Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Graphic Novel Day: The Whole Picture

Loading Map....

Date(s) - 04/06/2019
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

KU Edwards Campus, BEST Conference Center
12600 S. Quivira - Overland Park, KS 66213


No Categories


Illustration Day AND Graphic Novel Writer day IN ONE!

Join us for our third annual Illustration Day—BUT NOT JUST FOR ILLUSTRATORS! Writers are welcome to join us in this full day of Graphic Novel content. Lunch will be provided, along with coffee, tea, and snacks throughout the day. Each of our faculty members will give two 60 minute sessions on a variety of topics related to graphic novel writing, illustrating, and publishing. Keep an eye out for more details to come!

Colleen AF Venable will also be doing a small number of individual graphic novel pitch reviews. These will be 10 minute long critique sessions, and will be scheduled throughout the day. More details will be emailed to attendees taking advantage of this opportunity! Sign up soon!


Online registration will close on Monday April, 1. 

SCBWI Member tickets: $95.00

Non-member tickets: $120

Individual pitch reviews with Colleen AF Venable: $45


We are unable to give refunds for any reason. We are a nonprofit organization, and our region is run completely by volunteers. Refunds create additional paperwork, time, and PayPal fees for the region, so we thank you for understanding this non-negotiable cancellation policy.

IMPORTANT NOTE: By signing upfor this event, you acknowledge that audio taping, video taping, and/or transmitting or aiding in the foregoing of any part of the conference (including, but not limited to, presentations, individual sessions, and networking events) is prohibited. Additionally, the material in all handouts and presentations is copyrighted and may not be reprinted, blogged, written, orally transmitted, and/or reproduced without written permission of the copyright holder ONLY. One benefit of attending this conference is gaining “inside” information and opportunities other people do not have access to.



Lucy Bellwood is a professional Adventure Cartoonist, author, and educator based in Portland, Oregon. Her work brings enthusiastic tales of exploration to thousands of readers online, in print, and in person. Her comics are often written and drawn in the field, leading to immersive snapshots of tall ship sailing, whitewater rafting, and cutting-edge ocean science. Her first graphic novel, Baggywrinkles: a Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea, collects educational stories from her time aboard the Lady Washington. Bellwood’s most recent book is 100 Demon Dialogues, a guide to living with Imposter Syndrome.

Her work has been seen in The New York Times, Boing Boing, Kazoo Magazine, Fast Company, The Nib, Buzzfeed, Anxy Magazine, The Rumpus, Atlas Obscura, and The Hollywood Reporter. Selected exhibition venues include the Portland Art Museum, Light Grey Art Lab, Sequential Art Gallery, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

When not documenting her travels, Bellwood is a regular lecturer at the Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark. She has also appeared as a visiting speaker at the Art Institute of Chicago, Reed College, the Independent Publishing Resource Center, and Columbia College of Art and Design. She currently manages the Mentorship Program at Helioscope, North America’s largest studio of comics professionals. You can find out more about Lucy at You can find Lucy on Twitter at @LuBellWoo.







Ben Hatke is the author and illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestselling Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, the Eisner Award winning Little Robot, the Mighty Jacktrilogy, and the picture books Julia’s House for Lost Creatures and Nobody Likes a Goblin. Both Zita the Spacegirl and Mighty Jack are being developed for film by 20th Century Fox. His YA novel, The Princess in the Piazza is set for release in 2020. Ben lives, works, and practices archery in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. You can find Ben’s blog at Ben is on Twitter at @BenHatke.







Colleen Ann Felicity Venable previously worked for First Second Books designing hundreds of graphic novels including Caldecott Honors and National Book Award Finalists. Along with working as a designer Colleen is an author and maker. Her latest books include the upcoming YA graphic novel Kiss Number 8 (illustrated by Ellen T. Crenshaw), the quirky counting boardbook One More Wheel (illustrated by Blythe Russo), and the Maker Comics: Build a Robot (with Kathryn Hudson). Her graphic novel series Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye (illustrated by Stephanie Yue) was nominated for an Eisner for Best Publication for Kids. In 2017 she was named a Publisher’s Weekly StarWatch Top 5 Finalist. You can find Colleen’s website at Colleen is on Twitter at @colleenaf.




Graphic Novel Day Workshops

Success and Your Soul (Mini-Lecture + Group Discussion): As creators, we are often grappling with a host of ideological challenges that can tie us in knots. Maybe you’re struggling to make ends meet while working on a creative project, maybe your readership is smaller than you’d like, or maybe you’ve “made it” by some external metric but still struggle to explain why things feel hard. What can you do when everyone else keeps telling you how lucky you are to be following your dream? In this session, with Lucy Bellwood, we’ll explore the seasonal cycle of creative work and discuss how to set goals that reflect our true values, empowering us to feel more nourished by our creative practice.

Make it Pay (Lecture + Q&A): Our culture has never done a great job of talking about money, but we’re entering an era when honest conversations about financial sustainability are vital to the diversification and resilience of our communities. This session, with Lucy Bellwood, gives an honest look at various methods for financing a creative career, from crowdfunding to mainstream publication. We’ll tackle subjects like “How do people get paid for making comics,” “How much is an average graphic novel advance,” “What does it really cost to print a graphic novel,” and more conceptual stuff like “Am I really a cartoonist if I also have a day job” (YES). This session will also dive into some best practices for building financial stability on variable freelance income. Bring your burning money questions and let’s work through them together!

The Joy of Terrible Ideas: How do you find joy in the process of creating everyday? In this session, Ben Hatke will help us to refine our perspective for the days where it feels like the only thing we’ve made is a mess.

Graphic Novels, Beginning to End: Ben Hatke will take us through his own process of making a graphic novel from start-to-finish. This detailed talk will cover story structure, visual development, outlining, thumbnails, and onward.

How to Develop a Graphic Novel Pitch: Have you ever wondered how to package a pitch for your graphic novel idea? In this session, with Colleen Venable, we will discuss expectations from publishing houses, standards for submission, and how to make sure your idea is ready to share with publishers.

Graphic Novel Script Writing, the Hows and the Whys: The process of writing graphic novels is different than writing other book formats. But comics also offer lots of possibilities that prose cannot. In this session, Colleen Venable takes us through the process of writing a graphic novel, from formatting your script to working with an artist.



Are you a member of SCBWI?

Did you know that SCBWI members always receive a discount on events?

Whether Regional events or the International Conference, all members receive a discount.

Are you a member of SCBWI?  

If so, please log in before continuing with your event registration.

If not, please consider becoming a member.  Click here to learn about membership benefits.

Thank you,

Event Registration

General Information Required Fields*

Ticket Information

Member ticket (event only) - $95.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Non-member ticket (event only) - $120.00

Member ticket and critique session with Colleen AF Venable - $140.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Non-member ticket and critique with Colleen AF Venable - $165.00

The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion.


The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.



Code of Conduct

All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, including faculty, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

  • intimidation, stalking, or following.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • Inappropriate physical contact.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Abusive verbal comments.
  • Quid pro quo– sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors.
  • Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.


Reporting Procedures

Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:

  • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.
  • A complainant may submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
  • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.


SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made under this policy. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.



SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.


Sanctions for faculty, speakers, staff or board members may include any of the following:


  • warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;
  • withholding of a contracted honorarium;
  • prohibition from future speaking engagements;
  • prohibition from future faculty appointments;
  • expulsion from SCBWI; and/or
  • removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.


Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

  • warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event, without refund;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
  • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
  • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.


If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will handle utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties and witnesses. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.



If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.


If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "anti-harassment policy" in the subject line.

I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.