Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Picture Book WORKSHOP w/Naomi Kirsten, Senior Editor, Chronicle Books | Oahu

Date(s) - 06/01/2019
10:30 am - 3:00 pm

Aina Haina Public Library
5246 Kalanianaole Hwy - Honolulu, Hawaii 96821


No Categories

Demystifying the Publication Process and Making It Work for You 

For picture book writers, illustrators, all experience levels.

How do you increase your chances of getting published? It helps to have a strong manuscript, a compelling pitch, and a window into an editor’s thought process. This content-rich weekend will tackle these considerations and more, guiding attendees through the development of a successful picture book pitch all the way through the development process en route to publication, giving illuminating glimpses into what a children’s book editor is thinking along the way.

Naomi will also guide attendees through behind-the-scenes look at select picture books that she has developed with authors and illustrators at Chronicle Books, unpack key picture book themes and trends, and explore areas of opportunity for first-time or new authors and illustrators in the picture book and art-driven novelty format/non-book categories.

About Naomi Kirsten
Naomi Kirsten is a Senior Editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco, California. She acquires approximately 20 titles each year, ranging from picture books to games, board books, and novelty formats with a focus on smart, art-driven projects. Naomi’s titles include I DIDN’T DO MY HOMEWORK BECAUSE…, which has 21 foreign editions to date; THE TRUTH ABOUT MY UNBELIEVABLE SCHOOL…; New York Times Notable Book and Society of Illustrators Gold Medal Winner THE BEAR’S SONG; I HATE MY CATS (A LOVE STORY); WHEN AN ELEPHANT FALLS IN LOVE; the YOU AND ME, ME AND YOU series; SUCH A GOOD BOY; and THE STAR WARS COOKBOOK: BB-ATE, WOOKIEE PIES, HAN SANDWICHES AND OTHER GALACTIC SNACKS, and ICE SABERS, projects she originated for the Star Wars franchise. She also develops publishing programs with Taro Gomi, Benjamin Chaud, Richard McGuire, and Marc Boutavant. On Instagram and Twitter: @naomi_kirsten

Registration Deadline
May 31st, 2019 (3 PM)

$50 SCBWI Member
$75 Non-Member

Workshop Objectives
— Gain a deeper understanding of the acquisition process. What is Chronicle Books looking for when considering a picture book manuscript?
— Walk through the publication process once a picture book manuscript is acquired by a publisher like Chronicle Books.
— Unpack key Children’s book trends and themes that have endured for the past decade, while examining emerging trends.
— Explore the bedtime book, wordless picture book, non-fiction, and “I love you” picture book opportunities for first-time and new authors and illustrators.
— Work to develop a solid picture book pitch for submission to Chronicle Books.
— Each weekend participant will have the opportunity to present one project to Senior Editor Naomi Kirsten for her list at Chronicle Books. Attendees may submit up to one year after the workshop and will receive a response within three months of their submission’s receipt. Details will be provided at workshop.

Workshop 10:30 AM-3:00 PM
In-Person Critiques  3:10-4:40 PM, additional cost, see below for more information

10:15-10:30 AM

Morning Session
10:30-12:35 PM Demystifying the Acquisition Process at Chronicle Books
Get to know editor Naomi Kirsten as she presents an overview of her picture book and novelty format list at Chronicle Books. Participants will also get a comprehensive look at Chronicle Children’s acquisition and publication process, learn about what Naomi is looking for in a project pitch, and gain a deeper understanding of what to expect once your project is acquired for publication.

12:35-1:30 PM Lunch
Bring your own or choose from options at Aina Haina Shopping Center

Afternoon Session
1:30-3:00 PM Unpacking Picture Book Topic Opportunities for Authors and Illustrators
A unique narrative and distinctive voice go a long way when it comes to getting published. Ideally, you are working to hone those characteristics, but what else can you do to increase your chances of getting published? Selecting a category that resonates is key and, in this presentation, we’ll explore some of the themes that have been especially successful, including bedtime books, non-fiction picture books, wordless picture books, and “I love you” books.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Optional, ADDITIONAL Cost
3:10-4:50 PM In-Person Critiques with Naomi Kirsten
Each critique session is 10 minutes long and includes a written review of your submission. 
Due to the limited number of critiques available with Naomi over the weekend, we are currently limiting everyone to one critique for the weekend. IF you are also attending the Sunday, June 2nd, Intensive, please do not sign up for a Saturday critique since you will get one on Sunday. Mahalo!

$50 SCBWI Member
$75 Non-Member

Submission Deadline
May 22nd, 2019 (11:59 PM)

Submission Guidelines

You may submit ONE of the following for a critique:

a) Picture Book Manuscript

b) Picture Book Dummy

c) Picture Book Illustration Portfolio

Submission Guidelines
– submissions must be digital (.PDF or .DOC)
– submissions accepted between May 16th and May 22nd
– submission upload link will be emailed to you on or before May 16th
– incorrectly formatted submissions will not be accepted (notification of acceptance/rejection within 24 hours of receipt)
– No submissions accepted after May 22nd (ie. do not wait until the last day if you have concerns about formatting).
– You may not attend the masterclass without a submission. No exceptions, no refunds.

Formatting Instructions (Minimum requirements listed below. SCBWI The BOOK provides additional guidance, if needed.)

MANUSCRIPTS (word count: approx. 500 words)
– page setup: 8½  x 11 inches
– typeface: 12-point Arial or Times New Roman
– double space text
– pages should be numbered consecutively
– 1-inch or 1.25-inch margins on each side of the page


DUMMIES (page count: approx. 32-48 pages)
–page setup: 8½  x 11 inches (vertical or horizontal)
– dummy format: 1 page OR 1 spread per 8½  x 11 inch page
– include black-and-white sketches with text and up to three finished illustrations

PORTFOLIOS (number of illustrations: 7-10)
– page setup: 8½  x 11 inches (vertical or horizontal)
– include title page with contact information and website
– one illustration per page, include name on each page
– no more than 10 illustrations