Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2017 SF/South Agents Day

Date(s) - 08/12/2017
8:30 am - 4:15 pm

Embassy Suites by Hilton
250 Gateway Blvd - South San Francisco, CA 94080

$130 EARLYBIRD PRICING for SCBWI members begins JUNE 2, 2017 at 9am and ends JUNE 30, 2017. Prices will go up to $140 on JULY 1, 2017. Registration ends AUGUST 11, 2017.

**All manuscript critique submissions are due by 11:59pm Sunday, June 25th.**

Event Schedule:
Plan to arrive at 8:30 AM for registration. The event will kick off at 9:00 AM and will end at 4:15 PM.

About Agents Day:

Back by popular demand, come join us for our 2017 Agents Day! This is a craft-focused day, featuring top editorial agents in the field of Children’s Literature, as well as former agent Mary Kole, now a freelance editor and consultant, who will speak on the art of writing and revising. We will also offer face-to-face manuscript critiques with the faculty as well as written critiques. Hone your craft, build relationships with peers and professionals in the industry, and gain insights that will inform your agent submissions in the future.

Following Agents Day, our attendees will have the opportunity to submit their work to any of the agents with whom they feel their work is a strong fit. This conference is open to all authors and illustrators, whether already published or not yet published. AVAILABILITY IS LIMITED. Register NOW and give your craft and your career the boost that it deserves.

Hotel Information

There is a hotel discount available for attendees interested in staying at the hotel for the conference. Use discount code AD1 when booking to receive the group rate of $209. To make your reservation:

Directions to Venue Location

Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport
250 Gateway Boulevard,South San Francisco, California, 94080


  • BY CAR: When traveling North on Highway 101: Take Highway 101 North, exit Grand Avenue, turn right on East Grand Avenue, turn left on Gateway Boulevard and the hotel is on the right hand side. Traveling South on Highway 101: Take Highway 101 South, exit Grand Avenue, turn left on Airport Boulevard, turn left on Grand Avenue, turn left on Gateway Boulevard and the hotel is on the right hand side.

  • BY CALTRAIN: The hotel is a 7-minute walk from the South San Francisco Caltrain station


SF/South Agents Day 2017 Agenda 

  • 8:30-8:55am                Registration
  • 9:00-10:30am              Developing Character Interiority Workshop by Mary Kole                                       

No matter what you're writing, you need a compelling character. The best way to connect reader to character is to develop interiority, or their thoughts, feelings, and reactions. But maybe you've been scared away from telling in writing. So how do you do it? Learn a concept for fleshing out your POV character that you can use in every manuscript to make readers care deeply.

  • 10:30-10:45am            Break
  • 10:45-11:45am            Dissecting Opening Pages by Kurestin Armada

Breaking down examples of "the best of the best" opening pages to find that formula for a perfect beginning! How much character development is necessary, how much setup should be woven in, how much world-building do you really need, when to introduce trouble or magic or new words–we'll tackle all of those using examples from picture books, middle grade, and YA.

  • 11:45-12:45pm            Lunch
  • 12:45-1:45pm              Defining & Developing Voice in Your Work by Taylor Martindale Kean

​When developing a project and embarking on the submission process, authors frequently hear that “voice” is a crucial element of a book, that agents and editors are always looking for something with fresh or unique voice. When industry professionals are making decisions on manuscripts, voice is often a huge part of those decisions. It can be a make-or-break element of a book, regardless of category or genre. But what IS voice? In this session, we will answer that question, define the elements of voice that make books successful and effective, and share tips on how to find and develop voice in your own work.

  • 1:50-2:50pm                Re-Envision: Revision Tips & Tricks by Natalie Lakosil

  • 2:50-3:10pm                Break

  • 3:10-4:10pm                Panel Discussion: Manuscript Advice from the Trenches
  • 4:10-4:15pm                Closing Remarks

Lunch will be provided at the event. Please select 1 lunch option in the Event Extras list provided in this registration. If our options do not meet your dietary needs, please contact


(The following list WILL be in attendance at Agents Day and are available for Face-To-Face Manuscript Critiques in addition to Written Manuscript Critiques.)

KoleMary Kole, Mary Kole Editorial
Mary Kole interned in the children's department at Chronicle Books and worked as a literary agent with Andrew Brown Literary Agency for five years. During her agenting career, she represented everything from picture books to young adult and sold to almost every major publishing house. Her blog on writing and publishing children's books,, has been active since 2009 and has been listed as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers. Her book, WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT, is out from Writer's Digest Books, and her articles have been featured in many Writer's Digest writing reference guides and Writer's Digest Magazine. Mary holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco. She has spent the last four years working directly with writers as a freelance editor and consultant. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, son, and two pugs. Learn more about her services at



ArmadaKurestin Armada, P.S. Literary Agency
Kurestin Armada began her publishing career as an intern with Workman Publishing, and spent time as an assistant at The Lotts Agency before joining P.S. Literary. She holds a B.A. in English from Kenyon College, as well as a publishing certificate from Columbia University. Kurestin is based in New York City, and spends most of her time in the city’s thriving indie bookstores. She reads widely across genres, and has a particular affection for science fiction and fantasy, especially books that recognize and subvert typical tropes of genre fiction.



LakosilNatalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary Agency
Natalie Lakosil is an agent at the Bradford Literary Agency. Her specialties are children’s literature (from picture book through teen and New Adult), romance (contemporary and historical), cozy mystery/crime, upmarket women’s/general fiction and select children’s nonfiction. Some recent titles include ALLEGEDLY by Tiffany Jackson (Harper 2017), TRAINS DON'T SLEEP by Andria Rosenbaum (HMH 2017), and THE STAR THIEF by Lindsey Becker (Little Brown, 2017).




Taylor Martindale Kean, Full Circle Literary

Taylor Martindale Kean is a literary agent with Full Circle Literary, actively acquiring fiction and non-fiction projects. She is a graduate of The College of William and Mary, where she studied English and Hispanic Studies. Taylor is looking for young adult and middle grade fiction and nonfiction, and select picture books. She is interested in finding unique and unforgettable voices in contemporary, fantasy, and historical novels. More than anything, Taylor is looking for diverse, character-driven stories that bring their worlds vividly to life, voices that are honest, original and interesting. When considering non-fiction projects, Taylor uses much the same approach, and hopes to find authors with fresh ideas and perspectives, with writing that is accessible, entertaining, and compelling. Clients include: Emery Lord, Aisha Saeed, Anna-Marie McLemore, Lois Miner Huey, Tim Bradley, Diana Rodriguez Wallach, David Bowles and more. When not working, Taylor can be found traveling, cooking, spending time with loved ones, or (surprise!) lost in a good book.




(The following agents will NOT be in attendance at Agents Day. They will be available for Written Manuscript Critiques.)


RudolphJohn Rudolph, Agent, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret
John Rudolph joined DG&B in 2010 after twelve years as an acquiring children’s book editor. He began his career at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers as an Editorial Assistant and then moved to the G. P. Putnam’s Sons imprint of the Penguin Young Readers Group, where he eventually served as Executive Editor on a wide range of young adult, middle-grade, nonfiction, and picture book titles. He graduated from Amherst College with a double major in Classics and Music. While John’s list started out as mostly children’s books, it has evolved to the point where it is now half adult, half children’s authors. On the children’s side, John is keenly interested in middle-grade and young adult fiction and would love to find the next great picture book author/illustrator.


FraserStephen Fraser, Senior Agent, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Stephen Fraser is a literary agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York City, a full-service agency which handles both juvenile and adult books. With more than twenty-five years’ editorial experience at major publishers including Harper-Collins, Simon & Schuster, and Scholastic, Stephen edited such creative talents as Mary Engelbreit, Gail Gibbons, Michael Hague, Ann Rinaldi, Kathryn Lasky, Brent Hartinger, Stephen Mitchell, Dan Gutman, Gregory Maguire, and Daniel Pinkwater. He is graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont with a degree in English Literature and has a Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College in Boston. Stephen is a popular speaker at writer’s conferences throughout the country.


FlanneryJennifer Flannery, Flannery Literary
Jennifer Flannery founded Flannery Literary in 1992 in New York after working at a literary agency in her hometown of Minneapolis and then in the trade department at HarperCollins. Flannery moved her offices to the Chicago area in 1997. Flannery Literary is looking to find new talent and fresh voices, to help the as-yet-unpublished author find a publishing home.



NuchiAdah Megged Nuchi, Editorial Agent, Jill Corcoran Literary Agency
Adah Megged Nuchi was first introduced to the children's publishing world at home, as the daughter of a children's book art director. She began her own publishing career at the National Book Foundation, and later at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, where she was an acquiring editor of picture books, middle-grade, and young adult fiction for seven years. Her books have been named to the Kids' Indie Next List, YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, and Indies Introduce New Voices lists. As an editor, she most loved finding new talent and working with authors to shape a story, so she's excited to join the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency as an Editorial Agent, where she'll be partnering with Jill on client submissions, working primarily in an editorial capacity while Jill focuses on the business side.





• Attendees can opt to pay an additional fee to have one of our faculty members critique one picture book manuscript, or a sample of a middle grade novel or YA novel.

• Due to limited availability, attendees may select either one Face-to-Face critique, or one Written critique, but NOT BOTH. If you opt for a Face-to-Face critique, please note that your session will occur during a time in which another agent will be speaking. Written critiques will be distributed during the event.

The submission policy is as follows:

• One picture book manuscript of up to six pages in length (1,200 words maxdouble spaced, 12 point Times New Roman, 1" margins). You may only submit ONE picture book manuscript, regardless of the length.

• Or, for MG/YA novels, up to 10 pages (2,500 words maxdouble spaced, 12 point Times New Roman, 1" margins). You may include a brief one page optional synopsis in addition to your 10 page sample.

• You will be able to indicate your top 3 preferred faculty in your submission and we will do our best to match you.

• Deadline for manuscript submission is 11:59 pm, June 25, 2017.




The SCBWI registration system accepts VISA or MasterCard.

After you have made your registration selections below, click Continue. In a few seconds, you should see a pop-up window with confirmation of your information. NOTE: You will need to scroll down inside that pop-up window to see all information and enter your credit card number. If the pop-up window does not appear, you may need to allow pop-ups in your internet browser's preferences or switch to a different browser. 

There will be no refunds after July 31, 2017, unless it is for a family/personal emergency or we can fill your spot from the waiting list. All refunds will be minus a $25 processing fee.

Due to popularity, event extras such as manuscript critiques fill up very quickly. If you really want an event extra, we recommend taking one when you register, rather than opting to wait. PLEASE NOTE: Once you complete registration, any waitlisted item(s) will appear with prices on an itemized invoice. BUT, your credit card will NOT be charged for waitlist items. We will contact you if a waitlist item becomes available and arrange for payment.

If you encounter any problems during your registration process for SF/South Agents Day, contact and we will be happy to assist you. Thanks!