The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2020

Friday, February 21, 2020, 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

From Bed-Time Stories to Flashlights Under the Covers: Writing and Publishing in the Kid-Lit Market with Michael Hale, Sara Fujimura, Sharon Skinner

Date(s): Friday, February 21, 2020, 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Tooker, Old Main (view map)
Genre and Form(s): Children's Books, Marketing, Middle Grade, Publishing, Submitting, Young Adult Literature

About the Session

Three successful KidLit professionals share their many years of experience in children's publishing, from the start of a story, through the ups and downs of revision and submission, and ultimately to publishng and marketing.

Meet the Presenter(s)

Photograph of Michael Hale

Michael Hale has over 30 years of experience as a Creative Director, entrepreneur, writer and Illustrator. He has illustrated many picture books and written two himself. His book, Bad Monkey Business was awarded a Spark Honor by SCBWI in 2018. He also serves as the Illustrator Coordinator for SCBWI’s Arizona Region. When he is not writing or illustrating, he devotes his time to coaching others looking to forge their own path in children’s publishing. You can see more of his work by visiting

Photograph of Sara Fujimura

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.

Photograph of Sharon Skinner

Sharon Skinner holds a GPC, a BA in English, an MA in Creative Writing, and a poetic license. She currently writes for all ages. Her published works include picture books, middle grade, ya, and adult novels. Her rhyming picture book, Rocket Shoes, was selected for the 2018 Leaping Lizard Club Top Ten Read Aloud list. Sharon is an active member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and serves as the Regional Advisor for SCBWI AZ. You can find out more about Sharon online at