Join us for a hands-on, intensive weekend of group and one-on-one critiques with these fabulous authors:

  • Holly Black
  • Terri Farley
  • Verla Kay
  • Susan Hart Lindquist
  • Kathleen Duey
  • Ellen Hopkins
  • Deborah Nourse Lattimore
  • Suzanne Morgan Williams

Plus literary agents:

Beautiful Lake Tahoe serves as the backdrop for two days of critique, communion and quiet writing time, with the focus on your work-in-progress. This is an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the best authors and illustrators in the business, work closely with three, and put an agent's eyes on your work. Spaces are limited, so register early!

Harveys Lake Tahoe has reserved a block of single and double rooms for us at $99 plus tax per night. Buddy up and lodging is only $99 plus tax for the weekend! Upgraded rooms are also available at special rates. Click hereOpen in New Window to reserve your room ASAP. As the date approaches, rooms may not be available.

Cost for meals (Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner; Sunday brunch) and programming: $425.00 for SCBWI members, $475 for non-members.

Please let us know if you have special dietary requirements by noting them on your registration. We can help find you a roommate if you want one.

  • Faculty Bios
  • Event Schedule
  • Directions
  • Registration

This year's Writers' Retreat faculty include:

Holly Black is a New York Times bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children. Her first book, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, received starred reviews, and its companions, Valiant and Ironside, won major awards. In collaboration with illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly created the bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles, which were adapted into a major motion picture by Paramount. Holly is a frequent contributor to anthologies and has co-edited three of them. Her first collection of short stories, Poison Eaters and Other Stories, was published in 2010. Holly has an Eisner-nominated graphic novel series and has completed two books in her The Curse Worker series—White Cat and Red Glove.
Young-adult and middle-grade novels, PUBLISHED/AGENTED AUTHORS ONLY

Kathleen Duey: With over 80 published books, including the middle grade Unicorn Secrets, Hoofbeats, and American Diaries series, Kathleen has been writing for almost twenty years. Her later stark, over-the-edge YA fantasy is finding an adult audience, too. Her in-progress trilogy from Simon & Schuster, A Resurrection of Magic, has been honored as a National Book Award finalist, a Cybil's finalist, a Kirkus "best of YA" pick in 2007 and 2009, a Locus Featured YA book in 2007, and a Locus New and Notable book for 2009. The trilogy is being sold worldwide and the first two books have been translated into Polish, French, Spanish, and German. The third Resurrection of Magic book is in progress, and several exciting projects are on deck for Kathleen.
Middle-grade and young-adult novels, PUBLISHED/AGENTED AUTHORS ONLY

Terri Farley is author of the 24-book middle grade series the Phantom Stallion and its sequel series, The Phantom Stallion: Wild Horse Island, which is set in Hawaii. The series have sold more than two million copies in English and are available in 28 countries, including Hungary. Her contemporary fantasy Seven Tears into the Sea, based on the Celtic legend of the selkie, was an ALA best book nominee. A former teacher and "a cowgirl at heart," Terri was recently honored by the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. She works full time writing, speaking to young writers, and advocating for wild horses. She takes time out of her schedule to mentor two aspiring novelists. She is both master teacher and advocate for her mentees. Find out more about Terri and her books, fans, and work with wild horses at www.phantomstallion.comOpen in New Window.
Middle-grade and young-adult novels and series

Ellen Hopkins is a Nevada author and has written more than 20 nonfiction children's books as well as the YA novels Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, and Fallout. Her eighth YA novel, Perfect, publishes September 2011, followed in October by her first adult novel, Triangles. Crank was nominated for a 2005 Quill Award, and Burned was nominated for the National Book Award in 2006. All of Ellen's novels have been on the New York Times bestseller list. Winner of numerous awards, Ellen received the Nevada Governor's Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts in April 2010. Beyond that, Ellen is Regional Advisor of Nevada SCBWI and regularly works with aspiring writers, offering her support and insight. Visit Ellen at www.ellenhopkins.comOpen in New Window or find her on Twitter @ellenhopkinsya.
Young-adult novels, poetry, and nonfiction, PUBLISHED/AGENTED AUTHORS ONLY

Verla Kay writes historical picture books in her own kind of poetry she calls "cryptic rhyme." She has sold eleven picture books—her latest will be released in summer 2012, and each of the other ten has received some kind of award or recognition, including a "Child's Best Book of the Year" by Child magazine, being placed on the 2008 Amelia Bloomer Project list, and inclusion in recommended reading lists for social studies. Her latest book, Hornbooks & Inkwells, has gotten great reviews—even one from the Wall Street Journal. Verla Kay's website, www.verlakay.comOpen in New Window , which she designed and maintains herself, has twice been named one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer's Digest. Her message board page has gotten between 800,000 and one million hits per month since January of 2007. In the past few years, the "Blueboard" has become almost an icon for children's writers and illustrators. Besides writing award-winning picture books, Verla is a former instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature. She taught the basic "How to Write for Children" course. Since retiring from that job in 2009, she has been concentrating on her own writing and what she loves best—doing author talks at schools and conferences!
Picture books

Deborah Nourse Lattimore: Greatly influenced by weekly trips to museums with her grandmother, Deborah drew pictures of ancient cultures from the time she was four years old. Her first published story was "Egypt from a Camel's Point of View" when she was in the 6th grade in Beverly Hills, California. She attended Art Center College of Design on two high school scholarships, studied pre-med at UCLA and anatomy at USC, and worked her way through a B.A. at UCLA in Art History & Egyptology and through grad school in Egyptology for six more years. She was a freelance archaeological illustrator for the J. Paul Getty Museum, the American School in Athens, and the Women's Classical Caucus. Her writing mentor was Sue Alexander and her illustration teacher was Diane Goode. She has taught at UCLA and Art Center College of Design and is presently at Otis College of Art and Design. She won the ACLU Award in Art, awarded by Linus Pauling, when she was 15 years old and has won a number of awards, including a Carnegie Scholarship to work in Pre-Columbian studies, the Bank of America Award in art, the PEN Award in writing and art, the Color Me Bright Foundation, and the Golden Dolphin. She is a member of the SCBWI, the American Research Center in Egypt, the Egypt Exploration Society in London, the Egypt Exploration Organization, and the Authors' Guild of New York. She has addressed young readers in many places, including the Department of Defense in Germany, France and England, and the International Schools in India, Ukraine, and Rumania. She was also a presenter at the IRA/The Arab Reading Council in Bahrain.
Illustration and picture books

Susan Hart Lindquist is the author of three novels for young readers (Summer Soldiers, Wander, and Walking the Rim), an award-winning poet, and a contributor to poetry anthologies compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Recently, her critical essay "More than Just a Broken Line" was published in Flirtin' with The Monster, a collection of essays about the work of bestselling young adult author Ellen Hopkins. A former SCBWI Regional Advisor and instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature, Susan is a longtime faculty member of Andrea Brown's Big Sur Writing Workshop and a regular speaker and manuscript consultant at SCBWI events, including Nevada SCBWI Mentor Programs. See in New Window for a short bio.
Middle grade and young adult novels

Jennifer Rofé is an agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and 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 unassuming, "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. In terms of picture books, early readers, and chapter books, she is interested in character-driven projects and smart, exceptional writing. Jennifer also enjoys how-to and sports-related nonfiction. Some of Jennifer's clients include Laurie David and Cambria Gordon, authors of the critically acclaimed nonfiction The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming; Denise Doyen, author of the E.B. White Read Aloud Honor picture book Once Upon a Twice; and Cynthea Liu, author of Paris Pan Takes the Dare and founder of Authors Now! Jennifer is co-author of the picture book Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch (Charlesbridge). She has been on faculty for several conferences including the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and San Diego State University conferences, the Big Sur Writer's Workshop, and multiple 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.
Middle-grade and young-adult novels and picture books

Abigail Samoun: During her ten years in the children's book industry, Abigail Samoun has edited board books, picture books, middle-grade novels, and young-adult novels as an in-house editor for Tricycle Press and Random House, and as a freelancer for Simon & Schuster and Little Brown. Her books have received numerous honors including a CCBC Charlotte Zolotow award, an SCBWI Golden Kite Award, a Pura Belpre Honor, a Smithsonian Notable, and a New York Public Library Ezra Jack Keats Award. Abigail also edited the middle-grade series Edgar & Ellen, which has sold more than half a million copies worldwide and has inspired a cartoon series on Nickelodeon. She and Karen Grencik are the co-founders of Red Fox Literary. Visit www.redfoxliterary.comOpen in New Window.
Picture books, chapter books, and novels

Suzanne Morgan Williams has published eleven nonfiction titles for children and a novel, Bull Rider, for ages ten to fourteen. Suzanne's nonfiction titles include The Inuit (Franklin Watts), Nevada Sea to Shining Sea (Children's Press/Scholastic), and China's Daughters (Pacific View Press, 2011). Her novel Bull Rider (Margaret K. McElderry, 2009) was selected for the Texas Library Association's Lone Star and Tayshas Lists for middle school and high school readers, is a finalist for the Nevada Young Reader's Award, is a Jr. Library Guild Selection, and won a Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City. A former teacher, Suzanne believes in attention to detail, thoughtful structure, and being open to new approaches to presenting a story. She is a Regional Advisor Emerita of SCBWI. For more information, see www.suzannemorganwilliams.comOpen in New Window.
Middle-grade and 'tween novels (historic and contemporary) and nonfiction

Nevada SCBWI Tahoe Writers Retreat Conference Schedule

The schedule will be posted as we get closer to the retreat.


The Harveys Lake Tahoe resort is located about 55 miles from Reno or 25 miles from Carson City in Stateline, Nevada. To get there:

From Reno/Carson City: Take US 395 South to exit 57B (Carson City, South Lake Tahoe). The exit circles around and puts you going South on 395 – again. Follow US 395 south to Carson City. Take exit 43 to the right onto US-395 Business/N Carson Street. Follow Carson Street through town. Turn right on US 50 West. Follow this highway to South Lake Tahoe. Harveys will be on your right.

From California: Take US 50 East and follow this to Lake Tahoe. Harveys will be on your left as you cross into Nevada.

To register for this event, including your meals (Friday's dinner, Saturday and Sunday's brunch), click on the picture/link above. You may complete the Registration Form online before printing. Mail your completed form with your payment of $425 (members) / $475 (non-members) to the PO Box listed on the form. This retreat will be limited to 60 participants (1 to 6 ratio of faculty to participants) and it's first come, first served. Don't delay - get your registration in early!

In addition, you need to make a separate hotel registration with Harveys Lake Tahoe resort. This may be done by going to their website (click here for our special pageOpen in New Window) or by calling Harveys at (800) 455-4770. Be sure to identify yourself as belonging to the "Nevada SCBWI Writers Retreat", Group Code:S05SCBW. Note: Your hotel room fee is in addition to the registration fee for the retreat. Please budget accordingly.