Oklahoma’s chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) will host its 2014 fall retreat Sept. 26-28 in Stroud.
Confirmed speakers include Brett Duquette, editor at Sterling Publishing, who will lead an in-depth workshop on voice, and Tracey Daniels, founder of Media Masters, who will cover many aspects of promotion and publicity, giving audience members real guidance to make their books successful.
Two literary agents, Minju Chang of Bookstop Literary Agency and Christa Heschke of McIntosh and Otis Inc., also will be in attendance, listening to a limited number of pitches from conference attendees. Only 40 pitch spots are available, on a first-come, first-served basis, at an additional fee of $40 on top of the full conference price.
Cost for the entire three-day conference is $150 for society members and $200 for nonmembers, which includes a critique of up to 10 pages of a longer work or one picture book manuscript.
Manuscripts will be evaluated by a committee of society professionals, and the 20 most promising manuscripts will be forwarded to speakers for their critiques. Those 20 writers may also be eligible to apply for a mentorship, paid for by the writer, with an local chapter professional.
Manuscripts not sent to speakers will be critiqued by qualified local chapter authors. Critiques are only available to writers who have not been published by a traditional publisher or who do not have a literary agent, and all manuscripts must reach the local chapter by Aug. 15.
Local society members who have published books or are on the cusp of publication will present concurrent sessions on “Learning the Essentials,” including topics such as: creating graphic novels, picture books that sell, romance/friendship, query letters, writing nonfiction, creating easy readers, successful school visits, unusual techniques for developing character, point of view, plotting that works, digging deeply enough for story ideas, using acting techniques in writing, world building elements for all genres, showing character, proportion issues and lessons for beginners.
A creative coach also will speak, offering tips for conquering procrastination and self-sabotage.
Anna Myers, SCBWI Oklahoma Regional Advisor and a successful published author, said that people who are truly interested in writing for children should make it a priority to attend and learn all they can about their craft.
“I have volunteered ... for 14 years because attending SCBWI conferences led to the publication of my 20 books,” Myers said.
Myers, who was inducted into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame last year, will be among the local authors speaking at the three-day conference.