Thank you for registering!

This is the page where you can access all conference sessions – please do not share it with anyone who has not registered for the conference.

To access each session, click on the link showing the time for that session (for instance, 11:15 – 12:00 Eastern). Following each live session, the link will change from Zoom (for the live session) to YouTube (for the recording of that session) once the recording is available

Please note: all times are Eastern; end times are approximateMost conference sessions are recorded.

All sessions can be viewed at the times indicated below, or at anytime through January 22, 2021.

All times and sessions are subject to change

If you would like to sign up for 1-on-1 meetings with selected speakers, you can do so by clicking here. These private meetings are informal 20-minute “get to know you” meetings where writers can convey information about their project and ask questions. They are NOT manuscript review sessions, and the speakers are under no obligation to follow up with you after your meeting. The cost of each meeting is $30 and is non-refundable. The supply of meetings for each speaker is limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please do not sign up for more than 3 meetings. 

If you would like to sign up for an elevator pitch critique session with an editor or agent you can do so by clicking here. In these optional one-hour sessions you and a group of up to 5 other attendees will have the opportunity to deliver a short introduction and elevator pitch, and receive feedback from an editor or agent. The editor/agent has no obligation to follow up with you after the sessions. Separate $25 registration fee required. Attendees can sign up for only one critique session. 

If you would like to sign up for an Open mic reading (Thursday May 13 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM Eastern) you may do so here.

If you are interested in the Children’s Book Manuscript Critique Service, you can learn more here.

If you would like to submit a pitch to any of the agents or editors participating in the conference, please email it to brian@writingforyourlife.com no later than December 18, 2021 and let me know to whom I should forward your email.

Don’t forget to check out our Bookstore! There you can learn about many children’s books as well as recommended books on writing, marketing, and getting published.

Bonus presentation!

  • Jennifer Grant: “So…You Wanna Write a Picture Book!”
    • We loved them as children and—even though we might not admit it—picture books are still some of our favorite books to read. Many of us also secretly dream of writing for kids but we have no idea where to begin. How many words or pages long are picture books? What are the different kinds of picture books? Can I illustrate my own work? Must my story have a happy ending? What are editors looking for? How hard can it be to write one? In this session, Jennifer Grant (award-winning author of three picture books, with several more launching over the next few years) will introduce the genre, cover the basics, talk through examples of some of her favorite books for kids, and share resources to help you as you venture into children’s literature.

Monday October 18 

  • 9:00 – 9:30 Eastern: Worship service – Rev. Traci Smith – learn more about Traci here
  • 9:30 – 10:15 Eastern: Linda Howard (Tyndale House) presentation – learn more about Linda here
  • 10:15 – 11:00 Eastern: Linda Howard (Tyndale House)Q&A
  • 11:15 – 12:00 Eastern: Sharon Norris Elliott (literary agent) presentation “I Wrote the Book, Isn’t That All I Have to Do?” – learn more about Sharon here
    • You’ve spent countless hours writing, editing, rewriting, and discussing your book with critique groups. Once that final manuscript sounds perfect, you’re finished when you hand it to your agent or a publisher, right? Not so fast! Attend this presentation offered by multi-published author and literary agent Sharon Ellliott, to discover the rest of your responsibilities on your journey to becoming a published children’s author.
  • 12:00 – 12:45 Eastern: Sharon Norris Elliott (literary agent) Q&A
  • 1:00 – 1:45 Eastern: Networking Lunch Break – an unmoderated, informal time for you to chat with other conference attendees
  • 2:00 – 3:00 Eastern: Panel 1: Celebrating diversity in children’s books
  • 3:15 – 4:00 Eastern: Xochitl Dixon presentation “Mastering Story Blocks” – learn more about Xochitl here
    • Master the ten essential story blocks necessary in building a solid foundation for a great children’s book. Be equipped to craft an idea into a first draft, add depth through the revision process, and prayerfully work as you wait to hear back from potential publishers.
  • 4:00 – 4:45 Eastern: Xochitl Dixon Q&A
  • 5:00 – 5:30 Eastern: Progressive Christian Children’s Ministry Resources Project
    • Learn more about this new Compassionate Christianity project, the goal of which is to assemble, vet, and make conveniently accessible recommended progressive books and resources for use by children’s and youth ministry leaders, pastors, volunteers, Sunday School teachers, and parents.
  • 5:45 – 6:15 Eastern: Kathleen Long Bostrom: book reading and Q&A – learn more about Kathleen here

Tuesday October 19

  • 8:45 – 9:15 Eastern: Book interview and Q&A with Andy Rogers for his new book “The Kids Guide to Exploring the Bible” – learn more about Andy here
  • 9:30 – 10:15 Eastern: Glenys Nellist Presentation – “The Many and Marvelous Ways to Market Your Children’s Book” – learn more about Glenys here
  • 10:15 – 11:00 Eastern: Glenys NellistQ&A
  • 11:15 – 12:00 Eastern: Roger Hutchison presentation –“Alternatives to Traditional Publishing” – learn more about Roger here
  • 12:00 – 12:45 Eastern: Roger Hutchison Q&A
  • 12:45 – 2:00 Eastern: Break
  • 2:00 – 2:30 Eastern: Book Tolk – capitalizing on the trending BookTok phenomenon where TikTok users offer book recommendations, Bethanie Baker Henderson invites you to show-n-tell about your published Christian children book or present and recommend another one of your favorites. Come with a book and be prepared to share!
  • 3:15 – 4:00 Eastern: Jennifer Grant presentation: “Let’s Dig Deeper: Approaching Children’s Books Like a Literary Critic” – learn more about Jennifer here
    • Referencing sources including The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Literature and Words about Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children’s Picture Books, author Jennifer Grant asserts that by thinking like literary critics, we can write deeper, more engaging, and more culturally-relevant stories for kids. She’ll look at why some books (Where the Wild Things AreThe Cat in the HatCharlotte’s Web, and The Snowy Day, among them) are included in the “canon” of American kidlit classics and how stories like those truly changed American culture. What children’s books are changing culture today? How can we think like literary critics and unleash our imaginations at the same time? This lively presentation will inspire you to take your work–and children’s literature in general–even more seriously.
  • 4:00 – 4:45 Eastern: Jennifer Grant Q&A
  • 5:00 – 5:45 Eastern: Michele McAvoy (Little Press Publishing) presentation “Get That Devil Off Your Shoulder! – Conquer Imposter Syndrome & Self Doubt to Create for Kids.” – learn more about Michele here
  • 5:45 – 6:30 Eastern: Michele McAvoy (Little Press Publishing) Q&A

Wednesday October 20

  • 9:30 – 10:15 Eastern: Dorena Williamson presentation ​“The power and possibility in writing for children” – learn more about Dorena here
  • 10:15 – 11:00 Eastern: Dorena WilliamsonQ&A
  • 11:15 – 12:00 Eastern: ​Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich presentation “Ways of Seeing” – learn more about Olugbemisola here
    • Revision is often where we discover the heart of a story, how we shape and reshape it, and where we might see it in unexpected ways. In this workshop we will discuss specific strategies that we use in our own work, such as storyboarding and “relentless interrogation”, and engage in a conversation on some of the challenges and solutions in the revision process, and leave time for participants to discuss how they might apply some of the strategies to their own stories.
  • 12:00 – 12:45 Eastern: ​Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich Q&A
  • 1:00 – 2:00 Eastern: What Do You Need As A Writer? – this informal conversation is an opportunity for you to share and discuss the most important kinds of support you need as a writer
  • 2:15 – 2:45 Eastern: Michael W. Waters: book reading and Q&A – learn more about Michael here
  • 3:00 – 4:00 Eastern: Panel 2: Editors discuss children’s book needs
  • 4:15 – 5:00 Eastern: Nicole Tadgell (Illustrator) presentation “An artist’s bookmaking Journey” – learn more about Nicole here
    • Explore a peek beyond the cover. Join Nicole Tadgell with an in-depth look behind the scenes. From research, sketches, edits and color, Nicole will explore her bookmaking process for a rare look from an artist’s perspective.
  • 5:00 – 5:45 Eastern: Nicole Tadgell (Illustrator)Q&A

Thursday October 21

  • 8:45 – 9:15 Eastern: “How to Heal Our Divides” – book discussion with Brian Allain – learn more about Brian here
    • Our country has become quite polarized – what do we do about it? Recent times have put a spotlight on the deep divisions in our society. Much has been written that acknowledges and describes racial, political, religious, and other divides, but there is little practical information on what we can do about them. How to Heal Our Divides highlights organizations that are taking real action to address these issues and heal divides in effective and practical ways. See how you can help make the world a better place.
  • 9:30 – 10:15 Eastern: ​Karen Neumair (literary agent) presentation “Proposals Publishers Love” – learn more about Karen here
    • Senior Literary Agent Karen Neumair teams up with aspiring authors to put together the perfect presentation for their project and give them a sneak peek at proposals that sell.
  • 10:15 – 11:00 Eastern: Karen Neumair (literary agent)Q&A
  • 11:15 – 12:00 Eastern: Maila Kim (Intervarsity Press) presentation “Marketing 101: An Inside Look Into Children’s Book Marketing” – learn more about Maila here
    • You wrote the book, now how do you get readers to learn about it? Get an inside look behind the book marketing process. We’ll cover an overall timeline of when you should start thinking about promoting your book and will offer practical steps you can take today to set your book up for marketing success.
  • 12:00 – 12:45 Eastern: Maila Kim (Intervarsity Press)Q&A
  • 12:45 – 2:00 Eastern: Break
  • 2:00 – 2:30 Eastern: Book reading and Q&A with Emily Assell – learn more about Emily here
  • 3:00 – 4:00 Eastern: Open mic
  • 4:15 – 5:00 Eastern: Bunmi Ishola (Penguin Random House) presentation – learn more about Bunmi here
  • 5:00 – 5:45 Eastern: Bunmi Ishola (Penguin Random House)Q&A

Friday October 22

  • 9:45 – 10:15 Eastern: “Where can you learn more about the craft of writing?” – a discussion led by Stephanie Carter (Teleion Books) – learn more about Stephanie here
  • 10:30 – 11:00 Eastern: Book launch interview with Ruth Goring for “Isaiah and the Worry Pack” – learn more about Ruth here
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Eastern: TBA
  • 12:30 – 1:45 Eastern: Networking Lunch Break – an unmoderated, informal time for you to chat with other conference attendees
  • 2:00 – 3:00: Elevator pitch critique groups – Karen Neumair, Linda Howard, Sharon Elliott
  • 3:00 – 4:00: Elevator pitch critique groups – Bunmi Ishola

All times and sessions are subject to change