Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2015 CenCal Retreat

An Editor's Strategies for Reaching Fabulous Final Drafts
Featuring Deborah Halverson
January 16 – 18, 2015
New Location! Posada Royale Hotel and Suites
1775 Madera Rd., Simi Valley, CA  93065

Registration Deadline Extended to December 10th!

Deb Halverson photo color_small


For published and not yet published authors
Don’t have a completed First Draft?
No problem.
The retreat is now open to anyone
currently working on a MG or YA novel.

We can also match you up
with others looking for feedback.

Click For Registration Form


Join us for a fun and informative three-day intensive with Deborah Halverson, veteran editor and award-winning author of two teen novels, craft guides and Writing New Adult Fiction. Deborah will guide attendees through revision strategies for their MG and YA fiction and then arm them with ten actionable tests for assessing when their manuscript is really, truly ready to submit … along with ways to whip the manuscript into shape if it fails a single one of them.

This intensive will consist of lectures by Deborah, hands-on exercises, informal discussions and the option of a small group critique session. For an additional fee, you can register for a manuscript critique and private consultation with Deborah.

If you like to work independently, you can choose to use open time for rewrites. Or, if you prefer having group feedback on your work, you can choose to be a member of a Core Group. Each Core Group will consist of 4 members (including you) who will read each other’s manuscript in advance, then meet on-site to offer comments.

DEBORAH HALVERSON spent a decade editing books for Harcourt Children's Books before becoming the award-winning author of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, Writing New Adult Fiction, the teen novels Honk If You Hate Me and Big Mouth, the picture book Letters to Santa, and three books in the Remix series for struggling readers. She is now a freelance editor, author, writing instructor, and the founder of the popular writers’ advice site She also serves on the advisory board for UC San Diego Extension “Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating” certificate program. Deborah speaks extensively at workshops and conferences for writers and edits adult fiction and nonfiction while specializing in teen fiction, new adult fiction, and picture books. For more about Deborah, visit


This retreat is designed for maximum participation, so advance preparation is required.

You must have a completed draft of a chapter book or novel.

Optional: If you decide to participate in Core Group feedback, you will email your manuscript to 3 other members by November 15, 2014, then read and make written comments, and bring all to the retreat.

At the Retreat, you will receive a complimentary copy of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies.

PRIVATE CONSULTATION: Private consultations are available with Deborah for an additional $45. Indicate your interest in this option on the registration form and submission instruction and billing information will follow.

Single room $425 (all meals included)
Shared room $375 (all meals included)
Commuter only $295 ( includes Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and dinner)
Optional one-on-one manuscript critique with Deborah Halverson- $45 extra, to be billed later

Click For Registration Form


If you choose to participate in a Core Group, you will send one copy of a completed novel draft via snail mail to each of other three members of your group no later than December 1, 2015

There is a limited number of manuscript critiques available. If you are accepted, you will be notified to send the first (10) pages plus a one-page synopsis to SCBWI CenCal Retreat, P.O. Box 1500, Simi Valley, CA 93062-1500 no later than November 15, 2014.

REFUND POLICY: Cancellations prior to December 28, 2014 are subject to a $50 processing charge.
No refunds after December 28, 2014.

POOL available so don't forget to pack a suit.

Call Mary Ann Fraser at (805) 501-3754 or email: