Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Connections and Craft: Novel Workshop

Loading Map....

Date(s) - 10/10/2015
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Christ United Methodist Church
4201 State Hwy 6 South - College Station, TX 77845



kimberly 20150509_kelseymurphy_4955_8x10 Scan_Pic0001 - Copy.jpg2

Award winning author

Kimberly Willis Holt

Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins)

editor Kelsey Murphy

Book Doctor

Robyn Conley

 Please note! The location has changed to Christ United Methodist Church.

October 10

Novel Workshop

Join us for a day-long workshop focused on the craft of novel writing. Featured speakers will be award-winning author, Kimberly Willis Holt; the Book Doctor, Robyn Conley; and Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) editor, Kelsey Murphy. 

Topics include: 

  • “Develop Your Character”
  • “After the First Draft”
  • “Self-editing without Self-destructing”
  • "Cross Marketing Story Elements for Cross Selling"


​A limited number of written critiques from faculty will be available for pages submitted by Sept. 1. Separate fees apply. Log in to view SCBWI member fees.

A small block of rooms is reserved at La Quinta Inn & Suites. Make your reservations by Sept. 1 by calling Group Reservations Department at 1-866-527-1498. Identify yourself as a member of the SCBWI and give Reservation Block confirmation number 656954.


Kimberly Willis Holt is a military brat with southern roots. She believes that combination made her a writer. Living all over the world taught her the importance of setting and gave her a curiosity for how others lived. While her storytelling family gifted her with a rhythm for words and the power of spinning a worthy tale. Holt's newest book is Dear Hank Williams.


Robyn Conley, the Book Doctor, speaks and writes about writing, editing, and marketing what you write. She has taught the mechanics of writing and publishing, as well as writing as a healing therapy, at TCU, UTA, and hundreds of individual seminars around the country. 

Robyn also is a well-respected and sought-after freelance editor. For nearly twenty-five years Robyn has critiqued novels and book length non-fiction as well as articles, short stories and poetry collections, helping writers make their work marketable throughout the various changes in publishing.  Her clients have won contests and landed contracts with traditional publishers after hiring her red pen.

Her books for writers include: What to Know Before You Publish: A Wellness Check-up With Book Doc, Robyn Conley, which gives a checklist of publishing and editing tips, and The Healthy Writer's Handbook, featuring snippets from dozens of writers she’s met over the past two decades who know how to succeed and stay healthy in their writing careers.


Kelsey Murphy has been working at Balzer + Bray within HarperCollins since 2013, and has worked at a literary agency, two libraries, and two publishing houses.  She graduated from New York University with a degree in Dramatic Literature, Film Studies, and Theater History, and a minor in Creative Writing.  While not reading or writing, Kelsey studies and performs long-form improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York. 

Kelsey edits picture book, middle-grade, and young adult fiction.  Some of the titles she’s worked on include the BIG NATE series by Lincoln Peirce, the HOUSE OF SECRETS series by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini, Omega City by Diana Peterfreund, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga, Prisoner of Night & Fog by Anne Blankman, Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge, Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light and more.  She is particularly interested in humorous picture books, literary middle grade, and YA with a blend of literary and commercial impulses, with depth of character and strong, driving action.  From quiet contemporary realistic fiction, to high fantasy, incredible romance, to impeccably-researched historical fiction, and genre mash-ups, Kelsey loves to see books with bold, original ideas backed by unforgettable characters.  



Critique Submission Guidelines

For Kimberly Willis Holt and Kelsey Murphy:

Submit the first 10 pages of your work-in-progress, double-spaced, in 12 pt. font, with one inch margins. Include a cover letter and a one-page, single-spaced synopsis (for a total of 12 pages). Critiques will be returned in a 15 minute face-to-face with Ms. Holt or Ms. Murphy during the workshop. Email your submission, attached in a Word document, to by Sept. 1.


For Robyn Conley:

UPDATE 9/1/15–Deadline extended! Email your submission, attached in a Word document, to by Sept. 15.

Up to 20 pages (Courier font, 12-point, double-spaced) plus a cover letter and synopsis. Pages should be first pages of a novel, chapter book, or short stories or pages of several poems. Critiques will be returned with a written summary in a 5 minute face-to-face with Robyn Conley during the workshop.    


FREE Critique with Robyn Conley:

Any paid attendee may bring to the workshop the first five pages of his or her work for a FREE critique by Book Doc, Robyn Conley.  She will read them only if they are in Courier font, 12-point, double-spaced format.  You'll receive immediate feedback to help your work become more polished and marketable while retaining your unique voice and style.