March 31 Panel–6 PM Pacific on Zoom

Are you working on a children’s book, play, TV or film project? Have you got questions about age appropriateness for writing your story and developing characters? For marketing? What form of books do young people read, and is that different in this time of quarantine? Our expert panelists will talk about these questions, and more.


  • What age group are you writing for: emergent readers, K-3, middle grade, upper middle grade, YA, new adult? We’ll go over the criteria for each: age of characters, story, length, vocabulary, illustrations.
  • What is All Ages Fantasy?
  • What’s acceptable/unacceptable in terms of sexual content, drugs, violence, language?
  • Any backfires our panelists have experienced? What? Why? Lessons these can teach the rest of us?
  • Any tips for adapting a screenplay from a book? A play? What are some key things to consider in developing the script? In selling it?
  • How do librarians select children’s books for their shelves? For their book clubs and programs? How is the pandemic/quarantine affecting librarians’ work?
  • What’s the criteria for the illustrations your book should contain? If you work with an illustrator, what should you know about the process? What is important for the illustrator?
  • Working with a writing partner – what are the joys and pitfalls?

Our Panel:

Elizabeth Martin is half of a screenwriting duo (with Lauren Hynek) who co-wrote Disney’s live-action Mulan.They’re now working on a biopic about computer pioneer Grace Hopper, as well as Spellbound for Skydance Animation.

Marilyn Scott-Waters co-created the fully illustrated middle grade nonfiction series, Haunted Histories (Macmillan/Henry Holt Books for Young Readers), illustrated The Search For Vile Things (Scholastic), and has won accolades for a number of other traditionally and self-published books for young people. Her award winning website, https://TheToymaker.com, receives 2,000 to 7,000 visitors each day.

Laura Taylor Namey is the NYT bestselling author of A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, and The Library of Lost Things. Her newest YA adult novel, When We Were Them, comes out November 2, 2021. laurataylornamey.com

Mara Alpert of the Children’s Literature Dept.of Los Angeles Central Library has been member and Chair of the FOCAL Award Committee. She reviews books for School Library Journal, and has appeared to discuss children’s books on KPCC programs, “All Things Considered,” and Spectrum Channel One.

Jennifer Murphy  children’s librarian of LAPL, is currently at  the Palms-Rancho Park Branch, where she leads initiatives and plans events for children and families in twelve branches of the West Los Angeles area.

Gary Young’s plays for young people and adults have been produced at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the White House, the Smithsonian, and venues throughout the US and Europe. Besides being President of IWOSC,Gary serves on the board of the Los Angeles Alliance of Playwrights.

Moderator: Ina Hillebrandt is the author, speaker and memoir coach whose first book, Amazon.com bestseller Pawprints led to her Pawprints Literacy+™ program for the Jane Goodall Institute, schools and after-school programs nationally. Currently Ina is working on an All Ages Fantasy, her first novel, about mice. She hasn’t told Fiona, her cat. www.InaTheMemoirCoach.com

Free to IWOSC Members;  Non-members $15
Deadline for registration is noon on Tuesday, March 30

Register now for this panel