Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

PWID 2016: The Breakouts

Session One, 10:30 to 11:30

A. Creating Winning Picture Book Biographies (for writers and illustrators) with Don Tate 

As an illustrator, words frightened Don Tate. After all, artists create pictures, they don’t write stories. So how did a non-word person go about writing award-winning picture books (including one that he did not illustrate)? In his breakout session, Don will reveal all of that, discussing both sides of the bookmaking process. How do creators of picture book biographies find and then zero in on the right information? How can illustrators find their writing voice? And what about research—how do I know what to include and leave out? Don’s breakout will include his process of planning a story from initial inspiration through creating thumbnail sketches and dummy books.


B. The Enigma Known as “Voice” with Linda Pratt 

Voice is one of those hard to define, but crucial, aspects to successful writing.  It’s often a frustrating conundrum for authors and illustrators, especially when they receive feedback like “I know it when I see it."  This breakout will define voice as it comes through dialogue,  but also through actions.  Specific examples will be given, as well as ideas and exercises for exploring voice. This breakout is intended for novelists.


C. Revising and Editing Picture Book Text and Illustrations with Nikki Garcia 

By watching how actual manuscripts evolved, from initial submission to final draft, learn how to fine tune your picture book text and/or illustrations to share with agents and editors.


Session Two, 2:25 to 3:25

D. A Pragmatist’s Guide to Your Writing Career with Linda Pratt 

In this session, Linda Pratt will address a professional book creator's burning questions, such as: What is the current publishing climate? What are  factors to consider with regard to one’s work (i.e. who is the audience)?  Who is the consumer?  Are they the same?  How does that impact the positioning of your work – for you and a publisher? How do you find an editor or agent….and are there things you can do to enhance opportunities to connect with them?  What should you expect when your book has been acquired?  How can you work efficiently with your agent and editor?


E. Meet Your Character: How Motivation Drives Story with Kendra Levin 

What does your main character want?  Kendra will use a combination of coaching tools and editorial feedback to help you get to the heart of what your characters want—and use their desires to make your story more dynamic and compelling.  Ideal for novelists, but relevant for all writers, the workshop will include a guided visualization, writing exercises, group discussion, and much more.


F. Writing with Pictures with Traci Todd 

In this program we’ll look at how to leave room in your writing for images to tell at least half the story. We’ll look at both picture books and graphic novels via manuscript examples and published books.


Session Three, 3:35 to 4:35

G. KAPOW! WHAM! CRASH! The Illustrator As Superhero! with Giuseppe Castellano 

In this action-packed seminar, Executive Art Director Giuseppe Castellano provides intel on how illustrators can be the masters of their own artistic destinies! As Superman once said, “You are much stronger than you think. Trust me.”


H. Books for the Smallest Child: Creating Books for Children 0-5, with Traci Todd

What are the considerations that go into writing and illustrating board books and very young picture books? How do you meet the challenges of so few words and such a young audience? We'll look at manuscript examples and published (or soon-to-be published) books.


I. Be the Hero of Your Writing Process with Kendra Levin

Writing conferences are a wonderful experience, but it can be hard to apply everything you’ve learned when you get back to your desk. In this workshop full of exercises and discussion, Kendra will reveal a how the writing process is like a hero’s journey and give you a set of tools to help you stay focused and motivated, build structure, and develop good writing habits. Blending secrets from bestselling authors, tips from psychologists, and her own advice, Kendra will send you off with a solid plan for how to finish your manuscript and do your very best writing.


J. Revising and Editing Middle Grade/Young Adult with Nikki Garcia

You’ve written a book! Learn how to revise and strengthen your novel to share with agents and editors by seeing how actual manuscripts evolved during the revision process.