Tuesday, September 24, 2019

2019 November Self-Editing Workshop

We are pleased to announce our fall event will be a self-editing workshop led by Katherine Jacobs, Senior Editor at Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. 

This workshop will be held at St. James Church in Hyde Park, on November 2, 2019.

At this workshop you will learn how to self-edit before you show your work to an editor or agent. Katherine Jacobs will lead us in a 3-hour hands-on workshop. Please bring a finished manuscript or a work in progress.

If you don’t have a work in progress, don’t let that deter you from signing up. You will learn valuable techniques that you can apply later to your works in progress.

If you choose to bring your laptop or other personal device, it should be fully charged. Outlets are limited in our venue and you may need to bring an extension cord. There is no guarantee that you’ll be able to use an outlet.

We can not assume responsibility for any laptops, tablets or other personal devices.

Registration is open. 


Refreshments and light snacks will be provided.

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

2019 June Conference


We were honored to have Alvina Ling, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as our opening keynote speaker. She spoke on her publishing journey and the importance of goal setting. Five steps for attaining your goals: do your research, outline a step by step plan, work hard and preserve, network like crazy and believe and hope in your goal and abilities. As Abe Lincoln said, “A goal properly set is hallway reached.” I love that!

Her workshop session reviewed the basics of novel structure: voice, character, and plot. Voice: Who is the main character? Points of view: multiple or single. Tense, past or present. Prose or verse. Ways of making your character’s voice distinct was discussed. Character: learn about your character through physical descriptions, action, self-discovery and dialogue. Plots: the seven basic plots and three simple plots were explored.

Eve Adler, Senior Editor at Sterling Children’s Books, picture book workshop talked about how to hook your readers with the right voice. Unfortunately, I was not in this workshop. If I find someone who can share their notes, I’ll add to this post.

Kate Brzozowski, Editor at Feiwel & Friends and Swoon Reads, discussed your writing voice in novels. Your writing voice is influenced by your tone, our diction, sentence length and access into the character’s head.

Emma Sector, Literary Agent at Prospect Agency, discussed the difference kinds of chapter books. Some are like graphic novels in the structure and art style, some are episodic with three or four different stories using the same main character and others are one storyline. Usual word count is 10,000 to 12,000 words with ten chapters. For a series potential, you need different secondary characters with a structure that can be repeated. Think Magic Tree House.

Our closing speaker was David Neilsen, storyteller and author of creepy, funny middle grades. He described ways to build the mood so the reader can be scared, why the reader has to identify with the character, and why children want to be scared. He discussed some dos and don’ts when writing to scare young readers. He closed his session by entertaining us with a reading.

We want to thank all of our attendees, without their support our conferences would not be a success! Thanks to our fabulous speakers: Alvina Ling, Eve Adler, Kate Brzozowski, Emma Sector, and David Neilsen. A special thanks to Merritt Bookstore for all their heavy lifting to provide us with a bookstore, Panera for delivering our delicious lunches and finally, to our dedicated CWHV committee members.


For photos, click the pics tab. 

For my live tweets during the conference, search #CWHV.

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