Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

The Business of the Book

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Date(s) - 02/22/2020
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

UMSL - J.C. Penney Conference Center
5 Arnold B. Grobman Dr. - St. Louis, MO 63121


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The Business of the Book
February 22, 2020
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
UMSL J.C. Penney Conference Center
St. Louis, Missouri

Join us on February 22nd for a day-long workshop series on the business side of children’s publishing. Participants are invited to attend either of two half-day programs, or both!  Learn from the expertise of local published members and industry professionals no matter where you are along the publishing path.

Morning Workshop Series – $50
Afternoon Workshop Series – $50
Full-Day Workshop Series – $90


Morning Workshop Series: Breaking Into Children’s Publishing

8:00 am – We Need You to Write a Book  

Sue Bradford Edwards, author of 25 work-for-hire books, takes a deep dive into the world of work-for-hire assignments. Book packagers and even publishers assign titles to authors. These books are often part of a series and a great way to add lines to your resume. Learn how to write a winning proposal and where to submit for work-for-hire opportunities in both fiction and nonfiction.

9:00 am- Self-Publishing
Author/illustrator Dan Killeen discusses his journey through self-publishing as he shares his experience in the areas of story development, desktop publishing, business considerations, printing, promotion, and school visits.  His grassroots, person-to-person approach has yielded tens of thousands of books sold to a loyal and growing readership.

10:00 am- Finding the Right Literary Agent
Literary agent Heather Cashman (Storm Literary) shares a behind-the-scenes look at the querying process and beyond from an agent’s perspective and offers advice on the importance of the right professional match between author and agent.

11:00 am- The Path From Idea to Publication
Debut author Michelle Mason shares her journey from aspiring author to a two-book deal. Learn how to craft a winning query package, how to research agents, and what to do when you get an offer of representation. 

Afternoon Workshop Series: You’ve Sold a Book, Now What?

1:00 pm – Creating a Teacher Guide
Author Stephanie Bearce leads a workshop on creating a unique, standards-based teacher’s guide that will help your published book find its way into classrooms full of young readers!

2:00 pm – Websites, Newsletters, and Street Teams
Award-winning author Tamara Grantham shares her secrets on how to create a website that will promote your author brand, drive subscriptions to your newsletter, and create a successful street team. Sounds like a lot of work? It isn’t. You’ll also learn to put it on autopilot so you can do what you love best—write!

3:00 pm – For the Love of Books – Authors, Booksellers, and Librarians Working Together 
In this workshop, author and former bookseller Vicki Erwin will cover the best ways to create working relationships with librarians, how to avoid mistakes, and make friends along the way.

4:00 pm – School Visits
Congrats! You’ve been asked to speak at a school! What should you talk about? How long should you talk? How much should you charge? What’s the best way to engage the kiddos? So many questions, right? Author Jody Feldman will tap into years of school visit experience – her own and that of a number of other seasoned authors – to help make your visits memorable (for all the right reasons).


Manuscript/Query Critiques

In addition to the full day of workshops, we are excited to offer a limited number of critiques for an additional charge.

On-site, one-on-one manuscript critiques are available with Heather Cashman (Agent at Storm Literary) – $50

Written-only manuscript critiques will be available with the following virtual faculty members – $45

Linda Camacho (Agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency)

Saba Sulaiman (Agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services)

Laurel Symonds (Agent at The Bent Agency)

Sarah Homer (Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Written-only query letter critiques are also available with Linda Camacho (Agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency) – $20

Critiques include either the first ten pages of a middle grade or young adult novel OR a full picture book manuscript text. You may include a synopsis with your novel pages, but the synopsis will not be critiqued, only reviewed for information on the project. Please follow standard manuscript formatting. If you do not know how to format a manuscript for submission, we highly recommend viewing this free webinar from the Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia SCBWI chapter, or view this sample document from the Oregon SCBWI chapter for more information. If you are an author/illustrator, you may submit a dummy in pdf form for review. Please submit your manuscripts to 


Venue/Lunch/Hotel Information

As we recognize many members will choose to attend only the morning or afternoon session, lunch is not included in the event. However, grab and go box lunches will be available for purchase (advanced purchase at time of registration is required) for those who are attending the full day and do not wish to have lunch offsite. There will be an hour available for lunch break for those who wish to eat offsite, or participants are also welcome to bring a lunch.

All grab and go box lunches are $11 and include a side salad, chips, dessert, and beverage.

Roasted Vegetable Multigrain Sandwich – Roasted Squash, Peppers and Red Onion Complemented by Hand-Mixed Herbed Goat Cheese and Field Greens on a Multigrain Roll.

Turkey and Cheddar – Classic Oven Roasted Turkey, Sharp Cheddar, Green Leaf Lettuce and Tomato Slice on a Hearty Kaiser Roll.

Roast Beef and Cheddar – Medium Rare Roast Beef and Mild Cheddar, Leaf Lettuce and Tomato on a Ciabatta Topped with a Tangy Horseradish Cream Spread.
There is ample parking near the J.C. Penney Conference Center on the UMSL campus. The event will take place on the second floor of the building. The building and parking are handicapped accessible.
If you are traveling to the St. Louis area for this event, we will have a block of hotel rooms available at the Hampton Inn in Clayton for a rate of $134/night. Information will be available on this site starting Tuesday as to how to register for those rooms.
You can click here to register a room with the group rate, use the booking code SCB.