Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2023 Spring Mingle Conference Schedule

7:30: Registration begins

7:30: Coffee & mingle

7:30: Published Members Group Meeting (Classroom B)

7:45: Headshots begin (Cafeteria), Bookstore opens (Auditorium)

8:15: Welcome & announcements (Auditorium)

8:30: Keynote: WINSOME BINGHAM

9:30: Breakout 1:

Victoria Ying-Scripting a Graphic Novel: How to start writing for a visual medium. (Auditorium)

Ashley Hearn-What’s Your Type?: Using the Enneagram to Unlock Your Character’s Personality. This workshop introduces writers to the Enneagram personality typing system which maps out nine different patterns of behavior based on how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. By delving deeper into their characters’ psychology writers can more effectively understand their characters’ core motivations and fears to develop more compelling characters. (Classroom B)

Ramona Pina-Let Your MC Take the Wheel in Your Story: Help readers identify and empathize with the main character by focusing on why they interact with the world the way that they do. (Classroom D)

Stephanie Fretwell-Hill-Just the right fit: How finding an agent is like finding romance: The first barrier to finding an agent is the quality of an author’s work. But even skilled writers with stellar manuscripts get turned down, often with the mysterious phrase “not a fit for me.” What does that really mean? And how do you find the right fit? Just like in love, the best author-agent relationships involve respect, communication, mutual admiration, and a little bit of chemistry. In this session, we talk about finding and querying agents, selling them on you and your work, and moving on if he or she isn’t “the one.” (Classroom C)

Irene Latham & Charles Waters-When One Voice Isn’t Enough: How to Craft Stories using Multiple Narrators. Some stories call for a chorus instead of a solo. Learn best practices and pitfalls of using multiple voices as a narrative tool, from mentor texts and an author team who have used this technique in both picture books and YA. (Classroom A)

10:30: Breakout 2:

Victoria Ying- Graphic Novel Illustration time management: How to make sure you can hit your deadlines using every sneaky trick in the book. (Auditorium)

Winsome Bingham- BAIT AND TACKLE: How To Bait Your Reader And Tackle The Structure of Your Story. This will be a hands-on work session where we focus on first line, first spreads, and hooking your reader. (Classroom A)

Ashley Hearn- (Repeat, What’s Your Type) (Classroom B)

Ramona Pina- (Repeat, Let Your MC Take the Wheel in Your Story) (Classroom D)

Stephanie Fretwill-Hill-Crafting effective query and cover letters: Before an agent will even look at your manuscript, they have to like what they see in your letter—and they have to notice your query among thousands of others. So what are agents looking for? What might cause one to sit up and notice, and what might land you quickly in the “reject” pile? We will look at pitching your story, hooking your reader, selling yourself honestly but effectively, and avoiding red flags and faux pas. (Classroom C)

11:30: Lunch (Cafeteria): Please choose a boxed lunch option when you register or indicate you’re bringing your own. 

12:30: Autograph party and portfolio viewing (Auditorium)

1:15: Breakout 3:

Victoria Ying– Multiple income streams as a multidisciplinary artist and writer (Auditorium)

Winsome Bingham- (Repeat, Bait and Tackle) (Classroom A)

Ashley Hearn-Four Act Structure Plotting: How to Avoid the “Saggy Middle”. This workshop introduces writers to a narrative modeling method which emphasizes the midpoint turning point. By dividing the traditional Three-Act structure into four acts, writers can more effectively avoid a second-act slump and craft more consistently paced stories. (Classroom B)

Stephanie Fretwell-Hill- (Repeat, Just the Right Fit) (Classroom C)

Ramona Pina- Your GPS to finding the Right Writer’s Group: Understanding the general steps towards manuscript preparation to improve your writing and chances at publishing success. Learn to navigate your writing/critique group network to make the most of your author experience. (Classroom D)

2:15: Breakout 4

Quickfire Portfolio Review for illustrators – Panel will include Winsome Bingham, Victoria Ying, and Stephanie Fretwell-Hill (Auditorium)

Ashley Hearn- (Repeat, Four Act Structure Plotting) (Classroom B)

Ramona Pina- (Repeat, Your GPS to Finding the Right Writer’s Group) (Classroom D)

Heather Montgomery & Heather Morris- Jump Start! How to Break Into the Write-for-Hire Market: Looking to break into the writing market? Curious about what “write-for-hire” means? This little-known part of the publishing world offers hidden benefits for authors looking to break into publishing as well as those who are experienced. Benefits include – writing to deadlines, writing to specific grade levels, being paid for your work, and working directly with editors. (Classroom A)

Irene Latham & Charles Waters-How to Build a Successful Co-Author Collaboration: Curious about collaboration? Join poets/authors/writing team Irene Latham and Charles Waters to learn the skills needed to create and maintain a successful collaboration—while also remaining Poetic Forever Friends. (Classroom C)

3:15: Final Keynote: VICTORIA YING (Auditorium)

4:15: Closing announcements, silent auction winners, door prizes, and Joan Broerman Book Basket

4:45: Informal critiques