2017 Spring Conference


“Persistence + Professionalism = Success”

Friday, March 24, 2017  7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday, March 25, 2017  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Crowne Plaza-Southern Hills of Tulsa
7902 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK 74136


SPEAKERS:   2 Editors, 2 Agents,
                          1 Author, 1 Art Director

Ally Carter writes books about spies, thieves, and teenagers. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the EMBASSY ROW, HEIST SOCIETY, and GALLAGHER GIRLS series, which together have sold more than two-million copies and have been published in more than twenty countries. She lives in Oklahoma, where her life is either very ordinary or the best deep-cover legend ever. She’d tell you more, but…well…you know…

Key Note: “Dear Ally: A Letter for Baby Author Me”

A New York Times Bestseller with ten years in the business reminisces on what she would—and wouldn’t—tell her pre-publication self about the craft, the industry, and the life she’s signing up for.

Linda Camacho joined Prospect Agency in 2015 after a decade in publishing. After graduating from Cornell University, Linda interned at Simon & Schuster and Writers House literary agency, and worked at Penguin and Random House before making the leap to agenting. She has an MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Katrina Damkoehler is currently a Senior Designer for the trade imprints of Random House Children's Publishing, where she designs and art directs approximately 35 middle grade and picture book titles per year. She was previously Art Director at Amazon Children's Publishing. Recent projects she art directed include the 2015 Geisel Award-winner "You Are Not Small" (Anna Kang/Christopher Weyant), "Grover Cleveland, Again" (Ken Burns/Gerald Kelley), and "This is My Book" (Mark Pett).
Kristin Nelson established the Nelson Literary Agency in 2002 and over the last decade+ of her career has represented over thirty-five New York Times bestselling titles and many USA Today bestsellers. Clients include Ally Carter, Marie Lu, Scott Reintgen, Gail Carriger, Stacey Lee, Marcia Wells, and Simone Elkeles. When she is not busy selling books, Kristin attempts to play golf & tennis. She also enjoys playing Bridge (where she is the youngest person in her club), and can be found hiking in the mountains with her husband and their dog Chutney.
Matt Ringler is a senior editor at Scholastic specializing in chapter book, middle grade, and YA fiction. He is the editor of the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, the Game Changers series by Mike Lupica, the STAT series by Amar’e Stoudemire, and the Little Rhino series by Ryan Howard. His YA list includes the New York Times Bestseller Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky and It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm. MattRingler
Jill Santopolo received a BA in English literature from Columbia University, an MFA in writing for children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a certificate in intellectual property law from NYU. As the editorial director of Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers group, she has edited many New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors including Atia Abawi, Terry Border, Chelsea Clinton, Andrea Cremer, Lisa Graff, and Alex London. She’s the author of the Sparkle Spa series, the Alec Flint mysteries, the Follow Your Heart books, and the upcoming adult novel The Light We Lost. An adjunct professor in The New School’s MFA program, Jill travels the world to speak about writing and storytelling. She lives in New York City. JillSantopolo


*Please note that closed houses will accept manuscripts from our attendees for a limited time.

FRIDAY NIGHT SESSIONS:  (Optional – at no additional cost to registered attendees) Choose one of three 1-hour sessions from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Friday, March 24.

  1. PAL (Published and Listed) Members: "What Do Good Agents Do?" by Kristen Nelson
  2. Non-published Authors: Panel with editors & agent, "Professionalism Can Make a Difference" with Pre-Submitted Q&A at end.
  3. Illustrators: "Choose Your Own Topic" Informal Q&A with Sr. Designer, Katrina Damkoehler.

OFF-Site Manuscript Critiques: Off-Site Critiques – Since the speaker critique spots have been filled, we are offering paid off-site critiques to new registrations. The cost is $40. Since the final due date for these critiques is so close to the conference, completed critiques will not be returned until a few weeks after the conference.
All registered attendees will be able to submit for a limited time to the speakers as well as these off-site professionals. 
Off-Site Critique – $40
bulletBlue  Send the first ten pages of longer works and all of picture books in a Word document attachment. No more than one manuscript per payment may be sent even if your picture book is shorter than ten pages. Double-line space and number pages.
bulletBlue  Indicate on the top of the first page whether your manuscript is a picture book, non-fiction picture book, easy reader, chapter book, middle grade novel, young adult novel, or non-fiction book    
bulletBlue  A forty-word plot summary may be printed at the beginning of longer manuscripts. Do not send a synopsis.
bulletBlue Email pages to JILL DONALDSON oklahoma-ara@scbwi.org  by March 15 or sooner. Email confirmations will be sent. Completed critiques will be returned by email a few weeks after the spring conference.
bulletBlue Writers may not request a certain professional to do the critique, but please inform us if a speaker has already seen your manuscript. 
bulletBlue Off-Site Critiquers …
  VictoriaWellsArmsAgent – Victoria Wells Arms    
Victoria started as an editor at Dial Books for Young Readers, and then Putnam. One day she spotted an ad for an editorial director at Bloomsbury and soon was setting up Bloomsbury USA’s children’s division. Starting with three people (and a dog), Bloomsbury grew quickly, soon hitting the bestseller lists and acquiring major awards.
In 2013 Victoria opened her own agency, Wells Arms Literary, where she represents authors and illustrators for the full range of children’s books, from board 
Website: www.wellsarms.com
Twitter: @VWArms and @WALiterary
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wellsarmsliterary

Looking for: I like to be surprised in my reading, I like to read something I don’t think I’ve read or seen before. I especially enjoy contemporary young adult fiction, middle grade with magical realism elements, and picture book texts that are fun to read aloud, but leave a sweet and profound aftertaste. Everyone has good ideas; I like to see writers who can put those ideas into their own brilliant words. 
For the Off-Site Critiques, Victoria is interested in all levels of children’s literature.
  EmilyFeinbergEditor – Emily Feinberg, Roaring Brook Press
After earning her master’s degrees in Children’s Literature and English Literature from Simmons College in Boston, Emily joined the editorial team at Roaring Brook Press. She works mostly with picture book, middle grade and nonfiction titles. She edited Elisha Cooper’s Big Cat, Little Cat, which earned five starred reviews, Maria Gianferrari’s Coyote Moon (illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline), which earned three starred reviews and was a 2016 ALA Notable book, and the upcoming spooky middle grade novel by Marina Cohen, The Doll’s Eye. While she is always looking for solid, voice-driven picture books and middle grade, she also particularly loves nonfiction for young readers of all ages. Emily is not an editor of fantasy.
For Off-Site Critiques, Emily is interested in picture books, middle grade, early readers, board books, and nonfiction
  MoraCouchEditor – Mora Couch, Holiday House
Mora is an editorial assistant at Holiday House, where she specializes in MG, YA, and graphic novels. She is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course and was an editorial intern at Penguin Random House and The Massachusetts Review.
Speakers' Manuscripts Critiques:  SORRY, THIS IS CLOSED
There are a limited number of slots for paid written critiques from editors or agents. Manuscripts of ten pages or less are sent in advance and returned by email at the end of the conference. (Off-site critiques by professionals not speaking at the conference will be made available for registrations after February 15. Details to come.)
Paid Face Time with a Professional: There will be a limited number of paid personal discussion times with one of our agents or editors. You could ask the professional to give you career advice based on where you are in your writing/illustrating career, ask them to do a cold read of your first page and give comments, give advice about a plot or illustrating idea you are considering, or any topic dealing with writing or illustrating. SORRY, THIS IS CLOSED
Portfolio Critiques: Katrina Damkoehler, Senior Designer at Random House Children's Books will conduct ten paid art critiques during the conference.  We encourage all illustrators to display their portfolio for conference viewing. Illustrators do not have to pay for a critique to display their portfolios.

CONFERENCE PAYMENTS: Those paying by check may pay in full or in two parts.  The first half is due on registration. Second half must be paid by March 15th.

Included in registration: All sessions including Friday night session, lunch on Saturday, & Saturday Social with Autograph Party at end of conference

Conference Fee:                                               
SCBWI Member    $160 by check ($80 for half)
$165 if PayPal
Non-Member    $200 by check ($80 for half)
$205 if PayPal
Pay complete fee by PayPal or check
(1/2 payment only available when fees are paid by check)   
Manuscript Critique    $40.
 Professional Face Time    $40.
Art Portfolio Critique    $40.

REFUNDS: No refunds for registration after March 10th. No refunds at all for registrations that include critiques or paid Face Time

HOTEL INFORMATION: A SCBWI room rate of $89.00, secured directly with the hotel.

Call or use this link Hotel Booking Link No later than noon, March 13, 2017, to receive rate

  • Open link & select the arrival date
  • Select the Room type & confirm your reservation
    Call 877-227-6963 select Reservations | Group Name: 
    SCBWI General Attendee
Questions – Contact Helen Dunlap Newton: oklahoma-ra@scbwi.org