Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

The Best of Reno Mentorship Retreat 2019

Date(s) - 11/08/2019 - 11/10/2019
5:30 pm - 1:00 pm

Sierra Arts Foundation Gallery
17 South Virginia Street #120 - Reno, Nevada

The Best of Reno: A Nevada Mentorship Program Reunion and Regrouping in the Heart of Reno

Meet up with old friends and mentors for an opportunity to reflect and recharge. You’ll find time to share, learn, reconnect and network in beautiful, relaxed downtown Reno. Mentors and mentees from years past and present are welcome. Sign up today!

Please sign up *right away* to reserve a room in the our block at Whitney Peak Hotel (a non-gaming downtown hotel).  Free self-parking is included, and valet parking is $15.

Jennifer Chen Tran, agent from Bradford Literary Agency is a faculty for this event.

Jennifer Chen Tran is an agent at Bradford Literary, joining in September 2017. She represents both fiction and non-fiction.


Originally from New York, Jennifer is a lifelong reader and experienced member of the publishing industry. Prior to joining Bradford Literary, she was an Associate Agent at Fuse Literary and served as Counsel at The New Press. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Northeastern School of Law in Boston, MA, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jennifer understands the importance of negotiation in securing rights on behalf of her authors. She counsels her clients on how to expand their platforms, improve on craft, and works collaboratively with her clients throughout the editorial and publication process. Her ultimate goal is to work in concert with authors to shape books that will have a positive social impact on the world—books that also inform and entertain.

Select titles that Jennifer has represented: THE SHARP END OF LIFE by Dierdre Wolownick (Mountaineers Books); THE PEACHED TORTILLA COOKBOOK by Eric Silverstein (Sterling Epicure); THE ART OF ESCAPING by Erin Callahan (Amberjack); MATCH MADE IN MANHATTAN by Amanda Stauffer (Skyhorse); A CROWDFUNDER’S STRATEGY GUIDE by Jamey Stegmaier (Berrett-Koehler).

Jennifer is very interested in diverse writers and #ownvoices from underrepresented/ marginalized communities, strong and conflicted characters who are not afraid to take emotional risks, stories about multi-generational conflict, war and post-war fiction, and writing with a developed sense of place. In non-fiction, she loves books that broaden her world view or shed new light on ‘big ideas.’

Jennifer will meet in 3 groups with our current mentees, be on a panel on Sunday, and give a 40-minute talk on something PAL oriented – TBA. She will accept queries from our attendees and will recommend agents who work with PB and artists as appropriate.

Hotel details:

Booking Link Below:

Group CODE: SCBWI1119

Please see this helpful link for locations used during the event (cut and paste into the address bar if needed):


Friday, November 8 

5:30PM meet at Whitney Peak Hotel Lobby and walk to West Street Market for dinner – paid for on your own. 2019 Mentor/mentee meetings as pre-arranged.

Saturday, November 9: 9AM to 4PM Sierra Arts Foundation:

  • Current mentees will meet throughout the day as pre-arranged with your individual mentors
  • Current Mentee group meetings with Jen Chen Tran on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. See Retreat folder for your schedule

Light breakfast (fruit yogurt rolls provided)

9AM Opening intros and ice breaker.

9:50AM Returning Mentees Panel: What happened after the program, next steps, what worked

10:30 AM break

10:45AM: CharacterConflict Match-Ups to Energize Your Story – Hands on with Terri Farley

11:30 Trends in Children’s Publishing – Jen Chen Tran, Bradford Agency

12:15 lunch on your own.

(Optional –Second Saturdays – free admission –Nevada Art Museum. November 9. 1PM adult tour.)

1:15 to 2:15PM: Talking about Queries – Heather Petty is available for individual appointments/feedback on your queries. Sign up on Saturday morning.

Snacks provided throughout afternoon

1:45 to 2:25PM Beyond Book Reviews – Giving Your Book Legs – Panel: Jenny Mackay; using articles to advance your career; Mina Witteman; book festivals and events; Suzanne Morgan Williams; school visits; Terri Farley; community advocacy, double duty

2:25 PM First Round Table Discussions – topics: illustrators and PB sharing, Revision, Marketing, Presentations, Online Outreach

3:10 to 4PM Bargain, Barter and Trade – Show and tell of attendee’s books

4PM Close up at Sierra Arts.

5PM dinner at Silver Peak Grill and Taproom (included in program fee.)

8PM after-hours get-together

Sunday, November 10 –10AM to 1PM at Sierra Arts Foundation

10AM coffee, food and chat

10:20AM Tracy Clark Mentorship Matters – The Impact, The Boost, and The Dream Come True

11- 11:45AM Second Round Table Discussions – challenges in publishing. next steps in our careers including resources needed and planning.

11:50 Q and A panel, all faculty and sharing ideas from round tables.

12:45 Wrap up and goodbye.