SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2020 Big Thaw Retreat

Date/Time
Date(s) - 05/01/2020 - 05/03/2020
12:00 am

Location
Susitna River Lodging
23094 S. Talkeetna Spur Rd. - Talkeetna, Alaska 99676


Come join us for a weekend of diving deep!
Bring your work-in-progress
—whether it’s in the idea stage or your 50th revision—
and leave more prepared and polished
for publication!

(scroll to bottom to sign up)
—warning: as you scroll, you will get very excited to sign up—

Limited to 30 participants, so don’t delay.

Diversity and Inclusivity Scholarship coming soon! email Alaska-ra@scbwi.org if interested.

  • Friday afternoon—What’s Your Story? Kinesthetic and crafty…get to know your story and yourself. Come with scissors! How can you possibly distill a whole novel into a one page synopsis? Scissors will help! Bring them and old magazines and we’ll get kinesthetic and crafty. While getting to know our works-in-progress, we will also learn about the “plot of our lives”, and have the opportunity to make a “treasure map” to our dream future. Applicable to picture book writers and illustrators, too. This will be a fun activity to get to know each other and our WIPs from a new angles. Come with scissors!
  • Friday evening—Standing Out in a Sea of Slush, Part 1: Tips for crafting a dynamite pitch, with Literary Agent, Jennifer Soloway. So you’ve finally finished your novel or picture book, and you’re ready to query agents. Or maybe you’ve been querying, but you’ve only received rejections­­ or worse, not heard back at all. Now is the time to revisit your pitch to make sure it’s enticing and succinct. In this session, I’ll give you insight about what it’s like to read submissions and how I manage my query box, including the types of projects I find most compelling. We will discuss what it takes to stand out in a sea of slush and do several exercises to help you identify which elements of your story to pitch, as well as what not to include, to best hook your reader (or an agent or editor).
  • Saturday morning—Standing Out in a Sea of Slush, Part 2: Opening pages that deliver the pitch’s promise, with Literary Agent, Jennifer Soloway. Now you’ve got a dynamite pitch. But do your pages deliver the promise you’ve given the reader? In this session, we’ll talk about how to craft a terrific first line (hint: it might be buried on the front page) and give the reader a story roadmap by introducing the main character (who), the main conflict (what), their motivation (why), the setting (where and when), and a promise of change that will happen over the course of the story (how). But most importantly, we’ll talk about how to pace the beginning in order to pull the reader in, so they can’t help but turn the page to find out what happens next.
  • Saturday Afternoon—Three Stages of Revision and Tips to Sharpen Prosewith Literary Agent, Jennifer Soloway. Every writer’s process is different, but I believe there are three stages of revision: (1) writing for story; (2) revising for structure, plot, character, and clarity; and (3) polishing language at the line level for voice. Using those stages as a guideline, we will discuss how and when to revise which pieces of the story to maximize effort and avoid creative blocks, as well as tips for streamlining and polishing language at the line level.
  • Saturday Afternoon–Two optional critique groups led by published authors
  • Sunday Morning—First Pages! Putting it all together: a chance to share and get live feedback from a pro, with Literary Agent, Jennifer Soloway
  • Sunday Late Morning (optional/additional registration)—Illustrator Intensive: Showcase your work-Tips for polishing online portfolios, social media, picture book dummies, and more! With Literary Agent, Jennifer Soloway Tips for polishing online portfolios, social media, picture book dummies, and more! Whether your goal is to illustrate other people’s texts or create art for your own work, the key to self-promotion is a vibrant online portfolio and a fresh social media presence. In this session, we’ll talk about the types of illustrations to include, ways to use social media to self-promote and network with agents and art directors, and tips to ready a picture book dummy for submission. Plus, we’ll discuss other illustration opportunities like covers and more!
  • PLUS! Manuscript, art, or dummy review with published author

Also available:

  • Manuscript Reviews with Jennifer Soloway (only 5 spots available, so sign up soon!) One-on-one, 15-minute in-person reviews of the first 10 pages of a novel or picture book text or portfolio/art. (see below for specifics and how to submit work-deadline March 15).
  • Story Doctor with Jennifer Soloway (only 7 spots available, so sign up soon!) 15-minutes to discuss your idea, story or dummy book with Jennifer Soloway! You could pitch your work, share a query letter, talk about an issue you’re having with craft, discuss a sticking point in a particular story, go over your submission process to date, or discuss how to find an agent. To make the session even more useful, come with questions or notes on the content you wish to discuss. Come ready to talk!
  • Sunday—Illustrators Intensive “Showcase your work”
    Only $30 additional or available as a “standalone” event. 

Our special Faculty Guest is JENNIFER MARCH SOLOWAY Associate Agent Andrea Brown Literary Agency. 

Jennifer represents authors and illustrators of picture book, middle grade, and YA stories, and is actively building her list. Although she specializes in children’s literature, she also represents adult fiction, both literary and commercial, particularly crime and psychological suspense projects.

For picture books, she is drawn to a wide range of stories from silly to sweet, but she always appreciates a strong dose of humor and some kind of surprise at the end. When it comes to middle grade, she likes all kinds of genres, including adventures, mysteries, spooky-but-not-too-scary ghost stories, humor, realistic contemporary, and fantasy.

YA is Jennifer’s sweet spot. She is a suspense junkie. She adores action-packed thrillers full of unexpected twists. Throw in a dash of romance and she’s hooked! She’s a huge fan of psychological horror that blurs the lines between the real and the imagined. But as much as she loves a good thriller, she finds her favorite novels are literary stories about ordinary teens, especially those focused on family, relationships, sexuality, mental illness, or recovery. In such stories, she is particularly drawn to a close, confiding first-person narrative. Regardless of genre, she is actively seeking fresh new voices and perspectives underrepresented in literature.

That’s her wish list, but the truth is an author might have something she has never considered before, and it might be absolutely perfect for her. She is open to any good story that is well written with a strong, authentic voice. Surprise her!

Prior to joining ABLA, Jennifer worked in marketing and public relations in a variety of industries, including financial services, health care, and toys. She has an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College and was a fellow at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto in 2012. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two sons, and an English bulldog.

Jennifer regularly presents at writing conferences all over the country, including the San Francisco Writers Conference, the Atlanta Writers Conference, and regional SCBWI conferences.

For her latest conference schedule, craft tips and more, follow Jennifer on Twitter (@marchsoloway).


To keep the price low, most meals will be potluck style and it will be delicious! All rooms have a fridge, microwaves and some have an oven. So you can bring your own food if you have allergies or special food needs, though there will always be special dishes like vegetarian, vegan, gluten and dairy free free. Saturday you’ll have the option to stay in (there will probably be leftovers…there was an over abundance last year) or dine out in funky, charming Talkeetna, the hopping off point for climbers of famed Denali.

Refund policy: please be advised, that once payment has been made, that there are no refunds. (At this price, we can’t afford it.) We also cannot credit the money for another event. Thank you for understanding. 


Deeper Descriptions of Activities and Options

Manuscript Reviews with published authors (FREE & included your registration)

One-on-one, 15-minute in-person reviews of the first 10 pages of a novel or picture book text or portfolio/art. (see below for specifics and how to submit work-deadline March 15)

Manuscript Reviews with Jennifer Soloway (only 5 spots available, so sign up soon!) 

One-on-one, 15-minute in-person reviews of the first 10 pages of a novel or picture book text or portfolio/art. (see below for specifics and how to submit work-deadline March 15).

NEW! Story Doctor with Jennifer Soloway (only 7 spots available, so sign up soon!) 

15-minutes to discuss your idea, story or dummy book with Jennifer Soloway! You could pitch your work, share a query letter, talk about an issue you’re having with craft, discuss a sticking point in a particular story, go over your submission process to date, or discuss how to find an agent. To make the session even more useful, come with questions or notes on the content you wish to discuss. Come ready to talk!

Illustrator Intensive: Showcase your work:
Tips for polishing online portfolios, social media, picture book dummies, and more!
Whether your goal is to illustrate other people’s texts or create art for your own work, the key to self-promotion is a vibrant online portfolio and a fresh social media presence. In this session, we’ll talk about the types of illustrations to include, ways to use social media to self-promote and network with agents and art directors, and tips to ready a picture book dummy for submission. Plus, we’ll discuss other illustration opportunities like covers and more!

To keep the registration cost low, most meals will be potluck style and it will be delicious! All rooms have a fridge, microwaves and some have an oven. So you can bring your own food if you have allergies or special food needs, though there will always be special dishes like vegetarian, vegan, gluten and dairy free free. Saturday you’ll have the option to stay in (there will probably be leftovers…there was an over abundance last year) or dine out in funky, charming Talkeetna, the hopping off point for climbers of famed Denali.


Retreat Schedule:

FRIDAY 5/01/19

2:00 PM Check-in opens

3:00—5:00 PM What’s Your Story? Kinesthetic and crafty, get to know your story and yourself, workshop.

5:15 – 6:00 PM Kind, Clear, and Qualitative Critiques: Prepping for the Weekend

6:15 – 6:30 PM Formal Welcome & Announcements

6:30 — 7:30 PM  Standing Out in a Sea of Slush, Part 1: Tips for crafting a dynamite pitch

7:30 — 8:30 PM Dinner

8:30 PM   Open Mic

SATURDAY 5/02/19

8:00—8:45 AM  Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 AM  Standing Out in a Sea of Slush, Part 2: Opening pages that deliver the pitch’s promise

10:15 – 12:15 PM  Optional critique group session 1 guided by published author or free time

12:30 — 2:30 PM   Lunch  and free time

2:30 – 3:30 PM The Three Stages of Revision and Tips to Sharpen Prose

4:00 – 6:00 PM  Optional critique group session 2 guided by published author or free time

6:30 PM  Dinner on your own, option to join a group going into town

8:30 PM  Open mic, desserts and drinks, Fun, Fun and More Fun!

SUNDAY 5/13/18

8:00—8:45 AM  Breakfast

9:00 — 10:00 AM First Pages Feedback 

11:00 AM  Check out by this time. QnA with Stephen Barr & TBA

11:00 AM — 2 PM Optional (Additional registration fee)  Illustrators Intensive (with short break for lunch)


Rooming options:
  1. The option for “shared king bed” is for two friends who are planning to attend the together. You MUST email Alaska-ra@scbwi.org to get coupon code to sign up your friend.
  2. There are limited private rooms and these are in a cabin with another room, and pull out in the front room
  3. You will only be in a cabin with the same biological sex unless special arrangements are made.
  4. If you wish to share (be assigned) a cabin with someone(s), all parties desiring this must email and make the requests. Alaska-ra@scbwi.org

How to Format and Submit your Manuscript/Art 

for reviews with faculty
(published authors and J. Soloway)

DUE MARCH 15th — no exceptions!

Send as an attachment to alaska-ra@scbwi.org in a DOC or DOCX, or PDF if illustrator, labeled with your last name and title of work, or key first words of manuscript. Ex: Tatalias_BestSeller

Writers:

Please use standard “submission” format:

10 pages (or 20 if you chose this option)

Additionally, you may include a 1-page synopsis (will not be critiqued)

12 pt font, new times roman

double spaced

1 inch margins

Header looks like this: title/last name/page number

Upper left of first page:
Your Name
Your Address
Telephone, or email

1/2 way down first page, centered, TITLE OF BOOK
by Your Name

2/3 down start manuscript
Each new chapter begins 1/3 way down page

Illustrators:

Submit a PDF of up to 4 low-res images (72 dpi each) in a folder labeled Art_Your Name. 

Author/Illustrators:

Author/illustrators with a dummy should submit the text as one doc, and the dummy as a PDF in a folder labeled with your name. No extra charge for reviewing your dummy.

Are you a member of SCBWI?


Did you know that SCBWI members always receive a discount on events?

Whether Regional events or the International Conference, all members receive a discount.

Are you a member of SCBWI?  

If so, please log in before continuing with your event registration.

If not, please consider becoming a member.  Click here to learn about membership benefits.

Thank you,
SCBWI

Event Registration

General Information Required Fields*

Pronoun
Country
Occ.

Ticket Information

Early Bird non-member - $225.00


Early Bird Member - $175.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.


Illustrator Intensive Only (Sunday) - $30.00


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, www.scbwi.org. 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: https://www.scbwi.org/anti-harassment-report-form/. 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.

 

Non-Retaliation

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.

 

Sanctions

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.

 

Confidentiality

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 info@scbwi.org. Please include the words "anti-harassment policy" in the subject line.

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