SCBWI Utah/Southern Idaho Spring Conference – 2018

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Date(s) - 04/20/2018 - 04/21/2018
5:00 pm

Madison Library District Community Room
73 N Center St - Rexburg, ID 83440




April 20 & 21, 2018

* * * 

SCBWI Utah/Southern Idaho Spring Conference

with special guests:

Abigail Samoun, Agent/Co-founder, Red Fox Literary

Lisa Wheeler, Author

To propose a general track presentation for our spring conference, please click here.


Please join us for our Spring conference located in Rexburg, Idaho.

Friday evening’s schedule will include a social and keynote addresses by agent Abigail Samoun and award-winning children’s author Lisa Wheeler.

Saturday’s schedule will feature a book signing and three day-long tracks: Picture Book, Novel and General.

Manuscript consultations will also be available. Please click here for guidelines, cost and submission information.


Conference Schedule

Friday, April 20th, 2018

5:00 PM Registration

5:30 PM Lisa Wheeler Keynote

6:15 PM Abigail Samoun Keynote

7:00 PM Social


Saturday, April 21st, 2018

8:00 AM Registration

8:30 AM Picture Book Track – Lisa Wheeler, Novel Track – Abigail Samoun, General Track – General Track Faculty

12:20 PM Lunch

1:20 PM Author Panel

2:20 PM Picture Book Track – Lisa Wheeler, Novel Track – Abigail Samoun, General Track – General Track Faculty

5:30 PM Book Signing

For a detailed schedule of the tracks, please click here.


Track Information

Picture Book Track:

Picture Book Boot Camp with Lisa Wheeler

Does your fiction feel flabby?

Are your sentences sagging?

Does your happily-ever-after seem long-ago-and-far-away?

If so, it is time to pump up those pages and exercise your editing power!

Award-winning children’s author, Lisa Wheeler, will help you strengthen your picture book writing.

You’ll learn to:

Trim the fat!

Cut unnecessary word-calories!

Add muscle to your manuscripts!

This workshop teaches participants how to develop a lean, muscular body of work.

Click here for a detailed schedule.


Novel Track:

Novel Workshop with Abigail Samoun*

Spend a day with agent Abigail Samoun in this novel workshop. This class will include group critiques,

two presentations and a Q&A. Each participant will also receive a written critique from Abigail

on a synopsis and ten pages of a novel. This class will be limited to ten attendees.

Click here for a detailed schedule.

*​An additional fee applies to this track.

Submission Instructions:

Novel track participants should e-mail one word document that includes a cover letter, synopsis and ten manuscript pages to Kim at kimmikit at gmail dot com by MARCH 26, 2018.

Please use the subject line “Rexburg Conference Novel Track Submission” and name your document: TITLE-YOUR NAME-NOVELTRACK. Format manuscripts in 12-point Times New Roman with the text double-spaced. Following these guidelines will save us loads of time and make us smile!


General Track:

Listen to a variety of speakers discuss topics related to the world of young adult and children’s literature.

Presenters include authors J. Scott Savage, Kristen Tracy, Jessica Day George, Lindsey Leavitt and Shauna Holyoak.

Click here for a detailed schedule.











Abigail Samoun, Keynote Speaker and Novel Track Faculty

Before co-founding Red Fox Literary, LLC with Karen Grencik in 2011, ABIGAIL SAMOUN was an in-house children’s book editor for over ten years. Her books received such honors as the CCBC Charlotte Zolotow award, the New York Public Library Ezra Jack Keats award, the SCBWI Golden Kite, and the Pura Belpre Honor. As an agent, Abigail now represents authors and illustrators working in a range of genres, from board books to young adult novels. Her clients include author/illustrator Hannah Harrison whose debut, Extraordinary Jane, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and School Library Journal. Harrison’s picture book was Red Fox’s first project to go to auction. Fellow clients Chris Pallace and Kevin Serwacki wrote and illustrated Joey and Johnny, the Ninjas, an illustrated middle-grade series that received four offers before being bought by Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer&Bray.

In addition to agenting, Abigail is the author of several children’s books, including Sterling Publishing’s Little Traveler board book series illustrated by Red Fox’s own Sarah Watts.

Abigail likes to organize her library according to which authors would get along well together (the Brontes next to George Elliot, Lois Lowry next to Margaret Atwood). She lives in Sonoma, California with her entomologist husband, two dogs, a gaggle of chickens, and a curious little boy named Tristan.


Lisa Wheeler, Keynote Speaker and Picture Book Track Faculty

Lisa Wheeler is the award-winning author of over 40 children’s books including People Don’t Bite People, Even Monsters Need to Sleep and the popular Dino-Sports series. Lisa’s book, The Christmas Boot, was the SCBWI 2017 SCBWI Golden Kite Award winner for Picture Book Text. Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum is the 2017 Michigan Reads! One Book, One State Children’s Book Program recipient. Her awards include The Michigan Mitten, Texas Bluebonnet, and the Theodore Geisel Honor given by the American Library Association. Lisa shares her Michigan home with some terrific characters–one husband, one dog, a librarian daughter, and an assortment of anthropomorphic characters. Check out Lisa’s website at:


J. Scott Savage

J. Scott Savage, General Track Faculty

J Scott Savage is the author of 18 published novels ranging from children’s fantasy to adult mystery. His books have received starred Kirkus and PW reviews,  Jr. Library Guild Selection, a Whitney award and other recognition. He has published with Harper, Shadow Mountain, Deseret Book, Covenant, and self-published. He is represented by Michael Bourret of Dystel Goderich & Bourret. You can find his website here.


kristen tracy

Kristen Tracy, General Track Faculty

My name is Kristen Tracy and I write books for young readers and teenagers and sometimes people older than that. I grew up in Idaho in a very small town and now I live in Los Angeles. If you know me, we could’ve met in Montpelier, Vermont or Kalamazoo, Michigan, or Providence, Rhode Island or San Francisco because I’ve lived in those places too. Or we might have met at a bus stop or in an aerobics class or Transylvania. I chat with strangers all the time.


Jessica Day George, General Track Faculty

Jessica is a New York Times bestselling author, and received the 2007 Whitney Award for Best Book by a New Author for Dragon Slippers. Her books and current published series include the Princess series, the Dragon Slipper series, and the Castle Glower series, as well as the stand-alone book Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. Originally from Idaho, she now resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and three young children.


Lindsey Leavitt

Lindsey Leavitt, General Track Faculty

Lindsey Leavitt is the author of over a dozen books for kids, tweens, and teens, including COMMANDER IN CHEESE, THE PAGES BETWEEN US, & GOING VINTAGE. She is a former elementary school teacher and present-day writer/mom/speaker/party animal (not to be confused with her spirit animal, which is a lion). A graduate of BYU, Lindsey uses her teaching background to present to hundreds of schools across the nation. Lindsey lives in a shoe with her many children in the Utah mountains.


Shauna Holyoak, General Track Faculty 
Really, all you need to know about Shauna Holyoak is that she could totally subsist on frosted sugar cookies, movie-theater popcorn, and dirty Diet Cokes. And all the books. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a master’s degree in English Literature with an emphasis in creative writing. For about ten years she wrote a humor column for the local paper in which she routinely humiliated all her children (and, occasionally, her husband). She currently writes middle-grade and young adult fiction in Idaho Falls, Idaho where she lives with her husband, six of her seven children and two naughty dogs. Her debut novel, My Paper Route and Other Deadly Things, will be published by Disney-Hyperion in spring, 2019.

Additional faculty to be announced.

Please check back for details.