Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Webinar – Crafting the Character-driven Plot

Date(s) - 11/08/2019
7:00 pm - 7:45 pm


Crafting the Character-driven Plot: tips for writing stories that engage the reader’s mind and heart

With Award-winning Author Sonia Gensler

Sonia Gensler is the award-winning author of The Revenant, The Dark Between, and Ghostlight, all from Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Kids.  A former high school English teacher, she now writes full time in Oklahoma.





The Webinar cost is $15.00 for SCBWI Members and $30.00 for Non-Members. You may pay via Debit/Credit card or mail a check (You will not be considered registered until the check clears the bank). The webinar will be recorded and available to attendees following the webinar, but you MUST register BEFORE the webinar to view the recording.

Send checks to:

1205 S. Air Depot #199
Midwest City, OK 73110

If you are interested in becoming a SCBWI member before registering, you can do so at

Students, SCBWI has a Student membership available. Student SCBWI members automatically get a discount that’s lower than the Member rate. For more information about Student member, go to


Off-site professional critiques are available at an extra cost of $40 for the first ten pages of a novel, chapter book, or nonfiction manuscript for children or teens or a full board or picture book. Attendees must submit the first ten pages of a novel, chapter book, or nonfiction manuscript or a full board or picture book by midnight on September 29, 2019. The professional critiques will be returned to attendees by November 6, 2019. After you have registered, please send your first ten pages or full board or picture book to Gaye Sanders at by midnight on September 29, 2019. No refunds will be issued for missed deadline unless an emergency has arisen.

Off-site Professionals:

Susan Hawk, Agent with Upstart Crow Literary

Upstart Crow Literary, is a boutique literary agency. Susan joined Upstart Crow after twenty-five years working across many areas of the children’s book world: as a Marketing Director at Penguin BFYR and Henry Holt BFYR; as a bookseller and librarian; and in editorial at Dutton Children’s Books. She’s looking for all genres of fiction, from picture books through YA. She’s also seeking picture book and graphic novel author-illustrators, as well as non-fiction projects. Stories with elegant, precise language; affecting, deeply drawn characters; a strong sense of place; and a sharp, irresistible hook will draw her attention. The thru-line in her client’s work is a generous, wry humor that shines through, even – often – in the darker moments. Literary and commercial work is welcome; she loves to be surprised, and is actively seeking diversity in story as well as creators. Follow Susan and Upstart Crow on Twitter @susanhawk, Instagram @UpstartCrow, and through her site, SusanSays.


Susan will be critiquing board books, picture books, chapter books, middle grade, young adult, nonfiction, and comic/graphic novels. Attendees will be able to submit the same to her (including illustrator only submissions) following the webinar.



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Ticket Information

Member Ticket - $15.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Non-member Ticket - $30.00

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 will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion.


The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.



Code of Conduct

All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, 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:

  • 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 appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy 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:

  • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, 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 submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
  • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. 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 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 through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.


SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note 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. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



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 under this policy. 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. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.


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 a particular 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; and/or
  • 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 a particular event, without refund;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
  • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
  • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.


If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will handle utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



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 and witnesses. 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.



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.