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Southwest Texas SCBWI Fall Conference

SCBWI Southwest Texas

Saturday, September 17, 2011 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (CDT)

Southwest Texas SCBWI Fall Conference

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
SCBWI Conference Member Early Bird Registration Ended $100.00 $3.49
SCBWI Conference Non-Member Registration Ended $145.00 $4.62
Breakout Session A - First Pages Panel Ended Free $0.00
Breakout Session A - Interactive Ebooks Ended Free $0.00
Breakout Session B - Writing Workshop Ended Free $0.00
Breakout Session B - Social Media Workshop Ended Free $0.00

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Event Details

Join us on September 17th to strength your skills as a children's book creator.  Learn from our amazing editors from two closed publishing houses.  Get tips on polishing your submissions from an experienced agent. Learn how to tackle social media to promote your books and yourself.  Discover the secrets of plotting a novel from an award-winning author.  Find out more about the exciting new field of creating ebooks for kids. Network with other authors and illustrators and submit your work to our editors and agent after the conference. 


To register: purchase the ticket above for either member or non-member, add your choice for Breakout Session A & B and add the critique ticket if you want to purchase a critique.  Safe and easy checkout with any major credit card or print your registration and mail in your check.  Critiques are reserved when payment is received - don't delay, they will sell out quickly.

There is a small processing fee for paying with credit cards. 



Andrea Welch - Editor, Beach Lane Press (Simon & Schuster)

Elena Mechlin - Agent, Pippin Properties

Kristin Daly Rens - Editor,  Balzer and Bray (HarperCollins)


Diane Gonzales Bertrand - Author

Kim Murray - Online Media Specialist, Piccolo Media

Richard Johnson - InteractBooks

Breakout Sessions

1st Pages Session with our Editors & Agent 

Writing Workshop with Diane Bertrand Gonzales 

New Media and Social Media Workshops


Critiques will be available for the first 40 registrations.

Critiques are 15 minutes each and occur throughout the day.


First Pages Panel

Authors can enter a first page for a chance to have your work reviewed by our editors and agent. Our editors will give initial reactions to the first page of a manuscript or a synopsis.

A random selection of ten entries will receive brief, public comments from the panel. This is intended as a demonstration of how an editor reads an unsolicited manuscript, not as a personal critique. Submissions must follow standard manuscript format, with a maximum of 200 words.

There is no fee. A first page or synopsis submission is separate from submitting a manuscript for critique. All authors are invited to participate. You'll receive instructions on submitting your first page entry with your conference confirmation.

Please note: The comments will be the editors first reactions and will be instructive.  The entries will be anonymous.  If you are sensitive to constructive feedback you may want to listen this year and submit next year.    



8:00 - 8:45 Registration

8:45 - 9:00 Welcome

9:00 - 10:00 Andrea Welch  - Editor, Beach Lane Press - Make Your Picture Book a Perfect Ten      

10:00 - 11:00 Kristin Daly Rens - Editor, Balzer & Bray - Making Every Line, Every Paragraph, Every Scene Count

11:00 - 11:15 Break

11:15 - 12:15 Elena Mechlin - Agent, Pippin Properties - The Do's and Don'ts of Query Writing, From Salutation to Synopsis       

12:15 - 1:30 Lunch and Keynote Speaker Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Author - Fear Not the Open Spaces


1:30 - 2:30 Breakout Session A

a) First Pages Panel with Andrea Welch, Kristin Daly Rens, and Elena Mechlin                                   

b)      Richard Johnson, Interactbooks - Storytelling in the Digital Age


2:30 - 2:45 Break


2:45 - 3:45 Breakout Session B

a)      Diane Gonzales Bertrand - Give Wings to Your Story: A Writing Workshop on Plotting Your Novel

b)      Kim Murray of Piccolo Media - An Introduction to Social Media for Authors and Illustrators: A Guide to Creating an Effective Web Presence  


3:45 - 4:30 Social: Book and Portfolio Exhibit



Early bird registration is $100 - Extended until September 16!

Non-Members: $145



Registration is limited to 125 participants!


A lunch buffet of sandwiches will be served. 

Editor Day Location

All events will be held in the International Conference Center at the University of the Incarnate Word (#47 on the map below).


University of Incarnate Word - Address: 847 E. Hildebrand, San Antonio, TX 78212

campus map



Email Maritha at


*In the event that our conference registration doesn't meet the minimum number of participants we reserve the right to cancel and refund all registration and critique fees. 

Conference Critiques


Faculty Critique Sessions

A limited number of one on one critiques with our faculty are available.  Since we have a limited number of spaces, they are reserved for SCBWI members only.

We can't guarantee which faculty member you will meet with. All of our faculty are well qualified to give professional critiques.


Please note: Submitting a manuscript for critique is separate from submitting a First Page submission. A person can submit a critique, only to First Pages session, or to both.  

Manuscript critiques

The cost of a manuscript critique is $35.00. You will receive submission details with your conference confirmation email. Manuscripts must be submitted via email by July 17.  

Submit one picture book manuscript (text only) OR the first 10 pages of a longer work with a two paragraph synopsis of your story.  Picture books should be under 1,200 words. Submissions should be in manuscript style with one inch margins and double spacing. Please include a cover page with your contact information.

The manuscript will be returned with comments during a 15-minute session with the editor or faculty who critiqued it. 


Last day to submit Critiques and First Page/Synosis is July 17, we will not accept submissions after this date.  Please send them in ASAP! 





Kristin Daly Rens - Editor,  Balzer and Bray (HarperCollins Children's Books)

As an editor Kristin is interested in Picture Books through to Young Adult and includes fantasy, graphic novels & rhyme. 


Andrea Welch - Editor, Beach Lane Press (Simon & Schuster)

Andrea has the pleasure of working with a long list of wonderful authors and illustrators. Recent books she has edited include Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth by Sarah Weeks, illustrated by Robert Neubecker; Hello Baby! by Mem Fox, illustrated by Steve Jenkins; and the Brownie & Pearl series by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brian Biggs. Andrea acquires projects ranging from very young picture books to middle-grade and teen novels—especially those that are filled with heart, humor, and irresistible characters.


Elena Mechlin - Agent, Pippin Agency

"Elena loves funny picture books, is typically averse to rhyming texts, likes goofy middle grade, and is on the hunt for some hot YA!" (Link)

Pippin clients include: Kathi Appelt, Harry Bliss, Doreen Cronin, Kate Dicamillo, Tony Fucile, Jenny Han, Pascal Lemaitre, Alison McGhee, James McMullan, Kate McMullan, Jandy Nelson, Peter H. Reynolds, David Small, William Steig, among others


Diane Gonzales Bertrand

The past fifteen years Diane has been publishing literature for children and teens through Arte Publico Press in Houston, Texas. She combined her love of poetry with storytelling fun in her popular children’s bilingual picture books Sip, Slurp, Soup, Soup/Caldo, caldo, caldo, The Empanadas that Abuela Made and The Party for Papá Luis.

Her novels include Sweet Fifteen (1995), Alicia’s Treasure (1996); Trino’s Choice (1999), and its sequel, Trino’s Time (2001). Two bilingual chapter books, Upside Down and Backwards and Ruiz Street Kids/Los Muchachos de la Calle Ruiz have earned recognition and praise from Texas Writers League and The Tejas Star Reading Lists. Her new novel for teens is The F Factor, which earned positive reviews from School Library Journal, San Antonio Express-News, and Today’s Catholic newspaper.

A book with Raven Tree Press, My Pal Victor, earned the ALA Schneider Family Book Award from the American Library Association, and her second Raven Tree picture book, The Park Our Town Built will be published in June 2011.

Diane is Writer-in-Residence at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, where she teaches creative writing and English composition. Her books are listed at


Kim Murray - Piccolo Media

Kim Murray runs Piccolo Media, is a small, independent media company specializing in online media publishing.


Richard Johnson - InteractBooks

Have questions about Southwest Texas SCBWI Fall Conference? Contact SCBWI Southwest Texas

When & Where

University of Incarnate Word ICC
847 E. Hildebrand, San Antonio 78212
San Antonio, TX 78209

Saturday, September 17, 2011 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (CDT)

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SCBWI Southwest Texas

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators is a professional group of writers and artists who create for the children's market.

This event is hosted by the Southwest Texas Chapter in San Antonio, Texas. 

  Contact the Organizer

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