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By Ann Rousseau Smith, SCBWI CenCal News

Hannah Mann, Allison Moore, Sarah Jane Abbott

Numerous new attendees mingled with a sold-out crowd at SCBWI CenCal’s 2018 Writers’ Day on Saturday, October 13. Although the Central-Coastal California region hosts this event every year, ALL SCBWI members, as well as non-members, are welcome to attend, so keep an eye out for next year’s info on our website.

Two editors and two agents imparted their craft and industry knowledge to an eager audience. Sarah Jane Abbott, Associate Editor at Paula Wiseman Books and Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster), shared her insights on picture books with heart. Editor Allison Moore from Bloomsbury Children’s Books presented resource lists for crafting and submitting our manuscripts. Agent Hannah Mann from Writers’ House spoke of using personality flaws to create real characters.

Lorin Oberweger

Agent Lorin Oberweger from Adam’s Literary similarly explained how to use character wounds to build tension, “A story is often as much about healing inner wounds as it is about solving external problems. It’s about integrating the outer/visible self with the inner/wounded one to create the TRUE SELF.”

After our four talented Spotlight speakers, Andrea Loney, Happy LaShelle, Terry Pierce, and Carol Heyer, shared their publishing experiences, our highly anticipated writing contest winners were crowned. Most Promising winners received the accolade plus free admission to next year’s Writers’ Day. Special Mention honorees received the title plus half-off admission to next year’s Writers’ Day.

Young Adult
Most Promising: Between Sky & Steel, by Katya Gichunts Dove
Special Mention: Gator, by Greg Trine

Middle Grade
Most Promising: Summer of Iguanas, by Robin Yardi
Special Mention: Relentless, by Elena Buckley

Picture Book
Most Promising: Something Small, by Nicole Popel
Special Mention: Kitten, Kitten, by Karol Ruth Silverstein

Special congratulations go to Mary Ann Fraser for winning, earning, and deserving the illustrious Alexis O’Neill Volunteer of the Year Award. Since she was on hand, all the way from her new home in Idaho, Mary Ann was able to receive her honor in person.

Join us next October for Writers’ Day 2019!

For information on Writers’ Day and other SCBWI CenCal events (open to all SCBWI members!), go to http://cencal.scbwi.org


For more fantastic content, community, events, and other professional development opportunities, become a member today! Not sure if there is a chapter in your area? Check here.



Images provided by Joan Bransfield Graham, SCBWI CenCal Historian/Photographer