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Children’s book writers, illustrators to gather for conference in Franklin

Children’s book writers, illustrators to gather for conference in Franklin

The Midsouth chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) will hold its annual conference from Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1, at the Embassy Suites Cool Springs in Franklin.

The conference is open to the public; anyone with an interest in children’s literature is invited to attend. SCBWI is the largest organization of children’s authors in the world, and its members write, illustrate, and edit picture, chapter, middle grade, and young adult books.

The keynote speakers for the conference include Laurent Linn, Katie Carella, Jessica Young, and David Arnold. Linn will kick off the conference with the opening keynote; he is an art director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and the author of a young adult novel, Draw the Line. Author-editor team Jessica Young and Katie Carella will give the Saturday afternoon keynote; Young is the award-winning author of over a dozen books for children, and Carella is a senior editor at Scholastic. New York Times bestselling young adult author David Arnold (Mosquitoland, Kids of Appetite) will give the closing keynote on Sunday.

In addition to the keynote addresses, the conference will feature panels, breakout sessions, critiques, and workshops on topics that cover everything in the publishing industry — from query letters and finding agents to marketing and working with an editor — and include subjects as wide-ranging as character, audience, portfolios, comics, self-publishing, openings, and visual storytelling.

More than 20 authors, editors and literary agents from all over the country will discuss these subjects and give advice on the importance of persistence, the hot trends in publishing, and much more.

Attendees may also choose to take one of four intensive workshops on Friday, Sept. 29, before the official conference begins. Intensive workshop topics include graphic novels, chapter books, plot, and illustration.

Finally there will be an author signing party on Friday night to kick off the official start of the conference.

This signing party is free and open to the public. There will be 28 authors signing books, and attendees will have the opportunity to buy an early copy of Newbery Honor Winner Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s new book, The War I Finally Won, which will not be officially released until Oct. 3.

For more information on purchasing tickets, visit The Midsouth chapter of SCBWI consists of nearly 450 members from Tennessee and Kentucky.

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