Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Orlando Area Meetings


West Osceola Branch Library*

305 Campus St.

Celebration, FL 34747

*All meetings are at this library unless otherwise specified.





Saturday, March 2, 2019

10:00 am-noon

Presented by Joyce Sweeney

Know Yourself As A Writer

One of the best ways I’ve found to see if an author/manuscript is “ready” is to assess the writer in four key areas: voice, plot, structure and concept.  If all four are high level, the book often grabs an agent and sells relatively quickly.  It’s my firm belief that all writers are born with one of these a guaranteed A.  But there’s also one area for most of us that’s a D.  And the other two fall somewhere in between.  So step one is to grade yourself and figure this out, and step two is to start studying how to bring up your grade where you need it most.  In this workshop we will use various questions and exercises to help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and get started on building the skills that are not yet strong enough.

Joyce Sweeney is the author of fourteen novels for young adults and two chapbooks of poetry. She has also been a writing teacher and coach for 25 years. Recently Joyce has been working on an adult fantasy series about the Atlantis myth. The first book in this series is called The Secret Song. Joyce is represented by Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour agency.

To learn more about Joyce, visit her website at:



Saturday, April 6, 2019

10:00 am-noon

Presented by Taryn Souders

How Public Speaking and School Visits Can Become an Author’s Best Friend

Have you ever had to listen to a presentation you’d just as soon sleep through . . . or sneak out of? Don’t be that speaker! Learn some do’s and don’ts of public speaking as Taryn Souders shares what she’s learned from years of doing school visits and teaching at conferences. Or maybe public speaking doesn’t bother you, but you’re not sure how to do a school visit. Great news—this interactive workshop will culminate with Taryn doing one of her favorite school presentations, hopefully giving you some fun ideas to create your own program.

Taryn Souders is the author of Whole-y Cow! Fractions Are Fun, Dead Possums Are Fair Game, and How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer. Her books have been named to Florida’s Sunshine State Young Readers Award List, the Georgia Children’s Book Award list, and in Battle of the Books. She has visited with children in schools across the country and loves to see kids get excited about reading and writing. She loves to read and is really, really, really bad at science.

You can find out more about Taryn by visiting her website, 



Saturday, May 4, 2019

10:00 am-noon

The Power of Throughlines in Nonfiction

Presented by Rob Sanders

Kids of all ages (and those who produce books for them) are interested and intrigued by nonfiction. From biographies to anthologies and concept books, from slices of history to informational texts—nonfiction is hot! The popularity of nonfiction texts took off with the introduction of Common Core, and the surge has not subsided. In this session you’ll explore the many forms that nonfiction can take, discover how you can find your place in the world of nonfiction, and learn the power of throughlines to add depth to nonfiction. This workshop is for writers of all experience levels and of all genres. We’ll focus on the most popular form of nonfiction—picture books–but what we learn will be applicable to all genres. Bring your laptop (or other note-taking supplies) and come prepared to learn, discuss, and write. If you’ve written a nonfiction piece, bring it along for a possible anonymous first-page critique.

Rob Sanders is a writer who teaches and a teacher who writes. He began his picture book writing journey ten years ago and sold his first book in 2012. He has now sold 12 titles—both fiction and nonfiction—to major publishing houses. And all the while he’s been keeping up a fulltime job as a fourth-grade language arts teacher. Rob’s first nonfiction picture book—PRIDE: THE STORY OF HARVEY MILK AND THE RAINBOW FLAG—released in April 2018 and was followed by PEACEFUL FIGHTS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS which released last September. His next nonfiction title is STONEWALL: A BUILDING. AN UPRISING. A REVOLUTION which will release in April 2019.

Rob has worked as a trainer, editor, product designer, and writing coach. He coordinates SCBWI Florida meetings for Tampa Bay area members, critiques hundreds of manuscripts a year, and mentors and coaches other writers. Visit Rob’s website at


Mid-Year Conference in Orlando






Saturday, August 3, 2019

10:00 am-noon

Ten Ways to Kick Your Writing Up a Notch

Presented by Janice Hardy

It’s not uncommon for writers to hit a point where their writing is good, but not great. All they need is a little help to push their skills to the next level, but they’re not always sure how to get that push. In this workshop, writers will learn ten ways to improve their writing skills and stories to take their novels from nice to “Wow!”.

Janice Hardy is the founder of Fiction University, and the author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, where she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her novels include The Shifter, (Picked as one of the 10 Books All Young Georgians Should Read, 2014) Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The first book in her Foundations of Fiction series, Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure is out now.

Visit Janice’s website at:



Look for a Boot Camp near you. Locations and times TBD.



Saturday, October 5, 2019

10:00 am-noon

From Craft to Career: The Professional Path to Publishing

Presented by Erica Cameron


From finishing your first draft to finding your first agent and everything that comes after, publishing is often a tricky journey to navigate. Erica will talk about the traditional, the unexpected, and the modern paths to publishing. She will also discuss the basics of subrights (what are they?), agents (why have one?), movies (how does that work?), and more (what exactly is a mid-size house?). Get answers to your burning questions about editorial relationships, deadlines, twitter pitching, and everything else in this informational session.

After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and has since written several series for young adults and contributed to various online blogs and publications. She is also an advocate for asexuality and emotional abuse awareness. She currently lives in South Florida.




Saturday, November 2, 2019

10:00 am-noon


with Lorin Oberweger


In this workshop, Lorin will present strategies to help keep promising early chapters from melting into a mushy middle. Bring your WIP and be prepared to explore methods for building your novel’s premise and other story elements to make certain you’re creating the foundation for a rich work, filled with escalating stakes and complications; developing fully formed characters whose backstories, desires, and motivations are powerful enough to support a compelling narrative; and more!

LORIN OBERWEGER is a highly sought-after independent book editor and ghostwriter with more than twenty-five years experience in publishing. Her company, Free Expressions, offers writing workshops nationwide, and she’s known for her one-on-one story mastermind weekends.

An award-winning author, Lorin had six traditionally published books (four fiction, two nonfiction), including BOOMERANG, REBOUND, and BOUNCE, published by Harper/William Morrow. Her work has appeared in well over one-hundred periodicals, and her books have received glowing reviews from the New York Times, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, and others.

She has also joined Adams Literary as an agent and is slowly growing her list. She can be contacted at



Saturday, December 7, 2019

10:00 am-noon

Jonathan Rosen

For more information about free monthly meetings and to be put on a mailing list, contact Jan Eldredge:

Meetings are usually held on the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m.-noon at:

West Osceola Branch Library

305 Campus Street

Celebration, FL 34747