Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

CANCELLED: KidLit Tools Workshop: YA (& MG) is Lit! (Phoenix)

Date(s) - 05/09/2020
12:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Mesa Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room
165 N Centenniel Way, Ste 208 - Mesa, AZ 85201


This is a half-day craft intensive aimed at writers and designed as part of a series to provide novel-writing craft tools for creators at all levels.

KidLit Tools Workshop-Phoenix:

YA (& MG) is Lit!

12:30-1:00     Registration/Check-in

 1:00-1:15       Welcome and housekeeping  [Laura Ellen]

 1:15-2:10       Seven Stories in the World – Sara Fujimura

2:10-2:15       Quick break

2:15- 3:10      How to Use Narrative Distance –  Lisa R. Fraustino

3:10-3:25      Snack break/Socialize/book sales

3:25- 4:20     Making Magic: Storytelling Disney-Style – Sara Ella

4:20- 4:25     Quick break

4:25 – 4:45    Q&A with the authors [Laura Ellen, moderator] 

4:45 – 5:00     Door prizes and book signings     



Early Bird Member $45.00 (Until April 17, 2020)*

Early Bird Non-Member $59.00 (Until April 17, 2020)*

Regular Member $55.00 (Beginning April 18, 2020)

Regular Non-Member $69.00 (Beginning April 18, 2020)

CC PAYMENT NOTE: When you click on the ticket and select “continue,” the Payment Window will open. To pay by Credit Card. Select “Pay with PayPal” and click on continue, which will take you to the PayPal site, where you may pay with a credit card without having a PayPal account.

*Payment must be received by Early Bird Deadline.

Workshop Presentation Descriptions:

Seven Stories in the World presented by Sara Fujimura

If you boil them down, there are only seven stories in the world. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, I will teach participants how to put a unique, specific spin on a universal experience to create a story that the audience hasn’t heard before yet can still connect with on a subconscious level. Whether you write fanfic, books, screenplays, or plot-heavy video games, this workshop is for all kinds of storytellers.

How to Use Narrative Distance presented by Lisa R. Fraustino

Also called psychic distance, narrative distance refers to how far the narrator takes the reader inside a character’s thoughts and perceptions. Understanding narrative distance helps with controlling point of view and mastering the craft of showing characters versus telling about them. In this workshop we will look at examples across the range of narrative distance, from remote to close-up, and practice placing our own sentences on the spectrum to achieve a desired effect on the reader.

Making Magic: Storytelling Disney-Style presented by Sara Ella

Have you ever wondered why the waterworks appear at the end of films like Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid? Or perhaps you’ve asked yourself what in the world caused you to care so much about a clownfish! Time and time again, Disney stories make their way into our hearts, impacting us long after we leave the theater. How do they make that magic succeed? What can we learn from Disney’s techniques that will help our own novels shine? In this class, we’ll explore the “Disney formula,” why it works, and how you can sprinkle a little Pixie Dust into your writing.


The Presenters:

Sara Fujimura writes for teens and the young at heart. She is the American half of her Japanese-American family and spends about a month each summer in rural Japan with her children. So it’s no surprise she’s written about Japanese culture and raising bicultural kids for such magazines as LEARNING THROUGH HISTORY and MOTHERING, as well as, writing travel-related articles for the book TO JAPAN WITH LOVE. Her award-winning YA contemporary novel Tanabata Wish is set in Nagoya, Japan. Her second book Breathe is YA historical fiction set in 1918 Philadelphia against the Spanish Flu pandemic. Every Reason We Shouldn’t, also YA contemporary, launches March 2020 with Tor Teen is for fans of The Cutting Edge and Yuri on Ice. Sara is a creative writing teacher, a literacy advocate, and is excited to support the next generation of authors.

Dr. Lisa is the Director of Graduate Programs in Children’s Literature at Hollins University, where she teaches both literature and creative writing courses. Her middle-grade novel The Hole in the Wall won the 2010 Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature. Some of her best-known books include the Dear America title I Walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials (Scholastic); a picture book illustrated by Benny Andrews, The Hickory Chair (Arthur Levine/Scholastic); and the YA novel Ash (Orchard), which also served as her creative PhD dissertation. She has also edited three anthologies of young adult fiction. Dr. Lisa founded the Eastern Pennsylvania chapter of the SCBWI and served as its first Regional Advisor for many years.


Sara Ella is the award-winning author of the Unblemished series and Coral, a reimagining of The Little Mermaid that focuses on mental health.

She spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses, raising her little prince to be a king, and conquering realms of her own imaginings with her swoony husband by her side. She may or may not be obsessed with #Bookstagram, which feeds her current addiction to bookish tea and candles. A lover of fairy tales, she believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.”

Connect with Sara online at or on Instagram @saraellawrites


Terms and Conditions:

“By signing up for this event, the registrant acknowledges that audio taping, videotaping and/or transmitting or aiding in any of the foregoing of any part of the conference (including, but not limited to, presentations, individual sessions and networking events) is prohibited. Additionally, the material in all handouts and presentations is copyrighted and may not be reprinted, blogged, written, orally transmitted, and/or reproduced without written permission of the copyright holder.”

Note: Photos at SCBWI AZ events may be used for publicity events.



*PAID REGISTRATION is required for this program.

*Must be at least 18 years of age to attend SCBWI AZ events.

*SCBWI Members MUST log in to receive member pricing.

*There are no partial refunds for failure to log in.

*Substitutions for workshop attendance should be made 48 hours prior to the event. Regional Advisor must be notified in writing at

*Refunds (Tuition Only):

*Up to April 14, 2020 subject to a $5.00 handling fee.

*Before May 1, 2020—50% of workshop tuition

*No refunds after May 1, 2020.

*No credits will be issued.

*We are not responsible for any technical difficulties that may arise during registration.