Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

LA/CenCal Writers Day 2022

Date(s) - 10/16/2022 - 10/22/2022
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Skirball Cultural Center
2701 North Sepulveda Blvd. - Los Angeles, CA 90049

Registration has closed.

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble: Cast a Spell Over Your Readers

Laura-Susan Thomas 2022

Stir up those creative juices with this joint Los Angeles and Central California hybrid event. The magic begins with an optional (remote) Agent Pitchfest followed one week later by an in-person event at the Skirball Cultural Center. Our faculty is ready to inspire and help you conjure stories that enchant and delight your audience. Sprinkle in a smattering of tech savviness, a toad-free lunch with friends and optional manuscript contest – what more could one wish for?

Virtual Agent Pitchfest

Date: Sunday, October 16
Where: Zoom
Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 3:30pm

Registration for the Agent Pitchfest has closed.

Gather your latest project for a 10 minute one-on-one meeting with a literary agent. Select the agent you would like to meet in the registration form below. We will send you an email with the Zoom link and your 10 minute time slot.

Click here to meet the agents!

In-Person Writers Day

Date: Saturday, October 22
Where: Skirball Cultural Center
Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Join us for inspirational keynote speeches, instructional breakout sessions, a panel of published SCBWI members, manuscript contest and an outdoor lunch.

Click here to meet the faculty!

Sorry, the deadline to enter the manuscript contest has passed.

We will be we following the Skirball Center’s safety protocol. This requires attendees to provide proof of full vaccination upon arrival, along with a photo ID. Skirball also requires the use of a non-cloth mask (N95, KN95, KF94, surgical masks) only. Masks are required indoors including in the auditorium, classrooms and restrooms. Masks are not required when outdoors.


You must sign up for Writers Day in order to participate in the Agent Pitchfest.

Writers Day:
– Early Bird Special (members only, before September 30th, 11:59 p.m.): $90
– Regular Member (after September 30th): $110
– Non-Member: $165
– 10% discount will automatically apply for Student SCBWI members at check out.

Agent Pitchfest:
– $60

No refunds after October 9th.

Writers Day Keynote Speakers:

Mitali Perkins
Called to Write: Career + Vocation
Mitali offers writers and illustrators an inspirational, honest keynote about how to keep a firm grip on the practical aspects of sustaining a career as a professional and stay true to your vocational mission as a creative serving children.

Alex Slater
The Scariest Parts of Publishing
Alex Slater, literary agent with Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, will lift the curtain on the world of publishing, sharing his insights on pitfalls to watch for, while remaining firmly optimistic about the writing world’s future.

Orlando Dos Reis
Into the Unknown: The Winding Roads to Publishing
Orlando Dos Reis, editor at Scholastic Press, talks to creators about the (often uncertain) paths to publication, offering insight into his own journey and the journeys of a few authors on his list.

Writers Day Breakout Sessions: (While registering for Writers Day, choose two of the following sessions to attend)

Mark Marino
Building Your Platform: How to put Social Media to work for you!
You finally get a bite from an agent who asks, “How big is your platform?” Platform? Before you leap off one, come to this helpful session. Never spend an instant on Instagram? Can’t face Facebook? From Likes to Follows, Twitter to TikTok, this presentation will offer intros for newcomers and tips and tricks for pros. Mark Marino teaches writing with and without social media at USC. @markcmarino and @mcmarino_kids

Mitali Perkins
A Whole New World: Weaving the Magic Carpet of Place
In this interactive, hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to weave together the three strands of plot/emotion, place, and character into a single, gripping scene. They will be equipped to engage the five senses in creating a sense of place to transport readers directly into the scene. Participants will write in class and a few will get feedback on the spot from the instructor in a guided, positive discussion.

Alex Slater
Why I Offered…or Didn’t: An Agent’s Guide to “The Call”
Rejection can be so frustrating! Why did it happen? Why the “I love it but not enough”? What makes an agent want to take you on as a client? What can you expect if The Call finally comes? Alex Slater will speak to these mysteries and more.

Orlando Dos Reis
Vile Villains: Crafting Convincing Conflict
In this hybrid talk and intensive, we will look closely at the motivations of iconic villains in popular media and draw conclusions that creators can apply to their own work. This session includes writing exercises that will help creators pinpoint the conflict of their stories and create memorable villains that will resonate with readers.

Writers Day Panel:

Gremlins, Goblins and Trolls – Facing Down Your Demons
How do we work through our inner and outer critics, creative blocks, self-doubt and professional disappointments? This panel of SCBWI-LA members will discuss the ways to keep going through adversity.

Click here to meet the panel members!

Meet the Pitchfest Agents!

Eve Adler – Agent, Red Fox Literary

Eve Adler worked as an editor for over 16 years before becoming an agent. She’s building her list with authors and illustrators of board books, picture books, early readers, chapter books, and middle grade projects. She’s drawn to stories that make kids feel comforted, loved, and understood; to diverse voices; to ideas that break the mold; to projects that meet kids where they are developmentally; and to books that expand kids’ worlds while helping them understand their own. She loves developing ideas with authors and illustrators, and finding the right home for each project!

Eve is currently looking for: board books, picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, young middle grade, dummies, fiction or nonfiction. Eve is not looking for fantasy or upper middle grade projects.

Lisa Amstutz – Associate Literary Agent, Storm Literary Agency

After sixteen years of experience as an author and freelance editor, Lisa Amstutz joined Storm Literary Agency in January 2021. She represents nonfiction for all ages, picture book and middle grade fiction, and picture book author/illustrators. She enjoys helping her clients find publishing success.

Lisa is the author of >150 children’s books as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles. From 2011–2020, she served on the board of SCBWI: Ohio North in various roles, including Assistant Regional Advisor. She also volunteered as a judge at Rate Your Story and was one of the founders of the annual NF Fest challenge. For more details, see

Lisa is currently looking for: picture books and middle grade fiction or nonfiction. Lisa is not looking for dark, dystopian or graphic content.

Linda Camacho – Literary Agent, Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency

Linda Camacho is an agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, founded in 2000 and home to talents like Rick Riordan and Sophie Blackall. Linda graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Communication and has held various positions at Penguin Random House, Dorchester, Simon & Schuster, and Writers House. She’s done everything from foreign rights to editorial, to marketing, to operations and received her MFA in children’s writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Linda represents bestselling and award-winning creatives such as Yamile Saied Méndez, K. O’Neill, and Wendy Xu.

Linda is currently looking for: picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction only.

Ameerah Holliday – Associate Agent, Serendipity Literary Agency

Ameerah Holliday (She/Her) is a dancer and self-proclaimed poetess from San Diego, California. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from San Diego State University and currently serves as social media manager for Ebb & Flow Publications and associate agent for Serendipity Literary Agency. In addition, she also serves as the editorial director for the San Diego Poetry Annual and editor for Kids! San Diego Poetry Annual.

Ameerah is currently looking for: writing that explores diverse experiences with elements of intersectionality. She is drawn to stories that take you on a journey through growth and loves a good friendship story. She enjoys contemporary works, writing derived from performing arts, fantasy/paranormal (bonus points for witchcraft), romance and novels in verse. For fiction, she is primarily interested in middle grade, young adult and adult Rom-Coms. For non-fiction, she’s interested in pop culture, minority entrepreneurs, astrology and discussions of mental health in minority communities.

Jacqui Lipton – Senior Literary Agent, The Tobias Literary Agency

Jacqui Lipton joined The Tobias Literary Agency in 2022 after helming her own literary agency, Raven Quill Literary, for a number of years previously. She loves all things books and publishing and has been an avid reader since elementary school. Her tastes were always broad and eclectic. She loved (and still does) everything from a good murder mystery to space opera to contemporary romance and everything in between. She also loves nonfiction projects with a compelling narrative voice.

Jacqui represents authors of: fiction and non-fiction from middle grade through to adult, as well as selected projects for younger readers (picture books, chapter books etc.) She is currently focusing on developing her adult fiction and nonfiction lists and particularly enjoys mystery/crime, romance, how-to books, and compelling contemporary novels. She is not currently seeking high fantasy or animal protagonists, and considers science-fiction selectively.

Lauren Spieller – Literary Agent, TriadaUS

Literary Agent Lauren Spieller comes to TriadaUS with a background in literary scouting and editorial consulting. She has a sharp editorial eye and is passionate about author advocacy. Whatever the age category or genre, Lauren is passionate about representing diverse and underrepresented voices.

Lauren is currently looking for: middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as platform-driven non-fiction. Categories she seeks are contemporary, realistic, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, thriller, suspense, and rom-com fiction.

Joyce Sweeney – Literary Agent, The Seymour Agency

Joyce Sweeney is an author and literary agent for The Seymour Agency.

She has written fourteen young adult novels, many of which have won awards. She is also the author of two chapbooks of poetry. She is currently working on a fantasy series about Atlantis.

Joyce was a creative writing teacher, mentor and coach for over 25 years. She also published a plotting how-to book, Plotting Your Novel With The Plot Clock.(Giantess Press, 2019) At this writing, she has successfully mentored 65 students to traditional publishing contracts.

In 2020, she joined The Seymour Agency and represents picture books, middle grade novels and non-fiction, and select poetry and verse novels.

Her hobbies are theater, collecting illustration art and animal causes of all kinds. She lives in Coral Springs with her husband, Jay and cat, Nitro.

Joyce is currently looking for: fiction or non-fiction picture books.

Meet the Writers Day Faculty!

Orlando Dos Reis

Orlando Dos Reis is an editor at Scholastic, acquiring middle-grade and young adult fiction. He received his B.A. in creative writing from Virginia Tech and his M.A. in English with a concentration in literature for children and young adults from Kansas State University. Orlando began his career in publishing at Abrams before moving to Scholastic. He lives in New York City.

Mark Marino

Mark is an award-winning writer and scholar of electronic literature living in Los Angeles and blogs about children’s literature on E-lit 4 Kids ( Mark has written for video games, Disney, theater, and various online entertainments. He collaborates with his two children on the interactive tales Mrs. Wobbles & The Tangerine House ( His online works (for adults) include “a show of hands” (, “Living Will” (, and “The Ballad of Workstudy Seth” (, and Salt Immortal Sea ( He is the Director of Communication of the Electronic Literature Organization. (portfolio here: He currently teaches writing at the University of Southern California.

Mitali Perkins

Mitali Perkins ( has written many books for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near (nominated for a National Book Award) and Rickshaw Girl (adapted into a film by Sleeperwave Productions), all of which explore crossing different kinds of borders. Her goal is to make readers laugh or cry, preferably both, as long as their hearts are widening. She lives and writes in the East Bay.

Alex Slater

Alex Slater has experience in every area of literary agenting, from interning and assisting, to selling foreign rights and launching the careers of his own clients. After two years at the Maria Carvainis Agency, and twelve years at Trident Media Group, he’s thrilled to be bringing his passion for publishing and his expertise in its business to Sanford J. Greenburger Associates and GreenburgerKids. His clients include Keah Brown, Frederick Joseph, Janae Marks, Ali Novak, and several other award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors.

Meet the Writers Day Panel Members!

Toni Gallagher

Toni Gallagher is the author of the Random House middle grade series Twist My Charm. She has also worked in reality TV for over 25 years, producing shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, MTV’s The Real World, and Bug Juice (a show about real kids at summer camp) for the Disney Channel. She is currently an Executive Producer on the Lifetime and Netflix hit Married at First Sight. Toni has been a member of SCBWI since 2011 and is represented by Jen Rofé at Andrea Brown. Learn more at

Rebecca Langston-George

Rebecca Langston-George is the author of thirteen nonfiction books for children including For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story, and The Booth Brothers: Drama, Fame and the Death of President Lincoln. Her first graphic reader on one of WWII’s most daring spies, Virginia Hall, is coming in fall 2023. California Reading Association honored her with the Armin R. Schultz Award for writing in social justice in 2016. A graduate of California Baptist University, she holds a Master of Education degree. Rebecca recently retired from teaching to devote more time to writing books and developing her own writing curriculum. She is a past president of Kern Reading Association and the Regional Advisor for the Central-Coastal California chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI CenCal), helping other writers learn the craft. She’s passionate about children’s books, writing instruction and beading funky jewelry. She writes and mostly re-writes on a treadmill desk at one mile per hour.

Andrea J. Loney

Andrea J. Loney’s newest books include the middle-grade biography VIP: Stacey Abrams – Voting Visionary, the picture book biography Curve and Flow: The Elegant Vision of LA Architect Paul R. Williams, and the futuristic chapter book series Abby in Orbit (Albert Whitman & Company). Her earlier picture books include Double Bass Blues (Caldecott Honor), Bunnybear (ALA Rainbow List), and the biography Take a Picture of Me, James Vanderzee (Lee & Low Books New Voices Award Winner, and NAACP Image Award Nominee). A computer science instructor at LA Trade Tech College, Andrea also teaches at The Highlights Foundation and The Writing Barn. In addition, she’s a board member of the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California, and a volunteer curriculum coordinator for Reading to Kids. Andrea lives in Inglewood with stacks of books, her devoted family, and their incredibly spoiled pets. Learn more at

Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Sue Ganz-Schmitt is an award-winning children’s book author, mother, musical theater producer, and philanthropist. She co-founded SCBWI’s Emerging Voices diversity grant and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in writing for children and young adults, where she specialized in the use of vulnerability in picture book text. Sue has served as a graduate assistant for the VCFA Picture Book Intensive program, has moderated for the Children’s Book Academy Picture Book Palooza, and has been a panelist for their, How to Write Funny panel.

Sue’s books include: That Monster on the Block, Now I’m a Bird, Planet Kindergarten, Planet Kindergarten: 100 Days in Orbit, The Princess and the Peanut: A Royally Allergic Fairytale, and Even Superheroes Get Diabetes. Her first picture book biography, Skybound!: Starring Mary Myers as Carlotta, Daredevil Aeronaut & Scientist, debuts in 2024. You can learn more about Sue and her books at:

Joseph Taylor

Joseph Taylor has been the editor of Muse magazine from Cricket Media since August 2021 and is a writer specializing in nonfiction. His work for Cricket magazine has garnered the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Nonfiction and Magazine Merit Honor for Nonfiction and has been noted by the Parents’ Choice Foundation when it awarded a gold medal to Cricket.

Recent magazine pieces include “Bringing to Light Dark Matter: The Story of Vera Rubin” (Cricket, July/August 2022), “The Island of the Sharks,” about ocean conservationist Georgienne Bradley (Muse, July/August 2022), and “Supermassive” about astrophysicist Andrea Ghez (Muse, May/June 2022). In 2020, Heinemann published his educational book Dancing Through Darkness: The Story of Alicia Alonso, illustrated by Jani Orban. He holds a master’s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Faculty for Writers Day 2022 is subject to change

Click here for the SCBWI anti-harassment policy


Please note: $30 administrative charge for refunds before the refund deadline of October 9, 2022. E-mail your refund request to the Los Angeles region:

Registration has closed.