Saturday, April 9, 2016

8:00am - 8:45am
Registration and Coffee

8:45am - 9:00am (Volvo Hall)
Welcome and Introduction

9:00am - 9:50am (Volvo Hall)
Keynote by Edwidge Danticat

10:00am - 10:50am (Volvo Hall)
Publishing 101: How does the publishing process work? This panel will describe the path a manuscript travels in becoming a book, from its initial submission to an agent, to the acquisition and editing experiences within a publishing house, to the sales and marketing efforts publishers undertake on behalf of their titles. Featuring: Regina Brooks, Antonio Gonzalez, Stacy Whitman, and Phoebe Yeh, moderated by Connie Hsu.

11:00am - 11:50pm (Volvo Hall)
Industry Overview and Options: Self-publishing, independent presses, book packagers, the “Big Five” publishers . . . There’s never been such a variety of places or ways to get your writing out in the world. Our panelists will speak to the benefits and challenges of each option and how to determine which path to pursue for your particular manuscript. Featuring: Victoria Wells Arms, Stacey Barney, Zetta Elliott, Cheryl Willis Hudson, and Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, moderated by Lynne Polvino

12:00pm - 1:30pm

Lunch Break

1:30pm - 2:20pm
A. Working With Editors: An editor or agent likes your work, but she asks you to make changes in it. Should you do it? Can you push back? What if the editor doesn’t get the cultural content in the book? What sort of relationship should you expect with an editor? How can authors and publishing professionals communicate more effectively? This panel will feature an author-editor pair — Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Cheryl Klein, who will talk about their experience working together on Eighth Grade Superzero — as well as freelance editor Eileen Robinson, editorial assistant Mekisha Telfer and author Tracey Baptiste, moderated by Katherine Harrison.

B. Picture Books Roundtable: The picture book is one of the most extraordinary art forms available today—32 pages that can contain a whole world. This roundtable will discuss the variety of age ranges and subjects picture books can include as well as what’s working in the market right now, and offer some best principles and practices for authors and illustrators to keep in mind as they create their works. Featuring: Joanna Cardenas, Zetta Elliott, Cheryl Willis Hudson, Sean Qualls and Eric Velasquez

2:30pm - 3:20pm
A. Marketing and Platform: Whether you decide to publish your book traditionally or self-publish, you’re going to need to market it as well, and that means you’re going to need a platform — what publishing expert Jane Friedman defines as an author’s “visibility, authority, and proven ability to reach the target audience for the book.” Our panel will discuss the many means of marketing children’s and YA books, including school visits, social media, and platform development. Featuring: Antonio Gonzalez, Eileen Robinson, Daniel José Older, and Stacy Whitman.

B. Writing Middle Grade and Young Adult: Chapter book, middle-grade, young adult . . . What do all these terms mean anyway? What do readers expect to see in novels for each age range, and what makes a novel submission stand out to an editor? This roundtable will delve deep into the rich universes of novels for child and teenage readers. Featuring: Joseph Bruchac, T.S. Ferguson, Grace Kendall, Alvina Ling, Andrew Harwell

3:30pm - 5:30pm (Volvo Hall)
Manuscript Critiques

3:30pm - 4:20pm
Submissions: So you’ve written and revised your manuscript and you’re ready to send it out on submission. Should you submit it to an agent or a publishing house first? How do you identify which agent or publisher might be right for your book? How do you write a query letter, and what makes a query stand out from the pack? How long should you expect to wait for a response? Our panel will share their insights and tips gleaned from years of experience with submissions. Featuring: Jessica Echeverria, Celeste Lim, Beth Phelan, and Harold Underdown, moderated by Stacy Barney.

4:30pm - 5:30pm
Success Stories: Joseph Bruchac has published more than 120 books for kids and adults. Sheela Chari’s VANISHED was selected for the Al Roker Book Club for Kids on the Today Show. Nnedi Okorafor has been acclaimed as one of the most innovative science fiction and fantasy writers today. Daniel José Older’s SHADOWSHAPER has been nominated for the Kirkus Prize and the Andre Norton Award. How did each of these authors get started in writing? What path did they take to publication? What advice do they offer to writers just starting out? We’ll round off our day with a celebration of the successes of these vibrant creators of color.  Moderated by Natalia Remis.

5:30pm - 7:30pm (Volvo Hall)
Autographing and Wine and Cheese Reception

Click here for details on the conference presenters.