Have a Question? Contact us at: ruccl.org1on1@gmail.com


Saturday, October 24, 2020

This year, EVERYONE can attend the Rutgers Conference! There’s no application. No sample writing submission. No travel to New Jersey! Simply register and for $45, you’ll have access via Zoom to a full day of children’s literature panels, Q&As, and keynotes. This year, EVERYONE is welcome to attend the RUCCL Conference!


  1. Fill out online registration form by October 16.
  2. Receive email confirmation with address for sending $45 check. (Sorry, we cannot accept e-payments)
  3. Mail $45 check postmarked by October 20.
  4. If desired, send email asking additional questions for panels.
  5. Receive Zoom link via email the week of October 19.
  6. Log into Zoom link just before 9:00am on October 24.
  7. The link works for the entire day of events. Come and go as you please.


9:00 AM Welcome Speech – Tara Lazar, RUCCL Co-Chair
9:15 AM - 9:45 AM Success Story Speaker – Sayantani DasGupta (author) plus a short film of previous success stories
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Creative Marketing and Promotion Panel – What Has Worked During the Pandemic
  • Moderator: Margery Cuyler (Author, former editorial director)
  • Kirsten Cappy (Owner, Curious City, and former bookseller)
  • Alexandra Diaz (Author)
  • Siena Koncsol (Assoc. Director of Publicity, Little, Brown Young Readers)
  • Karen Rostoker-Gruber (Author)
  • Laurie Wallmark (Author)
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM Diversity Panel – Seeing All of Me: Writing Beyond Your Character's Marginalizations
  • Moderator: Anuoluwapo Ohioma (Editor, Penguin Workshop)
  • Mark Oshiro (Author)
  • Kristina Forest (Author)
  • Lamar Giles (Author)
  • Mechal Renee Roe (Author/Illustrator)
12:15 PM - 12:45 PM Lunch Break
12:45 PM - 1:45 PM Kidlit Experts Panel – Everything You Wanted to Know About Kidlit But Were Afraid To Ask
  • Moderator: Tara Lazar (Author)
  • Erica De Chavez (Senior Designer, HarperCollins)
  • Alexandra Hightower (Associate Editor, Little Brown BFYR)
  • Alan Katz (Author)
  • Marissa Moss (Publisher, Creston Books, and author/illustrator)
  • Meredith Mundy (Editorial Director, Preschool, Appleseeds Books)
  • Deb Noyes (Author)
  • Laurie Wallmark (Author)
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Agent Panel – Pleased to Offer Representation: An Agent’s Role in a Client’s Career
  • Moderator: Rachel Orr (Prospect Agency)
  • Amy Elizabeth Bishop (Dystel, Goederich & Bourret)
  • Jemiscoe Chambers-Black (Andrea Brown Literary)
  • Sean McCarthy (Sean McCarthy Literary Agency)
  • Ammi-Joan Paquette (Erin Murphy Literary Agency)
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM Keynote Speech – Varian Johnson (author)
4:00 PM Closing Remarks – Tara Lazar, RUCCL Co-Chair



Because of the pandemic, many schools, libraries, and bookstores have shut down or resorted to reduced hours. As a result, publishers, authors, and illustrators have experimented with innovative marketing ideas and/or expanded earlier promotional efforts to connect their books with young readers. RUCCL has invited four distinguished panelists to share their thoughts on how they’ve reached out, especially during these challenging times. What has worked and what has not worked?

DIVERSITY PANEL – Seeing All of Me: Writing Beyond Your Character’s Marginalizations

Watch this panel of incredibly talented authors engage in a candid conversation about diversity and what it means to develop characters beyond their marginalizations. With the publishing industry showing a renewed interest in diverse stories, it’s important to ensure that the characters on the page reflect the complex lives of the people they’re meant to represent.

ASK THE KIDLIT EXPERTS PANEL – Everything You Wanted to Know About Kidlit But Were Afraid to Ask

Experts share the inside scoop about writing or illustrating books for children, from how to start to getting published to contracts—anything and everything. Covering picture books to YA, fiction and nonfiction.

AGENT PANEL – Pleased to Offer Representation: An Agent’s Role in a Client’s Career

An offer of representation is an exciting moment—both for the writer or illustrator, as well as for the agent. In this panel, four agents will talk about their agencies and discuss what they’re looking for in a client. They’ll also discuss how they see the agent’s role in a client’s long-term career.

Busy on October 24th?

As an added benefit, registrants will have access to recordings of the entire conference (excluding keynote speakers) through October 31.


Varian Johnson

Varian Johnson

Varian Johnson is the author of numerous novels for young readers, including The Parker Inheritance, which was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book among other accolades; The Great Greene Heist, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014, and Twins, his first graphic novel. Varian received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he now serves as a member of the faculty.

Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family, and can be found online:


Sayantani DasGupta

Sayantani DasGupta

Sayantani DasGupta is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed, Bengali folktale and string theory-inspired Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond books, the first of which – The Serpent’s Secret – was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Best Middle Grade Novel of the 21st Century, and an EB White Read Aloud Honor Book. Sayantani is a pediatrician by training, but now teaches at Columbia University. When she’s not writing or reading, Sayantani spends time watching cooking shows with her trilingual children and protecting her black Labrador retriever Khushi from the many things that scare him, including plastic bags.

She is a team member of We Need Diverse Books, and can be found online:
Have a Question? Contact us at: ruccl.org1on1@gmail.com