Please note: all times are Eastern; end times are approximate

All sessions can be viewed at the times indicated below, or for 9 months following the conference

All times and sessions are subject to change

For presentation details see this page

Book discussions with each author are an opportunity for you to learn more about our speakers’ books and to ask them questions.

Monday September 21 

  • 8:30 – 9:00 Eastern: Worship
  • 9:00 – 9:45 Eastern: Matthew Paul Turner keynote presentation: “It All Begins With An Idea: How To Dream Up the Very Best Children’s Book Idea… “ – learn more about Matthew here
    • In this opening talk, Matthew Paul Turner will offer insight and inspiration for how to dream up a good book idea. Building off of his own creative processes, Matthew will offer practical tips and personal theories about how to write books for children that they will want to read over and over again.
  • 9:45 – 10:15 Eastern: Matthew Paul Turner Q&R
  • 10:15 – 10:30 Eastern: Break
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Eastern: Dorena Williamson presentation: “Representation Matters: Multiethnic Inclusion in Children’s Books” – learn more about Dorena here
    • Children have an innate curiosity about the diverse people in the world. Yet the lack of multiethnic representation and #ownvoices in publishing has left children unsatisfied and misses a vital opportunity to shape perspective. This session will demonstrate the importance of developing greater representation in children’s books, explore current efforts that promote diversity, and inspire authors to become agents of change.
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Eastern: Dorena Williamson Q&R and book discussion
  • 12:15 – 1:00 Eastern: Break
  • 1:00 – 1:45 Eastern: Sarah Rubio presentation: “Power to the Reader” – learn more about Sarah here
    • In today’s book marketplace, engaged and passionate readers can determine the future of publishing. Readers, learn how to access and capitalize on your power, no matter how little money or free time you have at your disposal. And writers, come for ideas on how to find your audience without losing your soul.
  • 1:45 – 2:45 Eastern: Sarah Rubio Q&R and book discussion
  • 2:45 – 3:00 Eastern: Break
  • 3:00 – 3:45 Eastern: Linda Howard (Tyndale House) presentation:Crafting a Great Book Proposal” – learn more about Linda here
    • You’ve written a book and now you want your “baby” to find a home that will help it grow and flourish. How do you create a book proposal that will attract the attention of an acquisitions team? There are many publishers out there today producing thousands of books per year, and the titles printed represent just a fraction of the proposals received. What are some ways you can make your book stand out? Just as important, how can you tell which publisher is right for your book? Which organization shares your values and message? And once you know who you would like to work with, what is the best way to approach your chosen partner? Join me to get tips for creating a winning proposal and learn how you can make sure you are submitting your work to the right team.
  • 3:45 – 4:45 Eastern: Linda Howard (Tyndale House) Q&R and book discussion
  • 4:45 – 5:15 Eastern: Matthew Paul Turner book discussion and Q&R
  • 5:30 – 6:00 Eastern: Emerging children’s book author series: Xochitl Dixon discusses her book and and answers questions – learn more about Xochitl here

Tuesday September 22

  • 9:00 – 9:45 Eastern: Glenys Nellist key note presentation: “Paving the Way For Wonder” – learn more about Glenys here
    • As nurturers of children, we have the unique opportunity to use our voice, our pen, and our influence to foster their spiritual growth.  Featuring a variety of children’s books, this session will focus on the importance of inviting children into the sacred story and finding themselves there.
  • 9:45 – 10:15 Eastern: Glenys Nellist Q&R
  • 10:15 – 10:30 Eastern: Break
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Eastern: Jennifer Grant presentation: “The Care and Feeding of Your Imagination” – learn more about Jen here
    • Are you feeling restless or burned out in your work? Like you’re in a creative rut? Join author and editor Jennifer Grant for a light-hearted and tip-packed session on getting unstuck and approaching your work with new energy and joy. She will share research-backed and practical best practices that will help renew your sense of purpose (and fun) as you write for children.
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Eastern: Jennifer Grant Q&R and book discussion
  • 12:15 – 1:00 Eastern: Break
  • 1:00 – 1:45 Eastern: Josh Mosey (bookseller perspective) presentation: “Buy Into Reading: 6 Bookstore Tactics to Create Lifelong Readers” – learn more about Josh here
    • Whose livelihood depends on connecting readers with the right books? Booksellers! Step behind the counter with former children’s product buyer, Josh Mosey, and learn the six secrets necessary to personal success in an age of impersonal online shopping. From understanding the shopper to creating memories to incentivizing reading, this presentation will equip readers, writers, educators, and librarians with the tools necessary to fan the flame of book love into a lifelong inferno.
  • 1:45 – 2:45 Eastern: Josh Mosey Q&R and book discussion
  • 2:45 – 3:00 Eastern: Break
  • 3:00 – 3:45 Eastern: Jeannette Larson (Flyaway Books) presentation: “Essential Ingredients in Writing for Children” – learn more about Jeannette here
    • You love words. You love kids. You have something to say. As an aspiring or emerging children’s book writer, what’s next? What are the essential ingredients of a good children’s book? What are editors looking for? How do you think about the audience? And where does spiritual curiosity come into it–your own and your reader’s? An editor’s perspective about how to approach the craft of writing for children.
  • 3:45 – 4:45 Eastern: Jeannette Larson (Flyaway Books) Q&R and book discussion
  • 4:45 – 5:15 Eastern: Glenys Nellist book discussion and Q&R
  • 5:30 – 6:00 Eastern: Emerging children’s book author series: Rev. Brenda Seefeldt representing Latif Torres-Robinson – learn more about Brenda and Latif here

Wednesday September 23

  • 8:30 – 9:15 Eastern: Panel 1: “The voice of the customer”
  • 9:30 – 10:15 Eastern: Panel 2: “Celebrating diversity in children’s books”
  • 10:15 – 10:30 Eastern: Break
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Eastern: Roger Hutchison (illustrator/author perspective) presentation: “Finding Your Rhythm as Author and Illustrator” – learn more about Roger here
    • A well-rehearsed dance between a picture book illustrator and author inspires the reader to move from Word to words, from image to reflection. Illustrations are capable of transforming a simple story into an exciting and memorable one. How does this dance look when you are not only the author but also the illustrator? Join picture book author and artist/illustrator Roger Hutchison at his painting table for a lively and potentially messy exploration of how he uses word and color to bring his stories to life. Together we experience God’s imagination as it flows through each of us in art and word.
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Eastern: Roger Hutchison Q&R and book discussion
  • 12:15 – 1:00 Eastern: Break
  • 1:00 – 1:45 Eastern: Kathleen Long Bostrom presentation: “Writing Picture Books as Spiritual Autobiography” – learn more about Kathleen here
    • Newbery Medal winning author Katherine Paterson answers the oft-asked question, “Do you put real people in your books?” with these honest words: “Yes, it’s the same one over and over again: me.” The stories we write for children find deeper authenticity when we tap into our own childhood emotions and memories. Sharing snippets from my books, I’ll show how experiences and emotions weave their way into the stories we tell. We’ll do a few simple and fun!— exercises to discover childhood memories to enhance our writing. In preparation, think about a story, experience, or emotion from your childhood that you can draw upon as together we explore spiritual autobiography as a resource for writing wonderful stories for children.
  • 1:45 – 2:45 Eastern: Kathleen Long Bostrom Q&R and book discussion
  • 2:45 – 3:00 Eastern: Break
  • 3:00 – 3:45 Eastern: Joyce Dinkins (Our Daily Bread Ministries) presentation “Seeing, Knowing, and Being” – learn more about Joyce here
    • Let’s look at experts’ thoughts about imagery, stories, and publishing practices proven to liberate children to realize and retain life-giving truth. How can we “show and tell” the Bible and contemporary lives in positive ways to have a lasting impact on who children are and become? The point is to share research and work from 1987 forward from children’s publishing, pointing out biblical and contemporary imagery that excludes or includes diverse children along with storytellers’ messages that resonate or not.
  • 3:45 – 4:45 Eastern: Joyce Dinkins (Our Daily Bread Ministries) Q&R and book discussion
  • 4:45 – 5:30 Eastern: Panel 3: “How to approach Christianity in children’s books”

Thursday September 24

  • 8:30 – 9:15 Eastern: Helen Kimbrough (AK Classics) presentation: “The Importance of Culturally Diverse Children’s Books and the Demand for More” – learn more about AK Classics here
    • As a parent in my late-20s, I felt a strong desire for my sons to have the same quest and passion for reading like I did. And because they were boys, I knew I needed to be more strategic in how I introduced stories to them. So I journeyed to find books with diverse characters specifically with boys of color, and it was like finding water in a desert. There were books, but so sporadic. I felt like no one thought enough (or fought enough) to publish stories that would relate or connect with them. This void was apparent for other cultural experiences too. In my quest to provide relatable content to children of color, I hone in on what is missing, and I create and publish books that our kids and communities long to see and read–their stories. It is my intention for children and families to interactively engage with one another and make human connections. These connections help broaden individual perspectives that lead to an understanding of one another’s customs, culture,and environment.
  • 9:15 – 10:15 Eastern: Helen Kimbrough (AK Classics)  Q&R and book discussion
  • 10:15 – 10:30 Eastern: Break
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Eastern: Naomi Krueger (Beaming Books) presentation: “Sparking Curiosity and Making Space for Difficult Topics through Children’s Literature”
    • Children have the capacity for much more than we give them credit for. As writers, editors, educators, parents, children’s ministry leaders, and anyone who works with or for children, we must provide content that speaks to kids’ deepest fears, questions, and experiences in our world. Join Naomi Krueger, acquisitions editor at Beaming Books, for a session about taking children seriously and not shying away from deep or difficult topics when writing or reading children’s literature.
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Eastern: Naomi Krueger (Beaming Books) Q&R and book discussion
  • 12:15 – 1:00 Eastern: Break
  • 1:00 – 1:45 Eastern: Jennifer Schaber (children’s ministry perspective) presentation: “Connecting With Your Consumers” – learn more about Jen here
    • Are you curious what children’s ministers and parents look for in children’s books? Are you wondering how to best reach them? What aspects of your work should you highlight to get their attention?  Join Jennifer Schaber for insights and practical tips for connecting with your consumers.
  • 1:45 – 2:45 Eastern: Jennifer Schaber Q&R and book discussion
  • 2:45 – 3:00 Eastern: Break
  • 3:00 – 3:45 Eastern: Panel 4: “Editors discuss children’s book trends”
  • 4:00 – 4: 30 Eastern: Emerging children’s book author series: Lesa Engelthaler and Little Coleman discuss their children’s books and and answers questions – learn more about Lisa here and Little here
  • 4:45 – 5:15 Eastern: Emerging children’s book author series: Ken Winter discusses his book and and answers questions – learn more about Ken here
  • 8:00 – 8:45 Eastern: Panel 5: “Manuscript critique, consulting, and freelance editing for children’s books”

Friday September 25

  • 8:30 – 9:15 Eastern: Lisa Crayton presentation: “Reading, Writing, and Selling Nonfiction for Kids” – learn more about Lisa here
  • 9:15 – 10:15 Eastern: Lisa Crayton Q&R and book discussion
  • 10:15 – 10:30 Eastern: Break
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Eastern: Erin Wasinger (librarian perspective) presentation: “Judging books by their covers (and other elements)” – learn more about Erin here
    • What’s going on in children’s minds as they browse library shelves? What dooms a book to collect dust while another has a waiting list dozens of kids long? Can kids’ books be spiritual and enjoyable? Erin Wasinger will cover research and share observations behind what kids are reading, what she’s recommending, and why. Her perspective is informed by research, her role in a school library, and as a superfan of kids’ lit. Erin will also share her rubric for evaluating books, which she does at Englewood Review of Books and as the preliminary judge in the kids’ and youth category of the Christianity Today book awards.
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Eastern: Erin Wasinger Q&R and book discussion
  • 2:00 Eastern: Rev. Adam Thomas: “Self-Publishing Your Book”
    • Author/editor/designer Adam Thomas takes you on the design journey from manuscript to finished paperback and responds to your questions about independent publishing. Learn more about Adam’s services here.

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