2007 SCBWI-MI Spring Conference:
Growing Your Story: from Seed to Fruit
28 April 2007
Prince Conference Center
1800 East Beltline SE
Grand Rapids, MI
Driving Directions to Prince Conference Center
Important Parking Information: Because the college has scheduled another event (a 5k run) and roads near the Prince Conference Center will be closed at unpredictable, unknown times, we strongly suggest you arrive at the center BEFORE 8:30 AM when there will be free parking available in the parking lots. Late arrivals might need to take other roads, park in other lots, and hike to the conference center.
Ann Turner, Author
Ann grew up in a "print-rich" atmosphere, surrounded by books. Her first book was nonfiction, on vultures, a subject suggested by her artist mother who also illustrated it. Since then Ann has written well over forty books, many of them historical picture books, as well as historical novels, poetry, and YA poetry. About her home and work, Ann says, "I am lucky to live such a life and cannot wait to see what new story will tap me on the shoulder and say, in a rather bossy voice, 'Listen to me, write my story, give me life on the page.'"
"Writing is not for the faint of heart --it takes courage, persistence, and the confidence that your vision and words are worth bringing out into the light of day" --Ann Turner
James Ransome, Illustrator
A graduate of Pratt Institute, James recently completed three murals (10x10, 10x17, and 10x22 feet) for the National Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. James is both an illustrator of over forty books, and a painter, with work exhibited in both private and public art collections. His most recent awards are for Sky Boys which received the 2006 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book for Picture Book, and the ALA Notable Book Award. James is a professor at Syracuse University.
Stacy Cantor, Assistant Editor, BloomsburyUS
An editor at Bloomsbury Children's Books since 2005, Stacy previously worked as a writer for a book packager in Chicago, Illinois. Stacy's interests lie primarily in literary young adult fiction and vibrant read-aloud picture books. Her favorite projects thus far have been two forthcoming novels called Dragon Slippers and Notes from the Teenage Underground, and a Choose Your Own Adventure-style series for tween girls called Date Him or Dump Him?
Erin Murphy, Agent, Erin Murphy Literary
Representing authors and author-illustrators of works for children and juveniles, Erin focuses primarily on picture books, and novels for middle-graders and young adults. She lives and works in Flagstaff, Arizona, where she was formerly Editor-in-chief of Northland Publishing.
Read more about Erin at
F1rstPages.com where you must click on "Voices in Children's Publishing"
Members can also access a December 2006 chat transcript with Erin Murphy online at SCBWI
Ruth McNally Barshaw
A life-long writer and artist, Ruth has worked in the advertising field, illustrated for newspapers, and won numerous essay-writing contests. Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel debuts 1 May 2007 by BloomsburyUs, and is her first book for young readers. Ruth is represented by Erin Murphy Literary.
Professional Reviews of Your Work are offered by Lottery
Manuscript Critique Lottery
Winners of the Manuscript Critique Lottery will receive a written critique and a 10-minute meeting with Editor Stacy Cantor. A total of 10 critiques are available.
Picture books: Send entire manuscripts.
Novels: Send first 3 chapters and synopsis.
Portfolio Critique Lottery
Seven portfolio critiques are available with Illustrator James Ransome. Bring your portfolio to the conference. Do not mail artwork.
Story Pitch Lottery: Something New!
Winners of the Story Pitch Lottery receive a 10-minute conversation about their work and career with Agent Erin Murphy. There's no fee, but spaces are limited.
- What's a pitch?
- It's a chance for you to briefly describe your story to an agent in a way that makes her want to see the whole manuscript. You should also be ready to answer questions about other projects and your career goals.
- Things to think about as you prepare your pitch:
You should be able to summarize your book or books in one to two sentences. If you can't, it's possible you aren't sure what your story is about and the manuscript may not be ready to submit to an agent, nor to publishers. Send your one/two sentence summary to Leslie for the Pitch Lottery. Prepare a slightly more detailed summary (like the blurb on the inside cover of a book jacket), something you could use in an elevator between floors if someone asked, "So, what's your book about?" Have a sense of the potential market for the book, what similar books are (or aren't) already out there, and what makes yours unique. Prepare your pitch ahead of time and practice it so you can optimize your time with the agent. Be professional, courteous, and aware of others waiting their turn with the agent.
- For more advice on pitching, see "The Perfect Pitch: Pitching to Agents at a Writing Conference" by Sue Fagalde Lick.
- Submissions must be postmarked by March 15
- Writers wanting professional feedback on their work may choose between the manuscript critique and the agent pitch session; they cannot do both.
- Only SCBWI members are eligible.
- Manuscripts and pitch summaries must be typed, double spaced.
- If you send a $35 lottery fee but your name is not chosen in the lottery, you will receive a $35 refund.
- TIP: If you enter but don't win the paid manuscript review lottery, you're still eligible for the Pitch Lottery; many writers enter both to increase their chances of winning one.
Send all lottery fees, pitches, SASE and manuscripts to:
28315 60th Avenue
Lawton, MI 49065
8:15 Morning Registration & Continental Breakfast
Please arrive no later than 8:30 AM (Remember potential parking problem for those arriving late.)
9:00 Welcome 9:15 Agent Erin Murphy 10:15 Break and Book Sales 10:35 Editor Stacy Cantor 11:35 AM - 1:00 PM Lunch & Book Sales 12:35 - 1:00 Book Signings 1:00 Afternoon Author Ann Turner 2:15 Illustrator James Ransome 3:15 Break and Book Sales/Signings 3:30 Editor Stacy Cantor, Agent Erin Murphy, and Author-Illustrator Ruth McNally Barshaw 4:30 Break and Book Sales/Signings 4:45 Door Prizes, Closing
Illustrators are invited to bring their portfolio for display. Comment cards will be available for feedback from speakers and conference participants. For more information, email Leslie Helakoski or phone Leslie at 269-624-1130.
Speakers' books will be available for sale. See schedule for book sales and signings. If you buy books, you must pay by cash or check (payable to SCBWI-MI). No credit cards.
Calvin College Youth Writing Festival
The Calvin College Youth Writing Festival will be held at Calvin College at the same time as the SCBWI-MI conference. Two speakers, Ann Turner and James Ransome, will speak for the Festival audience in the morning and for SCBWI-MI in the afternoon.
We regret that no refunds can be made after April 15. Refund requests made prior may be sent to Mindy Krasner, 13036 Spencer Rd., Milford, MI. 48380. Please provide the reason for your request, and the address to which you wish the refund to be sent. SCBWI-MI's Advisory Committee will consider your request and respond within two weeks.
DEADLINES to remember:
- Lottery deadlines: March 15 (to Leslie Helakoski)
- Registration deadline: April 15 (to Rachel Anderson)
To register for this conference, access the Conference Registration Form suitable for printing and follow the instructions.
NOTE: Our Mentorship Competition, usually held in conjunction with our Spring Conference has been rescheduled for our 2007 Fall Conference.
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