Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Writers Meetups

Listen closely! The Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson will show us the keys to successful plot development! One lucky attendee will win a free copy of The Plot Whisperer Workbook!

MARTHA ALDERSON, MA is known as the Plot Whisperer for her best-selling The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master. She writes novels for readers, plot books for writers, and most recently Boundless Creativity: A Spiritual Workbook for Overcoming Self-Doubt, Emotional Traps, and Other Creative Blocks for anyone looking to enrich their life with more creativity and inspiration. Her latest novel PARALLEL LIVES A 60’s Love Story is now available. She lives and writes in Santa Cruz.

Learn more about Alderson on her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube.

Her experience helping writers with plot has taught me that all stories—picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels and adult fiction—follow a basic pattern readers rely on for ease in comprehension and reading satisfaction.

Fundamentally, that basic pattern is as follows: A character pursues a goal. She faces a series of conflicts and obstacles, and as a result over time her choices change. In the end, she gains emotional maturity and a deeper understanding of herself and her existence.

In best-loved stories, characters are emotionally affected by the dramatic action of the story. In classics, the dramatic action actually transforms the protagonist. It is this transformation that makes a story meaningful.

Join Martha Alderson as she discusses the essential elements of plot.

One lucky winner will receive a copy of her workbook:


We typically meet on the fourth Sunday of each month at 1:00 p.m. Our next meetings are scheduled for May 22, June 26, July 24, August 28, September 28, October 23, and November 20.

From 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. we have guest speakers and/or activities.

From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. we offer critique groups by genre (picture book, middle grade, and young adult) for those who have submitted their work during the week prior. Upcoming submission dates are May 13, June 17, July 15, August 19, September 9, October 14, and November 11. Please follow these manuscript guidelines: Meet-Up Critique Group Formatting. Submit your work to Christine Henderson at


Online till further notice! (Zoom link given via email)

SCBWI Members are automatically on the mailing list. If you are not a member and would like to be added to the meet-up mailing list, contact Bev Plass: