POC, Queer, & Trans Owned Independent Publisher | San Francisco, CA | since 2009

Spring 2012 Consciousness Cultivating Mini-Conference

Radical & Relevant Children's Books - Spring 2012 Conference PosterSpring 2012
Consciousness Cultivating Mini-Conference

"Radical & Relevant Children's Books"
Fostering a Publishing Revolution from Within

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

The Women's Building
3543 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110 Get Directions
Join the Revolution
About the Spring 2012 Consciousness Cultivation:
In our first ever mini-conference, children's book authors, illustrators, and designers (or anyone aspiring to be one!) are invited to immerse themselves in the warm waters of a literary revolution. Where books are free to be and so are humans!

Our focus is on the growing need for children's books beyond the structures of established publishing houses. During these economic times, many of the smaller publishers are diminishing while the need for books that genuinely reflect the face and experience of all of our children is ever growing.

We hope to support a publishing revolution by sharing the evolving resources that free us to create high quality content infused with a spirit of social justice for our children. It's time to OCCUPY children's book publishing!

This mini-conference is appropriate for children's book authors, illustrators, designers or anyone who is driven to create books that are inclusive, relevant, meaningful, beautiful, and more.

People of color, the LGBT community, queers, people of all genders, whether you're just a little revolutionary or a full on revolution-ista, all are encouraged to join us in redefining the possibilities of books that genuinely reflect ALL our children! As with all great adventures it begins within YOU!

The event will be packed full of information! To allow everyone to get the most from the experience and prevent distractions as much as possible, it is necessary that you be able to commit to and attend the full day. We hope to provide opportunities for making connections, learning, and being in the presence of other like-minded individuals so the event will be limited to under 30 people (yeah we really mean MINI-conference!). An overview of the general schedule for the day can be found in the sidebar to the right. View our event video below or read the press release. (opens in a new pop-up window)

Registration Information:

Limited Space available so please register early to ensure your spot!
Day-of registration is dependent on space availability. Lunch is included with conference pre-registration.


Early Bird Registration- through May 1st
Sliding Scale: $90-$125
Scholarships at Sliding Scale: $25-$75
dependent on the number of participants

After May 1st
Sliding Scale: $115-$150
Scholarships at Sliding Scale: $25-$75

How to Register:

Credit or Debit Card:
Register via PayPal below
PLEASE NOTE: If your billing information is different than the person registering for the event, please make a note in the "PARTICIPANT NAME" note area on the PayPal site when checking out.

Check or Money Order:
Use this form and send your check to address on form.
You can fill the form out online and submit via email using the "Submit Form" button at the top right of the PDF, you can also email the form to us, or fill out and mail along with your check.

Cancellation Policy:

If you are unable to attend the event, please let us know. If cancelled prior to May 5th we will refund your registration fee less $25 for administrative costs. After May 5th we are unable to offer refunds.


Unfortunately we are unable to offer childcare.

Can't make the Mini-Conference this time?

Check out our April 2012 newsletter for some great resources to get you started even if you can't join us this time. We're also in the process of formulating this into an online course so sign up on our email list to be notified of future events and when our online classes debut.
Also check out this article on the Huffington Post, Sticks & Stones: The Changing Politics of the Self-Publishing Stigma which discusses how many authors are foregoing the traditional publishers and instead turning to self-publishing.

Conference Registration Form via PayPal

Registration for the Mini-Conference is now Closed.
Join our Mailing List for future events or check out our school for online classes related to children's books. Download the publishing packet from this event here.

Getting to the Conference

Location: The Women's Building, 3543 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Public Transit: BART is nearby at the 16th or 24th Street Stations. Muni bus lines serving the area: 14, 22, 26, 33, 49 and the J Church. Use the transit Trip Planner to plan your specific trip.

Parking: Street parking is available however due to length of the event parking in a garage is recommended. Mission/Bartlett Garage (3255 21st Street, between Valencia and Mission) is within a few blocks.

Presenter Bios:

Dana Goldberg:
Dana is the former Executive Editor of Children's Book Press and brings 11 years of experience as editor of this seminal, award-winning, multicultural press. She now offers editing and publishing consultation through her own business, Whirligig Editorial.

Maya Smith-Gonzalez:
Maya is an award-winning artist and author and co-founder of Reflection Press. She has illustrated over 20 children's books and authored four, including two through her own Press. Her children's books include I Know the River Loves Me and the 2008 Pura Belpre Honor Award winner, My Colors, My World.

Matthew Smith-Gonzalez:
Matthew is the co-founder, graphic designer and publishing manager of Reflection Press. Coming from a background in architecture, he now uses his design, structural and management strengths to build books and websites. Everything he knows about becoming an independent publisher he as taught himself through tons of research and lots and lots of fast learning.

Radical & Relevant Children's Books Mini-conference
General Schedule:

9:45am-10:00am: Check-in
We invite you to arrive early and meet the presenters and other attendees before the day begins.

10:00am-10:30am: Introduction
Introduction and a brief overview of the excitement planned for the day

10:30am-12:00pm: Session 1
The Political Act of Children's Books: sourcing your story from within - explore the story and art of children's books as a spiritual and political act, deepen your connection with your own creative self to uncover what is most meaningful to you as you contemplate your own ideas for story and art- with Maya Smith-Gonzalez

12:00pm-1:00pm: Lunch w/ Presenters
Lunch is included for all participants. We offer the opportunity to join any of the presenters for food and conversation. Introduce yourself, ask questions, get insights, offer insights, or simply just eavesdrop, all is welcome during the lunch hour.

1:00pm-2:30pm: Session 2
The View from Inside: The publishing process from query letter to finished books - Have you ever wondered what an editor or art director looks for? Does the process of how a book gets made seem like an impenetrable mystery? This session will outline what makes a story or illustration portfolio stand out, and outlines the process of how an author and illustrator work with an editor/art director to create a picture book. You can expect lots of show and tell. - with Dana Goldberg

2:30pm-4:00pm: Session 3
The View from Outside: creating your own path to publishing - during this session we'll touch on the resources available to support you in your own personal publishing revolution. We'll explore alternative publishing routes, print-on-demand, and the basics of self-publishing. - with Matthew Smith-Gonzalez

4:00pm-5:00pm: Wrap-Up
Bringing it All Together - Now that you have all this information what do you do next? The final hour we'll concentrate on bringing it all together and offering guidance in identifying your next steps. There will also be time for Q&A.- with All Presenters

5:00pm-5:15pm: Goodbyes