Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

No More Dead Moms: A Discussion About Secondary Characters in Children’s Literature with Sarah Aronson

Date(s) - 02/06/2021
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Webinar: No More Dead Moms: A Discussion About Secondary Characters in Children’s Literature

90 minute Webinar

Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 1 PM Eastern/12 PM Central/11 AM Mountain/10 AM Pacific

SCBWI Members: $15; Non-members: $25
(includes live webinar and 30 days of recording access)

Optional Written Critique from Sarah Aronson following live webinar:

  • Manuscript Except (up to 10 pages) Critique: $70


Join Sarah Aronson in an interactive lecture and discussion about the roles of secondary characters in children’s literature, from picture book to young adult novels. We will pay particular attention to the people most important to any young person–their parents–and how they can serve as both antagonists and allies–dead and alive. Together we will discover how to create three dimensional characters through action and dialogue as well as the roles of tertiary characters. Be prepared to write, draw, and think outside your story’s main point of view. There will be time for questions as well as writing exercises, with handouts for further study.

About the presenter:

Sarah Aronson began writing for kids and teens when someone in an exercise class dared her to try. Since then, she has earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and published three stand alone novels: Head Case, Beyond Lucky, and Believe, a young MG series, The Wish List (Scholastic, 2017-2019) as well as the picture book biography, Just Like Rube Goldberg (Beach Lane Books), illustrated by Robert Neubecker (winner of the Crystal Kite Award for the Midwest region). Upcoming titles include two picture books, Brand New Bubbe and Battling Bella, as well as an essay in an anthology and maybe soon, her first novel for adults. When Sarah is not writing or reading (or cooking or riding her bike), she is talking to readers about creativity, writing, social action, and of course, sparkle power! She loves working with other writers in one of her classes at  the amazing Highlights Foundation or Writers on the Net ( She currently serves as PAL coordinator for SCBWI-Illinois–and the SCBWI-IL initiative, Read Local. Warning: She believes in the power of play. Chances are, when you work with her, you will hear about that. Sarah lives in Evanston, Illinois. Find more here:


To register, fill out the form below. SCBWI members MUST be logged in to get the discounted rate. Registration will close at 11:59 PM EST on February 5.  

A recording of the webinar will be available for 30 days after the live event. The recording will be for registered attendees only, so if you can’t make the live event, you can register to view the recording.

Access information for the live webinar will be sent on the morning of the webinar and access information on the recording will be sent out the following day.

Those who purchase an add-on critique will receive detailed submission instructions on the day after the live webinar, with submissions due one week later. You will receive your written critique via email within 6 weeks of the submission deadline and will have the opportunity to ask up to 3 brief follow-up questions via email.