8:00 to 9:00 ET | REGISTRATION
9:00 to 9:30 ET | KEYNOTE
9:45 to 10: 45 ET | MORNING SESSIONS
The Wow Factor
What is it that makes a book stand out in a crowded field? As well as some of the usual tips for revision and self-editing, this session provides tools and ideas that will move your manuscript from competently written to exceptional*.
*Some exceptions may apply.
Laughing Through the Tears: Humour in Dark or Difficult Books
The best children’s books don’t shy away from dark or difficult topics like death, hate, bullying, tough family situations, and more. But how to temper themes that may frighten or alarm sensitive young readers? Two words: Humour. Joanne Levy will discuss types of humour and how to seamlessly weave them into your writing to create work that kids will adore: the kind that makes them laugh and cry.
Pushing Illustration of Your Difficult Character
Sometimes a character pops right into your head. Other times… In this workshop, we’ll dissect what’s working about a character, what’s needed to keep the integrity of the idea, and how to push illustration ideas in different directions. Be ready to draw – preferably with a character you’ve been struggling with. We’ll cover character psychology, subtle and not-so-subtle attributes, shape language and more.
11:00 to 12:00 ET | MID-MORNING SESSIONS
Making Dreams Come True
A dream comes true when your book is published. In While You Sleep, Jennifer Maruno and Miki Sato have woven rhyming couplets and lush illustrations to create a world to cherish. But authors and artists don’t work in a dream-like state and certainly can’t sleep on the job. Hear the elements they deem important in creating lyrical words and pictures.
Interviewing for Stories
You have to do interviews for your next book. How do you prepare? How formal should you be? Should you record? Is it important to be sensitive to cultural background, age, etc.? Kathy Kacer and Ken Setterington will address these questions and more in a conversation that explores interviewing skills, what to watch out for, and how to pull it all together.
The Wonderful World of Non-Fiction Illustration! Exploring Imaginations with Kids
What makes non-fiction books so much more fun and engaging to kids? How can we illustrate facts and information about the world around us in innovative ways? This workshop will provide you with creative approaches to illustrate non-fiction subject matter with a hint of fictional imagination.
1:30 to 2:30 ET | AFTERNOON SESSIONS
Dripping Data for Mystery Stories
Mystery stories are all about the slow release of data to the reader and having closets that you can pull skeletons out of. This workshop will discuss worldview as one of those rarely considered closets as well as how information can be hidden and released within the plot.
Writing Graphic Novels: Packaging Your Vision for Your Artist
Graphic novels are a visual medium, so how do you as the writer – who can’t draw – get the visions in your head onto the page? J. Torres, award-winning writer and 20-year veteran of the comic book industry, shares some tips and tricks on how to “art direct” while fostering a fun, creative exchange of ideas with your collaborators.
2:45 to 3:45 ET | MID-AFTERNOON SESSIONS
Unleash Your Inner Educator! Use Curricula to Guide Your Writing
What the heck is a curriculum? And why do publishers refer to them? This dynamic workshop equips authors with educational tools that deepen writing, engage editors, and captivate readers. Discover creative methods to incorporate curricula into your manuscripts, book pitches, and author presentations. Unleash the full potential of your writing by mastering curricula–from brainstorming to crafting, pitching, and presenting.
The role of an illustrator is one of endless possibilities! Go beyond the confines of the words on the page and find new ways to connect with your audience. Working as a group, we’ll solve visual problems together and discuss how your ideas are as unique and important as your illustration style.
4:00 to 5:00 ET | KEYNOTE
5:05 to 8:15 ET | ONE-TO-ONE EVALUATIONS (participants are pre-scheduled)
One-to-One Evaluations: Manuscripts | AUDITORIUM, ROOM 240/241, ROOM 211
One-to-One Evaluations: Portfolios | GALLERY