Mary Cummings
Agent for Kids Books

Conferences & Workshops

I've always enjoyed nurturing writers, working with them to bring out the very best in their work. From time to time I teach workshops and do pitch sessions or critiques. - I'm happy to consider invitations to conferences and workshops (email me at  

I'll be delivering the Keynote and doing several breakout sessions and critiques for the SCBWI AZ Regional Conference on September 24 - 26, 2021 to be held in Phoenix (Paradise Valley).


Creativity: Lovely, Elusive, Essential and Joyous

The pandemic has pounded us all. We’ve felt boredom, fear, frustration, isolation. And we’ve suffered losses. But now we truly treasure the opportunity to gather in celebration of our creative lives. This keynote touches on some insights about the nature of creativity and the need for it, and includes some experiences related to creativity with the development of books by Mary’s clients.

Agent-Author session: Mary Cummings and Dawn Young

Our inside scoop

It can be mysterious, exciting and intimidating (all at once!) to move to the next level in your writing and seek an agent. In this session, we’ll talk about knowing when you’re ready (hint: there’s no one-size-fits-all answer); tips for your search; how best to prepare for and use time on the call with a potential agent; what to expect in a working relationship; how a book offer comes about, and more. Dawn and Mary will discuss COUNTING ELEPHANTS, the book that began their relationship and will touch on several others, including related communications, editing, brainstorming, submissions, etc. Questions are welcomed! 

POSTPONED till spring 2022 - The 2020 SCBWI Midsouth Fall Conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee from September 11 - 13. I'll be teaching two break-out sessions and holding manuscript critique sessions. The first break-out is called "The Next Big Step: Reaching Out to Agents" and the second "Is it 'Working'?" Details to follow!

I had lots of fun with pitches, networking and a workshop at Ft. Collins CO: Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, 2019 Northern Colorado Writers' Conference     Here's the workshop description:
    From tips for developing a picture book manuscript to insights about why agents and editors say “no” (and “yes”!), this session will give you new tools and inspiration for attaining your goals. Bring two copies of your work-in-progress for a writing exercise that may unlock exciting new possibilities. We’ll save time for Q & A, too. Attendees may wish to bring or to read ahead of time: THE WOLF  THE DUCK & THE MOUSE by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick 2017); SMALL WALT by Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal (Wiseman/S & S 2017); and LITTLE THINGS by Nick Dyer, illustrated by Kelly Pousette (Peter Pauper Press 2019).


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