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Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to Host Fall Retreat

Two-day event to provide multiple workshops, speakers

Local writers and artists will have the opportunity to further develop their craft at an upcoming

Oklahoma's chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators will host their 2015 fall retreat Oct. 9-10 at Stroud, conveniently located right between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

This year, attendees will experience in-depth study into their own area of interest, with individual tracks for illustrators, picture book authors, and novelists.

Friday workshops include the Illustrator Track, taught by Tim Jessell (, with a full day of technique instruction, hands-on practice, and group critique; the Picture Book Track, taught by Janee Trasler (, who will share her secrets as a successful picture book author; and the Novel Track, taught by Anna Myers ( with Pati Hailey and Ginny Sain, and focusing on novel writing and editing including drama techniques for character development. The author workshops will follow their morning sessions with first page analysis and panel discussions.

Keynote speaker Linda Urban ( will present the keynote address, “Fan the Spark of Creativity” on Friday evening. Urban, a successful author of both picture books and novels, will also be leading editing workshops on Saturday.
Linda Urban, successful author of both picture books and novels, will be the keynote speaker at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Oklahoma fall conference, Oct. 9-10 at Stroud, OK
Three publishing professionals have also agreed to accept work from attendees after the conference, even though they are normally closed to submissions. Christa Heschke, an agent with McIntosh and Otis; Emily Feinberg, an editor with Roaring Brook Press; and Anna K. Roberto, an agent with Feiwel & Friends, an Imprint of Macmillian Children’s, are all part of the off-campus faculty of this year’s SCBWI Fall Conference. Specific information and requirements for submitting work to these industry insiders will be given out at the two-day event.

Retreat registration will also include two bonus events. The first will be held the same weekend - an after-hours event Friday evening with Darleen Bailey Beard, a successful published author of picture books and middle grade books, along with other writing professionals. The second bonus will be free admission to SCBWI Oklahoma’s upcoming editing workshop.

“For the price of a good pair of shoes, attendees will receive instruction, feedback, inspiration, and encouragement,” said Helen Dunlap Newton, SCBWI-Oklahoma Regional Advisor. “The lasting effects on your writing and illustrating make this some of the best money you can spend on your writing dreams.”

The SCBWI Oklahoma Fall Conference is limited to 90 participants. All attendees will pay the same registration fee, but may take part in the entire two days or any portion. SCBWI member registration is $110. Non-SCBWI member registration is $160. Attendees may also take advantage of the discount SCBWI price by joining SCBWI for $95. Throughout the year, members enjoy full day critique sessions, monthly educational meetings, grant opportunities, intensives, sketchcrawls, illustrator showcases, friendship, and support.

More information about the fall retreat, lodging availability, and registration is available online at or by contacting Helen Newton,