Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


Date(s) - 04/29/2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


All STEAMed Up!

April 29, 2021 

7:00pm – 9:00pm EST

An author-editor team provide an inside look at creating STEAM books kids adore.

With Jennifer Swanson and Shelby Lees


In this exciting and interactive discussion, senior editor Shelby Lees of National Geographic Kids will reveal what she looks for in a submission and offer examples of voice, structure, and topics of specific books that grabbed her attention. Author Jennifer Swanson will then take over and discuss how to infuse your manuscript with active voice, tone, and structure to provide those leap-off-the-page words that will make your manuscript intriguing to editors and agents. 

This is a 2 hour webinar. Shelby and Jennifer will each present material for about 35-40 minutes. The remaining time will be an interactive Q&A.


The webinar will be recorded and available to registered, paid participants only after the event.


In addition to the webinar, Jennifer and Shelby will each offer critiques for a fee. 

  • Jennifer Swanson will accept up to 5 pages of any nonfiction manuscript, including picture books, middle grade, and young adult. Manuscripts should be formatted correctly ( 12 point font, double-spaced, saved as a .doc or .docx).

***Jen will accept critique submissions AFTER the webinar. Instructions will be provided. ***

  • SOLD OUT – Shelby Lees will accept up to 5 pages of any nonfiction manuscript, including picture books, middle grade, and young adult. Manuscripts should be formatted correctly ( 12 point font, double-spaced, saved as a .doc or .docx). 

***Shelby’s pre-webinar critiques are due by March 29, 2021. Please email if you have not received instructions.***

***Shelby’s post-webinar critiques will be submitted AFTER the webinar. Instructions will be provided.***


$25 for SCBWI Members

$30 for non-SCBWI Members

A limited number of manuscript critiques are available for $45.00.


 Shelby Lees
As senior editor at National Geographic Kids Books, Lees has worked on titles ranging from Welcome to Mars and To the Moon and Back by Buzz Aldrin; Dining With Dinosaurs, a hilarious illustrated romp through the dining fare of dinosaurs; One Step Further, an exclusive autobiography picture book by Hidden Figures’ Katherine Johnson; Breaking the News, a timely look at media literacy; Solve This, an interactive approach to engineering; National Geographic Kids: Absolute Expert series, which takes a deep dive into kids’ all-time favorite topics; and Coolest Stuff on Earth, a collection of the world’s craziest, coolest, and totally real facts. Lees’ career has spanned experience ranging from developing fun, informative children’s books to creating innovative teaching guides, classroom materials, top-rated educational apps, and consulting for popular kids’ YouTube channels. Lees’ focus is on bringing highly engaging content to all children to foster a lifelong love of learning.


Jennifer Swanson

Science Rocks! And so do Jennifer Swanson’s books. She is the award-winning author of over 40+ nonfiction books for children. A self-professed science geek, Jennifer started a science club in her garage at the age of 7. She used to gather leaves and flowers and look at them under a microscope. Jennifer’s passion for science resonates in in all her books but especially, BRAIN GAMES and Save the Crash-test Dummies, which received a Parent’s Choice Gold Award. Jennifer’s book, Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact received a Florida Book Award, a California Reading Association Gold Award and an NSTA BEST STEM book award. She has presented at National NSTA conferences, the World Science Festival (twice), the Atlanta Science Festival, and the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Find Jennifer through her website