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"Write Under the Midnight Sun" Conference

As the Regional Advisor of Alaska SCBWI,
I'm hosting the SCBWI AK and Alaska Writers Guild
2015 Annual Conference, September 18–20

Date(s) - 09/18/2015 - 09/20/2015
8:00 am - 7:30 pm

Crowne Plaza, Anchorage
109 W International Airport Road - Anchorage, Alaska 99518

The SCBWI KidLit track is Saturday, September 19, with special pricing available to our members. Through June 30  SCBWI Member $95 Through July 31  $115 Through September 12 $125

Visit the Alaska Writer's Guild website for further information and to register.

Workshop Intensives, Friday, Sept. 18, and Sunday, Sept. 20

Note: You must register for the conference to be eligible to take an intensive.

Friday, September 18, 9 AM–12 PM
Picture Books: What's Working and How to Get Things Moving

How to get and keep your audience’s attention…so that they will want to read your book over and over. There is something magical about working with children’s books, picture books in particular, but how do we create this magic and when is the right story the right story now? In this three hour picture book focused intensive writers will explore ways to create stories and ideas that connect to their core readership, children. We’ll also focus on when your hard work is ready to put into the hands of an agent, editor or reader by asking tough questions not often discussed publicly. This intensive will include a number of writing exercises and attendees are asked to bring a copy of their most polished picture book. There will also be time to work on your manuscript and get feedback from your peers and the instructor.

Friday, September 18, 1 PM–4 PM
Middle Grade and Young Adult: Where To Begin? How To Lure Your Reader Into the World of Your Story 

The most dangerous point of the author/reader relationship happens on the first page of your story. Readers are at their most skittish on that perilous first page and may flee at the least dangling of a participle. It is here at the threshold of the story that the reader decides, &quote;Should I stay or should I go?&quote; So how does an author go about getting them to stay?

In this intensive, Smith will examine what makes a successful opening to a novel, looking at real world examples from both manuscripts and recently published books. There will also be time allowed to work on your manuscript and get feedback from your peers and the instructor.

Sunday, September 20, 9 AM–12 PM
Illustrators: Telling a Story With Words 

Illustrations for children can vary widely, but they should all tell a story, keep the eye moving, and encourage a page turn. We'll work in a hands on, one-on-one workshop that will help each participant learn how you can incorporate these important aspects into your own style. Additionally we'll learn about how to make your illustrations stand out in today’s market, cover what makes a standout portfolio and the importance of the author in your process as an illustrator. This workshop is for all levels. Even writers will find it valuable to see what your co-creatives are doing. Bring your images and art, or just bring yourself, and leave with ideas and confidence.

Other available intensives: 
Mark Coker, Smashwords founder; A Three-Part Intensive on ePublishing:
Steven James, Bestselling Author; Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rule

Cost $45 for AWG and SCBWI members and $60 for nonmembers.
Note: These workshops will be held at Alaska Pacific University, not the Crowne Plaza.

Visit the Alaska Writer's Guild website for further information and to register.

Conference Saturday and Sunday, Sep. 19-20
With SCBWI "KidLit" Track Saturday, Sep. 19

SCBWI Track Breakouts

Nuts and Bolts and Beyond of Writing for Children and Teens with Danielle Smith, Red Fox LIterary

After detailing the difference between picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult, we will examine what publishers are currently buying, and why or why not it’s a good idea to follow a trend. When to know when you're ready to hit submit and what tough questions to ask when you get "the call" and beyond.

Why Write KidLit…and Why Not? with Danielle Smith, Red Fox LIterary

What motivates you to write? Where do you get your ideas? What changes a good idea into a great one? How do you entertain your audience, not teach or preach, and why? As writers pushing through the trenches of the publishing world it can be difficult, even for published writers, to know when they're truly successful. Hear from award winning blogger turned literary agent Danielle Smith of Red Fox Literary what, in her opinion, defines success as a writer and what it takes to get there.

Agent Secrets; a primer on what an agent does, how to get one, and how to be the perfect client (for writers of adult and children alike!) with Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary Agency

Capture your Character, for Illustrators (though writers will benefit by "seeing" the other side) with Lucas Elliot

The first thing most illustrators forget about “Character Design” is the “Character,” as in what will make readers remember this protagonist? What will make this animal, child, teen, avatar, or personified sun stick in the viewers mind? When thinking about the creation of your book, whether it’s a picture book, graphic novel, or YA novel, we need to convey the personality of our characters. In this session, we will examine what goes into creating a stand out character from the illustrators perspective 

Visit the Alaska Writer's Guild website for further information and to register.

SCBWI Registration includes the following:

  • Access to Saturday panels and keynotes, and SCBWI  breakout sessions
  • Saturday coffee and refreshments, and lunch with faculty
  • Access to optional workshops and manuscript critiques

Manuscript Critiques

Many of our conference faculty also offer manuscript reviews for the first 10 pages of your manuscript, including an optional query letter or synopsis. Critiques are then presented in a face-to-face format during the conference. Manuscript Critique participants are automatically entered into the "Most Promising Manuscript" contest. Each reviewing agent, editor, or author, will nominate the manuscript(s) they feel are most promising. Nominees will be announced during the Saturday Evening Awards Reception. Awards such as these not only feel great and validate all those hours spent writing, they also look great on your writer's resume and query letter. Take advantage of this potential and register for a manuscript critique at the SCBWI and AWG Conference! Last year, all available slots SOLD OUT. Register early!

Cost $45 for AWG and SCBWI members and $60 for nonmembers.
Note: Up to three (3) manuscript excerpts per attendee will be accepted.

Register for the Conference Now!

Visit the Alaska Writer's Guild website for further information and to register.