Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Retreat: Break Up and Break Out of Writer’s Block

Date(s) - 05/05/2017 - 05/07/2017
12:00 am

Knik River Lodge
29979 E Knik River Road - Palmer, AK 99645

Been frozen in your chair all winter?

Stumbling over plot holes and

Shoveling through character descriptions?


Never Fear! The First 



Spring “Break Out” Retreat


Writers and Illustrators


Is Here!


Register by APRIL 6 to Guarantee Your Spot 


Enjoy lots of time for writing or illustrating, along with opportunities to workshop, brainstorm, and network with other writers and illustrators. Your scenic cabin is the perfect place to write and illustrate to your heart's content, or attend workshops with published authors and a Skype presentation with Ada Zhang, Editorial Assistant at Sterling Publishing.

A written manuscript excerpt critique by a local, published author is included. You can also select a special package to have your work reviewed by Ada Zhang.

Friday dinner, Saturday Breakfast and Lunch, and Sunday Breakfast at Raven's Perch Restaurant at the Lodge are all included. Saturday, enjoy dinner on your own at the Lodge, or carpool with us to Turkey Red in downtown Palmer. Then enjoy fireside s'mores with your fellow retreat goers!


Bring your works in progress, some comfy shoes, tasty snacks, and
Your writing, illustrating, and publishing goals. 
But most importantly…

Defrost your fingers and get time to


This is a truly BOUTIQUE Retreat; Max 20 Attendees

PLUS: Limited number of critiques available 
with Editor Ada Zhang

A Writen Critique with an industry professional?


(must sign up and submit work by APRIL 9)





Workshops (Optional, of course, in case quiet creative time is calling)

Get Noticed without Getting Naked with Tricia Brown : Do you have a juicy manuscript or book proposal? Great! Now let’s get it under an editor’s nose instead of into the slush pile. That means changing hats from author to one-person promotion machine. Tricia will talk about what editors look for in a “marketable” author and why it takes more than a great book idea to nail down a contract. Next, she’ll share ideas for getting noticed after your book is in print.

The Myth of Show vs Tell: David Onofrychuck will show you when and how it's appropriate to tell your story.

World Building: Using Setting to Ground your CharacatersLynn Lovegreen will guide you in writing believable characters who exist within their settings. You’ll choose a setting, character and concept that will help you flesh out your story in any genre.

Writing in Circles: Dan Walker will explore an approcah to writing that used continuous revision. Come prepared to share and revise works in progress.

The Art of Subtely and Suggestion with Ada Zhang: Pull your manuscript out of the mundane and cliché and you'll pull it out of the slush pile.

Visual Literacy, A picture is worth a thousand words; Come explore picture books to understand how illustrations can both compliment and expand on the text.

How to Skype a School Visit or WebinarLearn the techniques and secrets of remote presentations.

Brainstorm your Writer's Block: Dealing with a plot hole or saggy middle? Been told our picture book isn't "deep enough"? We'll break into small groups to help each other deal with these and other writing snags. 

Remember, space is limted, so sign up early to gaurantee your spot!

Early Bird Tuition (March 3 – April 7)
SCBWI and AWG Members $300

SCBWI Members Sliding Scale $250  
Non-members $350
Private Cabin Supplement $104 (limited availablity; if full, you can sign up for a wait list)

Standard tuition (April 8 – May 4)
SCBWI /AWG Members $350      
Non-members $400

Want more details on agenda? Download the

2017 Retreat Schedule

Or click here for details on this year's retreat faculty!

Speaker Bios

Lodging: Each cabin at Knik River Lodge features a large deck, private bathroom, luxurious bedding with hypo-allergenic down duvets, soft sheets and first class amenities. Standard registration includes sharing your cabin with either someone of your choosing or for a supplement, you can have your own cabin. If you have your own cabin, you are welcome to bring a non-retreat-attending guest, who will be responsible for their own meals. 

Food: Due to the small nature of this retreat, we cannot accomodate special food needs. You are welcome to bring your own food and snacks; be sure to bring a cooler if it needs to be chilled as we cannot guarantee refrigerator space.

Helicoter Rides? Rafting? Seriousy? YES! Want to join us on Sunday after the retreat for a helicopter ride to the Knik Glacier, raft down the river, and either be picked up by another helicopter or an amphibious vehicle. How can you say say no? The cost will be about $250. Check back for more info soon! Click here for Knik RIver Lodge's other tours: dog sledding, glacier landing, kayaking, and more.