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


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Last year during the pandemic, RUCCL continued our annual conference, albeit virtually. We put aside our mentoring focus and presented panels on children's literature trends and the current marketplace. We considered the 2020 Virtual Conference as a placeholder, something to tide us over until we could welcome you in person once again.

Unfortunately, we are still not able to host an in-person conference this October. However, we want to provide you with the renowned one-on-one format you’ve come to expect from RUCCL—pairing an aspiring or under-published author or illustrator with an editor, agent, art director or other children's publishing professional, for a guaranteed 45-minute session of personalized feedback and guidance on your submitted current project.

So...We’re pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the October 24, 2021 RUCCL Virtual One-on-One Conference.


Don't know where to start? Go to Application Information and Tips

The application deadline is July 31, 2021. Mailed applications must be postmarked by this date. Notification letters will be sent out in mid-September. As always, the number of applicants we can accept is limited by the number of mentors on our faculty, so please submit your strongest work!


1:00 PM Welcome Speech; One-on-One Success Story Speaker
2:00 PM One-on-One Mentor-Mentee Sessions
3:00 PM Keynote Speaker
  • Each session will run 45 minutes with short breaks between.
  • The fee for the 2021 Conference is $125.
  • We are still in the process of assembling our faculty, but click here to see previous years' mentor lists
  • Please check back regularly for updates!

We look forward to seeing you this year on Zoom, and hope we can return to in-person conferences in 2022.


Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman

2021 Keynote Speaker

Padma Venkatraman is the WNDB Walter Dean Myers award-winning authorof The Bridge Home, a 2019 Global Read Aloud; Island’s End, A Time to Dance and Climbing the Stairs. All her books have been featured on numerous best book lists, received a total of over 20 starred reviews, and won multiple honors (ALA Notable books, NYPL Notable, Kirkus Best Book, Booklist Editor’s Choice, SLJ Best Book, PW Flying Start, etc.) and awards (including two South Asia Book Awards, two Paterson prizes, a Julia Ward Howe Boston Authors Club Award, SCBWI Golden Kite award and many more).

Padma’s latest novel, Born Behind Bars, about a boy learning to fend for himself on the streets of an Indian city and fighting to save his incarcerated mother, is now available for order. A beloved character from The Bridge Home reappears in Born Behind Bars.

Padma explored rainforests and coral reefs, led diversity efforts at a university, served as chief scientist on ships where she was the only female and only person of color, taught and directed a school in England, obtained a doctorate in oceanography from the College of William and Mary, and conducted environmental engineering research at Johns Hopkins University, before becoming a full-time author.

When she was nineteen, she left India on her own and is now an American. As a first-generation immigrant and a BIPOC woman with an invisible disability, she has been dedicated, for over a decade, to fighting for equity and diversity. She is the founder of Authors Take Action and Diverse Verse and two of her poems were recently published in Poetry magazine.

Follow Padma on Twitter at @padmatv to participate in her book giveaways and discover free writing prompts and other resources on her website www.padmavenkatraman.com.



Mike Ciccotello

Mike Ciccotello

2021 Success Story Speaker

Mike Ciccotello is the author-illustrator of the picture books Twins and Beach Toys vs. School Supplies (both from FSG/Macmillan). He is also the illustrator of Bridget Heos’s Treemendous and her forthcoming picture-book series SCIENCE BUDDIES (all from Crown/Penguin Random House), as well as Cheese and Quackers, an early graphic chapter-book series written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (forthcoming from Aladdin/S&S). Mike is an active member of SCBWI and CBIG. Visit Mike at www.ciccotello.com.

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