Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Webinar: Uncharted Territory: Finding What You Didn’t Know You Were Looking For with Nikki Shannon Smith

Date(s) - 09/25/2021
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Webinar: Uncharted Territory: Finding What You Didn’t Know You Were Looking For with Nikki Shannon Smith

90 minute Webinar

Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 1 PM Eastern/12 PM Central/11 AM Mountain/10 AM Pacific

  • SCBWI Members: FREE
  • Non-members: $25

Optional Written Critique from Nikki Shannon Smith following live webinar – Picture Books-Fiction; Picture Books Nonfiction; Middle Grade Fiction; Middle Grade Nonfiction; Young Adult Fiction; or  Young Adult Nonfiction. (no poetry/verse)

  • First Page Critique: $25
  • 10-Page Manuscript Except Critique: $70

Curiosity is your best friend when you’re researching for your non-fiction or historical fiction (or fiction!!!) book. There are many ways to research and many resources available, but sometimes your inner child will lead you to the most interesting facts of all. In this session we’ll think beyond the typical who, what, where, when, and why. We’ll explore ways to find little-known facts and weave them into your work – or put them at the center of your plot—to make your story come to life and stand out. In this 90-minute interactive webinar, Nikki will share:

  • -questioning strategies
  • -outside-of-the-box research resources and techniques
  • -ways to integrate research without being didactic
  • -source requirements for publishers
  • -strategies for keeping track of your details and sources, AKA “staying organized”

Nikki will use her own research experiences to illuminate the above points, and will include writing activities, discussions and a Q & A to help you plan for your own project.

About the presenter:

Nikki Shannon Smith is the author of eleven books, ranging from picture books to young adult. Her work includes four titles in Capstone’s multi-author, historical fiction/adventure, middle grade series, Girls Survive.  She has researched and written about the Underground Railroad, the Titanic, the Oregon Trail, and the Civil War. Nikki also wrote A Star Like Jesse Owens, a Smithsonian Historical Fiction title about the 1936 Olympics. She is the author of the Azaleah Lane chapter book series as well. Her writing is informed not only by her research, but by her child-like curiosity and nearly thirty years of elementary school teaching experience.

Nikki was born and raised in Oakland, CA. She was a bookish child, who sometimes got in trouble for reading instead of doing chores or homework. She now lives in Davis, CA, but sneaks away for conferences whenever she can. Nikki is a daydreamer, lover of sweets and scary movies, and frequent visitor of Disneyland. In her spare time she loves to visit the coast. The first thing she packs in her suitcase is always a book. Learn more about Nikki and her books at


To register, fill out the form below. SCBWI members MUST be logged in to get the discounted rate. Registration for the webinar and critiques will close on September 24.

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 critiques will receive submission instructions via email on the day after the live webinar.

NOTE: Please do not sign up for coveted and limited critique slots if you are unable to make the deadlines outlined. We will be unable to issue refunds for missed deadlines.