Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustration Day- THE PORTFOLIO

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Date(s) - 04/18/2020
9:00 am - 3:45 pm

KU Edwards Campus
12600 S. Quivira Rd - Overland Park, KS 66213


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Illustrator Day:



9 AM – 3:45 PM


SCBWI KS/MO’s Annual Illustrator Day IS BACK!

This day-long workshop will include a look at what to include in your portfolio, an artist demonstration and process analysis, along with an opportunity for attendees to receive feedback on portfolios from the art director from Enchanted Lion Books, Claudia Zoe Bedrick, and illustrator Zoey Abbott. Portfolio critiques run all day during the sessions.

This is a great opportunity for hands-on creative work and true portfolio building!


About Our Presenters:

Claudia Zoe Bedrick

Claudia Zoe Bedrick is the publisher, editor, and art director of Enchanted Lion Books.
A graduate of Harvard/Radcliffe, she has been involved with books and libraries in one way or another
for her entire working life. She lives and works in Brooklyn,NY

“Enchanted Lion Books is an independent children’s book publisher based in Brooklyn, New York. We publish illustrated books from around the world, convinced by the power of cultural exchange to inspire curiosity, awareness, and wonder in children everywhere. We reach across time and oceans to find new authors and old treasures to share with a new generation of readers.”


Zoey Abbott

Zoey Abbott is a graduate in Women’s Studies and History from Smith College. She spent four years living and studying sumi-e brush painting in Japan. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon and is the illustrator of Finn’s Feather by Rachel Noble, Twindergarten by Nikki Ehrlich, Over the Moon by James Proimos and is a contributor to A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader, edited by Claudia Bedrick and Maria Popova. Zoey’s forthcoming picture books include two self-authored titles, I Do Not Like Yolanda and Something In My Head. Zoey’s work tends to engage with themes of connection, to self and to others.




SCBWI member: 65$

Non-member: 75$

Student rate-NON member: 70$

(note: if you have a student membership, you will automatically receive a discount off the SCBWI rate that is the best possible price. This ticket is for non-SCBWI members)

Portfolio Reviews (member): $45

Lunch (optional): $10




8:45 – 9:10       Registration


9:15 – 10:15  Portfolio Building with Zoey Abbott

Building a portfolio is an exciting and challenging task! I think of a portfolio as an evolving document that shifts over time and needs periodic tending like a garden.  We will talk about making individual pieces as strong as possible, while considering things like overall flow, consistency vs. variety, and how to best highlight your picture-book-thinking skills. We will discuss strategies for keeping portfolios fresh, dynamic and authentic so you can put your best self forward at each stage of your journey.

Workshop prep:  Please bring cheap B&W copies of 5 images from your portfolio (two copies each) to chop up and refashion. We will ask questions of our own images to inspire experimentation with composition, value, perspective. Please bring your ‘darlings’ and/or your second stringers.

Bring to Session:  Images + copy paper, scissors, glue stick or tape, markers, colored pencils. If you also have a digital color version of each image available as reference, that would be great (on your phone or iPad or even hard copy).


10:30-12:00  What Makes a Picture Book Great? with Claudia Zoe Bedrick

The world of kid lit is full of picture books, so what makes one sing? Claudia will dissect some of her favorite works to break down the qualities that take a picture book from “okay” to “amazing” — Hear first hand with someone on both the art direction and editorial sides what works, and what doesn’t.



12:00–1:00       Lunch onsite (Optional paid boxed lunch from Planet Sub available, but you must pre-register. However, you are free to bring your own food)



1:00- 2:00       A Day in the Life of an Editor/Art Director with Claudia Zoe Bedrick

What does an art director or an editor do all day? As both, for Enchanted Lion Books, Claudia is in the unique position to answer such burning questions. In addition, she’ll discuss what aspects of an illustrator’s portfolio jump out to her and why she might contact a new illustrator. What shows a depth and breadth of talent? How does she know she wants to work with a new artist?


2:15-3:45    Discovering Your Process with Zoey Abbott

I will share with you a bit about my journey illustrating my first picture books and some challenges I faced along the way. We will talk about making time for research, experimentation, and choosing your medium. We will also talk about the storytelling aspect of illustrating and how to discover and ‘write’ the ‘second story’ of the book.

We will review our mini-homework assignments and share insights from this process. If we have time we will also do a character/story building exercise from Gianni Rodari’s, “The Grammar of Fantasy.”

Homework/Workshop Prep: This is a playful idea/sketch assignment so please keep it loose and enjoy! With this in mind, please read the mini-text options provided and choose the ONE that most resonates with you.* Take time to brainstorm all the kinds of characters and scenarios you could use to illustrate the text before settling on one idea. (See how many you can come up with!) Take your best idea and thumbnail 4-6 sketches to accompany the text. If you need to change a word or two to make your story “fit” your scenerio, that is fine! Please bring to our session to share. 

Bring to Session: Please bring your brainstorm list as well as your thumbnails from mini-assignment. Also, please bring notebook/blank paper and drawing materials.



*Mini-prompts for Abbott Session:

Option 1:*

I made a mess of the day.

It was quite upsetting.

But by the night I decided that I should call the mess art.

(*Used with permission of the author, James Proimos. Copyrighted James Proimos.)

Option 2:

“Hurry up,” said Mabel

Sam just grunted.

“This is never going to work,” Mabel thought to herself.

[time passes]

“I’m DONE!” Shouted Sam.

He looked at Mabel.

She was done, too.

Option 3: 

Gary had two.

Sam had four.

“It’s not fair,” said Gary.

Gary found a solution.

Sam didn’t like it at all.

Option 4:

“I have to go,” she thought.

But it wasn’t that easy.

The boy also needed to go.

They looked at one another.

They had the same idea.


**Workshops may be subject to change

***While we do our best to accommodate changes in circumstance, refunds may not be available


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Ticket Information

SCBWI member - $65.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Student NON-member - $70.00
NOTE: if you have an SCBWI STUDENT membership, you will automatically get a discount off the member price

NON-member - $75.00

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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.
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  • 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.
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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.
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  • 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.