Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Writer’s Days 2014 Faculty




Katherine Applegate

Katherine Applegate is the author of picture books, early chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult books, several series, and an adult romance (or two.)  WIth her husband, Michael Grant, she wrote the bestselling series ANIMORPHS, which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.  In 2013, she received the Newbery Medal for her novel, THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN.

Katherine's hobbies include reading, napping and procrastinating.

Katherine will be giving our opening Saturday Keynote and will be a First Pages Panelist.


m. alderson mug shot

Martha Alderson, aka the Plot Whisperer, is the author of the Plot Whisperer series of writing resources for authors: The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing , The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories, companion workbook to The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master (Adams Media, a division of F + W Media), Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple (Illusion Press) and several ebooks on plot.

As an international plot consultant for writers, Martha’s clients include best-selling authors, New York editors, and Hollywood movie directors.

She teaches plot workshops to novelists, memoirists, and screenwriters privately, at plot retreats, through Learning Annex, RWA, SCBWI, CWC chapter meetings, Writer’s Digest, The Writers Store and writers' conferences where she takes writers beyond the words and into the very heart of a story.

As the founder December, International Plot Writing Month better known as PlotWriMo, Martha manages the award-winning blog for writers: The Plot Whisperer which has been awarded honors as a top writing advice blog by Writers Digest 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. Her vlog, How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay  covers 27 steps to plotting your story from beginning to end and playlists to help writers create a compelling plot for their novels, memoirs and screenplays.

Follow her on social media




On Saturday, Martha will be giving a 90 min Presentation on Plot: 15 Tips! How-to Write Picture Books, Middle Grade Fiction and Young Adult Novels with a Blockbuster Plot, she'll be a First Pages Panelist and will be offerering a limited number of One-on-One Plot Consultations.

On Sunday, Martha will offer a 5 hour Plot Intensive: Develop a Multi-Layered Plot for your Middle Grade Fiction and Young Adult Novels



Heidi Fiedler

Heidi Fiedler has mended books, sold books, bought books, created, packaged and devoured books. She has worked in publishing for over ten years, with clients ranging from Target to Barnes & Noble. Today, she is an editor at Teacher Created Materials, where she is working with work-for-hire authors to produce books on everything from nanotechnology to Abraham Lincoln for the educational market. She is also in the process of launching TCM's new trade imprint, Argosy Press, which is a dedicated to creating books that inspire children to read under the covers late into the night. She is currently acquiring chapter book and middle grade series for Argosy Press.

On Saturday Heidi will give a Keynote and be a First Pages Panelist,

On Sunday she will give our Editor Intensive, focusing on Work for Hire and Trade Publishing.


Danielle Smith Bio Pic

For more than six years Danielle Smith has been the well-known blogger behind the online review site There’s a Book, voted the BBAW’s Best Kidlit Book Review Blog and host to over two-hundred thousand page views per month. Her children’s book reviews have also appeared in top online and print publications such as Parenting Magazine and Women’s World.

Smith’s expertise in children’s literature led her to serve as a judge for The Cybils Awards from 2010 to 2012, and as a board member of The Central Coast Writer’s Conference and the BEA Book Bloggers Advisory.

Danielle comes to Red Fox Literary after a successful stint at Foreword Literary where she sold Julie Falatko’s highly anticipated picture book Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) in a pre-empt to Viking Children’s Books.

“There is something magical about working with children’s books,” says Smith who still cherishes the time she’s able to read with her own two children each day.

In the coming months at Red Fox Literary, Smith will be looking to further expand on the sterling reputation she's built within the children’s trade publishing world. Her client list will include both authors and illustrators working in genres from board books to picture books to young adult novels.

Danielle will give a Saturday Keynote and be a First Pages Panelist,

and on Sunday, she'll be teach half of each of our Agents Picture Book Intensive and Agents Novel Intensive.




Catherine Linka, Children’s Book Buyer for Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, author of A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS, St. Martin’s Press, May 2014

Catherine will be giving a Saturday Keynote on "What Every Writer Needs To Know About Retail Book Buying Today"




Greg Pincus is a poet, novelist, screenwriter, blogger, and social media consultant.  Through the wonders of social media, he’s sold poetry, helped himself land a book deal, ended up in the New York Times, the Washington Post, School Library Journal (multiple times), and many other interesting places… and also made friends and gotten free cookies on more than one occasion! You can visit him and find out more about his debut novel, The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic) at

On Saturday, Greg will be offering a limited number of Social Media Consultations.




Jennifer handles children's fiction projects ranging from picture books to young adult. Middle grade is Jennifer's soft spot and she's open to all genres in this category, especially the tender or hilarious. She is always looking for fresh and distinct voices; stories that simultaneously tug at her heartstrings and make her laugh out loud; and "adorkable" heroes. As for YA, Jennifer is drawn to contemporary works; dramatic or funny romance; and urban fantasy/light sci-fi. She's especially interested in mind-blowingly smart projects that are layered, complex, and unexpected, and she appreciates big, developed worlds. In terms of picture books, early readers, and chapter books, she is interested in character-driven projects and smart, exceptional writing.

Some of Jennifer's clients include Kathryn Fitzmaurice, author of THE YEAR THE SWALLOWS CAME EARLY and DESTINY, REWRITTEN (both from HarperCollins) and A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT (Viking/Penguin); Barry Wolverton, author of NEVERSINK (Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins); Nick James, author of the SKYSHIP ACADEMY trilogy (Flux); Samantha Vamos, author of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor recipient THE CAZUELA THAT THE FARM MAIDEN STIRRED and the forthcoming ALPHATRUCKS (both from Charlesbridge); Meg Medina, author of TIA ISA WANTS A CAR, THE GIRL WHO COULD SILENCE THE WIND, and YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS (all from Candlewick); Crystal Allen, author of HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA SIZED TROPHY and THE LAURA LINE (both from Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins); Denise Doyen, author of the E.B. White Read Aloud Honor picture book ONCE UPON A TWICE and the forthcoming THE POMEGRANATE WITCH (both from Random House); and Lauren Strasnick, author of NOTHING LIKE YOU, HER AND ME AND YOU and THEN YOU WERE GONE (all from Simon Pulse/S&S).

Jennifer is co-author of the picture book PIGGIES IN THE PUMPKIN PATCH (Charlesbridge). She has been on faculty for several conferences including the Big Sur Writer's Workshop and numerous SCBWI conferences. Jennifer earned a BA in English with a minor in Social and Ethnic Relations from UC Davis and has a background in secondary education.

On Sunday, Jennifer will teach half of each of our Agents Novel Intensive and Agents Picture Book Intensive.