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Springmingle 13 speakers

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with new Published and Listed books are invited to participate in our annual
Book Launch at the conference.

ILLUSTRATORS - Illustrators may display their portfolios. For more information
about displaying portfolios, check the SCBWI website.


Keynote Speaker: Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes

New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children.Her distinguished works include ALA Notable book What is Goodbye?, Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, the novels Jazmin's Notebook, Dark Sons,and The Road to Paris (Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books). Creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown, Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California.

Keynote: The Poetry of Patience: How to Create a Classic The 10th Anniversary Edition of Bronx Masquerade was released in Fall 2012.  Deemed a classic, the complex work of poetry and prose, written in 18 voices, was a challenge to create.  Grimes relates what went into the making of the book, and the importance patience plays in creating literary works with staying power.

Split Session: The Story Behind the Story: Question and Answer with Nikki Grimes Get the real scoop on the books you know and love during a session when the floor is open for questions.

Intensive: Metaphorically Speaking: The ABC's of Crafting Books in Verse This hands-on workshop for poets will explore the basics of storytelling through poetry, beginning with the picture book, and ending with the novel-in-verse.  Topics will include character, voice, the marriage of poetry and dialogue, story arc, the use of diverse poetry forms, and the importance of metaphor.  Attendees will create a suite of poems for a picture book story, as well as a suite of poems for a middle grade or YA novel-in-verse.   The course will combine lectures on craft, writing exercises, and critique.  Attendees will also walk away with a bibliography of suggested novels-in-verse.

Dianne Hess, Executive Editor, Scholastic

Dianne Hess is Executive Editor of Scholastic Press where she acquires and edits an eclectic mix of picture books, illustrated chapter books for ages 7-9, middle-grade novels, and middle-grade non-fiction. She loves humor, fantasy that is grounded in reality, and history; and books reflect the many cultures of America. "It is important to me that a book has an authentic emotional and spiritual resonance, and that it gives readers a richer understanding of their world. Good storytelling, whether in fiction or nonfiction, is the  most important thing of all."

Some her books include two Caldecott Honor Books-- Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson and Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth; Unspoken by Henry Cole that was just named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book;  the best-selling book, The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti,  Newbery Honor Book The Great Fire by Jim Murphy;  The Giant by Jim Murphy;  Testing the Ice by Sharon Robinson, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson, The Ravenmaster’s Secret  by Elvira Woodruff, Bruce Coville’s Unicorn Chronicles, and more. I also work with James Swanson,  Jim Aylesworth, Barbara McClintock , E.B. Lewis, Jim LaMarche, Eric Kimmel, Sharon Robinson, James Cross Giblin, Alan Katz, Nancy Carpenter, and many more….

General Session:Welcome to My World 

Split Session: Vision and Revision: A Conversation With the Editor - Revision is an integral element of writing well, but sometimes writers struggle with revision when confronted with issues of voice, characterization, pacing, plot arc or plot holes. Prior to the conference attendees will submit questions they have about revision, and in an interview format Dianne Hess will respond to these questions and entertain follow-up questions from the audience. Proposed questions should be submitted by email to Claudia Pearson prior to February 8.


Chad Beckerman, Creative Director, Abrams (Imprints Abrams Appleseed, Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books)

If cover designers are superhero alter-egos, then Chad W. Beckerman (Creative director and cover designer for Abrams Appleseed, Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books, as well as Mishaps and Adventures blogger) would have to  be Clark Kent. Friendly and hard working by day, yet designing covers that have been known to burst onto shelves, leaping tall buildings (or at least generating lots of interest) in a single bound. He has designed such series as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Origami Yoda, NERDS and The Sisters Grimm. In addition to a vast amount of picture books, such as I Had a Favorite Dress, Iggy Peck, Architect and Huff and Puff. He has worked with many fantastic illustrators, Nikki McClure, Brett Helquist, Dan Santat, Sophie Blackall, Yuko Shimizu, Jen Corace, Marcellus Hall and Amy June Bates.

General Session: To Be Announced

Split Session: To Be Announced

Jill Corcoran, Agent, Herman Agency


Jill Corcoran is an Agent with Herman Agency primarily representing children's books. She joined the agency 3 years ago and has sold over 60 books plus recently signed her first movie deal.  With an English degree from Stanford University and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Chicago, Jill has marketed everything from sneakers to cereal at Leo Burnett Advertising, LA Gear, Mattel, and at her own consulting company, LAUNCH! New Product Marketing. Her current interests include: high concept Young Adult and Middle Grade Thrillers, Mystery, Romance, Romantic Comedies, and Adventure manuscripts. 

Clients include Robin Mellom, Janet Gurtler, Martha Brockenbrough, Kelly Milner Halls, Ralph Fletcher, & Jen Arena. Jill is also the editor of DARE TO DREAM…CHANGE THE WORLD (Kane Miller, 2012), a poetry anthology which includes Ellen Hopkins, Jane Yolen, J. Patrick Lewis, & Lee Bennett Hopkins. 

General Session: Great Expectations: What are the expectations are on both sides of the author/agent relationship? What expectations are reasonable? What are unreasonable, and how do you work out those differences? This session will feature Jill with her author Beck McDowell.

Split Session: What Makes a Manuscript Sale-able  Providing examples of books from many genres, Jill will talk about what has sold as well as some which, while well written, were not contracted.

Katherine Jacobs, Editor*, Roaring Brook Press

Katherine Jacobs was a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania and a school librarian in Honduras before working in publishing. She has edited the chapter book series Gym Shorts by Betty Hicks, nonfiction picture books by Don Brown, and the teen novel Auracle by Gina Rosati. She loves smart, fresh, character-driven stories for all ages. She is also a graduate of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College in Boston, MA. *Please note: Kate is now an Editor rather than Associate Editor as previously listed.

General Session: Getting Past the First Reader This session will focus on manuscript selection and the acquisitions process. Katherine will share ways that successful manuscript submissions capture an editor’s attention.

Split session: To Be Announced


Mark Braught
, Illustrator, ID13 Mentor

Mark Braught,
has created images for some of the finest editorial, advertising, publishing and institutional clients and organizations in the United States. After attending Minneapolis College of Art & Design and receiving a BFA from Indiana State University, Mark began his career as an art director and creative director for various advertising agencies and publishers. His work has received numerous awards including a nomination for a Caldecott Award. Mark has taught at a number of institutions such as the Atlanta College of Art, University of Georgia, Creative Circus and Portfolio Center.

Carmen Deedy,
Author, Opening Keynoter

Carmen Agra Deedy has been writing for children for over two decades. Born in Havana, Cuba, she came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1964. She grew up in Decatur, Georgia, where she lives today. Deedy began writing as a young mother and storyteller whose NPR commentaries on All Things Considered were collected and released under the title, Growing Up Cuban In Decatur, Georgia. Her picture books, story collections and chapter books have won numerous awards, including the Jane Addams Peace Association Book Award, Pura Belpre Honor Award, New York Times Bestseller, Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and Best Children’s Book of the Year (Bank street College of Education) among others.

Beck McDowell, Author

Beck McDowell, author of the YA thriller This Is Not a Drill (Penguin 10/25/12), is a former board certified AP English teacher who lives in Huntsville, Alabama. Her website is www.beckmcdowell.com, and she and her students built notrequiredreading.com to share their YA reviews and trailers. She recently sold another YA book (set in New Orleans, her hometown) to Penguin for publication in 2014. Beck loves fast-paced books with lots of dialogue and lean prose.

General Session: Great Expectations: What are the expectations are on both sides of the author/agent relationship? What expectations are reasonable? What are unreasonable, and how do you work out those differences? This session will feature Beck with her agent Jill Corcoran.

Will Terry, Illustrator

Will Terry has been illustrating for 20 years. His work has appeared in publications such as: Time, Money, Wall Street Journal and ads for Sprint, Pizza Hut, M&M Mars, Fed Ex, and Master Card. He has illustrated over 25 children’s books for Random House, Simon Schuster, Scholastic, Dial, and Albert Whitman - 3 ebooks, 1 app, & co-founded a video tutorial company called Folio Academy.com, is an avid blogger, and currently teaches illustration at UVU.

Illustrators' Day Session: Embracing Technology and Change  This session will share innovative ideas and approaches to publishing, from traditional to digital - topics may include advertising yourself, art reps, personal branding, and new and growing markets.