Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Real Talk: How To Keep Your Writing Career Going In A Post-Pandemic World

Date(s) - 09/17/2022
9:00 am - 12:30 pm


Real Talk: How To Keep Your Writing Career Going In A Post-Pandemic World

Webinar Intensive presented by Editor Susan Chang, Agent Ann Rose, and Hybrid YA Author Sara Fujimura

Editor and agent burnout. Supply chain issues. Fewer publishers taking on fewer new titles. Undoubtedly, traditional publishing has gotten even harder since the pandemic began. Of course, we all want to dream big, but there are some hard truths authors need to face to keep their dream alive. And it’s not just pre-published authors. Many mid-list authors are also back in the query trenches, struggling to keep their backlist alive while shopping around their next book.

What if you could be a fly on the wall inside acquisitions meetings at a traditional publisher? Or know what goes through an agent’s mind when they make an offer? What if you could ask industry experts the hard questions often evaded at conferences? What if you could get straight talk and actionable steps on how to keep your career rolling despite all the additional pandemic hurdles?  Now you can!

REAL TALK: HOW TO KEEP YOUR WRITING CAREER GOING IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD is a 3.5-hour, intensive writing business workshop for both pre-published and multi-published authors. It includes three 50-minute writing business workshops plus one 30-minute Q&A with all the panel members. A limited number of written critiques and 1-on-1 marketing appointments will also be available for an additional fee.


From Query to Published, and ALL the Steps in Between:
The hard truths that take place on the path to publication (if it even happens at all) 

Presented by:  Ann Rose, Agent, The Prospect Agency

What really goes through an agent’s mind when they filter through the “slush pile?” And why is it even called that? Is it true that good books are rejected all the time? What does this rejection even mean? Why does publishing take so long? What happens if my book doesn’t sell?

Agent Ann Rose will take writers through the whole querying process from the moment the query is opened through the selection process to signing as a new client. She will offer tips, best practices, and red flags when partnering with an agent and talk about the questions you should ask on “the call” to make sure you’re a good match. From there, Ann will discuss the rollercoaster of going out on submission with your project. She’ll break down some hard truths about the publishing process, relay what publishers are currently asking for, offer tips on how to make your project stand out (in a good way!), and will tackle the dreaded “what if the book doesn’t sell” talk.

Ann Rose will also candidly discuss some of the trickier topics in publishing that people want to know about but are too afraid to ask. Like, what really is in my contract? What if my last book sold poorly, and I never earned out my advance? How much marketing does the publisher actually do? Is it time to break up with my agent? And what do I do now?

Knowledge is power. The more you know going in, the more you’ll be prepared.

Come with your toughest agenting questions because Ann is ready to spill the “tea.”


What’s the Deal? Or a Better Question, How Do I Get One?: What it takes to get an offer of publication in this new reality 

Presented by: Susan Chang, Freelance Editor, Susan Chang Editorial, former acquisitions editor at HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Hyperion

With few exceptions, most books published today by traditional publishers are acquired through agented submissions only. With thirty years under her belt as an acquiring editor for Big Five publishers–including HarperCollins and Macmillan–freelance developmental editor Susan Chang offers direct, behind-the-scenes insight into the mind of an acquisitions editor. She talks candidly about the reasons editors reject or accept manuscripts and the calculations that go into a publishing offer, including the acquisitions process, the Profit and Loss statement, and how advances are decided upon. In addition, she gives an overview of the publishing contract and discusses which terms are negotiable and which are not. Susan also gives her perspective on issues of diversity and representation in publishing and how it’s affecting the industry today.

Come with your toughest publishing questions because Susan is ready to answer questions other editors dodge.


A Post-Pandemic Paradigm Shift: You are now an authorpreneur

Presented by: Hybrid YA Author and owner of Oracle Author Services Sara Fujimura

It doesn’t matter if you are indie-pubbed, a mid-list author, or had your first traditionally-published book fall into the COVID Abyss (same!). Unless you are a big fish author at your publishing house, the hard truth is you will be doing 70% of your own publicity. After your season is over, it jumps to about 95%. So whether you want to have a book signing at your local B&N (done it!), be interviewed on your local NPR station (that too!), or be asked to be on panels at major conferences and conventions (multiple times!), Sara teaches you how to think like an authorpreneur, discover your secret sauce, and become the go-to person in your niche. Along the way, she will impart actionable tips on how not to look like a potato at signing events, how to get your indie books into Barnes & Nobles, and the best low-cost ways to stretch your marketing dollars.

Come prepared with your toughest marketing questions because Sara wants you to stop throwing spaghetti at the wall and learn how to position your book in the marketplace and find your superfans.



Editor Susan Chang: 10-page opening (first 10 manuscript pages)  plus 1-page synopsis – Click here for critique consultation guidelines for Susan Chang

Agent Ann Rose: Query plus a 1-page synopsis plus the first 2 pages of your manuscript – Click here for critique consultation guidelines for Ann Rose


Authorpreneur Sara Fujimura: 40-minute Zoom consultations to discuss targeted marketing and specific authorpreneurial questions. (These zoom consultations will be scheduled for after the intensive so that you can apply what you have learned prior to meeting.) Click here for critique consultation guidelines for Sara Fujimura

NOTE: If you are interested, you may sign up for one consultation with either Ann Rose or Susan Chang as well as one consultation with Sara Fujimura.



9:00                 Introduction and Housekeeping

9:10                 From Query to Published, and ALL the Steps in Between with Agent Ann Rose

10:00              What’s the Deal? Or a Better Question, How Do I Get One? with Editor Susan Chang

10:50               Short break

11:00               A Post-Pandemic Paradigm Shift with Authorpreneur Sara Fujimura

11:50               30-minute Q&A with all three presenters

12:20               Wrap-up by RA/ARA

12:30               End


Intensive Member Rate:  $45.00

Intensive Non-member Rate: $70.00


WRITTEN CRITIQUE PLUS A 20-MINUTE ZOOM CONSULTATION with either Agent Ann Rose or Editor Susan Chang

Member Rate: $80.00

Non-member Rate $95.00

40-MINUTE ZOOM CONSULTATION with Authorpreneur Sara Fujimura

Member Rate: $55.00

Non-member Rate: $70.00


Ann Rose has been exploring publishing by working and mentoring with literary agents in various capacities for the past few years. Everything she has experienced, from editorial work to the magic of finding the perfect match between author and editor, has hardened her resolve to join this wonderful profession. Now she’s thrilled to be building her own list as an agent with Prospect Literary Agency and is actively seeking clients ready to grow amazing careers with her. Ann’s perfect manuscript is a character-driven story that isn’t afraid to push boundaries. She loves an unlikable character — even though she is incredibly likable herself!



Susan Chang is a freelance developmental editor with thirty years of experience acquiring books at Big Five publishers. She began her publishing career at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she worked for nine years before moving on to shorter stints at Hyperion Books for Children (a former imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide) and Parachute Publishing, a book packager. She was a senior editor at Tor Books (Macmillan Publishers) for seventeen years before launching Susan Chang Editorial ( She lives in Queens, the most diverse borough of New York City.



Sara Fujimura (Foo-gee-moo-rah) is a hybrid young adult author and the owner of Oracle Author Services. Whether you want to know about Japan (TANABATA WISH), the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 (BREATHE), what it’s like to be an Olympic-caliber skater (EVERY REASON WE SHOULDN’T, Tor Teen), or how unscripted television works (FAKING REALITY, Tor Teen), Sara takes readers on swoony journeys to unusual places. After arranging a dozen multi-author signing events at local B&Ns, Sara decided to pivot her cat-herding, secret-sauce-detecting superpowers into a business, Oracle Author Services. EVERY REASON WE SHOULDN’T was named an NPR Best Book of 2020. Sara is represented by Ann Rose of the Prospect Agency, and Susan Chang was her editor at Tor Teen for FAKING REALITY.


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