Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

MayFest 2018

Date(s) - 05/12/2018
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

University of San Diego, Hahn School of Nursing, Room 106
5998 Alcalá Park, West Campus - San Diego, CA 92110

MayFest 2018 –  One of the highlights of the season featuring: 5 breakout sessions and optional in-person critiques with local editors, agents, and authors. Participants may also sign up for professional headshots with Roxyanne Young.


2:00-4:00 p.m.


  • The ABC’s of Writing Poetry for Childrenwith author Kathleen Long Bostrom
  • Get Your Work Outwith San Diego Regional Advisor & author, Patricia Morris Buckley
  • Designing & Illustrating Characters with author/illustrator Andrea Zuill
  • Non-Fiction and Informational Books – with author Cindy Jenson-Elliott
  • A New (Point of) View – with author Sarah Wones Tomp


4:20-5:20 p.m.

Networking with editors and agents (light refreshments will be served)


Pre-registration is required for workshops. You must be registered for a workshop to participate in the optional in-person critique and/or headshot.


1:00-4:00 p.m. Optional Add-ons (Space is limited. Must be registered for a workshop)

Optional In-Person Critique (April 14th deadline for the in-person critique option has passed) with local editor/agent (10 min) – must be signed up for a workshop

Optional Headshot with award-winning photographer, Roxyanne Young



Workshop Faculty

   Kathleen Long Bostrom – The ABC’s of Writing Poetry for Children

Learn the basics of writing poetry for children: from rhythm to rhyme schemes, to basics of what to do and not to do when writing in verse. We’ll focus on published books that demonstrate various ways of writing picture books and middle grade in poetry and poetic prose.

Bring paper and pens or pencils for writing (or laptop if you prefer), your favorite children’s book written in some form of verse, and a poem you’re working on if we have time for some open discussion. If you have particular questions you want answered, email the chapter in advance with “Questions for Kathleen” in the subject line at

Kathleen Long Bostrom is a full-time writer who served for thirty years as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Her over 40 books have sold over two million copies. Her Little Blessings series is printed in 20 languages. The majority of her books are written in rhyming verse. Kathy is past president of the Presbyterian Writers Guild. She is also a member of the Author’s Guild, PEN, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, San Diego chapter. She is the 2014 David Steele Distinguished Writer, the most prestigious writer’s award given by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


   Patricia Morris Buckley – Get Your Work Out

Patricia will explain what you need to do to get your work in front of an agent/editor. Discussion will include query letters, synopsis contents and finding the right agent/editor.

Patricia Morris Buckley has spent over 30 years as an award-winning journalist, writing for such publications as Cat Fancy, The Los Angeles Times and Alaska Airlines Magazine. Her work for children has been featured in magazines such as Splash and Child’s Life.


   Andrea Zuill – Designing & Illustrating Characters

Andrea will take you through the steps of how to create a character and help you tackle any fears which might be in your way.

Bring to the workshop: 1. Pencils for drawing. 2. Paper for drawing. 3. Art pens. 4. A couple of samples from your favorite artist.

Andrea Zuill is a writer/illustrator of children’s books. For 20 years she was a graphic artist and also painted in oils. Her quirky figurative paintings have been exhibited in California, Texas and New York. In 2006 she started creating prints of funny and whimsical characters, which led to her start in children’s books. Andrea has three books out Wolf Camp, Dance is for Everyone and Marigold & Daisy. Two more books are under contract.


   Cindy Jenson-Elliott – Non-Fiction and Informational Books

The publishing market for informational and nonfiction books for children is wide open. Cindy will lead an exploration of genre, formats and opportunities in this quick introduction to a dynamic area of publishing.

Bring your preferred writing tools.

Cindy Jenson-Elliott is a teacher, environmental educator, and the author of 17 books of nonfiction and informational books for children, including ALA Notable book Weeds Find a Way, and 2017 Crystal Kite winner Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature. She teaches a course in Writing Nonfiction and Informational Books for Children at UCSD Extension.


   Sarah Wones-Tomp – A New (Point of ) View

Who is telling your story? When, where and why? Choosing a narrative point of view is where a story’s voice begins. It sets the tone and mood and forges connections with readers. In addition to introducing compelling characters, point of view aids in world-building as well as controlling pace and tension. It can transform an ordinary idea into a surprising and unforgettable story. Join me during an interactive workshop designed to help writers of all story formats explore the power of choosing the narrative point of view that will best suit each particular story.

Workshop participants should bring a brief opening – 1 to 3 paragraphs – of their own work in progress.

Sarah Tomp is the author of My Best Everything, a novel for young adults, and Red, White and Blue Good-bye, a picture book. She has a MFA in writing for children and young adults from VCFA and teaches creative writing for UCSD-Extension.


OPTIONAL: In-Person Critique with Local Editors and Agents (Space is limited. ONE critique per person)

Jill Corcoran, agent, Jill Corcoran Literary Agency

Deborah Halverson, freelance editor, DearEditor (former editor Harcourt)

Kira Lynn, editor & publisher, Kane Miller Books

Hannah Mann, agent, Writer’s House

Taylor Martindale Kean, agent, Full Circle Literary

Stephen Mooser, author/mentor & President SCBWI

        Eve Porinchak, agent, Jill Corcoran Literary Agency

Nephele Tempest, agent, Knight Literary Agency

Deborah Warren, agent & founder East West Literary Agency


WRITERS: Please send the complete manuscript for picture books (max 8 pages) or a one-page synopsis and the first fifteen pages for longer works. Manuscripts must be submitted in standard manuscript format – double-spaced, with 1 inch margins and Times Roman 12 pt font. Please include your name and contact information in the upper left hand corner, the type of genre (picture book, EZ reader, middle grade, young adult, new adult, etc.) in the upper right hand corner of the first page. See standard manuscript format for information on proper manuscript format. Be sure that the completed 2018 In-Person Critique Submission Cover Sheet is attached to your submission.


ILLUSTRATORS: Please send jpegs or a pdf of up to 8 pieces of your artwork or a dummy to Please include 2-3 images from the same story. The subject line of your email should be: Submission May 2018 In-Person Critique – Your full name (first and last name). For each submission, please list your first three choices of critiquer in order, for example #1 – AAA; #2- BBB; #3 – CCC. If the material you are submitting has been previously been reviewed by one of the critiquers please let us know. At this point, only Deborah Warren has committed to critique illustrations.


AUTHOR / ILLUSTRATORS SUBMITTING DUMMIES: Please send the complete manuscript in manuscript form AND a copy of your dummy. Both are required by the critiquers. Standard manuscript format is double-spaced, with 1 inch margins and Times Roman 12 pt font. Please include your name and contact information in the upper left hand corner, the type of genre (picture book) in the upper right hand corner of the first page. See also standard manuscript format for information on proper manuscript format. Your dummy can be printed in black and white with color images sent to The subject line of your email should be: Submission May 2018 In-Person Critique – Your full name (first and last name). Be sure that the completed 2018 In-Person Critique Submission Cover Sheet is attached to the text and dummy you submit via snail mail. Note: at this point Jill Corcoran, Deborah Halverson, Kira Lynn, Hannah Mann, and Deborah Warren are available to critique PB text with dummies.


Materials for critique must be submitted with a 2018 In-person Critique Submission Cover Sheet and be postmarked by April 11, or turned in at the Chapter meeting on April 14. Illustrations must be emailed by April 14 with a workshop registration received by April 14.  


Mailing address:  

SCBWI – San Diego

P.O. Box 799

Spring Valley, CA 91976


OPTIONAL: Photo Shoot with award-winning photographer Roxyanne Young (space is limited)

Photo Shoot – award-winning photographer and author Roxyanne Young will take headshots and provide a digital photo.

What to wear: You will receive two poses, one outfit – wear layers or bring a jacket, scarf, or sweater if you’d like to change it up. Most people look best in black or dark jewel tones, but wear what makes you feel confident. Avoid reflective, dated jewelry. If you need to get your hair trimmed or your roots touched up, please do it before the photoshoot.

















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Ticket Information

May Fest Non-Member - $12.00

May Fest SCBWI Member - $9.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

May Fest Student with School ID - $6.00

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The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and has a zero-tolerance policy regarding harassment, intimidation, and discrimination. This includes all harassment, intimidation, and discrimination made on the basis of race, age, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, religion, class, body size, veteran status, marital/domestic partnership status, citizenship or any other marginalized identity. Harassment includes verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as deliberate intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention, and bullying or coercion of any kind, in particular forcing another to accept your beliefs.

The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination at SCBWI programs and activities and is applicable to all SCBWI events and all SCBWI venues, including but not limited to SCBWI events, conferences, meetings, meet-ups, critique groups, and online interactions. Harassment, intimidation, and discrimination at any SCBWI event, any one of the foregoing events, or on-line is prohibited.


Code of Conduct

All participants in SCBWI events and activities, including faculty, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:


-Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following.


-Sustained disruption of talks or other events.


-Inappropriate physical contact.


-Unwelcome sexual attention.


-Abusive verbal comments.


-Quid pro quo – sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors.


Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.



Reporting Procedures

Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:


-All SCBWI conferences will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.


-A complainant may request assistance from any SCBWI officer, employee, or regional team member.


-SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any incident of harassment. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports can be filled out anonymously or with identifying information. Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred online. Emails will be monitored at all times, including during SCBWI events. SCBWI will fully investigate all complaints, including those made anonymously, and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence. Please note however, that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.




The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.




SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Every report will be investigated by a panel consisting of independent consultants specializing in issues of harassment. The results of the investigation and the recommendations of the panel will be reported to the officers of SCBWI, who will determine, in conjunction with the panel or, when appropriate, in consultation with an independent arbiter, the appropriate sanction.

Sanctions for faculty, speakers, staff or board members may include any of the following:


-warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;


-immediate removal from the event;


-denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;


-withholding of a contracted honorarium;


-prohibition from future speaking engagements;


-prohibition from future faculty appointments;


-expulsion from SCBWI;


-removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate




Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:


-warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;


-immediate removal from the event, without refund;


-denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;


-termination of SCBWI membership, without refund;


-prohibition future SCBWI membership





SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.


* SCBWI acknowledges the contributions of Geek Feminism, Science Fiction Writers of America, and WisCon for their work in developing anti-harassment policies.



If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.


If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "anti-harassment policy" in the subject line.

I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.