Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


Date(s) - 02/13/2020
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

SCBWI Dakotas is pleased to offer the following webinar:


Author, Cynthia Surrisi, will discuss writing mysteries for the middle grade audience.

“If I had a bookstore, I would make all the mystery novels hard to find.” — Demetri Martin

This workshop is designed for the writer who is interested in crafting a cozy-type mystery for middle grade children. Topics include developing the unique youth sleuth; the traditional cozy setting and cast of characters; back story, clues, red herrings, suspects, and raising stakes in a scary but non-murderous environment. Middle grade mysteries are unique in that they not only ask the question. “Who dunnit?” they explore relationships among friends, and between kids and adults, and they do it with heart, humor and irony.

The last 30-minutes will be devoted to your specific questions.


Cynthia Surrisi has a BFA, JD, and MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. She writes the middle grade mystery series, THE QUINNIE BOYD MYSTERIES: THE MAYPOP KIDNAPPING (2016), VAMPIRES ON THE RUN, (2017); and A SIDE OF SABOTAGE (2018). Her mysteries have won the Gold Moonbeam Award and have been nominated for an Agatha Award. Her picture book, THE BEST MOTHER (Abrams 2018) is a Junior Library Guild selection. She teaches writing and works as a freelance editor. She enjoys helping writers develop their craft with publication in mind.



TIME AND DATE: February 13, 2020 at 7:30 P.M. (CST)

The fee for the webinar is $10 for members, $20 for non-members. (Non-members, if you would like to become a member prior to registering, go to

Members: Login to get the discounted rate.  

The fee includes access to a recording of the webinar, so if you can’t participate live, register in order to view the recording. Registered attendees will be emailed a link for the webinar prior to the live event. A link to the recording will be sent to you a few days after the event and will be accessible for a period of one month. There will be NO refunds for this event.

Please note: You must use PayPal to pay for your registration even if you do not have a PayPal account. Simply sign in as a guest. The payment may appear on your credit card bill as SOCIETYCHIL. Questions: email

Getting to the Webinar:

You will receive a link to the webinar two to three days prior to the event. This will come as an email from Dakotas@SCBWI.ORG and will be addressed to Dakotas@SCBWI.ORG (to protect your personal email address). Please check your junk mail if you do not receive the link by the day prior to the event. The night of the webinar, simply click on the link. You may be asked to download the ZOOM program. This is perfectly safe to do and allows you access to the presentation.