Panel:  Kidlit - Writing & Publishing Literature for Kids - Culver City, CA
7:30 PM19:30

Panel: Kidlit - Writing & Publishing Literature for Kids - Culver City, CA

It’s a Different World Out There

Have you been considering writing for young audiences — whether picture books, chapter books, middle grade, or Young Adult (YA)?

Public radio veteran Kitty Felde will moderate and join a panel of professionals who will talk about this important niche in the publishing world and answer your questions.

When it comes to writing and being published, what’s the difference between picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and Young Adult (YA)?

Topics include:

  • Do you need to draw your own illustrations?

  • What are the trends?

  • Do you need an agent to get published as a children’s author — and what about self-publishing?

  • How do you market a children’s book?

  • What reviews are important?

  • What are libraries’ role in kidlit publishing?

  • What’s SCBWI?

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Historical Novel Society Conference - Oxon Hill, MD
to Jun 22

Historical Novel Society Conference - Oxon Hill, MD

  • Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join me for two fascinating panels at the annual Historical Novel Society Conference!

Friday, June 21, 2019

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

MUST WE ALWAYS SING THE BLUES? Missing Chapters from the African American Experience. [Denny S. Bryce, Piper Huguley, Dolen Perkins-Valdez; Moderator: Sherri L. Smith]

After the TV remake of Roots, rapper Snoop Dogg took to social media, saying, “They just want to keep showing the abuse we took hundreds and hundreds of years ago… When y’all gonna make a movie about the success we’re having?” The overriding narrative in African American historical fiction has always been slavery—but there are many more stories to be told! Join moderator Sherri L. Smith (Flygirl), book reviewer Denny S. Bryce (NPR, Washington Independent Review of Books), and two of the most exciting African American voices in historical fiction today—Piper Huguley (Migrations of the Heart series), and Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Balm)—as we discuss the vibrant missing chapters in Black history. (Room: Woodrow Wilson D)

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

BEYOND ROSIE THE RIVETER: How Female Heroines Are Revolutionizing World War II Fiction. [Kerri Maher, Jennifer Robson, Sherri L. Smith, Kip Wilson; moderator: Greer Macallister]

World War II once brought to mind soldiers, the Holocaust, and women in factories. Important as those stories are, a new generation of novels set during WWII with women in the leading roles are shedding new light on the lives of a diverse array of people living though this rich and complicated time—in America and abroad. This panel brings together YA and adult novelists, one novel-in-verse, and both real-life and fictional heroines: German resistance fighters (Wilson’s White Rose), Americans in London (Robson’s Goodnight from London and Maher’s Kennedy Debutante), African-American pilots, and Japanese-Americans (Smith’s Flygirl and forthcoming Pearl). (Room: Woodrow Wilson C)

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CLASS:  Tips and Tricks for Public Readings - Writing Workshops LA, Los Angeles, CA
to Jun 9

CLASS: Tips and Tricks for Public Readings - Writing Workshops LA, Los Angeles, CA

Los Feliz
One Weekend
Saturday, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm &
Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 pm
June 8 and 9, 2019

Are you a writer who hates public speaking? Does your voice shake? Do your palms sweat? Are you afraid of standing up in front of people and droning on and on . . . or speaking too quickly . . . or too softly? Join the club! Over the course of one weekend, we’ll help you learn the tips and tricks to reading in front of a crowd. This two-day event will walk you through the basics of what to wear, what to read, how to read it, and how to possibly even have fun while doing it.  

On Saturday, we’ll meet to pick a good excerpt, cover all the basics of a successful performance, and practice reading in front of each other. On Sunday, we’ll put our skills to the test with a (drumroll, please) public reading! Invite your friends and fellow writers, dry your palms off, and put on your best duds. We’ll meet up at a venue to show off what you’ve learned and, most importantly, what you’ve written. 

This seminar is open to students of all levels with something available to read. The first meeting will be held in Los Feliz where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served. The Sunday reading will be held in a private room at Bar Covell in Los Feliz (21 and over).

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$150 for all students

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CANCELLED - Are You There, God? It’s Me Again: Coming-of-Age Stories for Every Age: 4-Week Webinar with Sherri L. Smith
10:00 AM10:00

CANCELLED - Are You There, God? It’s Me Again: Coming-of-Age Stories for Every Age: 4-Week Webinar with Sherri L. Smith

SIgn up for this online course with the International Women’s Writing Guild!

4 Mondays: April 8, 15, 22, 29

1:00–2:30 PM Eastern / 10:00–11:30 AM Pacific

REGISTER even if you can't attend all four sessions "live," because we will promptly email you the recording of each session.

After 40, I began to wonder why Judy Blume, author of the famous Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret—every 80s girl’s guide to puberty—hadn’t written a sequel for the peri- and post- menopausal set. After all, we don’t just come “of age” when we’re teens; it happens at every stage of our lives. In this workshop, we’ll delve into what it means to write coming-of-age stories for Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood, and the Golden Years. We’ll explore myths, rumors, archetypes, and rites-of-passage for each of these stages. Then we’ll mine our own memories and fears to tell the sorts of stories that serve as companions, confidantes, mentors, and friends for readers of every age.

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AWP Conference - Portland, OR
to Mar 30

AWP Conference - Portland, OR

  • Oregon Convention Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Catch my two panels on Thursday, 3/28, or find me at the Goddard College MFAW and Hamline University MFAC booths!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

10:30 am to 11:45 am

C125-126, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1

R158. Surfing the Green Wave: Engaging Environmental & Social Issues for Young Readers. (Shanetia Clark, Todd Mitchell, Eliot Schrefer, Sherri L. Smith, Cecil Castellucci) Stories shape the way we think and act. In this interactive panel, four award-winning middle grade and young adult authors discuss how they've sought to engage wicked problems like climate change, species extinction, and income inequality through fiction. They explore how literature is changing to address new problems, what lies beyond apocalyptic fiction, and the challenges of effectively engaging the generation that's inheriting global problems on an unprecedented scale

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

C125-126, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1

R264. Companioning Loss: The Role of Children’s Books in Difficult Times. (Cecil Castellucci, Sherri L Smith , Carrie Arcos, Swati Avashti, Elizabeth Leung) A young reader writes to an author, “Before I read your book, I thought I was alone.” An author asks, “What book do we write for that child living in the back seat of a dark world?” From death to divorce, books have always helped young people grieve and find the way forward by mirroring and legitimizing their feelings. In these times of heightened crisis, such companionship is needed more than ever. Kid lit authors discuss writing books as witness, bibliotherapy, and lights in the darkness.

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Cavalcade of Authors - Richland, WA
to Mar 23

Cavalcade of Authors - Richland, WA

Join me for two days of book events and workshops!

Friday starts with a signing at Barnes and Noble, followed by an author’s social in the evening. (Tickets to the social are available here.)

Saturday, I’ll be teaching:


After years of trying to perfect my ability to draw horses, it’s clear I’m not an artist. So what if you can’t draw? You can still write comics. Let’s talk about art of comic book writing, including styles of working, how to create a script, and how to break down the action into the stories you want to see.

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