NESCBWI 2016 Conference Overview

Posted on: November 5, 2015

The Power of (Re)Invention NESCBWI Conference 2016

The NESCBWI 2016 Conference Chairs, Heather Kelly, Josh Funk, and Marilyn Salerno are very excited to announce the keynotes and VIP panelists, special events, and critique faculty for the NESCBWI Spring Conference: The POWER of (RE) INVENTION, to be held in Springfield MA, April 29 through May 1, 2016

Registration opens Feb. 9, 2016 at 12 noon, EST. (Visit back in January for live link.) 

For more information and updates, follow

**New this year: if you are a member of SCBWI, you may sell 1-2 books in our bookstore, as long as you register for the conference BEFORE February 29th, 2016.**


Wendy Mass

Wendy is an amazingly prolific bestselling author, and we're so pleased to have her! She is the New York Times bestselling author of The Candymakers, along with eighteen other novels for young readers. They include A Mango-Shaped Space, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life (which was made into a feature film), 11 Birthdays, which was the first book in the bestselling Willow Falls series, and Every Soul a Star. Pi in the Sky and the Space Taxi series are her latest. She is currently writing the sequel to The Candymakers while building a labyrinth in her backyard. Not at the same time, of course. That’d be weird. Visit her at

Patrick Carman

Patrick gave an amazing TED talk about reaching kids through books and often engages readers with technology. His newest book venture is Voyagers, and keynote Wendy Mass is also authoring one of the books!

TED talk:

Patrick Carman is a New York Times bestselling children’s author with over four million books in print in 20+ languages across 30 titles. Some of his popular series include 39 CLUES, SKELETON CREEK, FLOORS, THE LAND OF ELYON, and VOYAGERS. Many of Carman’s works are being developed for features and TV, including FLOORS for Disney, EVERMORE for Amblin, THIRTEEN DAYS TO MIDNIGHT for Bold Films, and ESCAPE THE ROOM for Universal. Discover more at

Jarrett J. Krosoczka

A New England native resident and graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Jarrett is a two-time winner of the Children's Choice Book Awards for the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year and is the author and/or illustrator of more than twenty-five books for young readers. His work includes several picture books, the Lunch Lady graphic novels and Platypus Police Squad middle-grade novel series.

Jarrett has given two TED Talks, both of which have been curated to the main page of and have collectively acrued nearly two million views online. He is also the host of The Book Report with JJK on SiriusXM's Kids Place Live, a weekly segment celebrating books, authors and reading. His work has been featured on the front page of The Boston Globe and on NPR's All Things Considered. Jarrett's books have also been recommended by national publications such as Newsweek, The New York Times and USA Today. His Punk Farm picture book and Lunch Lady series are both currently in development as feature films.

Find more information at
Jarrett's First TED Talk "How a Boy Became an Artist":
Jarrett's Second TED Talk "Why Lunch Ladies Are Heroes":

Blockbuster Sunday Panel:

We are incredibly thrilled to announce a brand new Sunday panel to the NESCBWI Spring Conference Lineup this year: Working with Educators and Booksellers: What You Need to Know featuring Elizabeth Bluemle, Donalyn Miller, Susannah Ricahards, and John Schumacher (a.k.a. Mr. Schu)

Three nationally-renowned educators, and the co-owner of an award-winning New England independent bookstore answer questions and engage in a lively conversation about how authors and illustrators can best meet the needs of people who put books in the hands of children.

Additionally, each of these four experts will individually be leading a workshop on Sunday from her or his informed and experienced perspective entitled 10 Things I Wish Authors and Illustrators Knew throughout the course of the day.

Elizabeth Bluemle is the award-winning author of four picture books, including Tap, Tap, Boom, Boom, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, and How Do You Wokka-Wokka?, illustrated by Randy Cecil. She also contributes to Publisher Weekly’s popular ShelkfTalker blog and is the co-owner of The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, Vermont.
Twitter: @ehbluemle
Websites: http://www.elizabethbluemle.com

Donalyn Miller is the Manager of Independent Reading and Outreach for Scholastic Book Fairs.. She has taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grade language arts and social studies in Texas and was a finalist for 2010 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year. Donalyn is the author of The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild, the founder and facilitator of the‪#‎bookaday‬ Twitter community, and the co-founder and co-facilitator of the popular The Nerdy Book Club blog.
Twitter: @donalynbooks

No one loves to booktalk more than beloved children’s literature advocate Susannah Richards, Associate Professor of Reading and Language Arts at Eastern Connecticut State University. She served on the 2013 Newbery committee and is a popular speaker who frequently presents her favorite recent titles for youth at local, national, and international conferences.
Twitter: @sussingoutbooks

John Schumacher (a.k.a. Mr. Schu) is well known for promoting reading, authors, illustrators, and books on his blog After serving as an elementary teacher-librarian in Illinois for 8 years, he now teaches for Rutgers University’s MLIS program and is Scholastic’s Ambassador of School Libraries. John served on the 2014 Newbery committee, the ALSC’s Children and Technology committee, the AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, two Readers’ Choice award committees, and the School Library Month planning committee.
Twitter: @mrschureads


We're very excited to welcome back the Book Doctors (@TheBookDoctors), Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry with their amazing Pitchapalooza: 

Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry are co-founders of The Book Doctors, a company dedicated to helping authors get their books published. They are also co-authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published: How To Write It, Sell It, and Market It… Successfully (Workman, 2010). Arielle Eckstut has been a literary agent for over 20 years at The Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. She is also the author of nine books and the co-founder of the iconic brand, LittleMissMatched. David Henry Sterry is the best-selling author of sixteen books on a wide variety of subjects including memoir, sports, YA fiction and reference. His first book has been translated into ten languages, and his last book appeared on the front cover of The New York Times Book Review. They have taught their workshop on how to get published everywhere from Stanford University to Smith College. They have appeared everywhere from The New York Times to NPR's Morning Edition to USA Today.

Critique Faculty:

Get those queries, manuscripts, and portfolios ready! These individuals will be at the conference giving workshops, talking on panels, and giving one-on-one critiques. Please make sure to do your research, since this year, you will pick your own critiquer! 


  • Linda Camacho, Prospect Agency, @LindaRandom
  • Sara Crowe, Harvey Clinger Inc., @saraagent
  • Moe Ferrara, BookEnds, @inthesestones
  • Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary, @BarryGoldblatt
  • Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency, @literaticat
  • Talia Levitt (portfolio critiques), Studio Goodwin Sturges
  • Lauren MacLeod, The Strothman Agency, @Lauren_MacLeod
  • Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency, @joanpaq
  • Rebecca Podos, Rees Literary Agency @RebeccaPodos
  • Kathleen Rushall, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, @KatRushall
  • Brooks Sherman, The Bent Agency, @byobrooks


Art Directors: 

  • Merideth Harte, Sterling Publishing, @mer_z_dotes
  • Jim Hoover, Viking Children’s Books, @jkhoovs



  • Julie Bliven, Charlesbridge, @Julie_Bliven
  • TJ da Roza, Jolly Fish Press, @TJdaRozaEditor
  • Emily Feinberg, Roaring Brook Press, @EmilyFeinberg
  • Zaneta Jung, Sterling Publishing, @zeejung
  • Celia Lee, Scholastic, @hellocelialee
  • Kendra Levin, Viking/Penguin, @kendralevin
  • Aubrey Poole, Sourcebooks, @TheAubreyPoole
  • Eileen Robinson, consulting editor, @MoveBooks
  • David Henry Sterry, career consultant, @Sterryhead
  • Harold Underdown, consulting editor, @HUnderdown
  • Alison Weiss, Sky Pony Press, @alioop7

The directors, conference coordinators, and RAs are working hard to bring you a fantastic conference and hope to see you in there in the spring! Volunteer opportunities, information on submissions, and all other info will go live in January. Email nescbwi16 (at) gmail (dot) com with questions.