June Conference 2017

Posted on: March 21, 2017




Registration for the June 2017 Summer Conference opens


Sunday, March 26, 5:00 p.m. EST.


We are so excited for the 2017 NJSCBWI Annual Summer Conference on June 3 & 4.  We have a great lineup of faculty and over 70 workshops for you to attend, plus all your favorite features such as one-on-ones, first page sessions, round tables, agent pitching, panels, illustrator intensive, juried art show, book fair and pre-dinner social.  All to help you on your journey to publication!







Where: Hyatt Regency New Brunswick, 2 Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.
             Map & directions: Click Here
June 3 & 4, 2017
Cost: Member $375 Non-Member $410. 




Abbott, Sarah Jane (Editor, Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books) 
Camacho, Linda (Agent, Prospect Agency)
Cascardi, Andrea (Agent,Transatlantic Agency)
DeWitt, David (Designer, Little Lee Books & Sizzle Press) 
Feinberg, Emily (Editor, Roaring Brook Press) 
Fleissig, Liza (Founder/Agent, Liza Royce Agency)

Gentry, Samantha (Editor, Putnam/Penguin/Random House)
Hawk, Susan (Agent, Upstart Crow Literary)
Heschke, Christa (Agent, Macintosh & Otis)
Jennette, Alyssa (Agent, Stonesong)
Lamba, Marie (Agent, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency)
Lee, Celia (Editor, Scholastic)
Loggia, Wendy (Editor, Delacorte Press)
Lubar, David (Author, Sunday Keynote)
Middleton, Maria (Art Director, Random House Children's Books)
Perkins, Katherine (Editor, Putnam/Penguin/Random House)
Rens, Kristin (Editor, HarperCollins Children's Books)
Savage, Stephen (Author/Illustrator, Saturday Keynote)

Spieller, Lauren (Agent, Triada US Literary Agency)
Stark, Rachel (Editor, Sky Pony Press)
Todd, Traci (Editor, Abrams)

Zacker, Marietta (Agent, Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency)
Plus 30 authors and illustrators presenting fabulous workshops!


We suggest spending some time this week reviewing the faculty Bios, workshop descriptions and conference schedule. Set up your registration worksheet ahead of time to streamline your registration!




What do I submit for a One-On-One session?: Click here
What do I bring for a First Page session?: Click Here
What do I bring for a Round Table Session?: Click Here


Apply to win a full or partial scholarship to the June 2017 Conference!
Deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m., Thursday March. 23, 2017 (EST). Recipients will be notified Saturday March 25, 2017.


  • never have previously received a full Lucky Duck Scholarship.
  • be a New Jersey resident.
  • have been an SCBWI member for more than one year.
  • To Apply – CLICK HERE


FINAL NOTE: If you have a NJSCBWI credit for this year's conference, you MUST CONTACT THE RA BEFORE registering. (Regretfully, we cannot honor the credit if you have already registered.)











RA Cathleen Thole-Daniels: newjersey-ra2@scbwi.org
Can't wait to see you in June!
Cathy, Rosanne, Karen and the NJSCBWI Team

Winter Warm Up Critique Day

Posted on: January 16, 2017






Polish up your manuscript before our June conference! Join SCBWI New Jersey for a Spring critique with an agent or editor— and hone your skills in children's book writing and illustration toward your ultimate goal: Publication!

Saturday, March 25, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Labyrinth Bookstore 
122 Nassau St.
Princeton, NJ 08542


You must upload manuscript when you register. 

Registration Closes February 25, 2017 – 9:00 p.m(EST)
Or When Spots Sell Out!  


Here's what is In store for you!
  • One (single) fifteen minute critique session for full picture book or first 15 pages of a novel.
  • One (double) thirty minute critique session for first 40 pages of a novel only
  • Two (single) fifteen minute critique sessions for full picture book or first 15 pages of a novel.

This event is open to all SCBWI members and Non-SCBWI members
Single critique: $90 SCBWI Member / $115 Non-SCBWI Member
Double critique: $180 SCBWI Member / $230 Non-SCBWI Member 
Two Single critiques: $180 SCBWI Member / $230 Non-SCBWI Member

Faculty Line Up
Eliza Berkowitz, Senior Editor, Sterling Publishing
Victoria Doherty-Munro, Agent, Writers House
Alice Jerman, Associate Editor, HarperCollins Children's Books
Liz Kosnar, Asociate Editor, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Victoria Marini, Agent, Irene Goodman Agency
Sean McCarthy, Owner/agent, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency
Lauren Spieller, Literary Agent Assistant, TriadaUS
Erin Stein, Publisher of Imprint, part of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

Read all about the guest editors and agents HERE


FAQ's Answered HERE!


Read the FAQ and still have Questions? Email Kelly Calabrese, Event Organizer, kellycalabresenjscbwi@gmail.com: HERE


Click Here To Register Now

Save The Date For our Annual Conference on June 3 & 4, 2017
We've moved! 
This year's conference will be at the Hyatt Hotel in the heart of New Brunswick. Registration is scheduled to open early March.

Holiday Party 2016

Posted on: November 14, 2016

2016 Holiday Party
Thursday, Dec. 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m.







Join your fellow writers and illustrators and kick back for a relaxed evening of conversation, wine, hors-d'ouevres, door prizes and laughter to usher in the holiday season. Celebrate the blessings and gifts of your kidlit community together!

The party will be held on the main campus of the Princeton Theological Seminary, in the Main Lounge of Mackay Center.

WHEN: Thursday, December 1, 2016. From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton NJ (Mackay Center, Main Lounge)

COST: PRE-REGISTER: SCBWI Members $15 / Non-members $25

WALK INS: SCBWI Members $25 / Non-members $35

Click here for directions and a campus map.
Click here for Parking pass


Registration closes 11:00 a.m., Sunday November 27, 2016. 


PAL Workshop

Posted on: October 8, 2016

Saturday, October 29


Are you sure you checked everything off

your published author to-do list?

This event brings you the latest insights and refreshers on how to maximize your efforts as a published author or illustrator in today’s competitive market. Whether it’s your first, tenth, or thirty-sixth book, join us for a morning of discussion of tips and tricks on how to survive and thrive in publication.
When: Saturday, October 29, 2016. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Words Bookstore, The Event Space (downstairs), 179 Maplewood Ave, Maplewood, NJ 07040
Cost: $45 SCBWI member/$75 non – member

*NOTE: Registration has limited seating and closes by 9:00 pm Friday, October 28 or when capacity is reached. 


10 a.m. Welcome
10:05 to 11:05 a.m.
A Conversation with Lauren Donovan
Meet Lauren Donovan, assistant director of publicity, Penguin Young Readers for an informal QA-style chat about best practices for “off-season” visibility and PR for authors/illustrators in between books.
11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
The Long Haul: Twelve Tips for Novelists with Audrey Vernick
For many of us, each time we start another novel we face a whole new learning curve. This presentation will provide tips for learning from our experiences and gathering knowledge that can help us the next time we face that steep curve.
12:10 to 12:30 p.m. Break
12:30 to 2 p.m.
Make Your Voice Heard: Creating—and Booking—Speaking Engagements as an Author/Illustrator with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
For most children's book authors/illustrators, speaking engagements represent a significant portion of our income and our promotional efforts. If you have done it before, it can be difficult to figure out how to book more speaking engagements. If you've never done it before, it can be a daunting thought to create and conduct a workshop or school visit presentation. This workshop will take you through the essentials of your school-visit toolbox, from advertising to execution.
Register early to make sure you get a spot!
Come ready to ask questions, take notes and learn tips about PR, getting school visits and more.

 Read more about our faculty

Register Here

Hope to see you there,
Cathy and the NJSCBWI Team
Cathy Daniels
Regional Advisor, NJSCBWI

Fall Craft Weekend 2016 Registration is Open

Posted on: September 2, 2016

 Fall Craft Registration is Open!

Princeton Theological Seminary November 12 & 13, 2016
(You can sign up for just Saturday or Saturday & Sunday)

Registration closes October 14, 2016


Here's what is in store for you!


$25 SCBWI Members / $50 Non-SCBWI Members

Enjoy an afternoon of craft-related workshops with published author/illustrator presenters to help you further your writing/illustrating skills in the world of children's books. The afternoon includes picture book, MG/YA and illustration workshops as well as an editor/agent panel tailored to questions sent when you register. We also provide a designated quiet room for writing, sketching or just relaxing.

Saturday Dinner With Faculty ($70 SCBWI members / $95 Non-SCBWI Members)
When you sign up for Saturday you have the opportunity to attend an intimate dinner with editors, agents, art designers and author/illustrators.

Author/Illustrator Critiques ($50 SCBWI Members / $60 Non-SCBWI Members)
*New this year, available to both Saturday and full weekend attendees:  Here's your chance to receive a manuscript critique or a portfolio review with a published author or illustrator! Take advantage of this opportunity to gain suggestions for moving your manuscript or dummies/portfolio to the next level. SCBWI authors/illustrators are notorious for their generous spirit and insightful comments. Don't miss out! Note: If you sign up for a manuscript critique you must upload your manuscript when you register. 

Art Designer Critiques ($65 SCBWI Members / $75 Non-SCBWI Members)
*New this year, Available to both Saturday and full weekend attendees. Here is your chance to receive a 15-minute one-on-one portfolio/dummy critique with an Art Designer from Little Brown or Scholastic. This is a great opportunity for those signing up for the Sunday writer's day events but want feedback on a dummy or portfolio. For those already signing up for the Sunday Illustrator events this is also a great opportunity to receive feedback on multiple dummies or portfolio work.


$285 SCBWI Members / $325 Non-SCBWI Members
(includes free registration for Saturday Craft Day)

Note: If you sign up for the Sunday Writer's Day, you must upload your manuscript when you register.

Writers Day Enjoy the benefits of our Sunday opening editor/agent panel, participate in a first-page session, gain feedback in a one-on-one manuscript critique (scheduled on Saturday) with an assigned editor/agent and … Propel your writing with our 2-hour round table session where you share 500 words with an assigned editor or agent and other peers in a group setting. 
*Note: All critiques are scheduled on Saturday so Sunday attendees must attend the Saturday portion to receive your critique.

Illustrators Day Show and discuss your pre-assigned illustration project in a group setting with two art designers from Little Brown and Scholastic. The intensive also includes artwork display and promo card display. Propel your work with our 2-hour round table session where you share up to five pieces of art with Art designers plus other peers in a group environment.

Faculty Line Up

Carolyn Bull, Art Designer at Hachette Book Group, Little Brown
Dana Chidiac, Assistant Editor at Dial BFYR, Penguin
Kristin Daly Rens, Executive Editor at Balzer & Bray, Harper Collins 
Christa Heschke, Literary Agent at McIntosh and Otis Literary Agency
Alexa Pastor, Assistant Editor at Simon and Schuster BFYR
Jessica Sinsheimer, Agent at Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
Jessica Tice-Gilbert, Senior Art and Novelty Designer at Cartwheel, Scholastic
Roseanne Wells, Associate Literary Agent at The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency

Faculty Bios

Hope to see you there,
Cathy and the NJSCBWI Team
Cathy Daniels
Regional Advisor, NJSCBWI

June Conference Faculty Update

Posted on: April 28, 2016


June Conference Faculty Update

Kurestin Armada_PSLiterary_200px 

Kurestin Armada From P.S. Literary Agency

Kurestin will be joining us this year, replacing Maria Vincente from P.S. Literary who has had to cancel. Kurestin will be filling Maria's spot in First page sessions, Editor/Agent Panel, Pitch Sessions, One-On-One Critiques and meal tables. Kurestin will also be doing Maria's workshop on 'An Agent's Guide To Pitching Your Novel'.

Kurestin Armada began her publishing career as an intern with Workman Publishing, and spent time as an assistant at The Lotts Agency before joining P.S. Literary. She holds a B.A. in English from Kenyon College, as well as a publishing certificate from Columbia University. On the children's side she is actively looking for young adult, middle grade, illustrated picture books, and on the adult side she is looking for science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and literary fiction. She is especially drawn to stories with a compelling voice, a well-built and diverse world, and a touch of humor. Kurestin is based in New York City, and spends most of her time in the city's thriving indie bookstores. 

An Agents Guide to Pitching Your Novel
In this workshop, Kurestin will share exactly what it is that literary agents are looking to find in your query letter. She'll discuss strategies for pitching your MG or YA novel that will get you noticed in the slush pile as well as the most common query letter mistakes-and how you can avoid them. Kurestin will also help you pull out the best parts of your query for an in person pitch, and give tips for nailing the pitch. It is recommended that you bring a draft of your query letter.  

Looking forward to seeing you in June!

2016 June Conference News

Posted on: March 3, 2016


Registration is Now Open

for the June 2016 Summer Conference!

Early Bird Pricing Deadline: 9 p.m., April 4
Regular Pricing Deadline: 9 p.m., May 7


PLUS: One of our great illustrator Spring events
is still open with a few spots left!

  • EVOLUTION RESOLUTION: SOLD OUT To be added to our waiting list email Karen HERE




We are so excited to open registration for the 2016 NJSCBWI Annual Summer Conference in June.  We have a great lineup of faculty and 64 workshops for you to attend, plus all your favorite features such as first page sessions, agent pitching, book fair, pre-dinner social, illustrator intensive, panels and a new feature: Round Tables! All to help you on your journey to publication.

Kidlit TV, http://kidlit.tv/
will also be there on Saturday to film, interview conference attendees and host a KidLit TV Panel about adapting new and classic children's books across many different media platforms.


Quick tips before heading to the registration site …
To get the most out of your registration and make it as seamless as possible, set aside an hour with your favorite beverage and follow the general registration instructions. Have the general schedule, faculty bios and workshop descriptions handy and use the registration worksheet to help you stay on track. There are space limits to certain sessions and other info to be aware of, so be sure to click a 'details' link where you see it. Also, when registering, if a pdf pops up with 2015 dates, simply refresh your browser, or empty your caches, then refresh. 

Most important tip of all: DO NOT USE THE BROWSER BACK BUTTON when you are registering, because you will lose everything and have to start again. Simply, take your time, and if you need to go back to a previous page, simply click one of the tabs within your registration.
FINAL NOTE: If you have a NJSCBWI credit for this year's conference, you MUST CONTACT THE RA BEFORE registering. (Regretfully, we cannot honor the credit if you have already registered.)
Cathy Thole-Daniels at newjersey-ra2@scbwi.org  
CLICK HERE FOR ALL YOUR FAQ (frequently asked questions) Where you will find links to the conference schedule, workshop descriptions, faculty bios and more details on cost, lodging and contact info.

To register—and for all the information you need about the conference go to the registration website here.
Can't wait to see you in June!
Cathy, Rosanne, Karen and the NJSCBWI Team

Fall Craft Weekend: Weekend Overview

Posted on: September 30, 2015

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015     


12:15-12:30 p.m.          Registration / Stuart Hall


12:10-12:50 p.m.          WELCOME panel/intro to editors/agents / Stuart Hall


1 – 2 p.m.  WS1 / Stuart Hall

WS1A: The Picture Book: A Unique Genre w/ Trinka Hakes Noble

WS1B: Creating a Broad Research Bank For Your Novel w/ Charlotte Bennardo

WS1C: Painting Children—Watercolor w/ Karen Romagna  (Illustration)


2:10 – 3:10 p.m. WS2 / Stuart Hall

WS2A: Explaining Complex or Unfamiliar Material in Picture Books w/ Laurie Wallmark

WS2B: The Illusion of Life: Writing that Breathes on the Page w/ Mayrose Wood

WS2C: Pacing a Picture Book w/ Greg Pizzoli (Illustration)


3:10-3:30                           BREAK / Stuart Hall Basement Lounge


3:30 – 4:30 p.m. WS3 / Stuart Hall

WS3A: Rock Tumbling a Picture Book: The Craft of Revision w/ Beth Ferry

WS3B: Plot, Plan, and Adapt w/ Matt Myklusch

WS3C: Strengthening Our Sketchbook Skills w/ Leeza Hernandez


1 – 4:30 p.m.                      Critiques with editors/agents for Sunday Writers Day attendees


4:30 – 5:00 p.m.              WRAP-UP / Stuart Hall


Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015

6 – 8:30 p.m.        Dinner with the Faculty (Pre-registration required. Fee applies) / Mackay Center Lounge


Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015 – Writers/Illustrators Day


8 – 9 a.m.                              Registration & Breakfast / Mackay Center


9 – 9:45 a.m.                      Faculty panel / Mackay Center


10 a.m. – 12 p.m.   WS4 / Stuart Hall

FPA. First Page Session w/ Allison Weiss & Saba Sulaiman Room 1

FPB. First Page Session w/ Emily Seife & Amy Stern Room 2

FPC. First Page Session w/ Allison Moore & Molly Jaffa Room 3


10 a.m. – 12 p.m.            Illustrator Intensive With Andrea Miller & Greg Pizzoli


12 – 1:15 p.m.                   LUNCH / Mackay Center Auditorium


1:30 – 3:30 p.m.              ROUND TABLES / Stuart Hall

Roundtable A w/ Allison Weiss

Roundtable B w/ Emily Seife      

Roundtable C w/ Allison Moore

Roundtable D w/ Saba Sulaiman 

Roundtable E w/ Amy Stern

Roundtable F w/ Molly Jaffa


Illustrator Round Table A w/ Andrea Miller & Illustrator Round Table B w/ Greg Pizzoli    

(Note: illustrator round tables switch after first hour to other mentor)


3:40-3:50 p.m.                BREAK / Stuart Hall Basement Lounge


3:50 – 4:50 p.m.              WS7 / Stuart Hall / Stuart Hall Auditorium Closing Keynote Sunday w/ Maryrose Wood


3:50-4:50                           Remaining Writers Day Critiques/Overflow


4:50-5:15 p.m.                WRAP UP / THANK YOUs / Stuart Hall Auditorium


Click here for a downloadable pdf of the Weekend Overview.


Click here to register NOW!


Fall Craft Weekend: Lodging Information

Posted on: September 30, 2015

ON-CAMPUS: Princeton Theological Seminary. Erdman Center. 20 Library Place, Princeton, NJ


If you choose to stay with PTS, you’ll find that the lodging facilities provide a peaceful, retreat-like setting for independent study and overnight accommodations, with internet access in your room, daily housekeeping, complimentary coffee and tea available 24/7, and coin-operated laundry facilities onsite. Lounges with television, VCR and DVD, piano, and a fireplace are available. All these amenities provide opportunities for fellowship and networking with colleagues, as well as quiet indoor or outdoor spaces for spiritual renewal!

  • Single bed in room:           $55

Room block number is #97081 under “Society Of Book Writers” There are a limited number of rooms available on campus. Book early to avoid disappointment. To book a room at PTS, call directly at (609) 497-7990.

OFF-CAMPUS: Crowne Plaza, Princeton, 900 Scudders Mill Rd, Plainsboro Township, NJ 08536


If you prefer the luxury of a more traditional hotel setting, the Crowne Plaza, Princeton is a short ride from the Seminary and is offering $109 for the Single Kings and $119.00 for doubles. The cut-off date for reservations is 10/23/2015.

Use this link to book your room online at The Crowne Plaza. 

Other local hotels located on Route 1 near downtown Princeton include:

Hyatt Regency Princeton
102 Carnegie Center
Princeton, NJ 08540-6293
Tel: 609 987 1234


Holiday Inn Express
870 Scudders Mill Rd
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
Tel: 800 315 2621


Princeton Marriot At Forrestal
100 College Road East
Princeton, NJ 08540
Tel: 609 452 7800

Click here for a downloadable PDF of the Fall Craft Weekend Lodging Information

NJSCBWI Fall Craft Weekend: Workshop Descriptions

Posted on: September 30, 2015

Please note as part of the FREE* portion offered to SCBWI Members, the following workshops will take place on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015.

WS1—1 to 2 p.m.

WS1A: The Picture Book: A Unique Genre (Picture books are NOT easy!) w/ Trinka Hakes Noble (PB)
Trinka will discuss the unique and complex craft of the picture book featuring her book The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash, illustrated by Steven Kellogg. You will be guided through your own wordless sequence as you hone and enhance your picture book craft.

WS1B: Creating a Broad Research Bank For Your Novel w/ Charlotte Bennardo (MG/YA)
Go beyond using Google to broaden the depth of research for your novel. As an exercise, attendees will brainstorm about other research tools they have discovered. Charlotte will compile a final list that will be made available as a download post-event.

WS1C: Painting Children—Watercolor w/ Karen Romagna (Illustration)
Learn some of the tricks that Karen discovered while illustrating her picture book, Voyage. She will share the importance of good photo reference, using a limited palette, and the emotions you can trigger with facial expressions and body language. Bring sketches of your own characters to work on during the workshop.

WS2—2:10 to 3:10 p.m.

WS2A: Explaining Complex or Unfamiliar Material in Picture Books w/ Laurie Wallmark (PB)
Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, a picture book is the perfect medium to introduce concepts and facts to younger readers. But this is of little use if the child (or the adult reader!) can’t understand the content being presented. Luckily, because of the very nature of picture books, there are many ways to explain complex and/or unfamiliar material in a way accessible to children. This talk will discuss and give examples, from both nonfiction and fiction, of over twenty such methods.

WS2B: The Illusion of Life: Writing that Breathes on the Page w/ Mayrose Wood (MG/YA)
Everyone knows that a really great book can make you miss your stop on the train! But how do we writers use mere words to establish and maintain such a vivid sense of reality that our readers get lost in the fictional world we’ve created? Through examples and writing exercises attendees will explore John Gardner’s concept of the “fictional dream,” and learn how good writing craft can make our stories spring to life in the mind of the reader.

WS2C: Pacing a Picture Book w/ Greg Pizzoli (Illustration)
Using some simple text, Greg will work with illustrators to help develop sketches and demonstrate the visual pacing of a picture book.

WS3—2:10 to 3:10 p.m.

WS3A: Rock Tumbling a Picture Book: The Craft of Revision w/ Beth Ferry (PB)
In this workshop, we will talk about turning the first draft of a story into a manuscript that is ready for submission by cutting, shaping and polishing each sentence. We will explore four major steps of revision and will do hands-on revision exercises. We will also examine some editor-assigned edits and how they affect the final product.

WS3B: Plot, Plan, and Adapt w/ Matt Myklusch (MG/YA)
Mike will discuss his writing process which relies on very detailed outlines, but also knowing when to stick to the plan and when to throw it out the window. Bring a short synopsis of a work-in-progress. Matt will guide attendees to break down their story into acts, in order to help get a handle on story foundation and story destination.

WS3C: Strengthening Our Sketchbook Skills w/ Leeza Hernandez (Illustration)
Do you feel you are lacking a sense of creativity and that it’s holding you back from generating new ideas, characters and/or stories? Wish you could get a better handle on visual world-building? Not really sure where your illustrative voice is? Through examples, and some simple exercises, attendees will learn how to retool their sketchbook in order to rediscover their illustrative individuality, take inspiration from the world around them and build an arsenal of imagery they can use as fodder for future illustration projects.


Click here to for a downloadable PDF of the workshop descriptions.


Click here to register NOW!