Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

A Novel Idea – April 2019

Date(s) - 04/13/2019
9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Norse Hall
111 NE 11th Ave - Portland, OR 97232

logo by Nicole Roberts

Join us for a full day of workshops, one-on-one critiques, and a panel discussion about middle grade and young adult novels, featuring editor Camille Kellogg from HarperCollins, agent Moe Ferrara from Bookends Literary Agency, YA author Fonda Lee and MG author Cindy Baldwin.

A limited number of one-on-one consultations with our faculty will take place during the workshops. Consultations are still available with our authors! Manuscript consultations are $50 each. The deadline for manuscripts to be received is March 9th. Sign up when you register, first-come, first-served. See more details here.

This event is limited to 70 attendees.

Note: There will be books for sale at this event. We accept cash, checks, and credit cards with a nominal fee.


Moe Ferrara, Agent at Bookends Literary
Camille Kellogg, Editorial Assistant at HarperCollins

Cindy Baldwin, MG Author
Fonda Lee, YA Author

Click here for bios and photos. Or follow the link in the tan box above


Time A Novel Idea April 13, 2019
9:30 Registration and Check-In
Book Sales
                                  Norse Room
10:00 Welcome and Introductions

                                  Norse Room

10:15-11:15 Moe Ferrara: Thinking Inside the Toolbox

                                  Norse Room

Manuscript Consultations


                     Dining Hall

11:25-12:25 Cindy Baldwin: Descriptive Writing 101: It’s Way More Than Just Adjectives, Baby!

                                  Norse Room

Manuscript Consultations


                     Dining Hall

12:25-1:30 Book Sales

                                  Norse Room

12:30-1:30 Lunch

                                     Dining Hall

1:45-2:45 Fonda Lee: Untangle Your Novel                                   Norse Room Manuscript Consultations


                     Dining Hall

2:50-3:50 Camille Kellogg: Hook, First Line, and Sinker

                                  Norse Room

Manuscript Consultations


                     Dining Hall

4:00-4:30 Faculty Panel

                                  Norse Room

4:30-4:45 Wrap up and goodbyes

Final Book Sales

                                  Norse Room


Descriptive Writing 101: It’s Way More Than Just Adjectives, Baby!
Speaker: Cindy Baldwin

Even novice writers have heard the oft-quoted writing advice to “show, don’t tell”—but how exactly do you DO that? Through top-notch description, of course! In this class, we’ll discuss how good description consists of more than mere adjectives. We’ll study the descriptive tools a writer can use to pull the reader into the story, deepen characterization, and foreshadow plot points. We’ll also learn how much description is too much and how to make sure our description packs a punch, rather than overwhelming the reader with long passages of exposition that aren’t strictly necessary. Finally, we’ll explore some easy writing exercises to put our new descriptive tools into play!   

Hook, First Line, and Sinker
Speaker: Camille Kellogg

How many times have you picked up a book in a store, flipped to the beginning, and then put the book back on the shelf? Most readers, including agents and editors, make up their minds about a book on page one—which means you have 10 to 15 lines to make a good impression. Children’s books, especially, should ground a story and hook a reader right away. Using examples from published books, this talk will go over the qualities of a successful first page, mistakes to avoid, and how to revise your first few pages to make your story shine.

Thinking Inside the Toolbox
Speaker: Moe Ferrara

Topics to be discussed include the pros/cons of being a plotter or a pantser, world building (yes, you need it in contemporary manuscripts just as much as a fantasy novel!), crafting believable dialogue, and other tools that should be in a writer’s toolbox.

Untangle Your Novel
Speaker: Fonda Lee

At some point in the novel writing process, it’s very likely you’ll get stuck or feel overwhelmed by the seeming impossibility of your task. Maybe you sailed smoothly through the first third of the draft but now it seems like the story is going nowhere. Maybe you wrote an outline but more and more problems seem to be cropping up the further you go. Or perhaps you have a completed first draft and are staring at a daunting major revision.

This workshop will focus on analyzing your manuscript and finding your way back to the core of your story. We’ll talk about common ways novels get tangled, how to audit your story structure and pacing, breaking problems into manageable pieces, and strategies for getting unstuck. Come with your questions, and remember that every published author will tell you it feels impossible until it’s done!  


Sign up when you register, first-come, first-served. You’ll choose your consultant when you register. Be sure to read all information in the tan box before you register! (Or follow link here.) Must sign up for a consultation by March 1st. Manuscripts MUST BE RECEIVED BY MARCH 4th. (Not postmarked.) Consultation fees are nonrefundable.


Registration opens on January 31st at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Early Bird Registration ends on February 21st. Registration closes April 1st at 11:59 pm. No refunds after April 6th. We retain a $15 cancellation fee.


  by February 21st February 22nd – April 1st
Consultations – optional*
Members $100 $110 $50
Non-Members $120 $130 $50

Fee includes coffee and tea in the morning and lunch.

*Consultation fees are nonrefundable.

SCBWI Oregon is offering two $100 scholarships for this event. EXTENDED DEADLINE to apply is February 4th. Go to our Scholarships page for the application form and instructions.


Contact Laura Byrd, CO-RA, at

Having problems registering? Members be sure to sign into SCBWI first. Contact Sue Ford at or 913-530-8309.

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Ticket Information

Non-Member Regular Ticket - $130.00
For Non-Members

Member Regular Ticket - $110.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

For SCBWI Members only

The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion.


The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.



Code of Conduct

All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, including faculty, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

  • intimidation, stalking, or following.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • Inappropriate physical contact.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Abusive verbal comments.
  • Quid pro quo– sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors.
  • Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.


Reporting Procedures

Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:

  • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.
  • A complainant may submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
  • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.


SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made under this policy. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.



SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.


Sanctions for faculty, speakers, staff or board members may include any of the following:


  • warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;
  • withholding of a contracted honorarium;
  • prohibition from future speaking engagements;
  • prohibition from future faculty appointments;
  • expulsion from SCBWI; and/or
  • removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.


Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

  • warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event, without refund;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
  • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
  • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.


If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will handle utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties and witnesses. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.



If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.


If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "anti-harassment policy" in the subject line.

I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.