Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2017 Pocono Schedule (Tentative)

Interested in attending the 2017 Pocono Retreat?

Or have you already secured your spot and just want to know what to expect?

Here is the tentative schedule of events for our 25th Anniversary weekend. Please note that the schedule is subject to change. We will add breakout session details as they become available. You do not need to sign up in advance for your breakout sessions, although please note that the illustration sessions with Kelly Light require materials as noted below.

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Tentative Schedule for Pocono Retreat

April 28-30, 2017

The Barn at Boyds Mills

Friday, April 28

11:00-2:00       Registration, etc. (Lunch available for purchase)

11:30-2:30       Critique-a-Thon OR Illustrator Portfolio Peer-to-Peer Critiques (must pre-register to participate) 

3:30                 Introductions in the Great Room

4:00                 Opening Keynote: Susan Campbell Bartoletti

5:00                 Appetizers with our EPA portfolio showcase

6:00                 Dinner

7:00                 By the Numbers Introductions (Tell us about your writing or your work-in-progress By the Numbers.)


Saturday, April 29

6:30am            YOGA (optional)

8:00                 Breakfast

9:00                 Morning Announcements           

9:15                 Keynote: Ten Things I’ve Learned on the Journey, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

10:00               Break and move to breakout sessions

Critiques happening at this time and will overlap Breakout Sessions. If you sign up for a critique, you may miss part of a workshop.

Critique LOCATIONS (10-12:15, 1:45-4):

Taylor in house office

Tracy in dining room of house

Orli in living room of house

Giuseppe in Cabin 1

Kim in Cabin 4


10:15               Breakout Session I

·      Sudipta, Be a Picture Book Jedi (see description below)

·      Kelly, Illustration Part One (see description below)

·      Susan, deepen your manuscript 


11:15               Break


11:30               Breakout Session II

·      Sudipta, Seven Tips to Take Your Picture Book from WAAH to WOW! (see description below)

·      Kelly, Illustration Part Two (see description below)

·      Susan, deepen your manuscript


12:30-1:30       Lunch

1:45                 Art Director meets Editor with Giuseppe and Orli

2:30                 Break

2:45                 Keynote: Lifeboat with Kelly Light

3:30                 EPA SCBWI book signing and free time (Pre-register to sell books)

5:30                 Appetizers AND Group Picture

6:30                 Dinner

7:30                 S’mores

8:00                 Silent Auction winners announced


Sunday, April 30

6:30am            YOGA (optional)

8:00                 Breakfast

9:00                 Morning Announcements

9:15                 Ten Things the Children’s Market is (or is not!) Looking for in 2017, Tracy Marchini

10:00               Break and move to breakout sessions

10:15               Breakout session III

·      Taylor, Hearing VOICE in Middle Grade and YA Fiction

·      Kim, A Writer’s Life: What to do after you sign the contract (Besides jump up and down and scream!!!)

·      Giuseppe, Bridge the Illustration Gap: Moving Forward in Your Journey as an Illustrator 

        Final critique sessions with Tracy and Kelly (10:15-11:15)

11:15               Fresh Pages/New Looks, all faculty

11:45-12:15     Q/A, moderated by Alison

12:15               Next steps, all faculty

12:30               Lunch



Breakout session details (Adding more soon)

Illustration Part One: Character Design 101 with  Kelly Light

First, we go through the basics: Shape, Gesture, Design. 3 Character descriptions provided as if YOU are testing to be the illustrator of a picture book. Bring them in. We will share. Also, bring in any character that you are struggling with. We will go through the process of how to do turn arounds and drawing your characters from different angles and with a lot of expressions. Bring a small mirror, paper, pencils. Come ready to draw. Come ready to volunteer. Come ready to pose for gesture drawing.

A Character Design assignment will be given two weeks before the workshop. Bring designs to the workshop. Be prepared to share.
Illustration Part Two: Continuity of Character  with  Kelly Light 

How you draw = Who you draw. Life lessons from a lifelong cartoon fanatic and character artist in animation and cartoon merchandise. How to visually convey personality through design—along with ACTING!!!! Just acting, with your pencil. There will be cartoon watching!!



Be a Picture Book Jedi: How Applying Yoda’s Lessons Will Strengthen Your Characters with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
In today’s picture book market, character-driven books dominate. It’s more important than ever to create strong and compelling picture characters to make your manuscript stand out. Luckily, one of the universe’s greatest mentors has a plethora of advice to share about character development and light sabre combat. In this workshop, we will focus on Yoda’s wisdom and how those lessons can force us to create better stories.
Seven Revision Tips to take your PB from WAAH to WOW! with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
Revising a picture book can be a herculean task, one that is often more daunting than the drafting process. Sometimes, the process is so intimidating that writers don’t even know where to start! This workshop will take participants through seven specific easy-to-master tips to make the revision process easier in terms of trimming word count, accelerating pacing, strengthening character development, and creating better overall cohesion. We will identify common problems and reveal straightforward solutions so that participants leave the room ready to revise.