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THINK SPRING: Upcoming Writing Events

Dear Alison and friends,

It's Friday. It's March 10. It's snowing outside, and I can't stop thinking about spring. I blame that warm spell a few days ago. I love the snow. You know I do, but that beautiful weather was a tease, a terrible, awful tease. Actually worse than a tease. It was a torment, but there's hope. In a little over 36 hours, we enter Daylight Savings. In less than two weeks, it will officially be Spring (whether Mother Nature likes it or not), and a few days after that the Spring Writing Workshop and Conference season begins. 


March 25th: (You and I will be presenting at this one! SUPER CHEAP AND GREAT DEAL!!) 


The University of Scranton at The Kane Forum in Edward R. Leahy, Jr. Hall
Begins with registration at 8:00am and ends at 2:00pm

Earn 5 ACT 48 hours
• Discover the many ways stories are created, characters come to life, and ideas take shape.

• Consider the writing process and literary analysis as a writer.

• Learn techniques that you can incorporate into your writing workshop.

• Become a writing mentor for your students.

• Take home signed books for your classroom.

Featuring KID LIT, Ink! Authors and Illustrators:

Lindsay Barrett George
Kim Briggs
Jan Cheripko
Clara Gillow Clark
Alison Green Myers
Gayle C. Krause
Linda Oatman High
Patricia Thomas

$15/Students, $25/NPRA Members, or $40/Non-members

Includes: continental breakfast, lunch, 5 ACT 48 hours, and sessions

Sponsored by
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Reading Association and The Panuska College of Professional Studies
REGISTER TODAY with Donna Salva at 570-815-6068 or

March 31st: 


Eastern PA SCBWI is coming to the Lehigh Valley for the first time!! 

(I am beyond excited about this one, and it's only $50 for SCBWI members.)

Hone Your Craft, Learn from the Pros 

on Friday, March 31st, 2017

Authors and illustrators we admire were all once where we are now, trying to learn the craft of writing for children. Join us as we hear our presenters' stories, listen to their advice, and learn from their critiques.
Matt Phelan, Tara Lazar, Lindsay Barrett George, Josh Berk, and David Gothard will share their secrets with you! 

**We know it's a Friday, but you will want to take off for this event.
Start the day at the Bethlehem Area Public Library. Matt Phelan will give a keynote on "A Book from Both sides," followed by "A "Five Pieces of Advice" panel with Matt, Tara Lazar, Lindsay Barrett George, Josh Berk, and David Gothard.  

PROPOSED SCHEDULE **Subject to change.

9:30-10:00: Registration at Bethlehem Area Public Library
10:00-10:15: Welcome/Introductions
10:15-11:15: Keynote: “A Book from Both Sides,” given by author/illustrator Matt Phelan, including a Q&A
11:15-12:00: Panel discussion including Matt Phelan, Tara Lazar, Lindsay Barrett George, Josh Berk, and David Gothard, “Five Pieces of Advice” with Q&A
12:00-12:15: Book purchases and book-signing
12:15-1:45: Lunch on own. Illustrators will travel to Banana Factory for their illustrator sessions after eating.

Author PM Schedule

1:45-2:15: First Pages with peer voting
2:15-2:45: Tara Lazar: “My Path to Publication.”
2:45-3:00: Stretch Break
3:00-3:30: Josh Berk: “My Path to Publication and BAPL.”
3:30-3:45: Closing: Acknowledgements and awarding of prizes for first pages

Illustrator PM Schedule

1:45-1:55: Learn a little more about the Illustrator
1:55-3:25: Five Minute Critiques in a group setting of up to eighteen
3:25-3:35: Closing: Acknowledgements and Raffle Prize

April 15th (I'll be signing books at the Eastern Monroe Public Library, Stroudsburg, PA 10am-2pm. Stay tuned for flyer...)

April 28-30th (I'll be presenting at this one...)

Join us to celebrate 25 years of Eastern Pennsylvania SCBWI! 
Sign up now!

Held at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center

Network with peers, authors, illustrators, agents and editors.  
Attend Workshops, have your work professionally critiqued, and even find a little creative time if you'd like!
Our annual Pocono Retreat is packed with talent. This year’s faculty includes Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Kelly Light, and Kim Briggs, as well as industry professionals: agent, Tracy Marchini; agent, Taylor Martindale Kean; art director, Giuseppe Castellano; and editor, Orli Zuravicky.
Our theme this year is BY THE NUMBERS so bring along statistics about your work-in-progress to share with the group. You’ll enjoy portfolio reviews, manuscript critiques, craft sessions, and the comforts of the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center (yum!!)

PAL members have an extra incentive to join us this year and celebrate our 25th anniversary. 
Check out your special PAL rate and opportunities to sell and sign books at the event.
Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 10.50.53 AM

There's also a SATURDAY ONLY OPTION – Cost for Saturday-Only Registration is $215 for SCBWI members ($250 for non-members).  Sorry – no refunds. 

There's a Scholarship Opportunity, and that deadline is coming up SOON...

One or two full scholarships are available to SCBWI EPA members who demonstrate exceptional promise as a writer or illustrator, and who could not otherwise afford to attend the retreat. Scholarships will cover the registration fee and full accommodations for the weekend. Recipients are responsible for their own transportation and will be asked to volunteer and assist as needed . Please do not apply if you can truly afford to attend. Those who have received SCBWI EPA scholarships previously may not apply.
To apply: First, ensure that you are an SCBWI EPA member. Then, no later than March 20, 2017 please email (Use Subject line: Pocono Retreat 2017 Scholarship Application) the following materials:
1. One-page cover letter explaining why you wish to attend and what you hope to gain from the conference
2. Illustrators: One illustration (in any standard electronic format) and a link to your illustrator's website OR Three Illustrations
3. Authors : Up to ten (10) pages of a manuscript (12 pt., double-spaced, saved as a .pdf, .doc or .docx). It may be a work in progress, but must not be published or under contract.
4.Author/Illustrators: Can send a dummy OR manuscript (to above specifications) AND one illustration. Dummy must be limited to 10MG. If you have difficulty with the size of your submission please email
5. Winner will be notified by email.
The Selection Committee reserves the right not to award a scholarship if applicants do not meet necessary criteria. 

The CAT is super helpful. I loved participating in it last year...
(Free with registration) This is a peer to peer critique session where you can get feedback on your manuscript and offer others feedback on theirs)
Deadline:  Email your submission to subject line CAT Submission no later than April 7,2017.  Include your name, email and the genre at the top.  No cover letter. 
For picture books:  Send the entire manuscript.
For chapter books, MG, YA:  Send up to 10 pages of your manuscript, plus a one-page synopsis. (Include synopsis in the same document; please don’t send two documents.) 
Format:  Double-space, one-inch margins, page numbers, and use .doc or .docx format.

For our illustrators...
(Free with registration)  
Sign up for this invaluable peer review of your portfolio by contacting Illustrator Coordinator Adrienne Wright  by April 14, 2017.

For writers and illustrator... (I'll be critiquing as well!) 

ARTWORK/PORTFOLIO CRITIQUES: (at additional cost of $45) Register and add on this option. Bring your art to the conference. Please do not send your work in advance. Submit your payment of $45/critique with your conference registration.

MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUES: (at additional cost of $45) Register and add in this option. Email up to 10 pages of one manuscript, plus a one-page synopsis to  using Subject Line “MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE POCONOS 2017”.
For picture books:  Send one entire manuscript. 
For chapter books, MG, YA:  Send up to 10 pages of your manuscript, plus a one-page synopsis. (Include synopsis in the same document; please don’t send two documents.) 
Please follow standard formatting guidelines, double-spaced, 12 point font. Manuscripts must be received by April 7, 2017. No submissions will be accepted after this deadline and revisions will not be accepted either.
Note: Although a picture book may have fewer than ten pages, each manuscript counts as a separate submission. You will receive an email confirmation of receipt of your manuscript. If you do not receive confirmation by email, please let us know as we may not have received your submission. We will try our best to honor your critique requests.
Submit your payment of $45/critique with your conference registration.
IMPORTANT: Critiques often overlap workshops, and signing up for a critique may mean you'll miss part of a workshop.

There's a whole lot more offered that weekend, so be sure to check it out! 

OTHER UPCOMING FUN-NESS! The #AtoZChallenge, the New Adult Scavenger Hunt, and the Young Adult Scavenger Hunt

So Spring is just around the corner. In the meantime, if you'd like to curl up with a book this weekend, Valentine Kisses: A Kiss to Last a Lifetime is still only $.99. My novella, Avalanche, is sure to steam up the windows while you watch the snow fall! 

I'm working on a few more local dates for events, including The Nuts and Bolts on Writing from Manuscript to Publication. Visit my website for updates. You can sign up for my newsletter to keep up to date!  Stay warm and eat chocolate!

Sharing the writing love one letter at a time,

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