Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2017 MN SCBWI Conference: Make Your Stories Sing

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Date(s) - 09/23/2017 - 09/24/2017
8:00 am - 5:30 pm

U of MN Continuing Education & Conference Center
1890 Buford Avenue - St. Paul, Minnesota 55108


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2017 MN SCBWI Annual Conference: Make Your Stories Sing

September 23-24, 2017, U of M Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul

The conference includes TWO full days of presentations, intensives, manuscript & portfolio reviews, and more!



Manuscript & Portfolio Critique Deadlines have been extended to Wednesday, August, 30th!


Agenda & registration info, click this link: 17_MNSCBWI Conf Registration

For speaker biographies, click this link: 17_MNSCBWI Conf Biographies

Speakers include:

John Para, Award-Winning Illustrator,
Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Winner,
Jess Tice-Gilbert, Sr. Art Director, Scholastic
Melanie Crowder, Award-Winning Author,
Jenne Abramowitz, Sr. Editor, Scholastic
Regina Brooks, Agent/Owner, Serendipity LIterary Agency,
Mary Cummings, Agent, Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises,

Saturday Workshops Descriptions 

ABRAMOWITZ/CRAFTING A VILLIAN  Want to be bad? Of course you do. Everyone likes  bit of mischief now and again, especially in fiction. And what better way to explore the dark side than to create a truly delicious villain. Learn to craft villians that surprise and infuriate and linger in readers' minds long after the book is finished.

CROWDER/PEAKS, VALLEYS & HIGH PLAINS Join award-winning Melanie Crowder for an inspirational talk on writing, and life and learning to savor the view from where you stand.

PARRA/INSPIRED TO BE AN ARTIST Award-winning and celebrated illustrator John Parra, shares his inspired journey in becoming a professional artist. From his young childhood and early inspirational influences, to his many commercial and children's book projects, John aspires to impart his experiences and work that may ignite others to follow their own creative path.

TICE-GILBERT/ILLUSTRATING FOR PICTURE BOOKS This presentation will delve into the world of illustrating picture books and what you'll needto keep in mind going from sketch phase to final art. We will go over type and design elements, creative ways to keep the reader engaged, dealing with feedback, and hopefully make a successful picture book.

CUMMINGS/WRITING, REFINING & PUBLISHING PICTURE BOOKS What I'm looking for in a PB. What I've accepted and why they work. And, what I'm looking for now.

Descriptions for Kelly Barnhill and Regina Brooks presentations not available at this time.


Homework for Jess Tice-Gilbert's Sunday Intensive

Part 1: Each participant picks one fairy/folk lore manuscript and does a few character studies and a sketch of one page/spread/sceneSketches due to Alicia July 31. When submitting, replace “YourName” in the file with your first and last name. No spaces. No punctuation. Example NameName_TiceGilbert_Assignment.pdf. Email Alicia at / JPG 300 dpi, please include your name and story title on your sketches. (Alicia will package all sketches and send them to Jess Tice-Gilbert.
Part 2: Jess Tice-Gilbert will review work and provide feedback via Alicia Schwab (approx Aug 15).
Part 3: Participants will create a final piece of art. Bring color prints (NO originals) to Intensive.
Part 3: On Sept. 24Jess will critique final pieces at the conference. Picture book ‚Ä®final illustrations will be in color.

Participants must send a $50 deposit to SCBWI, c/o Nina Crittenden, 18025 Hummingbird Road, Deephaven, MN 55391 no later than August 1 to guarantee a review.

Materials to bring for John Parra's Sunday Intensive

Pre-Gessoed illustration board, Acrylic paint (assorted colors), paint brushes (assorted sizes), water jar, cleaning rag, small hair dryer, artist pencils, black charcoal pencil, masking tape (wide), X-acto knife, sketch pad, and Xerox image of a sketch(s)

Materials to bring for Jenne Abramowitz's Sunday Intensive "One is Never Enough: Writing Series Fiction"

Have you ever fallen in love with a paperback series so addictive that you haunt the bookstore shelves waiting for the next installment? In this hands-on workshop, we'll explore what make series fiction special, how the series fiction model differs from other publishing models, and how to go about writing and submitting a series. Participants should bring pen, paper, and an idea for a chapter book or middle grade (fiction) series in mind.

Materials to bring for Melanie Crowder's Sunday Intensive "Crafting Compelling Emotion in Fiction"

We've all heard the adage: show, don't tell. But how, exactly, do we do this when it comes to emotion? In this session, designed for intermediate to published writrs, we'll examine several methods for conveying emotion. From dialogue and sentence structure to metaphor and objective correlative, attendees will leave with a host of tools to make their writing rsonate with emotion. Attendees should bring 2-3 scenes from a work in progress as well as a laptop or writing notebook so we can put these ideas right to work!

Materials to bring for Mary Cummings' Sunday Intensive "Moving Towards Publication: Polishing Your Picture Book"

In this session Issues of craft, market conditions, etc. will be considered with exercises, discussion, and information from Mary. Bring 2 copies of 1 – 3 picture book manuscripts, plus a laptop or paper and pens.

Description for Kelly Barnhill's presentation not available at this time.