Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustration Day

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Date(s) - 04/22/2017
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

BEST Conference Center, University of Kansas Edwards Campus, Overland Park
12600 Quivira Road - Overland Park, Kansas 66213


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A Full-Day Workshop With Laurent Linn And Sarah Baker

Saturday, April 22, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m

Overland Park, Kansas


SCBWI Kansas/Missouri is hosting our first Illustration Day. This day long workshop will include an in-depth look at character design, a behind the scenes look at the publishing industry, along with an opportunity for attendees to recieve feedback from Laurent Linn and Sarah Baker. 



Laurent Linn, Art Director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop, creating characters for various productions, including the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island films. With Henson for over a decade, he worked primarily on Sesame Street, becoming the Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets, winning an Emmy Award. Currently, at Simon & Schuster, Laurent art directs picture books, middle-grade, and teen novels, collaborating with illustrators and authors such as Tomie dePaola, Patricia Polacco, Bryan Collier, E. B. Lewis, Raúl Colón, Debbie Ohi, and Taeeun Yoo.

Laurent is on the Board of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and is Artistic Advisor for the annual Original Art exhibit at the Society of Illustrators in New York. He is also an author: his debut illustrated teen novel is Draw the Line ( You can follow him on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook and at


Sarah Lynn Baker illustrates with quill and ink, pencil, screenprinting, and gouache, and draws inspiration from her daughters, childhood memories, the nature all around Los Angeles, and all the illustrators and friends she meets through her work for the SCBWI. 

Sarah lives in Los Angeles with her old man and two young daughters. She is also the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, where she manages and develops the illustrator grants, awards and scholarships, advises and mentors SCBWI illustrator members, and serves as the designer and art director for the Bulletin and all other SCBWI publications. Before coming to SCBWI, Sarah designed children’s books at Penguin Young Readers Group.  




8:45 – 9:00       Registration

9:00 – 12:00     Character Design Workshop

Laurent and Sarah will delve into character creation and design. Using visuals, they will explore their own ideas about the topic as well as show how other successful illustrators have approached this and what works.

For the second part of the session, a selection of submitted images will be projected and reviewed by Sarah and Laurent for the whole group. The attendees will receive constructive, professional feedback on their work, specifically focused on character development and design. At least one image per attendee will be discussed – depending on the number of attendees we may be able to show more. Attendee submission guidelines are as follows:


– By Friday, April 14, attendees should email three illustrations to that show an original character or characters in scenes appropriate for picture books or middle-grade books. Files should be 72dpi jpgs, with the attendee last name in the name of the file (eg: KENNEY_character1.jpg).

– The illustrations should not be character studies, but should be narrative illustrated scenes.

– The three illustrations can be of the same characters or different ones – it is up to the attendee. The illustrations can be new or previous work, but they should reflect the illustrator’s best work in the style(s) in which they are currently working.


12:00 – 1:00    Lunch onsite (Box lunches from Planet Sub included in your registration)

1:00 – 4:00      Industry Shop Talk

Sarah and Laurent will discuss SCBWI, give us a behind the scenes look at publishing, and take attendee questions.



Workshop Cost: $75 SCBWI members, $100 non-members, $50 student SCBWI members, $80 student non-members. Coffee, tea, and assorted box lunches from Planet Sub included in registration fee. A vegetarian lunch option is available at registration, at no extra cost. Your registration fee is not refundable. You may pay by Paypal or check. To pay by check, when you register, go to the dropdown box that says "Pay With" and click to Pay Offline (Check).

Questions? Email Amy Kenney,