2017 Conference Faculty: Cory Putman Oakes

Meet the faculty of the 2017 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. We’ve asked all our faculty members to answer 4 quick questions so we can get to know them better.


Cory Putman Oakes, Author

Cory Putman Oakes is a children’s book author from Austin, Texas. She’s written two middle-grade books, DINOSAUR BOY and DINOSAUR BOY SAVES MARS, and two young adult books, THE VEIL (out now) and WITCHTOWN (coming July, 2017). Cory is an ex-lawyer and when she’s not writing, she enjoys running, baking, and hanging out with her husband and kids.


Cory Putman Oakes
Cory Putman Oakes

What attracted you to children’s books?

I’ve loved children’s books ever since I was a child. I just never grew out of it, I guess :-)

What’s the best part of your job?

I love the writing process. It has its challenges and its frustrations, but in the grand scheme of things I get to sit and make stuff up for a living. I mean, c’mon, that’s pretty cool. I’ve had other jobs, which I’ve liked very much, but absolutely nothing compares to writing, watching a book take shape, then sending it out into the world. It’s magic. Absolute magic.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

At the moment the most challenging thing for me is getting into the proper head space to write. When there’s a lot going on in the world, it can be hard to give my made-up world and my made-up characters the attention they deserve. But I’m working on it! I feel like being “good” at writing is a never-ending process – just when you start to get one aspect of it right, another part of it sticks out as something you need to get better at.

What’s the best piece of advice you were given that helped drive your career?

Never give up! Writing and the publishing process are both very hard – but anything worth doing is hard. Setbacks are a part of life and they’re no fun but you’ve got to take them in stride and keep your eye on the prize. Onward! Always onward.

Come see Cory at the 2017 Austin SCBWI conference, May 20-21, 2017