Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

March Workshop: Focus on the Craft of Writing

Date(s) - 03/10/2018
9:00 am - 12:15 pm

Washington State University Spokane
412 E Spokane Falls Blvd - spokane, wa 99202

Focus on the Craft of Writing

Our March workshop offers writers a chance to look in depth at one aspect of writing and work with a professional to sharpen knowledge and skills. You’ll choose your topic and register for one two-hour, hands-on session. Bring your manuscript and meet with a small group to learn, share and work on your own writing. The event will also include a 30-minute panel featuring all the presenters.

  • Focus on Scenes
  • Focus on Plot
  • Focus on Character
  • Focus on Writing and Illustrating for Magazines

You must choose a focus when you register. There are ten seats for each workshop. Register early to get your first choice.


Focus on Scenes

Energize Your Scenes with YA Thriller Author Stephen Wallenfels 

Tension is the energy that drives your story.  This workshop will teach you how to tap into the various sources of tension so your scenes come to life and force readers to keep turning the page.











Stephen Wallenfels’ upcoming book DeadFall (Disney/Hyperion, December 2018) is a YA suspense thriller set in Oregon. He’s also the author of the YA adventure survival thriller Bad Call, and scifi thriller POD, published in seven languages and over fifteen countries. Stephen lives and writes in Richland, WA.


Focus on Character

Creating Memorable Characters with YA Novelist Meagan Macvie

The quality of your characters is what makes your story live in the minds of your readers long after they have closed your book.  A writer must create characters who will drive the plot, connect with readers, move convincingly through their world, relate genuinely to one another and most importantly, grow and change. This workshop offers practical strategies for developing characters your readers won’t forget.











Meagan Macvie grew up in Soldotna, Alaska, where her debut, The Ocean in My Ears (Ooligan Press, 2017), is set. Kirkus calls the novel an “unforgettable journey to adulthood” and named it a 2017 Best Teen Historical Fiction. Meagan is a former government communications director and college composition instructor who now writes full-time and teaches writing workshops. She earned her MFA in fiction from Pacific Lutheran University and BA in English Literature from the University of Idaho. Her work has appeared in Narrative, Barrelhouse, and Fugue. Meagan now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter, as well as a dog, two goats, and chickens. Find her online at and on Twitter and Instagram as @meaganmacvie.


Focus on Plot

Structure a Solid Plot with Story Grid Editor Kim Kessler

Not sure if your story is going in the right direction? Bogged down in the middle? Or maybe you have a draft but you’re not sure it’s working.  Story Grid provides a framework for solving plot problems. Kim will help you nail the structure of your story’s genre, a North Star that will guide you through plotting decisions and help you meet your audience’s core expectations. This is a chance to focus on building a plot that starts with a great hook, builds suspense through the middle and delivers a satisfying ending.










Kim Kessler is a Certified Story Grid Editor and the founder of Trench Coach, an all-in developmental editing service that addresses the writer as a whole person, with knowledge, care, and infectious enthusiasm. Kim can be heard weekly on the Story Grid Editor Roundtable podcast, and seen online with her literary-inspired TEDx Talk “I Am a Villain in Disguise”. Her novel According to Plan is forthcoming. Connect with her at


Focus on Writing and Illustrating for Magazines

Fun and Profitable

Writers often hear the advice to write for children’s magazines as a stepping-stone to the “real writing,” of children’s books, and many writers have succeed in that path to publishing. But Spokane Author Patricia Nikolina Clark will tell you magazine writing offers many rewards all on it’s own! This workshop will get you going with all you need to know, including, where to start, what sells, how to submit, what you need to know about rights and her personal motto for success. “Be Patient, Be Polite, Be Persistent…IT PAYS!”










For more than 25 years, Patricia Nikolina Clark’s stories and articles have appeared in national magazines such as Highlights for Children and the Cricket Magazine Group. She is the author of three books: Fisherman’s Daughter (Bridgeline Books), In the Shadow of the Mammoth (Blue Marlin Publications), and Goodbye, Goose (R. C. Owen Publishers). A member of SCBWI since 1989, Clark has twice won the coveted SCBWI Magazine Merit Award, and Highlights for Children awarded Clark the Biography Feature-of-the-Year for her article “Mr. Pilling’s Pond.”

Registration Opens February 10, 2018.

SCBWI Members $40

Non-members $55

Sign up for this workshop and you’ll get $15 off our April 7th workshop with Literary Agent, Kathleen Ortiz: Focus on Selling Our Work