Appearance at SCBWI-New Mexico Retreat

I’ve been invited to serve as a Guest Critique Leader at an upcoming SCBWI-New Mexico event in October 2009. It sounds like a beautiful location for a writer’s and illustrator’s retreat. Here are the details:

SCBWI-New Mexico Writer’s and Illustrator’s Retreat
in Jemez Mountains, New Mexico

Children’s book writers and illustrators of all experience levels are invited to a working Writers’ Retreat at Hummingbird Music Camp near Jemez Springs this autumn. This annual retreat is sponsored by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

October 23-25, experienced authors will lead small groups in a weekend of intensive critiquing, revising and writing. As an extra bonus, author Suzanne Morgan Williams will lead a Saturday afternoon discussion and workshop focused on Fabulous First Chapters. Williams is the author of the middle grade novel Bull Rider and the nonfiction books China’s Daughter’s, Piñatas and Smiling Skeletons, The Inuit, and Made in China. The other critique group leaders are Lucia Zimmitti, a freelance editor and writing coach at, and author Catherine Stier.

A member of SCBWI-Southwest Texas, Stier’s picture book, If I Ran for President sold more than 130,000 copies since its Fall 2007 release and led to a book signing at Mount Rushmore. Her other books include If I Were President, named an IRA Los Angeles’ 100 Best Books, the award-winning Bugs in My Hair?! and a new middle grade novel, The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club.

In addition to the intimate group critiques, participants can get a written critique from Kate Fletcher, an associate editor at Candlewick Press, one of the largest independent children’s book publishers in the world—a great chance to get feedback from a professional editor, and make a contact at a respected publishing house.

The weekend also includes networking, a fireside reading, book sales, a silent auction, and personal time for reflection and working on your writing and illustrations.

The retreat is October 23-25, Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, with an optional extra day on Friday. The enrollment deadline is September 20.

The cost is $200 for members of SCBWI and $220 for non-members. This includes a private room and six meals. Writers and illustrators who don’t want to participate in critique groups can work on their own for the discounted price of $175. The Optional Early Working Day Retreat and professional manuscript critique from Kate Fletcher are each an additional $45. To register or for more information, go to or email