Coffee & Conversation with Andrea Morrison: From Dreaming to Doing Conference

Happy Tuesday, everyone! We are continuing with our series of pre-From Dreaming to Doing SCBWI Conference interviews as a way to let attendees get to know our many presenters. Here’s who we’ve chatted with so far!

Today we have Andrea Morrison in the cyber chair! Continue reading

Posted in Conference Information, Interviews: Agents & Editors | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Coffee and Conversation with Leila Sales: From Dreaming to Doing

Welcome, Friday! Weather forecasters are calling for a taste of spring this weekend. I hope you’ll get out and enjoy it, but not before you take time to learn about another amazing faculty member from our From Dreaming to Doing conference. I’m so excited to welcome Leila Sales to the Cyber Café!

leila-sales-headshot-april-2013-2Leila is Associate Publishing Manager at Viking Children’s Books, where she edits books for children and teens. Some of her recent projects include Tricky Vic by Greg Pizzoli, an unusual biography named one of The New York Times best illustrated children’s books of 2015, and The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade, by Max Brallier, a NY Times bestseller. Additionally, Leila is herself the author of YA and middle-grade novels. Follow her @LeilaSalesBooks.

Leila will be doing three presentations: “Ask an Editor” (Saturday breakout) – Come prepared with any and all questions about the book publishing process! Whatever insider info you want to know, she’ll tell you. (And what she doesn’t know, she’ll make up!). “Agents, Editors, and Art Directors” Saturday Panel. “The Logic of Storytelling” (Sunday intensive) – How do you build a story that keeps readers engaged from start to finish? How do you create a character whose goals are so compelling that readers will follow her anywhere she goes? How do you give readers a conclusion that makes the journey worth it? In this workshop, we’ll consider these questions and more by breaking down the storytelling process. We will focus on novels, with additional benefit to picture book and nonfiction writers.

Now that Leila is settled into the comfy Cyber Chair, let’s get started! Continue reading

Posted in Conference Information, Contest Guidelines, Interviews: Agents & Editors, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Coffee and Conversation with Laura Shovan: From Dreaming to Doing Conference

Happy blustery Monday! As we get closer to our From Dreaming to Doing Conference, which is just under a month away, we’re continuing with interviews of our amazing faculty members. I’m so happy to welcome fellow area member and Marylander, the lovely Laura Shovan to the Cyber Café!

Laura Shovan

Laura is a poet, children’s author, editor, and educator. She was Howard County Poetry and Literature Society’s 2015-2016 writer-in-residence. Laura edited Maryland Writers’ Association’s anthology LIFE IN ME LIKE GRASS ON FIRE: LOVE Poems and co-edited VOICES FLY: AN ANTHOLOGY OF EXERCISES AND POEMS from the Maryland State Arts Council Artists-in-Residence Program, for which she is a longtime classroom workshop leader. THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY, her middle grade novel-in-verse, debuted in 2016 (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House).


Along with author Calef Brown, Laura will be presenting the Sunday intensive “All School Visits Great and Small.”  School visits are a great way for children’s and YA authors to meet their readers. But how do authors put together an engaging presentation, whether they are meeting 30 students or 300? In this session, Laura and Calef will share their approaches and experiences with school visits, from small classroom workshop to large auditorium presentations. The intensive will include tips, best practices, and models to help make your school visits a success.

Let’s get started! Continue reading

Posted in Conference Information, Interviews: Authors | 8 Comments

Coffee & Conversation with Thao Le: From Dreaming to Doing Conference

Happy Friday, everyone! Once again, we are continuing with our series of From Dreaming to Doing SCBWI Conference interviews with some of our amazing guest speakers! This has been our tradition for years since they’re such a great way to get to know our faculty. Like, for example, Patricia Hruby Powell likes her margarita glasses rimmed with pepper. That’s pretty impressive. And if you’re a Princess Bride fan, you’ll soon find out you have something in common with today’s guest, Thao Le!

So if you have missed any of our previous interviews, be sure to click on the links below. Also, please subscribe since there are many more to come, plus some conference tips!

Today we have literary agent, Thao Le in the cyber chair! Continue reading

Posted in Conference Information, Interviews: Agents & Editors | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Read Local Challenge!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! There’s something very cool and awesome going on from now until April 30th: the Read Local Challenge put together by our very own PAL coordinator, Veronica Bartles! Please support your local authors and illustrators by spreading the news!


Art is being created all around you. The person you meet at your local pool or pizzeria may have created your favorite book! Continue reading

Posted in Book Talk, Member News, Regional News | Tagged | 2 Comments

Coffee & Conversation with Susan Stockdale: From Dreaming to Doing Conference

Happy Monday, everyone! We are continuing with our pre-From Dreaming to Doing SCBWI Conference guest speaker interviews. In case you’ve missed our first three, here’s the links:

Today we have Susan Stockdale in the cyber chair!

From Dreaming to Doing SCBWI ConferenceSusan is the author and illustrator of eight picture books for young children. Her books celebrate nature with exuberance and charm and have won awards from the American Library Association, Parents’ Choice, the National Science Teachers Association and Bank Street College of Education. Her expressive prose and artwork elicit praise. The Washington Post wrote, “If the paintings are the feast, Stockdale’s words are the dessert.” Continue reading

Posted in Conference Information, Interviews: Authors, Interviews: Illustrators | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Coffee and Conversation with Liz Kossnar: From Dreaming to Doing Conference

We’re just steamrolling ahead with our From Dreaming to Doing conference faculty interviews.  Up next is Liz Kossnar, Associate Editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Liz began her career in children’s publishing managing the review websites and, but quickly transitioned into editorial at S&S BFYR. Over the past three years there, she’s worked with authors and illustrators such as Daniel Miyares, Jeff Mack, Stuart Gibbs, and Neal Shusterman. liz-kossnar_1-150x150She most enjoys fairy tale-inspired or tongue-and-cheek picture books, diverse and magical whimsical contemporary middle grade, and subversive young adult fiction. Anything feminist is a plus.

Liz will be presenting “Like Me, Follow Me, Tag Me” (Saturday breakout); “Introverts, Extroverts, Ambiverts, Oh My!: Personality Types in Publishing” (Saturday panel); and “Agents, Editors, and Art Directors” (Saturday panel) Continue reading

Posted in Conference Information, Interviews: Agents & Editors, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

From Dreaming to Doing Conference: Critique Reminder

Wow, can it really be February 1st, already? January just swooshed on by and before we know it, it will be time to pack our bags for the upcoming From Dreaming to Doing Conference in Buckeystown, Maryland on March 18-19th. Which brings me to this important reminder from our lovely co-regional adviser, Kathy McMillan regarding those who have payed or who plan on paying for a critique: Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Coffee and Conversation with Alyssa Nassner: From Dreaming to Doing Conference

Good Monday morning! We are on February’s doorstep, yet it seems like yesterday we were just celebrating Christmas. And our “From Dreaming to Doing” Conference is less than two months away! Time has definitely sprouted wings!

Today we have another interview with one of our amazing faculty members. I’m so excited to welcome Alyssa Nassneralyssa-nassner-150x150

Alyssa is an illustrator and designer from Baltimore, based out of Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BFA in illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art. By day she is a senior designer for Abrams Kids where she art directs and designs for their Amulet and Appleseed imprints. In her spare time she dabbles in hand lettering and food illustration. Her passion for surface design has lead her to develop projects and products for a wide array of clients, and she is recognized for her use of bright colors, patterns and hand rendered typography. Continue reading

Posted in Conference Information, Interviews: Art Director, Interviews: Illustrators | 13 Comments

Coffee & Conversation with Patricia Hruby Powell: From Dreaming to Doing Conference

It’s that time of year again! When we showcase the many awesome presenters that are lined up for the upcoming From Dreaming to Doing SCBWI MD/DE/WV Conference on March 17-18th! We like to do this as a way for participants to get to know the faculty and be excited for the conference, as I know I am! First up is…

Patricia Hruby Powell

patricia-hruby-powellPatricia is a former dancer/choreographer and the author of JOSEPHINE: THE DAZZLING LIFE OF JOSEPHINE BAKER (Chronicle 2014) which won Sibert, Boston Globe Horn Book, Ragazzi, and CSK Honors; Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, NPR, PBS Best Book Awards and is a Junior Guild Selection, as is her new LOVING VS. VIRGINIA: A DOCUMENTARY NOVEL OF THE LANDMARK CIVIL RIGHTS CASE (Chronicle 2017). STRUTTIN’ WITH SOME BARBECUE and ELLA BAKER are forthcoming. Continue reading

Posted in Conference Information, Interviews: Authors | Tagged , | 13 Comments