Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2020 Novel Development Retreat

Date(s) - 06/26/2020 - 06/28/2020
3:00 pm

Novel Retreat Series Banner

Whether you have a work in progress, a completed novel, or this is your first novel writing experience this retreat is for you. (Note: this is a two-part series.)

Do you struggle with plotting out your novel? At the mid-point of your novel and don’t know where to go? Finished your novel but feel like it’s incomplete? Could you use collaborative partners to help you put it all together? You’ve found the right place!


Part 1: Developing Your Novel
June 26 – 28, 2020

Due to public health concerns, we have moved Part 1 (only) to an online platform. Retreat instruction and small- and large-group discussions will take place over Zoom during the same dates as the originally scheduled event. We realize this won’t provide the same experience as an in-person retreat, but we feel strongly that it’s more important to ensure that everyone stays healthy. Part 2 will take place in person as scheduled.

During Part 1, award-winning author N.L. Sharp and Shelly Nosbisch, MFA graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts will guide collaborative groups in the novel planning process using the work of Lisa Cron’s Story Genius and Jessica Brody’s Save the Cat! Writes a Novel.

What sets this event apart from other retreats? You aren’t struggling to figure out Cron’s and Brody’s strategies on your own. With our collaborative model, you’ll get feedback on your progress and deepen your own craft knowledge while helping other retreat members. Since we will be using the common language and terms from those two craft books, you will need to acquire and read both books before the retreat.

In addition to the on-site retreat, we will follow up with six online Zoom meetings to support your novel development, start thinking about your submission packet, and feel confidently prepared to meet the agent in the second retreat of the series. And attendees will receive discounted access to Brody’s online course materials.

Why attend if you have already written your novel? The tools we will cover in this retreat can help with revisions: strengthening your story, making characters and their motivations more believable, and tightening up your plot.

Novel Development Retreat Schedule


Part 2: Completing Your Submission Package
June 25 – 27, 2021

During Part 2, Jennifer March Soloway, associate agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, will help you create and refine your submission package (query, pitch, synopsis) and will provide a 15-minute face-to-face consultation on the topic of your choice. After the retreat, you will have an opportunity to query Jennifer, as well as a short list of other agents and editors that are open to submissions from retreat participants. Details to come.

Note: You MUST attend Part 1 to participate in Part 2. Why? Because agents want to see your best work, and this two-part retreat series is specifically designed to help you put your best foot forward and be ready for an agent’s consideration.


Novel Development Retreat Registration

Please read the options carefully; registering for the retreat series now will save you $50 off the price if paid separately.

Early Bird Registration (before March 31):
Parts 1 and 2 ($50 discount over paying for each separately):
   Members: $325.00
   Nonmembers: $425.00
Part 1 only (pay for Part 2 next year):
   Members: $100.00
   Nonmembers: $150.00
Late Registration (April 1 – May 1):
Parts 1 and 2 ($50 discount over paying for each separately):
   Members: $425.00
   Nonmembers: $525.00
Part 1 only (pay for Part 2 next year):
   Members: $150.00
   Nonmembers: $200.00


Registration includes all instruction (plus meals for Part 2 if you are registering for both now). Registration closes May 1, 2020.

Part 2 Location and Lodging Information


Are you a member of SCBWI?

Did you know that SCBWI members always receive a discount on events?

Whether Regional events or the International Conference, all members receive a discount.

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Event Registration

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Ticket Information

Nonmember - Full Retreat Series - $425.00
Reserve your spot for both retreats ($50 savings)

Member - Full Retreat Series - $325.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Reserve your spot for both retreats ($50 savings)

Nonmember Part 1 only - $150.00
Pay for part 2 next year

Member Part 1 only - $100.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Pay for Part 2 next year

The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion.


The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.



Code of Conduct

All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, including faculty, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

  • intimidation, stalking, or following.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • Inappropriate physical contact.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Abusive verbal comments.
  • Quid pro quo– sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors.
  • Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.


Reporting Procedures

Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:

  • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.
  • A complainant may submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
  • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.


SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made under this policy. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.



SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.


Sanctions for faculty, speakers, staff or board members may include any of the following:


  • warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;
  • withholding of a contracted honorarium;
  • prohibition from future speaking engagements;
  • prohibition from future faculty appointments;
  • expulsion from SCBWI; and/or
  • removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.


Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

  • warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event, without refund;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
  • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
  • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.


If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will handle utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties and witnesses. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.



If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.


If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "anti-harassment policy" in the subject line.

I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.