Readers Group, where she designed children’s books for six years. Sarah leads the SCBWI staff and works closely with the Board of Directors, the Advisory Council, and the official SCBWI volunteers. She graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in Studio Art and is a children’s book illustrator and ceramicist. Her favorite part of working for SCBWI is seeing the community flourish and the members thrive as artistic creators.

Linda Camacho - The Outlook for Children’s Publishing in 2023

Linda Camacho has worked in various positions in publishing having spent time at Penguin Random House, Dorchester, Simon & Schuster, and Writers House before becoming an agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency. 

Growing up Linda was like the rest of the panel who all also fell in love with books as kids, but as a kid Linda didn't know anyone in the publishing industry or that books could be a career. When she left college she had no idea what she wanted to do but luckily stumbled into adult publishing, and after that it was a 'series of fortunate events.'

Linda loves helping creators get their stories to kids so they, too, can fall in love with books. She also loves the meeting and talking to different people aspect of agenting and being a connector of sorts. "It's so much fun even when it's not."

Three words that describe Linda's taste: entertaining, meaningful, and universal. Resonance with a book/creator is important to all of the agents and Linda adds that if it isn't a hell yes, it's a no. Linda passing on a person's manuscript doesn't mean that person is not publishable or talented, it's all back to the matter of resonance.

Kate Egan - The Outlook for Children's Publishing 2023

Kate Egan began her career at Scholastic, then veered into the freelance lane when she moved with her family to Maine. As a freelance editor, she worked with authors from Cynthia Lord to Suzanne Collins, and launched a YA imprint, KCP Loft, for Kids Can Press. Now she is an executive editor at Pixel + Ink Books, specializing in IP publishing. Kate is also the author of many books, including the Magic Shop series and Golden Ticket, a middle grade novel. 

Panelist moderator, Martha Brockenbrough, starts by asking the panel why they choice editing book for kids. Kate notes that for her it's not just a business, it's a mission.  The sense of mission in work really appealed to her in children's books. 

Kate went to a high school with a robust tutoring system and as junior or senior it was real honor to be tapped by a mentor teacher to be a writing tutor. When Kate was tapped, her mentor teacher shared that you don't want to tell the student that the work is bad but that her role was to ask questions so that the writer could come to the improvement of the the writing on their own. The teacher underscored the importance of caring for the young writer. Kate felt she was truly helping and loved the experience. She didn't know being an editor was a job early on, but when she did, she knew editing was for her. 

When asked three words that described their taste, Kate shares: accessible, friendly, approachable and she adds a fourth - humor.

Martha moves onto talking about the process and wondering if it's changed at all in the last few years. This opens up a great conversation between the panelists about auctions, with a clear note that while the money is great, it doesn't mean you get the best editor for your book. 

What stands out to these panelists? Kate says it's often emotional connection, work that moves you. 

A way that the pandemic has changed publishing is that much of the publishing staff is working remotely. An editor can be anywhere now and be part of the process. It's opening door for a more people to become editors, allowing folks to come in from many places and backgrounds. 

Arthur A. Levine and Patricia Ocampo - The Outlook for Children's Publishing in 2023

Moderated by the amazing Martha Brockenbrough!

Arthur A. Levine is the founder and editor-in-chief of Levine Querido, a small independent company devoted to publishing excellent books by people from communities that have traditionally been under-represented. He identifies as Jewish, Disabled, Queer, a Parent, a Writer, and someone who continues to be amazed by the power of a great read.

Arthur A. Levine

Patricia Ocampo is a senior editor at Kids Can Press. In her almost two decades in publishing, she has worked in editorial, sales, rights, and production. She also worked “the other side of the desk” as a children’s literary agent. Patricia is past president of the Canadian chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People.

Patricia Ocampo

Highlights from the panel's insights and wisdom:

3 words that define Arthur's taste: emotional, riveting, personal

Patricia tells the story of being 18 and watching a stranger give birth. It helped her realize that she didn't want to be an OB-GYN, and also felt amazing - it was "completely personal, intimate moment" that also had universal emotions of wonder and joy... and she feels that way about working in children's publishing!

Advice from Patricia: Don't just consider the size of the advance - also consider earning out, longevity, committment to sales and marketing (and how creative that marketing plan might be.)

Arthur speaks about sales and marketing, and how "Editors usually have very little control of what happens, other than editorially."

What sort of work stands out to them?

Patricia: "something different" - inbox overwhelming, there's so much coming in, with all respect to how hard authors work on their manuscript, it all starts to read the same. Any different approach gets her to pay attention.

Arthur: yes, and... we also mean not different for different's sake. (Don't put it on pink paper.) "To me, something that feels authentic. If you go into a room and everyone's dressed identically, and there's just one person dressed as themselves, you would notice them." And this also applies to illustration - how a lot of the current Disney/Pixar influenced work starts to seem seems similar - and you're looking for things that stand out.

Arthur speaks of the mission of his publishing company, searching for and giving platform for historically underrepresented voices, fighting against the single story.

Patricia discusses that in acquisitions, no matter how good a project is, there's a question - do I want to work on this for five years?

The conversation covers auctions (not a panel favorite), Barnes & Noble's health (with less returns), BookTok, and much more...

The Panel Begins! "The Outlook for Children's Publishing in 2023"


Moderated by Martha Brockenbrough (standing at left), the panelists are (left to right): Regina Brooks (Agent at Serendipity Literary Agency); Linda Camacho (Agent, Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency); Patricia Ocampo (Senior Editor, Kids Can Press); Kate Egan (Executive Editor, Pixel + Ink Books); and Arthur A. Levine (Founder and Publisher, Levine Querido).

Sunday Morning Awards Presentation

Sarah Baker welcomes us all and passes the mic to Sarah Diamond, SCBWI Senior Manager of Awards and Publications, who launches right into announcing some of the amazing award winners from the past year, and the scholarship winners for this conference.

Then Sarah Diamond passes the mic to TeMika Grooms, SCBWI manager of Design and Illustration, to announce the 2023 portfolio showcase award winners!

*drumroll provided by you*

The Unagented Honor Award is...

Laura Garvin!

Slide showing a portfolio image announcing Laura Garvin as the unagented honor

The Unagented Grand Prize Winner is...

J. Yang!

slide showing a portfolio image of J. Yang, announcing them as the Unagented Grand Prize Winner

Agented Honor Award - The two Honorees are...

Julian Chung!

slide showing a portfolio image of Julian Chung, announcing them as one of the two Agented Honor Awardees!


Annie Herzig!

slide showing a portfolio image of Annie Herzig, announcing them as one of two Agented Portfolio Honor Awardees

Agented Grand Prize Winner is...

Druscilla Santiago!

slide showing a portfolio image of Druscilla Santiago, announcing them as the Agented Grand Prize Winner!

More Awards!!

Sarah Diamond, SCBWI's Senior Manager of Awards and Publication, announces these awards from the main stage:

slide announcing the winners of the Out From the Margins Award

slide announcing the winners of the Spark Award for PBs, "Lena and the Dragon" Honoree, and "Little Dune" Winner

slide announcing the winners of the Spark Award, older readers "Ugly" (Honor), and "Salmon Survivor" (Winner)

slide announcing the winner of the Narrative Art Award: Annie Herzig

slide announcing the winners of the Tribute Fund Scholarship, Leigh Gaddy and Lisa Carter

slide announcing the winners of the Student Illustrator Scholarship, Abigail Rajunov and Amelia Gossman

slide announcing the winners of the BIPOC Scholarship: Sadia Heil and Alma Galapon

Saturday, February 11, 2023

The LGBTQIA2+ and Allies Social!

The circle of attendees sang Jane Yolen "Happy Birthday" to start off the LGBTQIA2+ and Allies Social
(pictured, from left: Jane Yolen, Bruce Coville, and Heidi Stemple)

With special guests Jane Yolen, Heidi Stemple, Bruce Coville, Arthur A. Levine, and Lawrence Schimel, our discussion shared resources, inspiration, book recommendations, words of advice, and a supportive community.

Resources to explore:

Pride and Less Prejudice

We Need Diverse Books

Behind the Book

Lambda Literary writers in schools program

Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center summer week program

Highlights LGBTQ+ Scholarship

Writing Barn programming

Queer Kid Lit Creators - if you identify as part of the LGBTQIA2+ community, and you illustrate, translate, and/or write children's books you're welcome to join -- just email leewind (at) roadrunner (dot) com


Make sure your publisher submits your book for the big awards (and not just the Queer-focused awards.) There's a lot more success for stories where Queerness is part of the story winning multiple awards. Like Sacha Lamb winning the 2023 Michael L. Printz Honor Award, the Stonewall Book Award, and the Sydney Taylor Medal for When the Angels Left the Old Country, which the publisher (Levine Querido) describes as "queer immigrant fairytale."

Let's support each other -- and not just when Queer books get challenged or banned -- when our books get released.

Think of your story going out there to someone who wants to read it. Someone who needs it.

It was a warm and safe space -- thanks to all who attended!

IT'S PARTY TIME: Networking Happy Hour and Conference Socials

With a full day of Creative Lab sessions complete, it was time to get together! The Grand Ballroom was packed with attendees for a wonderful cocktail hour. There was a long table of delicious food, a mountain of desserts, and an open bar!

Tables were labeled to encourage members to get to know others from their chapters, which I really loved. The conversation was flowing, with so much connection happening. Being a creator, sometimes it can feel lonely but being in this room was an important reminder that we are all doing the work and we are all in this together. 

Later that night, we all broke up into smaller groups and got to meet others from ALL over. I attended the Illustrators' Social where we were introduced to all of the Artistic Directors, chapter leaders, and SCBWI faculty, and after we were able to get to know one another. 

By the end, we were all jumping into each other photos/selfies, while business cards whizzed through the air like dragonflies and Instagram accounts were blinking with notifications. The built-in social aspect of the conference really allowed a lot of the attendees to ease into the experience. 

Once the fear melted away, everyone was able to really shine and show each other their passion! I wish the night wouldn't end!

Stay connected with this AWESOME community, with #scbwiNY23 on Twitter @scbwi & Instagram @scbwi

Creative Lab: The Art of Business: Building, Expanding, and Sustaining Your Illustration Career

Creative Lab: The Art of Business: Building, Expanding, and. Sustaining Your Illustration Career

SESSION 1Building Your Career with Cecilia Yung & Christy Ewers

"Do not be intimidated, BE INSPIRED! We are all on our own paths and journeys"- Cecilia Yung

Identifying Your Career Goals

The session started with that simple quote, one that was to keep us all grounded as we journeyed along with the amazing Christy Ewers and Cecilia Yung.

"At every stage of your career, you'll find challenges. Identify who you are as an artist and illustrator."

During the presentation, there was an emphasis on pinpointing your needs, wants, and interests. 

"Make a list of 100 favorite things to draw"- Christy Ewers

Christy Ewers suggested a wonder exercise from John Hendrix "Drawing is Magic" where you write down 100 things that you like to draw. This is a great way to know what you want to spend your time drawing and also, what you DON'T want.



We discussed how our goals should differ from one another. We are all at different stages of our careers, with different life circumstances, gifts, focus, and resources. We shouldn't have generic goals. Know what you want and lean toward that. 

"How you spend your day is how you spend your life."

With so much to consider, you are in control. YOU determine what your priorities and needs are. And a great way is to make short and long-term goals for yourself. Such powerful words. 

"Your portfolio is a thumbnail of your life" Cecilia Yung

With incredible insight from both the agency and publishing side, we went in depth through the different genres, deep diving to help the illustrators in the audience find their "niche.

We dove into what you should try to focus on within your art. "Action, Reaction, Interaction!" Cecilia Yung emphasized the importance of being a visual storyteller. Does it work? Ask for critiques from supportive and thoughtful people. Be critical as you assess your work!

Don't follow the trends. Instead, find what makes you tick and go toward that!

The biggest takeaway for me was knowing WHO ARE YOU? Remember, "you are as strong as your weakest piece" and "what does your portfolio say about you?" 

Lean into your strengths. Lean into your weaknesses. "You don't have to do every. You don't need to be good at everything. Be really good at one thing." That's good enough. 


C'est moi, trying my best to take ALL the notes! SO MANY NUGGETS!!!!

Shoutout to Debbie Ridpath Ohi for taking such wonderful photos for me as I soaked everything in! Debbie was a part of Session Two, and all I can say is- WOW! So grateful for her energy and wonderful advice! Such a supernova of a human!

Stay connected with this AWESOME community, with #scbwiNY23 on Twitter @scbwi & Instagram @scbwi

Chrisy Ewers is the owner of The CAT Agency, renamed in 2018 in homage to her mother, Christina A. Tugeau, who founded the agency in 1994. The CAT Agency is a boutique agency that takes a personal approach to representing a diverse group of children’s book illustrators and author/illustrators from all over the world. Along with colleagues, Senior Agent, Chad W. Beckerman and Associate Agents, Christie Megill and Aliza R. Hoover, Christy works closely with the entire family of artists, supporting long-term career growth for all creators. She leads in spearheading deals and promotion for CAT Agency illustrators, as well as working alongside the authors in the group to help craft their stories for young readers. For more information, visit

Cecilia Yung is executive art director and vice president at Penguin Books for Young Readers, where she oversees illustration and design for two imprints, G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Nancy Paulsen Books. She is fortunate to have worked with some of the major illustrators of children’s books, but the highlight of her work is to discover and develop new talent. She is on the Advisory Council of SCBWI, as well as a member of its Illustrators Committee.

Creative Lab: The Miracle of the Picture Book with Allyn Johnston

Allyn Johnston is VP and publisher of Beach Lane Books, a San Diego-based children’s book imprint that she founded on April Fool’s Day, 2008. Among the authors and illustrators with whom she works are Marla Frazee, Lauren Stringer, Cynthia Rylant, Arthur Howard, Mark Teague, Mem Fox, Linda Davick, Jeanette Winter, Jonah Winter, Jan Thomas, Mary Lyn Ray, Amy Schwartz, Aura Lewis, Katie Mazeika, K. L. Going, and Debra Frasier.

Allyn Johnston reads and analyses one of many picture books during this Creative Lab

At the start of three breakout sessions on the "Miracle of the Picture Book," Allyn shares that she's looking for "imaginative brilliance" -- a manuscript that "delivers an emotional impact," an emotional experience that effects the reader and the child/children the book is being read to.

Allyn encourages us to consider that "it's not just a book, it's a performance for the reader" and that when picture books are done right, it's "Holy work at its best."

Among many shared examples, Allyn reads School's First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson, aloud to us, then considers what makes it work: How it's funny, emotional, a completely fresh take on the concept, with dialog that advances the story and deepens the emotion. And a good refrain.

When writing a manuscript, Allyn offers the advice that you're "writing a script for a piece of theater on the stage of a picture book."

And then we get hands-on! To make the point that a picture book manuscript is not just a block of text, Allyn prepared a block of text for us to cut up and place into a book dummy. (We take eight blank 8.5"x11" pages, folded hamburger style to make a 32 page dummy). 

The room at work!

Close up exercise work - printed out manuscript as block of text, scissors, and tape/glue

The text we do the exercise with is from Scarecrow, by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lauren Stringer. 

cover of "Scarecrow" by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lauren Stringer

After we've made our own choices, we get to compare the choices Lauren made for page breaks in illustrating the text by Cynthia.

Maybe the most valuable aspect of this 7.5 hour workshop is Allyn's live reading of first pages submitted by attendees, with her live commentary on what grabs her and what doesn't -- and why. 

There's lots more example books, Q&A, and advice... an amazing Creative Lab!

Creative Lab: TRUE REVISION with Elana K Arnold and Eliot Schrefer

Creative Lab: TRUE REVISION with Elana K Arnold and Eliot Schrefer

The plan ahead for our 7.5 hours together:

Session 1: What have I made? 

Taking a hard look at what we've actually made, rather than what we intended to make. We'll make a story map and looking at settings.

Session 2: What haven't I considered? We'll look at tension and scene building, as well at the rhythm of five pages. 

Session 3: The full novel diagnostic. We'll leave with a plan for working on the revision when we go home. 

So, friends, it looks like some productive work is in store. I'll give you a peek inside as we move through the three sessions. 

In this first session, we get a peek inside the way Eliot maps plot and Elena shares amazing insight to the ways setting can work even more for our stories. 

Here's a great suggestion and something you can try:

Elana and Eliot send off to consider what we love about our projects. This is an important consideration because we so often look at what's wrong with our work instead of what's right. Elana encourages us to lean into what we love and others love about our work. 

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

In session 2, we are looking more micro-level; at sentences, openings, and scenes and how it all relates to the whole. 

Here's a takeaway that might be fun to look at:

Read the first paragraph of THE HUNGER GAMES. Note with each sentence what information it gave you and/or what question(s) has it made you consider. 

A tip from Elana: find what you think is the strongest scene in your book. Let it be the gold standard and know that all of your scenes can be just as good.

Here's a peek at the list generated of what attendees thought were key takeaways from day 1. (The last one will have to remain a mystery.) 

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

In session three we are going into manuscript triage, making a list of all the things we need to do in order to get by the end of this draft, and ascribing deadlines that feel realistic. 

Here's a great tip from this morning's session: If you have family and friends who aren't writers, a great way to get feedback from them is to ask them to read the first half of the book and to report back on what they think is going to happen. Then you can decide what you want to fulfill and what you want to subvert. 

If you're wishing you were here in True Revision or were here and still want more, Elana will be teaching her Revision Season course online and she's offering a discount (Spring23). 

The Spanish Language/Translators Social

Translation is an art, and the artists who work on children's literature are a vital part of our international SCBWI community! (The world is much more diverse than just folks who speak English...)

The Spanish Language/Translators Social on Saturday at lunch was an intimate conversation, with connections international and multi-lingual!

Some of the handouts included:

for copies of the handouts or for any SCBWI translation questions, email

for resources in espaƱol, email Malena Fuentes,