Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Together: A Welcome Back Fall Retreat

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Date(s) - 09/15/2022 - 09/18/2022
4:00 pm

Norbertine Abbey
5825 Coors Blvd. SW - Albuquerque, NM 87121-6700


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Space is filing up for this working retreat. Reserve your spot now!

You can look forward to:

  • a quiet working weekend with time together to reflect on the past few years and to make plans as we journey into the future
  • fantastic speakers
  • an optional night on Thursday, September 15, with a working day Friday
  • peer critique time
  • private rooms with desks for working
  • catered meals.



Our location is the beautiful Norbertine Abbey south of Albuquerque. The quiet campus will give you a peaceful place to write, draw, think, and plan. You will enjoy a private room with a desk, WiFi, hiking trails, and beautiful views. Linens will be provided. For more information, visit


Members: 2-night stay, plus four meals, $265

Members: 3-night stay, plus four meals, $335


For Covid safety, we are asking for proof of vaccination or a three day in advance PCR test. By registering, you acknowledge that neither SCBWI, SCBWI-NM, nor any member of the SCBWI-NM regional team can be held liable for any illnesses contracted during our Together retreat.

We are also adding a fabulous drawing for individuals who provide a voluntary three-day advance PCR Covid test. This will add a layer of security to all who attend.

For more information, contact Lisa Honeycutt, your SCBWI-NM Assistant Regional Advisor, at 


How Kid’s Lit Books are Awarded

After serving on the Newbery committee twice, the Caldecott committee once, and now in her fourth year on the Ezra Jack Keats award committee, Vaunda Nelson will discuss how books are chosen for literary awards.


photo © Drew Nelson

Creating Compelling Characters

Caroline Starr Rose will be joining us to discuss creating compelling characters! This discussion will help you better understand your character and will be helpful for the picture book to adult writer.


Tools for Fast-Paced Plotting

Chris Eboch will share what she learned while ghostwriting some famous young sleuths, from “grab you by the throat” openings to cliffhanger chapter endings and always more, more, more action. Now learn how you can use these techniques to make any sto

ry or book better.

and Chris will lead a MG/YA Critique Group


Picture Book Critique Group Led by Laurel Goodluck


SCBWI NM Equity & Inclusion Team Informal Brainstorm Session

There is a huge gap in diverse representation in children’s literature. Help us brainstorm actions SCBWI-NM can take to attract and support our diverse writers and illustrators so they can tell their lives and stories. Let’s work together to ensure that every child sees themselves in a book.

Visit or @lauriegoodluck via Instagram and Twitter.

Round Table Discussion: The book has sold. Now what do I do?

Join SCBWI-NM authors Vaunda Nelson, Caroline Starr Rose, Chris Eboch, Khadijah VanBrakle and Laurel Goodluck as they discuss publishing issues around contracts, marketing, school visits, book launches and much more.

The Art of Self-defense

One of our longtime members, Khadijah VanBrakle, is offering a self-defense class for all interested attendees at the retreat. Nothing too intense…just basic skills will be taught. She has a first degree Black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and two forms of Karate. Currently, Khadijah is studying Iaido, the war of the samurai sword.