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.