Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2018 L.A. Working Writer’s Retreat

Date(s) - 09/28/2018 - 09/30/2018
12:00 pm

Holy Spirit Retreat Center
4316 Lanai Rd - Encino, CA 91436

Registration opens Sunday, July 1 at 6am!

Retreat Options:
Staying Onsite (Double Occupancy) – $515
Commuter – $450
Single Rooms* – $75 additional fee, for a total of $590
Once registration opens on July 1, if you don’t see a ticket option below, that option has already sold out. Please sign up for the wait list and we will contact you if a space becomes available.

The Retreat fees cover the following:
– Four faculty-led critique sessions
– Two agents and two editors on site the whole weekend as family
– Two author faculty will be doing a panel on Friday and will be on hand all weekend for consultations for individuals/groups in between critique sessions
– One first page panel
– Accommodations
– All meals from Friday dinner to Sunday breakfast
– Snacks throughout the weekend
– Wine and Cheese Party (Friday)
– Karaoke Party (Saturday)

There are no guarantees that single rooms will be available. However, if a spot for a single room opens up, it will be offered on a first come, first served basis. An additional fee of $75 will apply.

Select this option if the retreat is sold out. We will contact you if a space becomes available.


Stephanie Gordon – Author and Freelance Editor
Judy Enderle – Author and Freelance Editor

Once upon a time, Stephanie Jacob Gordon and Judith Ross Enderle met in a writing class at UCLA. Both saw their first published words in the pages of Highlights for Children magazine. Since then, they’ve co-authored numerous books, from picture books to young adult novels, including Smile, Principessa!/Simon & Schuster/McElderry, Two Badd Babies/Boyds Mills Press, and What’s the Matter, Kelly Beans?/Candlewick. In the works are a middle grade novel and a picture book. They are also eagerly awaiting news on several manuscripts under consideration.

On the bookshelf and in children’s magazines, you’ll find their work under their individual names and under the pseudonyms, Jeffie Ross Gordon and J.R. Gordon. Past writing experience includes over eight years as co-editors of the Fox Broadcasting Children’s Network magazine, Totally Fox Kids. They also served as story editors and writers for the first season of the Fox children’s television program, “Rimba’s Island” which received both NEA and PTA endorsements as quality children’s television.

“Language is fun. Our favorite stories are those that make young people laugh,” say Stephanie and Judy.

When they aren’t writing, they can be found sharing their stories in bookstores or lecturing at conferences, workshops, and retreats to adults who want to learn to write. In addition, Judy and Stephanie critique and edit manuscripts for other children’s writers through their business, Writers Ink. Visit their website at And please visit their blog, KidsBook Mavens, also featuring authors, Cheryl Zach, Dawne Knobbe, and Laurie Knowlton.

Stephanie and Judy are board members emeritus of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, both International and Los Angeles. Both now reside with their families in Washington State. Between them they have six grown children, a few grandchildren, a lot of fun, and a lot of wacky words yet to be written! Not “the end” yet.

Nephele Tempest – Literary Agent at Knight Literary Agency

Nephele Tempest joined The Knight Agency in January, 2005, opening the Los Angeles-area office. As an agent, she works with a number of talented writers, assisting them to hone their skills and build their careers. Nephele comes from a diverse publishing and finance background, having previously worked on the editorial side of the business, as well as for several major New York investment firms as a financial advisor and later a financial marketing and communications writer. Her previous experience provided her with insight into multiple aspects of the publishing industry.

Nephele continues to actively build her client list and looks for work with both strong, well-developed characters and a story that pulls her in and won’t let go. She is seeking women’s fiction, historical fiction, single-title romance, fantasy and science fiction, and both young adult and middle grade fiction of any sub-genre.

Victoria Wells Arms – Literary Agent at Wells Arms Literary

Victoria Wells Arms founded the Wells Arms Literary Agency in 2013 after twenty years working as an editor at Penguin and Bloomsbury, where she was the founding editorial director for their US children’s list. The bestselling and award-winning authors she has worked with include: E. D. Baker, Susan Middleton Elya, Nikki Grimes, Shannon Hale, Katherine Hannigan, Han Nolan, Marcella Pixley, Candice Ransom, Susan L. Roth and Renee Watson. She is an MFA candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in their renowned Writing for Children and Young Adults program, and a member of the SCBWI, AAR, Society of Illustrators, and PEN.

Kelsey Horton – Associate Editor at Delacorte Press

Kelsey Horton is an associate editor at Delacorte Press, acquiring middle grade and young adult fiction. She is always on the lookout for high concept stories and compelling characters across all genres. Some of the authors on her list include Andrew Prentice, Amanda Searcy, Dana Alison Levy, Donna Gephart, Laura Ellen Anderson, Kathleen Duble Brenner, Kelly Coon, Namina Forna, and Sophie Kinsella. You can find her on twitter @KelseyMHorton.

Stephanie Guerdan – Assistant Editor at Harper Collins

Stephanie Guerdan came to HarperCollins in 2017 following jobs at a literary agency and as a bookseller. Some of the titles she has worked on include New York Times best-selling author Natalie Lloyd’s Problim Children trilogy, critically acclaimed author Tiffany D. Jackson’s sophomore novel Monday’s Not Coming, and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, the sequel to the Stonewall Honor-winning The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. She is interested primarily in middle grade and YA, especially in speculative genres and graphic novel formats, with a focus on inclusive stories from fresh voices.


We have switched from PayPal to for our credit card processing. It is the only option to pay for this event. We hope this will eliminate the issues experienced with PayPal during the registration process. is the service the main office uses for Summer and Winter Conference.
We are not responsible for any technical difficulties that may arise during registration.
For the waitlist: You will be given the choice of whatever accommodation is available if your name comes up when processing the waitlists.

Please note: $30 administrative charge for refunds before September 2, 2018. Any refund requests after September 2 will be granted on a case-by-case basis and there will be a $100 administrative charge. E-mail your refund request to the Los Angeles region