Monday, September 12, 2022

2022 November Fall Conference

Mark your calendar! Save the date! November 19th, 2022

The CWHV team is excited to announce our November 2022 Fall Conference. We are thrilled to have Frances Gilbert, author of several picture books, including Go Girls, Go, and VP and Editor-in-Chief of Doubleday Books For Young Readers, imprint of Random House Children's Books. Frances has led many workshops and will be our keynote speaker.

We are also delighted to have Rachel Orr, an agent at the well-respected Prospect Agency. She represents both authors and illustrators in pictures books through YA.

Our third speaker is Talia Benamy, editor at Philomel Books. *

Professional critiques on picture books or novels will be offered at this conference.

Registration is OPEN.

* Lois Evans had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances.

Sunday, April 10, 2022


We were thrilled to have Elizabeth Law, Senior Editor and Backlist Specialist at Holiday House run a workshop at our June 2022 CWHV Event on writing your manuscript’s hook. She was humorous, knowledgeable, approachable and a real delight.

Crafting a compelling hook is essential in getting an agent’s or editor’s attention. If your hook doesn’t grab or appeal to them, they will stop reading. When writing your hook, try to put the key words in your title or in the first 25 words of description. Always highlight the conflict or tension.

Several examples of hooks were discussed, along with several formulas for crafting your hook.

1. Book A meets Book B (for example: Mean Girls Meet Parent Trap)

2. My book, (title) has the sexual tension like Twilight but with pirates instead of vampires. (State what is similar and what is different.)

Our hands-on-exercise was working on our hooks, sharing them (optional) and then getting Elizabeth’s feedback.

If you’ve received letters from agents or editors with nice compliments like great writing, great characters, etc., but no acceptance offers, it could mean there was no hook and therefore they didn’t know how to sell it or there was no emotional arc.

Besides identifying your story’s hook, remember RATS when researching your comp titles: Recent, Accurate, Tasteful, Specific.

Tips on researching and finding examples of hooks were discussed.

Thank you Elizabeth for a wonderful and fun afternoon! You can find Elizabeth on Twitter @elawreads