Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Webinar: Building a Kidlit Career

Date(s) - 04/13/2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Webinar: Building a Kidlit Career (Melanie Conklin, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Linda Sue Park; moderated by Tracy C. Gold)

60 minute webinar

Monday, April 13, 7:00 PM Eastern/6:00 PM Central/5:00 PM Mountain/4:00 PM Pacific

Registration to view webinar live and access recording: SCBWI Members: $15, Nonmembers: $25

Registration to access recording only: SCBWI Members: $15; Non-members: $25

Note: There are a limited number of tickets available to view the webinar live. If you know you will be viewing the recording only, please choose that option.

Optional written critique of picture book manuscript or first 10 pages of a Middle Grade or Young Adult fiction manuscript following webinar (SCBWI Members only): $70.00


It’s not just about one book – it’s about building a career. Kid lit authors at various stages of their careers discuss how craft, promotion, finances, and more have evolved. And, of course, they’ll talk about how COVID-19 has affected their careers. Join Linda Sue Park, Melanie Conklin, Susan Muaddi Darraj, and Tracy C. Gold for a lively discussion of the nuts and bolts of writing as a career.


About the presenters:

Melanie Conklin
Melanie Conklin grew up in North Carolina and worked as a product designer for ten years before she began her writing career. Her debut middle grade novel, Counting Thyme, is a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the year, winner of the International Literacy Association Teacher’s Choice Award, and nominated to four state reading lists. Her second novel for young readers, Every Missing Piece, publishes with Disney-Hyperion in 2020. When she’s not writing, Melanie spends her time doodling and dreaming up new ways to be creative. She lives in New Jersey with her family. Connect with her on twitter @MLConklin.


Tracy C. Gold
Tracy C. Gold loves bringing characters to life. Her debut picture book Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby is forthcoming from Familius in 2021. It was inspired by her daughter, who hates sleeping as much as Tracy loves sleeping. Tracy also writes short stories, essays, poems, and YA novels. When she’s not working on her own writing, she helps other people become better writers as a freelance editor and teacher. She has worked on books published by houses including Simon Pulse, Delacorte, and Bloomsbury Spark. Tracy earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts and taught writing at the University of Baltimore. She also learned a lot about publishing as an intern for literary agent Carrie Pestritto. Tracy loves playing with her toddler and hanging out with her horse and dog, both rescues. Critiquing: Picture books-fiction, Picture books – nonfiction, Middle Grade fiction, Young adult fiction


Susan Muaddi Darraj
Susan Muaddi Darraj’s short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named the winner of the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, judged by Jaime Manrique. It also won the 2016 Arab American Book Award, a 2016 American Book Award, and was shortlisted for a Palestine Book Award. In 2018, she was named a 2018 Ford Fellow by USA Artists. In 2019, she launched the viral #TweetYourThobe social media campaign to promote Palestinian culture. Later that year, she was named winner of the Rose Nader Award, by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), an award given by the Nader family to a person who “demonstrates an unwavering dedication and commitment to values of equality and justice.” In January 2020, Capstone Books will launch her debut children’s chapter book series, Farah Rocks, about a smart, brave Palestinian American girl named Farah Hajjar. The first book in the series in Farah Rocks Fifth Grade. Critiquing: Middle Grade fiction


Linda Sue Park
Linda Sue Park is the author of many books for young readers, including the 2002 Newbery Medal winner A Single Shard and the NYTimes bestseller A Long Walk to Water. When she’s not writing, speaking, or caregiving for her two grandchildren, she spends most of her time on diversity/equity/inclusion work for We Need Diverse Books and the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. In her travels to promote reading and writing, she has visited more than 30 countries and 49 states. She hopes to be invited to Mississippi one day soon.


To register, fill out the form below. SCBWI members MUST be logged in to get the discounted rate. Registration for the live event will close on April 12.  Registration for recording access will close on April 13.

A recording of the webinar will be available for one month 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 via email on the morning of the webinar and access information on the recording will be sent out the following day.


Instructions for critique submissions:

-You must be an SCBWI member and purchase the critique option below in order to submit. Please note that a limited number of critiques are available. If the registration form indicates that critiques are sold out, then that is exactly what it means. Please do not email us asking if they are really sold out.

-Your submission must fit the categories that the critiquer you selected is critiquing:

  • Tracy C. Gold: Picture books-fiction, Picture books – nonfiction, Middle Grade fiction, or Young adult fiction
  • Susan Muaddi Darraj: Middle Grade fiction

-Follow these formatting guidelines:

  • Use 12 point Times New Roman font.
  • 1 inch margins all around.
  • The first line of the page should be the title and genre/age range (picture book, YA fiction, etc.)
  • DO NOT include your name anywhere on the document.
  • You may submit ONE picture book manuscript or the first 10 pages of a Middle Grade or Young Adult fiction manuscript. Submission may not exceed 10 pages.
  • Name your file with the critiquer’s initials, followed by an underscore, then your first and last name. For example, Jane Doe’s submission to Tracy C. Gold would  be named: TCG_JaneDoe.

-Send your critique submission to by April 20, 2020. Use the subject line “Kidlit Career Manuscript Critique”.


Payment options:
-Online with a credit card (processed through PayPal, no account required)

-Online with a PayPal account balance