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Falling Leaves FALLING LEAVES 2014: MASTER CLASS RETREAT

Nov 7-9, 2014 >>>
Come to Silver Bay on Lake George for a weekend of inspiration and craft. Our focus this year is on picture books. We have five wonderful editors: Grace Kendall (FSG); Grace Maccarone (Holiday House); Emma Ledbetter (Atheneam); Nancy Paulsen (Nancy Paulsen Books); and Beth Terrill (North South Books). Each participant will receive a one-on-one 25-minute critique from one of these editors. Each editor will also provide a hands-on workshop and writing exercises in the evenings.
» register by Aug 15


Conferences and Events

Conferences and other events are posted below. Also feel free to view information and pictures from previous conferences and events (also below).

Falling Leaves Master Class 2014: Picture Books -- November 7-9, 2014

Falling Leaves 2012

It's time to send your application in for our 2014 Falling Leaves Master Class Retreat! Applications will be accepted until August 15, 2014.

Our focus this year is on picture books. And we will again be at the beautiful Silver Bay on Lake George in New York.

We will be hosting five wonderful editors: Grace Kendall (FSG); Grace Maccarone (Holiday House); Emma Ledbetter (Atheneam); Nancy Paulsen (Nancy Paulsen Books); and Beth Terrill (North South Books). Each participant will receive a one-on-one 25-minute critique from one of these editors. In addition, each editor will provide a hands-on workshop and writing exercises in the evenings.

Participation is contingent upon application and writing sample.

Applications are now being accepted and must be postmarked by August 15, 2014. Click HERE for an application (PDF). Come join us for a weekend filled with inspiration, community and education!

A Toolbox Workshop with Award-winning Author Christopher Cheng (Hudson, NY) -- August 17, 2013

We are lucky to host award-winning Australian author and SCBWI Board Member Christopher Cheng on August 17, 2013 in Hudson, NY. Chris is going to provide us with a great toolbox workshop on digital media, book trailers, and picture books (both fiction and nonfiction).

Toolbox workshops provide writers and illustrators with the nuts and bolts they need to navigate successful careers.

Click here to read more about Chris Cheng.

Don't wait to register. Only 25 spots available!

Applications are now being accepted. Click HERE for an application (PDF). Come join us for a creative day in Hudson, NY!

Eastern NY SCBWI Regional Conference (Fishkill, NY) -- September 21-22, 2013

2013 SCBWI Conference Logo by Joseph Guida

Sail into Inspiration!

Our crew includes: Editor/Author Harold Underdown, Librarian/Author/Reviewer Betsy Bird, Agent Jennifer Laughran, Illustrator Rep Melissa Turk, Agent Maria Lamba, Award-winning Author Steve Sheinkin, Debut Author Kimberly Sabatini, Author Tim Federle and numerous others.

Applications are now being accepted. Click HERE for an application (PDF).

Here is our program:

Saturday
Manuscript and portfolio critiques going on all day!

8:00-8:30am - All Aboard!
8:30am - Welcome from ship's captain
8:45am - Jerry Pinkney Keynote

9:45am
Session 1: An Editor and An Agent Discuss Acquisition; Elise Howard (Algonquin Editor), Jennifer Laughran (agent)
Session 2: The Job of an Art Director; Semdar Megged

11:00am
Session 1: Publishing Nuts and Bolts; Harold Underdown
Session 2: Jerry Pinkney Q & A

12:15pm - Lunch (included in registration) and Autographing
1:30pm - Debut Author Panel; moderated by Kimberly J. Sabatini
2:30pm – Representing Our Work; 2 literary agents and 1 illustrator rep discuss the business
3:45pm - Steve Sheinkin Keynote

5:00pm - Dinner on your own
7:00pm - Dessert Café with Elizabeth Bird Keynote

Sunday Intensives
9:00-11:00am
Choose one!

Harold Underdown (Editor and Author The Idiots Guide to Children’s Publishing); Managing Your Career In A Changing Market; for PAL and advanced members

Kendra Levin (Editor, Viking); Meet Your Characters: How Motivation Drives Story

Semedar Megged (Art Director, Philomel); Portfolio Examination and Discussion (Bring your portfolio)

11:30am - Disembark!

Register now! Deadline for critiques is August 15th!

Falling Leaves Master Class 2013: Novels -- November 15-17, 2013

Falling Leaves 2012

It's time again to send your application in for our 2013 Falling Leaves Master Class Retreat! Our theme this year is NOVELS! And we will again be at the beautiful Silver Bay on Lake George in New York.

We are hosting five terrific editors, including Kathy Dawson (Kathy Dawson Books), Michelle Poploff (Delecorte), Katherine Jacobs (Roaring Brook), Mallory Kass (Scholastic), and another TBA. Our retreat is small, allowing for a maximum of 35 attendees and 5 editors. And participation is contingent upon application and writing sample.

If you write longer works of fiction, this is the retreat for you!

Applications are now being accepted. Click HERE for an application (PDF). Come join us for a weekend filled with inspiration, community and education!

Falling Leaves Master Class on Nonfiction Proves To Be One Of The Best Retreats Yet!

Our 2012 Falling Leaves Master Class Retreat held November 9-11, 2012 at the beautiful Silver Bay on Lake George in New York focused solely on nonfiction.

Just listen to our attendees:

"I am old enough to be a veteran of many children writers' conferences and I must say that this one was GRRRREAT! Silver Bay's a beautiful setting...the perfect physical retreat...the air so fresh and pungent, that every time I walked outside I thought, ahhh, I'm breathing again...it was not just automatic. The editors were second to none. They were eager to talk, to share, to listen to your questions, they were THERE! How much better could it get??"

"And what a pleasure to meet folks in person - now I have a face to put with the names on the NF for Kids list and the blogs I visit."

"Every part of it was substantive, from the editors' presentations and gracious approachability, to networking and interaction opportunities. An energizing weekend, for sure!"

 

Lights, Camera, Action! Master Class on Plot featuring Award-winning Senior Editor Cheryl Klein (Loudonville, NY) -- October 13, 2012

We are overjoyed to announce our 2012 Master Class on Plot to be held October 13, 2012 at The Crossings of Colonie in Loudonville, NY.

2012 Master Class on Plot

In this intensive workshop, Cheryl Klein will help us get our plot gears moving in the right direction! With only 50 spots available, registration is now full; however, we are still accepting applications that will be added to a wait-list.

You must have a middle grade or young adult novel completed and ready to revise! Cheryl will provide homework for us to complete on our manuscripts before the workshop. Registration is limited to ensure a great experience for all attendees.

Registration is full, though we are accepting applications for our wait-list. Click HERE for an application (PDF).

 

First Things First: First Pages Event (Hyde Park, NY) -- March 10, 2012

The First Things First: First Pages Event was held on Saturday, March 10, 2012 in Hyde Park, New York.

Click here for the brochure and registration form (in printable PDF format).

 

Falling Leaves 2011: Master Class Retreat (Silver Bay, NY) -- November 4-6, 2011

We are pleased to announce our 2011 Falling Leaves Master Class Retreat to be held November 4-6, 2011 at the beautiful Silver Bay on Lake George in New York. This year's theme focuses on picture books, both fiction and nonfiction.

Falling Leaves 2011

We are hosting five wonderful editors: Kate Fletcher (Candlewick), Dianne Hess (Scholastic), Sylvie Frank (Holiday House), Marilyn Brigham (Marshall Cavendish) and Kelly Smith (Sterling). Each participant will receive a one-on-one 25-minute critique of their submitted manuscript from one of these editors. In addition, each editor will provide a hands-on workshop and writing exercises in the evenings.

New this year, with help from an SCBWI grant for illustration programming, we have added Associate Art Director, Katrina Damkoehler from Sterling to offer our author/illustrators the opportunity for portfolio critiques!

This is bound to be a fantastic weekend!

Note that registration is now closed.

 

Mid-Hudson Valley Conference (Fishkill, NY) -- June 11, 2011

Out of the Box

The 15th annual Mid-Hudson Valley Conference will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2011 in Fishkill, New York. Writers and illustrators are encouraged to register soon, as space is limited (and fills up quickly!). Click here for the brochure and registration form (in printable PDF format).

REGISTRATION:
For more information about our faculty and the sessions they will be presenting, please view the brochure (PDF). All are welcome to register, though a $10 savings is available to SCBWI members.

REGISTRATION DEADLINES:
Registration is due by June 1, 2011, though if you are also requesting a critique, your deadline is May 1, 2011.

Discounted accommodations are available until May 17, 2011 (or until sold out!).

Falling Leaves 2010: Master Class Retreat (Silver Bay, NY) -- November 12-14, 2010

Our 2010 Falling Leaves Master Class Retreat was held November 12-14, 2010 at the beautiful Silver Bay on Lake George in New York.

The event featured five wonderful editors: Kendra Levin (Viking), Wendy Loggia (Delacorte), Noa Wheeler (Holt), Mary Kate Castellani (Walker), and Julie Tibbott (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). See them all in the picture below (left). On the right are editors Kendra Levin and Noa Wheeler taking a cocoa break.

 

Mid-Hudson Valley Conference (Poughkeepsie, NY) -- June 12, 2010

2010

artwork by Peter McCarty

Making Connections

The 14th annual Mid-Hudson Valley Conference was held on Saturday, June 12, 2010 in Poughkeepsie, New York.

FACULTY:
Our faculty were: Eve Adler, an associate editor with Henry Holt Books for Young Readers; Dianne Hess, executive editor at Scholastic Books; award-winning author/illustrator, Peter McCarty; award-winning author/illustrator, Emily Arnold McCully; Mary Watson, creative director of Shenanigan Books; and award-winning author, Ellen Wittlinger.

ADDITIONAL CRITIQUE STAFF:
Connie Hsu, assistant editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Martha Mihalick, associate editor at Greenwillow Books; Kelly Smith, senior editor at Sterling Publishing; and Pete Watson, editor-in-chief of Shenanigan Books.

Falling Leaves 2009: Picture Books Master Class (Silver Bay, NY) -- November 13-15, 2009

Falling Leaves 2009

The SCBWI Eastern NY chapter offered a successful Falling Leaves Master Class Retreat held at the beautiful Silver Bay on Lake George in New York. This year's theme was picture books!

We had five wonderful editors: Alexandra Cooper from Simon & Schuster; Ruta Rimas from Balzar & Bray (Harper Collins); Liz Waniewski from Dial Books for Young Readers; Erica Zappy from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children; and Rotem Moscovich from Cartwheel/Scholastic.

Each participant received a one-on-one 25-minute critique from one of these editors. In addition, each editor provided a hands-on workshop and writing exercises in the evenings.

After a wine and cheese reception and dinner on Friday, we enjoyed workshops by Alexandra (What is a Picture Book?) and Ruta (What Makes a Book Great?). On Saturday evening, Rotem and Erica gave a show-and-tell presentation on Picture Book Aesthetics, which captured the attention of all. Liz dove into the business side of things with her presentation. And since the weather didn't cooperate for our bonfire, we stayed in Watson around the fireplace for cocoa and cookies!

We sat down in groups without the editors on Saturday morning for group critiques with fellow writers. And we finished out the weekend with a round-table discussion led by the editors Sunday morning.




Our outstanding editors: Liz Waniewski, Rotem Moscovich, Erica Zappy, Ruta Rimas, and Alexandra Cooper

Mid-Hudson Valley Conference (Poughkeepsie, NY) -- June 13, 2009

Artwork by Kyra Teis

Children's Books, Note by Note

The SCBWI Eastern NY chapter held its 13th annual Mid-Hudson Valley Conference on Saturday, June 13, 2009 in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Thank you to all who attended!

FACULTY:
We were overjoyed with the diversity of our participants! They made the conference both memorable and informative. Our faculty included: Eleni Beja, an editor with Holiday House Books for Young People; Lisa Graff, associate editor with Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers; award-winning author, Alan Katz; award-winning author, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel; Laurent Linn, art director with Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers; Newbery Medal-winning author, Linda Sue Park; and artist and writer, Kyra Teis.

Additional critique staff included: Tracy Marchini, an agent's assistant at Curtis Brown, Ltd.; Alexandra Penfold, associate editor with Paula Wiseman Books at Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers; and Meredith Mundy Wasinger, senior editor with Sterling Publishing.

Scroll up this page to view information about our upcoming 2010 conference!

Falling Leaves: A Novel-Writing Master Class (Silver Bay, NY) -- November 21-23, 2008

Falling Leaves

The SCBWI Eastern NY chapter is excited to report on the success of its first Novel-Writing Master Class, a weekend of writing and inspiration with both authors and editors held in beautiful Silver Bay on Lake George in New York. Please see pictures below!

We had 35 people attend and a waiting list. Participants were selected based on their 20-page manuscript submissions.

We had five wonderful editors: Alexandra Penfold of Paula Wiseman, Jennifer Yoon of Candlewick, Sarah Shumway of Harper, Elizabeth Law of Egmont, and Caroline Abbey of Bloomsbury. Each participant received a one-on-one 25-minute critique from one of these editors. And each editor provided a hands-on workshop and writing exercises in the evenings.

After dinner on Friday, we had a workshop on Building Character with Alexandra and Jennifer. On Saturday evening, Elizabeth provided a First 2 Page critique session for half of the group, while the other half enjoyed an exercise on Voice with Caroline and a Pitch and Package session with Alexandra.

We sat down in groups without the editors on Saturday morning for group critiques with fellow writers, and we finished out the weekend with a round-table discussion with the editors Sunday morning.

Feedback from Attendees

"The weekend was awe inspiring. My novel had a real ah-ha moment. I'd do it again in a heartbeat." ---Syrl Kazlo

"I am so glad to be a SCBWI member and was doubly honored to attend this special weekend. My critique group floored me with the quality and variety of their writings. I will never forget Saturday morning's critique session. The hours flew by and we left so charged, it did feel 'magical.' I was amazed at the quality of the writing I heard read out loud by each writer. I am usually a nervous public speaker, but I wasn't that morning. The editors were so informative, approachable, and nice to talk with. I enjoyed their sessions and learned a lot about publishing and our craft. All of my time spent at Lake George felt special. The memories created at Silver Bay will always be cherished by this writer." ---Laurie Treacy


Editors: Alexandra Penfold, Caroline Abbey, Sarah Shumway, Elizabeth Law, and Jennifer Yoon


Author Pamela Ross finding inspiration


Critique groups sharing their work in the Watson Art Center


One of the wonderful fireplaces in the main Inn to gather and share


Our beautiful view of Lake George from the Silver Bay porch