Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

YA Masterclass – Dive Deeper into Your Writing!

Date(s) - 04/14/2018
8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Inklings Coffee & Tea
530 Main Street - Pleasanton,

Young Adult Masterclass

Dive Deeper into Your Writing!

Join our faculty of three best selling authors and a top agent, for a day of deep craft sessions in the lovely Inklings Tea and Coffee meeting space, in historical downtown Pleasanton. The sessions will provide practical guidance on revisions, working with an agent, deepening your characters and worlds, pacing and tension, and using Stanislavski technique in plot driven writing!

This is a small intimate event, for advanced Young Adult writers, meaning you have at least one rough draft of a YA novel, and are looking to up your YA novel writing game!

Please register early to avoid disappointment!


Veronica Rossi “VISION” WORKSHOP

Forget about revision; let’s talk vision! How clearly are you seeing your story? Are your story elements—character, plot, theme, prose—all working together to deliver on that vision?

You know how to make the messy draft. You feel pretty confident with how to structure a plot and you know how to revise. But are you looking beyond story-mechanics to the beating heart of your work?

This workshop will offer tips and exercises to bring you 20,000 leagues under the surface of your story. We will look at what it means to write dimensional characters who leap off the page, plot points that support your theme, and even drill down to how we can push our prose to be its absolute beautifulest.

Gretchen McNeil – Using Stanislavski Technique in Plot-Driven Writing
Known as the godfather of modern acting technique, Constantin Stanislavski’s approach to character reaches far beyond the stage. Gretchen will demonstrate how she uses Stanislavski’s fundamental questions, superimposed upon three-act structure, to plot her YA horror novels.

Jordan Hamessley – Are We There Yet? How Manuscript Revisions With Your Agent and Editor Help Complete the Publishing Journey.

Stacey Lee – Tension, Conflicts and Stakes, OH MY! How to ratchet these three key
elements to create your best page turner.

Our Faculty

New Leaf Literary Agent, Jordan Hamessley

With nearly a decade of experience working on the editorial side of publishing at Penguin Young Readers (Grosset & Dunlap), Egmont USA, and Adaptive Studios, Jordan Hamessley made the switch to agenting. Jordan had the pleasure of editing many award winning and critically acclaimed authors such as Sara Benincasa, Len Vlahos, Ilsa J. Bick, Adam-Troy Castro, E.C. Myers, Dori Hillestad Butler, Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead, Michelle Schusterman and more.

She is actively building a list of diverse children’s fiction from picture books through YA and select adult science fiction and horror authors. Jordan has a deep affection for contemporary middle grade and YA with heart and humor. She is always looking to find stories that bring the queer experience to the children’s space across all age ranges. In terms of genre, she is interested science fiction and horror. She is also looking for quirky, non-fiction picture books with a STEM focus.

Jordan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and sings show tunes and tap dances in her spare time.

Author, Veronica Rossi 

Veronica Rossi is a best selling author of fiction for young adults. Her debut novel, UNDER THE NEVER SKY, was the first in a post-apocalyptic trilogy. Released in January 2012, it was deemed one of the Best Books of Year by School Library Journal. The series appeared in the NY Times and USA Today best seller lists and was published in over 25 foreign markets.

Her second series for young adults began with RIDERS (published February 2016), and tells the story of four modern day teens who become incarnations of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and the prophetic girl who brings them together. SEEKER, (published May 2017), completes the duology.

Veronica completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She is a lifelong reader and artist. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she has lived in Mexico, Venezuela, and all over the United States, to finally settle in Northern California with her husband and two sons.


Author, Gretchen McNeil 

Gretchen McNeil is the author of the YA horror/suspense novels POSSESS, 3:59, RELIC, GET EVEN, GET DIRTY, and TEN (a YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, and a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth) all with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins. Gretchen’s first YA contemporary I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, also with Balzer + Bray, hit shelves in 2016, and her next novel will be the horror-comedy #MURDERTRENDING for Disney/Freeform in 2018.

Gretchen’s novels have been published internationally in Chinese, Spanish, Turkish, Czech, and French. The film adaptation of TEN starring China Anne McClain (Descendants 2, Black Lightning), Rome Flynn (The Bold and the Beautiful), and Callan McAuliffe (Flipped, I Am Number Four), directed by Chris Robert for Rain Maker Films, premiered on Lifetime in 2017.

Gretchen is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Author, Stacey Lee

Stacey Lee is a fourth generation Chinese American and
Californian whose debut novel, UNDER A PAINTED SKY won the SCBWI
Crystal Kite award. Her second book, OUTRUN THE MOON, won the PEN
Center USA award for YA fiction, and the Asian Pacific American
Librarians Association’s award for YA book of the year. THE SECRET OF
A HEART NOTE is her latest book. If she is not writing, she is
napping, or picking up the carpool.

Fees & Cancellation Policy

Before March 10th.
SCBWI Members: $139
Non-members: $169

After March 10th.

SCBWI Members: $159
Non-members: $189

Non members join and save! JOIN SCBWI!

Refund Policy
Full refund (less $25 admin) until March 10th. From March 11th to April 2nd, refund of $100 if spot can be filled. If the spot cannot be filled there will be no refund.

After April 2nd no refunds except in extreme circumstances.

Lunch & Snacks
Tea, coffee, water and light snacks will be provided.
Please bring your own lunch or plan on going out to one of the many delightful cafes or farmer’s market in downtown Pleasanton.

Post Event Wine & Sign!

Post event, from 4:30 – 5:30, everyone is invited to the Wine & Sign Party at Towne Center Books, just a hop across the street!

Post Event Written Critiques $45

Written Manuscript Critiques – put what you’ve learned into practice, and have your first ten pages critiqued by a faculty member. All attendees will be contacted with a special code, for the opportunity to sign up for a written critique with a faculty member, post conference.

Free Parking
20 spots at the side of Inklings, more at The Firehouse Arts Center. Also look for Public Parking signs around Downtown Pleasanton.


Program subject to change without notice

Any questions, email Keely Parrack:


Anti-Harassment Policy Please note, by signing up for this workshop you are also agreeing to abide by our new anti-harassment policy.

Diversity Initiatives