Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Spring Fever Annual Conference 2017

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Date(s) - 03/15/2015
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Christ Community Methodist Church
3474 Stiles Road - Syracuse, NY 13209


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Please see schedule of events below.

Come celebrate Spring with us in lovely Baldwinsville, NY for our Annual Conference. There will be wonderful presentations, workshops, critiques, networking, bookstore, and more. As always, lunch (sandwiches from Brooklyn Pickle), coffee, tea, water, and snacks will be provided. If you are gluten-free out of necessity please send me an email at after you register and a gluten-free meal will be provided. 

Please note critique definitions per presenter. When sending in critiques (after you have registered) to to name the file: Last Name, First Name, Title of piece. Please make sure to identify your 10 pages (i.e. picture book, YA, etc.) on the first page of your manuscript submission along with your name and title of piece. These need to be in my inbox no later than February 21st. 

Spring Fever Annual Conference line up:

Bruce Coville is the author of 103 books for children and young adults, including the international bestseller MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN, and the UNICORN CHRONICLES series.  His works have appeared in over a dozen languages and won children's choice awards in a dozen states. He has been a teacher, a toymaker, a magazine editor, a gravedigger, and a cookware salesman.  He is also the founder of FULL CAST AUDIO, an audiobook publishing company devoted to producing full cast, unabridged recordings of material for family listening. Mr. Coville lives in  Syracuse, New York, with his wife, illustrator Katherine Coville.

Critique: Will be given written feedback and 10 minute one-on-one from 10 pages of your manuscript. This needs to be emailed to at least four weeks prior to the conference.

London Ladd was born and raised in Syracuse, New York.  Comic books had an impact on his early art life. London first studied at Onondaga Community College then transferred to Syracuse University, where he received his BFA in Illustration.  London Ladd has illustrated a number of children’s books, including the award-winning March On! The Day My Brother Changed the World by Christine King Farris, Junior Library Guild selection Under the Freedom Tree by Susan VanHecke, Lend a Hand by John Frank and in November 2015 Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass by award-winning author Doreen Rappaport.  He lives and creates in Syracuse, NY. Visit him at

Critique:  20 minute one-on-one from three of your best pieces of work. This needs to be emailed to at least four weeks prior to the conference. Please bring these three pieces to the conference to let London see them in person. Feel free to bring your portfolio with you (whether or not you are having a critique) to share with others. 

LAURA WHITAKER is an Associate Editor at Bloomsbury Children’s Books. She grew up in Northern Virginia and once spent a summer in high school reading the entire children’s book section (picture books through YA) from A to Z.  She attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she double majored in English Literature and Broadcast Journalism because she was curious about the Midwest. She quickly learned that long johns and thermal underwear in general are NOT just for people who live in Alaska. She received her Masters in Publishing from NYU and even though she has lived in New York City for over eight and a half years, she still considers herself Southern (the logic being that her best friend is Southern and she is, by association, therefore Southern as well).

Laura edits everything from picture books through YA.  She worked on literary thrillers Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst (Walker BFYR, 2013) and Insanity by Susan Vaught (Bloomsbury, 2014) and forthcoming contemporary coming-of-age novel This Side of Home by Renée Watson (Bloomsbury, 2015). She also edited Ruthie and the (Not So) Very Busy Day by Laura Rankin (Bloomsbury, 2014) and worked on the Penguin pictures books by Salina Yoon. While open to books for all age ranges, she is particularly interested in innovative, soul-searing literary fiction and knee-melting romances that capture the beauty and freshness of first love. She also loves well-researched and expertly crafted historical adventure stories and edgy, wrenching and unforgettable coming-of-age novels that deal with sensitive topics and issues. She is actively searching for quirky, funny and honest picture books that present first experiences in an unexpected light.

When she’s not reading, editing or talking about children’s books, Laura can be found trying to teach herself how to cook (and failing miserably, even though her roommate kindly says that her food tastes delicious), dreaming about someday owning a miniature schnauzer, avidly trying to catch up on her favorite TV shows, and walking around marveling at the magnificence that is New York City. You can reach her via email at or twitter @laura_gemma. 

Critique: Will be given written feedback and 10 minute one-on-one from 10 pages of your manuscript. This needs to be emailed to at least four weeks prior to the conference.

Amy Boggs is a sci-fi/fantasy geek who has been professionally geeking out over books at Donald Maass agency since 2009. She specializes in speculative fiction and is especially interested in high fantasy, steampunk (and its variations), and alternate history, as well as unique contemporary YA and MG. She seeks and supports projects and authors diverse in any and all respects, such as (but not limited to) gender, race, ethnicity, disability, and sexuality.

Critique: Will be given written feedback and 15 minute one-on-one from 10 pages of your manuscript. This needs to be emailed to at least four weeks prior to the conference.


8:00 Registration

8:30 Welcome, Introductions

8:45 Laura Whittaker

9:30 Break

9:45 London Ladd

10:30 Bruce Coville

11:15 Break

11:30—12:15 Panel Discussion

12:15—1:30 Lunch

1:30—3:00 First Pages, Illustrator Roundtable, Workshops

3:00 Wrapping up, networking, bookstore, autographs