Registration for our March 31, 2012 workshop now open!

Saturday, March 31, 2012
The Bishop Claggett Center in Buckeystown, MD

“Rx for Children’s Book Creators:  Getting Your Stories Right”

Join us for a hands-on, craft-centered morning workshop led by author Esther Hershenhorn and afternoon sessions led by Associate Editor Sarah Dotts Barley of HarperCollins Children’s Books and Literary Agent Rachel Orr of Prospect Agency.

Chicago author Esther Hershenhorn writes award-winning picture books and    middle-grade fiction, teaches Writing for Children classes at the University of Chicago’s Writer’s Studio and The Chicago Newberry Library and coaches writers of all ages to help them tell their stories.  Esther recently concluded her ten-year service on SCBWI’s Board of Advisors; she treasures her status as the Illinois Chapter’s Regional Advisor Emeritus.  To learn more, visit or her group blog http://www.teachingauthors.

There’s the story we tell, the one we write.  But there’s also the Writer’s Story we live each day.  Author, Teacher and Writing Coach Esther Hershenhorn will share resources, exercises and opportunities to ensure both kinds of stories meaningfully intersect so you keep moving forward on your chosen plotline–growing, changing, digging deep, and returning home triumphant, better for the journey.

Writers of all levels and genres (picture book, middle grade, young adult, nonfiction) will benefit from this workshop.  Come with your work-in-progress!

Sarah Dotts Barley

Sarah Dotts Barley is an associate editor focusing on middle grade and teen fiction at HarperCollins Children’s Books.  She’s lucky enough to work with authors including Georgia Byng, Holly Cupala, Donna Freitas, Gwendolyn Heasley, Geraldine McCaughrean, Joyce Carol Oates, and several new writers whose debut novels will publish in 2012 and 2013.  You can follow her on Twitter @The_SDB.

“Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them”Sarah will talk about how writers can eliminate those common mistakes and write their own “uncommonly” good books!  The motto at HarperCollins: “Sure it’s simple, writing for kids.  Just as simple as bringing them up.” Ursula K. Le Guin

Rachel Orr

Rachel Orr has been representing authors and illustrators at Prospect Agency since 2007.  Prior to agenting, she edited children’s books at HarperCollins for eight years.  Her clients include Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (CHICKS RUN WILD), Cori Doerrfeld (PENNY LOVES PINK), A.C.E. Bauer (COME FALL) and Katherine Easer (VICIOUS LITTLE DARLINGS).  Rachel especially loves launching new talent and will accept submissions via the agency’s website:  She lives in Hoboken, NJ with her husband and two children.
“VOICES CARRY:  Discovering and Developing Your Own Personal Style”
Voice can be the hardest element to master, yet it’s probably the most important factor that agents and editors look for in new writers.  By examining the work of our influences–and taking a critical look at our own work–Rachel will discuss how to develop our natural voices, as well as how to use voice to create likable (yet realistic) characters.  She’ll also explore the effective use of intentional repetition, first-person vs. third-person voice, multiple viewpoints and other experimental formats, and dialect.

The day will wrap up with a “Fairy Tales and Cautionary Tales” panel discussion featuring regional members and their experiences. (Participants to be announced…)

*Click for a printable schedule for the day.  2012MarchSchedule

Costs for the Day

  • Current SCBWI Member:  $90
  • Non-Member:  $110
  • Walk-In:  $120
  • Manuscript Critique:  $45
  • Portfolio Review:  $45

(Costs include continental breakfast, buffet lunch, and afternoon snack.)

Optional Manuscript & Portfolio Critiques

We have 30 slots for manuscript critiques available on a first come/first served basis, so reserve yours early!  Participants must register and pay for the entire workshop and mail in the manuscript BEFORE being assigned a review with either HarperCollins Associate Editor Sarah Dotts Barley or Prospect Literary Agent Rachel Orr.  No second critiques will be accommodated!  Critique and Portfolio Review Deadline is Wednesday, February 29, 2012, if slots are not filled earlier. *Please note that the editor and agent slots for critiques are now closed (as of 2/5/12), but slots with published authors are available!

For Manuscript Critiques:

  • Register for the workshop and include an extra $45 in your payment.
  • Email up to TEN (10) double-spaced pages of one manuscript to Naomi Milliner at 
  • Mail a printed copy to: Naomi Milliner, PO Box 253, Olney, MD 20832 before February 29, 2012.
  • Include a brief summary with intended age group and genre noted at the top.
  • Email questions to 

For Portfolio Reviews with Agent Rachel Orr:

  • Register for the workshop and include an extra $45 in your payment.
  • Send Susan Detwiler <> an email to receive your review time. 
  • Do NOT send original artwork in the mail!

Directions to the Bishop Claggett Center:

The Bishop Claggett Center is located near Buckeystown, Maryland on a bluff overlooking Sugarloaf Mountain and the Monocacy River Valley.  The workshop will be held in Monocacy Hall.

  • Click here for directions to the Claggett Center   
  • Click here for Campus Map


For those arriving the night before or staying after, a block of rooms has been reserved at Hilton Garden Inn of Frederick, 7226 Corporate Court, Frederick, MD 21703 (240-566-1500).  Mention SCBWI to get the special rate of $89 per night or follow this link  to book online.  You must reserve by March 2, 2012 to receive the reduced rate.

Book Sales Opportunity

Since we will not have an independent bookseller at this event, we are opening book sales up to all attending PAL (Published and Listed) members who would like to sell their books.

Please note, individuals…

  • must be responsible for their own cash and sales.
  • must be registered attendees of the workshop.
  • must contact us at before March 15, 2012 to reserve a table.
The official SCBWI policy is “no self-published or subsidy-published” books to be sold.  Click here for a complete explanation of PAL status.

Register Now!

For those who wish to register by mailing a check, click here for a printable registration form.

For those who wish to register online through PayPal, go to our regional website and click on the “Registration” page.

* Refund Policy:  No refunds will be given after March 23, 2012.  Refunds for registrations made through PayPal will be minus a service charge of $5.

Questions?  Email

About ediehemingway

I am an author of children's middle grade novels and the Regional Advisor for the MD/DE/WV SCBWI chapter.
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5 Responses to Registration for our March 31, 2012 workshop now open!

  1. Pingback: Coffee & Conversation with Esther Hershenhorn! « As the Eraser Burns

  2. Pingback: Conference Writing/Illustrating Challenge #1: FAILURE « As the Eraser Burns

  3. Pingback: Coffee & Conversation with Rachel Orr! « As the Eraser Burns

  4. Pingback: Conference Challenge #8 – Overused Terms « As the Eraser Burns

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