Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Virtual Offerings: Don’t Miss OUT!!!

Virtual Offerings You Can Take Advantage Of Now!

Hello everyone!

In your surveys, you identified a number of areas of interest. We compiled all of the SCBWI virtual events by your requested topics.

  • Other Regions’ Conferences and Series Conferences (the region offers multiple webinars)
  • Mentorships
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Critique Groups
  • The Business of Writing and Illustrating:
  • Agenting 101/Editing
  • Marketing
  • Characters
  • Non-Fiction
  • Self Editing
  • Picture Books
  • Novels
  • Illustrators


Please note that many of the events are coming up soon, so make sure you take time to peruse the selections below to avoid missing out!

Also, please keep an eye out for more opportunities to come offered by our own Kansas Missouri region!



Other Regions’ Conferences and Series Conferences:

SCBWI Winter Conference: Inside Children’s Publishing

Friday-Sunday February 19-21, 2021 EST

Hosted on Zoom with recordings available through March 31, 2021.

A behind-the-scenes look into the children’s publishing industry with  focus on popular genres. Keynotes and industry panels, fly-on-the-wall look at the book acquisition and design process, Golden Kite Awards Gala, online networking opportunities and socials, career-launching Portfolio Showcase, and a full-day, optional Illustrators’ Intensive.

Cost: Full Conference + 1 Critique (members): $135,  Conference ONLY (members): $70,  Nonmember Conference ONLY: $100

SCBWI Montana’s Spring Conference

Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18 9 am to 3 pm MST

SCBWI Montana is delighted to announce our spring virtual writing conference. Our theme for this year is “Bloom” in hopes that this event will inspire attendees and plant the seeds for many creative ideas to grow and bloom!

Event Dates: April 17 and 18, 2021, on Zoom. Recordings will be available for one month after the conference. All sessions are listed in Mountain Standard Time. Zoom links will be emailed to all registered participants on 4/16/2021.


Spring Studio – PrePAIRing for Success!

Saturday, May 1st 9 am-3:30 pm

Sponsored by Wisconsin

In PrePAIRing for Success, we at SCBWI-Wisconsin are bringing together publishing pairs in two separate tracks: Middle Grade/Young Adult writing and Picture Book writing.

Our MG/YA faculty includes author (and associate agent at Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency) Zabé Ellor and Amazon Publishing editor Tiffany Shelton.

Our PB faculty includes Wisconsin author Stef Wade and literary agent at McIntosh & Otis, Inc., Christa Heschke.

Each faculty pair will lead a joint presentation, sharing their dual experiences and/or collaboration, in their specialized track. Plus, they’ll team up again later for a moderated Q&A panel, in which you will have a chance to ask questions.

Each member of faculty will also provide a limited number of manuscript critiques, 15 each, giving us a total of 60 critique slots. These are very likely to sell out quickly, so mark your calendar to sign up early.


Registration opens February 1, 2021

SCBWI members will have a full week of access to register before this event is open to the public. Event cost includes all programming plus access to official recordings for 30 days.

Cost for SCBWI members is $40. Cost for non-members is $55.

Add on a critique! You may also purchase an optional, written-only critique for $45. This optional add-on must be purchased at the same time as registration, although you don’t have to send in your sample pages until the manuscript deadline, as noted in the gray sidebar. Limit of one critique per registration.

Registration closes at 10 p.m. Central Time on April 16, 2021.

Find additional event information in the gray sidebar to the upper right. 


Equity & Inclusion Scholarships Available

Up to ten equity and inclusion scholarships are available thanks to a generous donation by speaker Tiffany Shelton. Please see the Equity & Inclusion link at the top right of this page for details.

The scholarship application period begins December 21, 2020, and ends at 10 p.m. Central Time January 31, 2021. Winners will be notified by February 1, 2021.

A Golden Gate Year: An Online Series of Craft and Connection

Monthly 2021

Sponsored by California: San Francisco/South

Welcome to A Golden Gate Year: An Online Series of Craft and Connection.

Every month in 2021 join us for learning, inspiration, and connection. We know that meeting online isn’t the same as meeting in person, but we have put together a program that brings together many elements you know and love from our annual Golden Gate conference: keynotes, masterclasses, critiques, round tables, opportunities to connect with friends and make new ones, plus much more.

Most months will feature a webinar, a social, and critiques. Some months we’ll step back and take time to absorb and share what we’ve learned. Every month will help you move forward with your craft and make new connections.

Read on for a sneak preview of our exciting faculty and their planned keynotes, panels, and workshops. Registration will go live in November.

Draft Program (most presentations will be on Saturdays tbd)*

January Program Kick-off: Welcome and Orientation: Danielle Sunshine & Christine Evans

Inspiration from our local creators: Abigail Hing Wen, Lindsay Lackey and Diana Toledano.

February Author Keynote & Master Class with Uma Krishnaswami

March Illustrator Keynote & Master Class

April Editor presentation on Craft

May Editor presentation: Matthew Ringler

June Editor presentation: Grace Kendall

July Panel: Maintaining Creativity in the Face of Jobs, Kids, Stress and More

August Panel: It takes a village: Enlisting Critique Partners, Paid Editors, Craft Book Clubs, Mentors & Coaches

September Month off from program for Illustrator Day/Month (separate registration)

October In depth craft sessions for illustrators and writers led by a Diana Toledano and Jennifer March Soloway.

November Small group workshops: practicing the skills you’ve learned, and connecting with others doing similar work.

December Revision and Query Letter advice from Stephanie Fretwell-Hill and Jordan Hamessley.

Connecting the Dots and Graduation


Uma Krishnaswami
Matthew Ringler
Grace Kendall
Jordan Hamessley
Stephanie Fretwell-Hill
Jennifer March Soloway
Abigail Hing Wen
Lindsay Lackey
Diana Toledano

And more to be confirmed!


Each month can be purchased separately or, for a discounted price, you can buy a Golden Ticket for the whole year of content (critiques and round tables priced separately).

Every webinar (keynotes, lectures, masterclasses, and panels) will be recorded and available for 2 weeks after the event. Round tables, socials, critiques, and small-group workshops will not be recorded.

Prices coming soon.

Please note: our faculty and program is subject to change because if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to be flexible!



Nevada Mentorship Program

Registration opens Dec 1, 2020 – February 2, 2021

Announcement of Mentees: March 1, 2021.

Program begins March 1, 2021 until August 31, 2021

YOU DON’T NEED TO LIVE IN NV TO APPLY. The program is a combination of 1-1 mentorship via in-person meetings, conference workshops, and agent meetings. THE NEXT MENTORSHIP PROGRAM WILL BE OFFERED IN 2021 and registration begins Dec. 1, 2020.


Every other year (bi-annually), Nevada SCBWI hosts its flagship Mentor Program, the first of its kind among SCBWI.

Nevada SCBWI is committed to giving our members the best opportunities to improve their writing and to get closer to their goals of seeing their works published. One of the best ways to learn is to work with an author-mentor who have published and are experienced writers who enjoy mentoring other writers. The key is that our NV Mentors are not only experienced professional writers, they want to help yet-to-be published writers produce a more polished manuscript. We don’t guarantee publication but many of our past mentees have published or signed with agents since their involvement in the program.

During the program, each mentor works with 2 or 3 mentees. The mentors are making a special commitment of time and insight because they all love to see writers and artists succeed. If you would like to be a participant in this program, as a “mentee,” you will need to commit to spending time on your revision with the aim of improving your craft. The Mentorship Faculty is on the menu on the sidebar, but here is a shortcut as well: FACULTY.

Our highly knowledgeable past and current mentors have included National Book Award Finalists, New York Times bestselling authors, Caldecott Medal–winning illustrators, Coretta Scott King Award winners, Charlotte Zolotow Award winners, million-selling series authors, art directors, editors, publishers, and agents. We hand-pick mentors who are gifted both at creating children’s books and at teaching. Many Nevada Mentor Program alumnae have gone on to win awards, land agents, and sign book deals.

This program is designed to help you grow. We guarantee that you will meet, work personally with, and learn from some fine professional writers. We do NOT guarantee that you’ll find an agent. However, here is a list of mentees who have found agents after the program and published. (This is not a final list since we don’t actively keep it current, but update it when we hear about one of the mentees. The list is on the sidebar menu as well.) LIST of Agented Mentees.


Critique Groups:

Webinar Replay: Becoming a Feedback Master

Available through 12/31/2020

Sponsored by Pennsylvania West

Celebrated author, illustrator, and child psychologist, Carol Baicker-Mckee, and award-winning YA author and former employee development consultant, Stephanie Keyes, lead you through an interactive and eye-opening webinar on giving and receiving feedback.

They’ll cover how to prepare for a feedback session, your behavior in the moment, and deciding how to handle the feedback afterwards. This course is perfect for pros and newbs alike.

Cost: $15


The Business of Writing and Illustrating:

When Two is Better Than One—The Benefits of Co-authorship with Corinne Demas and Artemis Roehrig

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 7 pm to 8 pm EST

Sponsored by New England

Every step of getting a children’s book published requires collaboration, including working with your agent and your editor. Why not consider collaboration starting at the writing phase? Join this dynamic mother-daughter team as they discuss the advantages of co-authorship, from brain-storming to book contract. Using their own experience co-authoring five picture books, they’ll describe the kind of projects where two creative heads are better than one. They’ll talk about ways to capitalize on the talents of both co-authors members to produce a better book than either of them could have written on their own, as well as strategies to resolve the inevitable conflicts that might arise. They’ll also address the ways a team approach can provide energy and resilience for all the PR work once a book is published.

Cost: $10              THIS EVENT WILL NOT BE TAPED.

3-Webinar Series: The Secrets of Show, Don’t Tell with Kathy MacMillan

Tuesday, January 12, 19, & 26, 2021 6 pm Central

Sponsored by Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia

It’s the feedback every writer dreads: your manuscript has too much telling, and not enough showing. But what can you do about it?  Kathy MacMillan breaks down what it really means to “show, don’t tell” in relation to every aspect of your writing from character development to plot, and in every stage from manuscript to pitch. She’ll share a dozen “Showing Secrets” – actionable revision steps that you can use right away to breathe new life into your writing.

Registrants will receive a link to the recording the day after the live webinars. Recordings of all three webinars will be available registrants though February 27, 2021. Registration will remain open until January 26, 2021. If you register after the series has begun, you will receive links to the recordings for the sessions you missed.

Cost: SCBWI Members: $40, Nonmembers: $75


Agenting 101/Editing:

Webinar Replay: Twitter Pitch Contests: Tweet Like a Pro and You Just Might Land Your Dream Agent

Available through 12/31/2020

Sponsored by Pennsylvania: West

Over the past few years, Twitter pitch contests have grown to huge proportions. Even though Twitter pitch events take place all year long, the second half of the year features some big ticket events like #PitMad, #PitWars, and #SFFPit.

Not only do you get to avoid the whole face-to-face pitch experience, but you get the chance to pitch to agents, editors, and publishers from the comfort of your own home—in your pajamas! But in a sea of tweets on an agent’s timeline, how will you know if your pitch will stand out from the rest?

Join YA author and editor at Author Accelerator, K.C. Karr, and award-winning author, Stephanie Keyes, for a live, Twitter Pitch dry run. They’ll cover how the contests work, what makes a good Twitter pitch, and the do’s and don’ts of participation.

After you purchase the webinar replay, you will receive an email with a link to view it.

Cost: $15

Fall 2020 Agent and Editor Day

Saturday November 21, 2020 10 am to 5 pm

Sponsored by Arkansas

Join us on Saturday, November 21st for a terrific set of writing craft and business virtual presentations by several kidlit agents and editors. 

The event will be presented on Zoom. Attendees will be emailed later with the links and instruction.  The day will wrap up with a Q&A with all four of the presenters at 3pm, CST.

Here are our presenters and their presentation topics and times:

10am CST:

Katie Heit is a picture book editor at Scholastic Books where she edits nonfiction picture books and chapter books, as well as select fiction picture book titles. She works with many nonfiction authors, including Monica Clark-Robinson, Sandra Markle, and Denise Lewis Patrick, among others. She is drawn to books that approach nonfiction in a unique, kid-friendly way and is especially on the lookout for nature and STEAM topics.

Katie’s presentation topic is:

Turning Pages: In this 1-hour presentation, Editor Katie Heit will discuss how to build drama and suspense in your picture books by using well-placed page turns.

11am, CST:

John Cusick is a VP and literary agent with Folio Literary Management, representing a diverse list of award winners and New York Times bestsellers. His focus is middle grade, young adult, and crossover fiction. He is also an author, most recently of the middle-grade novel Dimension Why: How to Save the Universe Without Really Trying (HarperCollins). He tweets at @johnmcusick and discusses the craft and business of writing on YouTube at His submission guidelines are available on Publishers Marketplace:

John’s presentation topic is:

The Agent: What They Do, How They Think, and How to Get One. This one-hour presentation goes into detail about how to approach agents through different mediums (including different social media platforms, with dos and dots, etc), what to ask an agent who’s offering on your work, and how to trouble shoot problems with an agent, etc.

1:00pm, CST:

Known as the first literary agent to represent marginalized creators in the digital publishing space, Saritza Hernandez is a self-proclaimed geek with a passion for all things Star Wars, Star Trek, and tabletop gaming. Her love of great storytelling is what has driven her work in the publishing industry for the past 17 years and her passion for amplifying queer and BIPOC voices is what continues to drive her today. An avid romance and science-fiction reader, and strong advocate of the LGBTQ+ community, she enjoys fresh voices in YA, MG, and adult genre fiction.

A complete list of genres she accepts:

Saritza’s presentation topic is:

The Author’s Toolkit: A one-hour presentation exploring resources all aspiring Kidlit writers can benefit from.

2pm, CST:

A Literary Agent for Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, Thao Le handles her own client list as well as the agency’s financials and some select contracts. She joined the agency in 2011 and represents authors of adult fiction and children’s literature.

Thao’s children literature interests include young adult fiction, middle-grade fiction, and picture books. Thao is seeking young adult and middle-grade contemporary fiction that offers authentic, unique and emotional narratives. She is particularly interested in stories that focus on families and friendships from the point of view of a diverse protagonist. Thao also enjoys narratives that feature characters that are passionate about arts, sports, STEM, activism, and geeky fandoms. She also enjoys reading stories that are based on mythologies, magic, and fairy tales. With regards to children’s picture books, Thao is particularly looking for author/illustrators, whose work is both emotive and vivid. She enjoys character driven, progressive narratives that end with a twist.

Thao’s presentation topic is:

How to Write a “Good” Bad Guy: An agent’s perspective and tips on how to write and create a villain or antagonist character who is believable, well developed, and compelling.

3pm, CST: An Editor and Agent Panel Q&A with all of our presenters

All agents and editors will be open to submissions from event attendees in the month following the event.

For written critiques, please submit no more than one picture book manuscript or up to 10 pages of a novel or longer manuscript no later than November 13th. Send to

This event will be recorded and available to view for two weeks after the event to those who register before November 21st.

***We do have three scholarships available, two for BIPOC creators (Black or Indigenous people of color) and one that is for a member who identifies with any other marginalized group, including but not limited to LGBTQ+, neurodiverse, and disabled creators. Please write to Monica Clark-Robinson at if you’d like to be considered for either of these.

Cost: $50


Professional Communication for Authors and Illustrators with Kathy MacMillan

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 6 pm Central

Sponsored by Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia

From query letters to follow up emails, from fielding requests from bloggers to raising concerns with an agent, the life of an author or illustrator is filled with communication – and your ability to express yourself clearly and professionally has a huge impact on your career, whether you are brand-new to publishing or have several books in print. In this session, we’ll cover best practices for communicating professionally in a digital world, including writing effective query and cover letters, following up on submissions, dealing with emotionally charged topics, communicating with publishing professionals, bloggers, fans, and peers, and how to stand up for yourself in writing without being a jerk.

The recording of this webinar will be made available for free to all SCBWI members at this page our region website beginning December 9.  Registration is only required for the live event.

Cost: FREE!

Query Grind

Sponsored by Pennsylvania: East

  • Query Grind part 1 [Monday, January 11, 2021] submissions due by Friday, January 8.
  • Query Grind part 2 [Thursday, March 4, 2021] submissions due by Friday, March 12.
  • Query Grind part 3 [Thursday, May 20, 2021] submissions due by Friday, May 21.

Do you have a middle grade or young adult manuscript ready to query? Join us for Query Grind as three industry professionals take a look at how to put the final polish on your work before you submit.

A limited number of Query Package critiques are available. See the registration below for more information.

(Presentations will be recorded and the recording link provided to all participants registered prior to the event.)

 January 11: WRITING THE QUERY LETTER THAT GETS NOTICED with Literary Agent Danielle Chiotti, Upstart Crow Literary
This short class will walk you through all of the most important elements of a query letter and help you craft the perfect pitch to capture the attention of agents and editors. It will walk you through the most important elements of a pitch and show you the four most important questions to answer in your book description.
Danielle will be offering a limited number of query-package critiques for this event. See ticket information below to register for this opportunity.

March 4: TACKLING FIRST PAGES with Literary Agent Samantha Fabien, Laura Dail Literary Agency

In this webinar, I’ll discuss the intentions and goals for the first pages of manuscripts. I will share tips to achieve those goals across various genres and age-ranges including examples from published books. Attendees will leave the webinar with actionable feedback and more confidence in how to start their manuscript whether it’s for the first sentence or for the first chapter.

Samantha will be offering a limited number of query-package critiques for this event. See ticket information below to register for this opportunity.

May 20: Navigating the Author/Agent Relationship with Literary Agent Reiko Davis, DeFiore & Co. Literary

You’ve written a wonderful manuscript, crafted a query letter that you’ve submitted to agents, and now you’re fielding interest from an agent who wishes to discuss representation with you. What are the next steps? This seminar explores the ins and outs of the relationship between author and agent, beginning with the preliminary conversation you have with one. We will discuss the process of signing with an agent, preparing a project for submission to editors, and beyond. We will cover communication, author/agent agreements, the editorial process, contract negotiation, and the agent’s role once a project is sold to a publisher. This seminar will be a 60-minute presentation followed by 30 minutes of Q&A with attendees.

Reiko will be offering a limited number of query-package critiques for this event. See ticket information below to register for this opportunity.
Cost: 3-Part Member: $40, single Webinars are $15/each

Ready, Set, Critique!

Friday-Sunday, April 16-18, 2021

Sponsored by Nebraska

What: Ready, Set, Critique! is an opportunity for you to have your work critiqued by an industry professional (agent, editor, or art director).

Who: We are recruiting a fabulous list of agents, editors, and art directors ready to give you feedback on your work. A list of faculty will be available soon, so keep checking back!

How: You will have a 15-minute face-to-face meeting with your critiquer; time slots will be determined at registration.

Why: Critiques provide critical feedback on your work. They help you figure out what’s working well and identify areas where you could improve—and often give you ideas for how to go about making those changes.

Now what?

1. Put Ready, Set, Critique! on your calendar. Although your critique will be a 15-minute time block, you won’t know the exact time until February, so make room for any possible time on your calendar now.

2. Polish your work. Writers will be submitting up to ten pages of a manuscript; illustrators can submit their portfolio or a picture book dummy. You will have one chance to submit your work for critique, so make it your very best—this is not the time for first drafts!

3. If you’re a member of the Nebraska region, attend Boot Camp in January and February to help you make your submission shine.

4. Register! Registration will open February 1, 2021 and will remain open until February 28 or all available spots fill. You may register for only one critique.


Let us know. Email Alison at for more info.



Webinar Replay: How to Self-Promote Without Being a Jerk and Build Reader Loyalty

Available through 12/31/2020

Sponsored by Pennsylvania: West

Join award-winning and bestselling author Abigail Drake and award-winning and bestselling author Stephanie Keyes, as they share their own approaches to focusing on what really matters: connecting with readers and building loyal followers for a lifetime.

After you register for this webinar, you will receive an email with a link to view it. 

Cost: $15

Connect with Your Audience through Emotionally Powerful Readings

Saturday, December 5, 2020 11 am to 12:30 pm PST

Sponsored by San Francisco/South

Reading aloud is part of an author’s professional practice, whether at school visits, book launches, book festivals, or other events. The pandemic has brought new opportunities to share our work with readers on multiple platforms. This webinar will empower you to use well-chosen readings to engage your listeners’ emotions in both in-person and online settings. We will cover readings from beginning to end: how to identify what to read, how to prepare the piece to fit time constraints, and tips for reading both in person and online for writers. Through learning how to prepare your work and yourself, you will be able to approach your readings with confidence.

SCBWI members: $10




Giving Characters Life and Voice with Charlotte Wenger – Agent at Prospect Agency

Saturday, November 21, 2020

What makes a story character-driven? How can you get your characters to jump off the page? What elements create a successful character with a distinct voice? Utilizing techniques and examples from both theatre acting and children’s literature, we’ll explore these questions and unpack tools to build rich characters with standout voices and unique personalities.

Email with a link to Zoom will be sent the day before the event. Please make sure that your email is current when registering for this workshop.

SCBWI members: $20


Creating Memorable Characters

Thursday, January 21, 2021 7:30 pm CST

Sponsored by Nebraska

Want to learn from the best on how to create engaging, memorable characters? Join us as Caldecott Honoree and Sibert and Belpré Medalist award-winning author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal shares how she infuses cultural heritage and research as well as keen observation of human nature to achieve stellar character development, expression and interaction.

Juana Martinez-Neal is the recipient of the 2019 Caldecott Honor for Alma and How She Got Her Name (Candlewick Press), her debut picture book as author-illustrator. She also the recipient of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal for Fry Bread: A Native American Story (Roaring Brook) and the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration for La Princesa and the Pea (Putnam).

Juana was named to the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honor list in 2014, and was awarded the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize in 2012. She was born in Lima, the capital of Peru, and now lives in Arizona, with her husband and three children.

Cost: $15 members, $35 non-members



LAST DAY (12/1) TO REGISTER FOR AUDIT ACCESS to 6-Week Online Course: Drafting Your Book Proposal

Tuesday December 1, 2020 12 am

Sponsored by Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia

6-Week Online Course: Drafting Your Book Proposal
Presented by Kelly Anne White
Asynchronous online course begins Tuesday, October 6, 2020 with a live 1-hour Zoom session with instructor Kelly Ann White. A new lesson and assignment will be posted each Tuesday for 6 weeks, and registrants will have access to the lessons through December 29, 2020.

You’ve finally finished that manuscript (or it’s pretty close to completion), so now what? It’s time to put your book through the submission process! And for that, you’ll need a rock-solid book proposal. Bring your project—in any kidlit genre—for personalized instruction on how to build a book proposal that sticks out from the slush pile. At the end of six weeks, you will have a full-on proposal ready to submit to literary agents and book publishers.
Audit registration: SCBWI Members $150; Nonmembers: $350


  • -Live 1-hour introductory Zoom session with instructor Kelly Ann White on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, plus recording access to the intro session for the duration of the course
  • -Access to 6 weeks’ worth of online lessons and assignments

Registration for the audit option will remain open through December 1, 2020. 


Self Editing:

Revision and Self-Editing Workshop with Miranda Paul

Sunday, December 6, 2020 from 1 pm to 4 pm PST

Sponsored by Western Washington

Miranda will focus the workshop on Revision & Self-Editing Techniques – Big Picture and Line by Line. Participants should have a manuscript draft and a pitch or very short summary of their work handy — in any genre. If you don’t have a finished manuscript, you can bring a work in progress or even a solid outline.

Cost: $15 for members, $20 for non-members. 


Picture Books:

Advanced Picture Book Workshop: LEVEL UP: The Kitchen Sink Edition with Tara Lazar – Online

Saturday, December 5, 2020, 9am-noon CST

Sponsored by Texas: Austin

LEVEL UP: The Kitchen Sink Edition

Let’s roll up our sleeves, ponchos, and hoodies and get to work! Polish a manuscript you want to take to the next level, or bring a picture book idea for which you’re ready to write a kickin’ first draft.

In this intensive, Tara Lazar will help you start out with a bang. We’ll look at what makes a first line hook the reader, how to add tension throughout the creamy middle, and how to wrap it all up with an imaginative twist—not a neat, tidy bow. (Because bows can be boring.)

Along the way, we’ll discuss high concept, dive headfirst into the always controversial (but necessary) art notes, chew on some repetitive refrains, tickle our tongues with fun language, and, of course, laugh until our heads explode! (SCBWI Austin may require you to sign a waiver.)

Our aim in this three-hour juggernaut is to break your previous picture book HIGH SCORE.

Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books where anything is possible!

You will receive the Zoom link in an email the day before the event.

Cost: $30 members, $75 nonmembers

*Note: Waiting List –This workshop is sold out. Choose this option to get on the waitlist. If a spot opens up you will be contacted via the email on your registration and will be billed upon acceptance of the spot.

Tipping the Scales Toward Publication With Authors Nicholas Solis, Ellen Leventhal, Meera Sriram and Lisa Katzenberger

Saturday, December 5, 2020 10 am to 11:30 am Mountain Time

Sponsored by Utah/Southern Idaho


Webinar Topics:

Right Place at the Right Time — Nicholas Solis

Creating a writing community for yourself can be just as important as creating a terrific picture book. I’ll share classes and organizations that worked for me, and the conferences that helped along the way.

Get It Out There! — Ellen Leventhal

You’ve written the story. Great! Now how do you get it seen? We’ll talk about non-traditional ways of getting your story seen by the gatekeepers, plus some bonus tips on story development and revision.

Be True to Your Craft AND to Your Story — Meera Sriram

Revising based on peer and professional critiques means honing your craft and polishing your manuscript while still holding on to the story you want to tell.

Using the Story Spine Method to Plot Your Story — Lisa Katzenberger

Review of the Story Spine method, popularized by Pixar, a simple way to construct the backbone of your story and establish crucial plot points.

This event will be recorded. A replay will be available to all those that register until January 2nd, 2021.

Registration closes December 4th @ 10:00 am MST or whenever the available spots sell out. No additional registrations will be available after the event.

Cost: $10 for Members, $20 for Non-members

Picture Book Deep Dive: A behind-the-scenes look at taking a picture book from concept to publication

Saturday December 12, 2020 4 pm to 5:30 pm PST

Sponsored by California: San Francisco North and East Bay

Have you ever wondered about the behind-the-scenes process of how a picture book gets acquired and created?

Join the author, illustrator, editor, and book designer of the upcoming LUNA’S YUM YUM DIM SUM, part of Charlesbridge Publishing’s Story Math series, as they take you through the development of a picture book from concept to publication. Hear from executive editor at Charlesbridge, Alyssa Mito Pusey, pb author Natasha Yim, illustrator Violet Kim, and book designer Jon Simeon.

Cost SCBWI Members $15

Plot, Page- Turns, and Pith: All About Picture Book Pacing with Sylvie Frank

Saturday January 9, 2021 from 9 am to noon PST

Sponsored by California: San Diego

Plot, Page-Turns, and Pith: All About Picture Book Pacing

What does pacing really mean? What does it mean for a picture book to be “snappy”? And how does plot function in picture books, anyway? In this hands-on and jam-packed session, we’ll dive into two mentor texts, examining elements that create a well-paced book. Finally, we’ll take a close look at how making a picture book dummy can be an invaluable tool to help you think visually, cut words, and revise the plot in your own work-in-progress.

Cost: $40

Creating Picture Books that Empower and Enlighten

Saturdays, January 23 and 30, 2021 9 am to 11:30 am PST

A Webinar Series Sponsored by SCBWI Inland Northwest

Picture Books can EMPOWER and ENLIGHTEN young readers. In this webinar series, we’ll learn how to strengthen our picture book projects with strong story structure, star-quality characters, and impactful messaging. Plus, a boost of inspiration to lift the creative spirit.

Saturday, January 23

9:00 AM (Pacific Time) FINDING YOUR WAY INTO A STORY with Author, Rob Sanders

People and real-life events can inspire writers, illustrators, and kids! In this webinar, Rob will discuss picture book format, structure, hooks, and more to help you get your story ideas onto the page.

10:30 AM (Pacific Time) CREATING A STRONG MAIN CHARACTER with Author, Kat Zhang

Editors and Agents often say they’re looking for character-driven picture books. Kat will deconstruct the key elements every strong character needs to lead a perfect picture book.

Saturday, January 30

9:00 AM (Pacific Time) WHITTLING DOWN YOUR WORDS with Author, Carole Lindstrom

In this session, Carole will share practical tips for getting the right words down while still maintaining the passion your reader feels while turning the pages.

10:30 AM (Pacific) DRAWING THROUGH TOUGH TIMES with Author/Illustrator, Ashley Spires

As we create, we can’t help but compare our work to the work of others. This can lead to self-doubt. In Ashley’s presentation, she’ll help you recognize the value of your own voice in order to strengthen your perseverance and push through tough times.

♦ Recordings of all 4 webinars will be available to registered participants through Sunday, February 28. They will be deleted on March 1.

Cost: $45 for SCBWI members ($75 non-members). This price includes all 4 webinars.

CRITIQUES for SCBWI members only are $50 while they last.

We’re sorry, tickets to individual webinars will not be offered.

Not Every Story Arcs: Writing Nontraditional Picture Books That Will Be Read and Re-Read with author Liz Garton Scanlon Webinar

Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 7pm to 8:30pm Central time

 Sponsored by KSMO SCBWI

Counting books, alphabet books, books that break the fourth wall — these nontraditional formats might seem simple and one-dimensional at first glance, but in order for them to stand out they must have depth, layers and rich complexity. In this webinar, we’ll look at mentor texts and discuss strategies for creating concept books that are compelling, memorable and reward re-reading.

This webinar will be recorded, but you MUST register BEFORE the webinar to view the recording. Registered attendees will be able to view the recording for 30 days following the webinar date.

Cost: $10 for SCBWI, $45 for non-members.

Picture Books from the Inside Out Intensive with Peter Brown, New York Times Best Selling Author/Illustrator

Saturday, March 13, 2021 9am til noon PST

Sponsored by California: San Diego

An intensive three-hour workshop aimed at children’s book writers and illustrators. Peter Brown will share developmental samples from over a decade of his experience creating award-winning and bestselling picture books. He’ll discuss his steps of art making, design and text decisions, dummy creation and presentation, and the publication process.

Cost: $40



VIRTUAL EVENT: OH MG! A Weekend of Middle Grade

Saturday and Sunday England time February 27 & 28, 2021 , 10 am UK (4 am, CST, doublecheck me) to 3:20 pm UK time (9:20 am CST, again check to make sure for yourself)

*The zoom link will be in your email confirmation! Watch out for it!

Sponsored by the British Isles



Sessions include:

Bestselling author, Children’s Laureate and National Treasure Cressida Cowell discusses her extraordinary successes

What are agents really like when they’re reading their slushpiles? Submit up to 200 words from the opening chapters of your middle grade manuscripts to literary agents


AGE APPROPRIATE MG: What are the boundaries of writing MG?

The Rise of  #UKMGCHAT

NON-FICTION: There’s more to MG than Fantasy

MG 101: Ask Us Anything!

Cost: 35 pounds

Writing Without a Trace

Saturday, March 20, 2021 10 am CST

Sponsored by Nebraska

nspired by cool facts, but not sure how to scaffold them into an awesome story?

Whether you prefer to stick to an outline or you’re a seat-of-the-pants writer, tackling a novel can require a mixture of plotting, research, inspiration, and divine intervention. Join us as Pat Cummings, author/illustrator of over forty books for young readers, covers how to interweave factual research into engaging middle grade fiction. Pat will also touch on how she integrated genealogy into her writing process for her debut MG novel “Trace” and offer advice on best practices for a large writing project, complete with cautionary tales of what not to do (learned the hard way).

Author and/or illustrator of over 40 books, Pat teaches children’s book courses at Pratt Institute and Parsons and runs a summer Children’s Book Boot Camp that brings writers and illustrators together with top editors, art directors and agents. 

She serves on the boards of the Authors Guild, the Authors League Fund and SCBWI and also as Chair of the Founders Award Jury for the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show.

Pat’s latest books include her debut middle grade novel, Trace, from HarperCollins and Where is Mommy?, a picture book from Holiday House. Find her at or on Twitter @PatCummingsBook.

Registration opens January 1.

Cost: $15 members, $35 non-members




Dummy Day 2020

Sunday December 6, 2020 9 am-3 pm PST

Sponsored by California/Los Angeles County

Dummy Day is back! Hear two inspiring, deep-dive presentations on the craft of creating a book dummy. Long-time veteran of the book publishing industry, Joy Chu, and author/illustrator/animator, J.R. Krause, will talk about “Making Your Opening Scene Irresistible” and “Pacing Your Picture Book Dummy”.

Are you in the midst of creating a picture book and wanting feedback? Add the OPTIONAL breakout critique and get fresh eyes on your work-in-progress in a small group led by a publishing professional. Critique group space is limited.

Morning Session: $15
Afternoon Critique Session (optional): Additional $25
You must sign up for the morning session in order to attend the critique session.

Writing & Illustrating A Graphic Novel with Author/Illustrator Mike Curato

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 7:30 pm-10 pm EST

Sponsored by New York: Metropolitan

As the world of graphic novels expands, more and more storytellers who are known for their picture book work are stepping into the sequential medium and pioneering new stories for youth. Mike Curato will be sharing the process of creating his debut YA graphic novel, Flamer (available 9/1/20). He’ll be discussing how he was able to draw from his experience as a picture book author-illustrator and pair it with his longtime love of comics to share a story he’s been compelled to tell for years.

Mike Curato is the author-illustrator of everyone’s favorite polka-dotted elephant, Little Elliot. Mike’s debut title in the series, Little Elliot, Big City has won numerous awards and has been translated into fourteen languages. There are now four additional Little Elliot titles, and Mike has also illustrated books for other authors such as Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, What if…by Samantha Berger, and The Power of One by Truday Ludwig (8/24/20). Mike was born and raised outside of New York City, and earned a BFA in illustration from Syracuse University. After college, he worked as a graphic designer for the better part of ten years until his dream of making picture books became a reality at an SCBWI annual conference. Mike currently lives in Northampton, MA.

Register Here:


Cool Extras:

The Hawaii region offers links to past recordings of meetings:

Feb 20, 2020 – New York conference recap   

Mirka and Akiko go over the 2020 Winter conference in New York, what the trends are and anything that they learned while attending the conference.

Nov 8, 2019 : Q & A with Katie Davis

SCBWI Hawaii met with Author Illustrator Katie Davis at Dukes Kauai.

Oct 24, 2019 Publisher Talk  

Third part of our series on publishers. In this hui we discussed different publishers and what types of manuscripts they are looking for.

Oct 10, 2019: Publisher Talk

Second part of our series on publishers. In this hui we discussed different publishers and what types of manuscripts they are looking for.

Oct 3, 2019: Publisher Talk

This will be our first part of the series on publishers. We discussed different publishers and what types of manuscripts they are looking for.

September 19, 2019: Hawaii Publishers

During this hui we discussed the Hawaiian publishers, what they are looking for and how to approach them with your manuscript and illustrations.

September 12, 2019 Online Hui:

Shannon Murphy of Read To Me International

Shannon Murphy, Executive Administrator of Read to me International, Hawaii, introduced us to what their organization does to promote literacy and how we can get involved!

September 5th, 2019 Online Hui: Master Studies 

During this Hui we shared how to do a masters study and went through some books together with Mirka Hokkanen.

August 22, 2019 Online Hui: Writing with Humor

During this Hui Debbie will share her ideas on how to write with humor. Laughter is the best medicine when it comes to story telling!

August 15, 2019 Online Hui: Conference Wrap-up

Akiko will present on what she observed while attending the SCBWI 48th annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles.

August 8, 2019 Online Hui: Master Studies ~ Books from Finland

During this Hui Mirka will be sharing some picture books from Finland.

July 25, 2019 Online Hui: How to Write Query Letters

Learn how to write a query letter and get the courage to send it out!

July 18, 2019: Setting Up Dummies

How to set up your dummy for submission and use it to help with story pacing.

July 11, 2019 Online Hui: Story Pacing

During this Hui we discuss pacing in pictures books and how important it is in storytelling.

June 27, 2019 Online Hui: The Give and Take of Critiques

In critique groups you don’t need cheerleaders, you need people who are not invested emotionally to your manuscript and are able to give you an honest opinion. The more you participate, the more you will get out of a critique group and the more you critique, the easier it will become!


Western Washington Region has Inside Story – May 2020

A free recording of SCBWI Western Washington and Liberty Bay Books proudly presented 26 local authors and illustrators who fascinated the Zoomisphere with 2-minute, lightning-fast inside stories about their newly-published books.

 You can buy signed and personalized copies of all the books presented online from our local Liberty Bay Books here.

 Check out the lineup of presenters and their books here.

You can watch it at your leisure right here:


Free On-Demand Webinars

Please enjoy these free recordings of past webinars hosted by the MD/DE/WV region of SCBWI, available anytime!

Creating Your Portfolio with Rebecca Evans

Join Rebecca Evans, illustrator of more than 19 books and co-Regional Advisor of the MD/DE/WV Region of SCBWI, to learn how to create a successful illustration portfolio that will help you gain the attention of agents, authors and publishing houses. Discuss what the elements of a winning portfolio are and what pieces are best left at home. Learn about best practices, quantity, artistic voice, content and more!

 Formatting Your Manuscript for Submission with Kathy MacMillan

Fonts and headers and page breaks, oh my! Join Kathy MacMillan, author of 18 books and co-Regional Advisor of the MD/DE/WV Region of SCBWI, for a visual guide to all the nitty-gritty details of how to format your manuscript for submission using Microsoft Word. We’ll go over best practices for submissions, as well as how-tos for creating headers and footers, inserting page numbers, setting font and line spacing, and more.

A Conversation with Picture Book Authors 1

The MD/DE/WV Region is pleased to host a FREE webinar, open to everyone, featuring picture book authors J.H. Diehl, Amy S. Hansen, and Rebecca Evans! This webinar is presented as part of the Read Local Challenge, which gives you the chance to win prizes by reading books by featured authors from Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Virginia!

 A Conversation with Picture Book Authors 2

The MD/DE/WV Region is pleased to host a FREE webinar, open to everyone, featuring picture books authors Ann McCallum, Karen Leggett Abouraya, and Lezlie Evans! This webinar is presented as part of the Read Local Challenge, which gives you the chance to win prizes by reading books by featured authors from Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Virginia!

.A Conversation with Middle Grade Authors 1

The MD/DE/WV Region is pleased to host a FREE webinar, open to everyone, featuring middle grade fiction authors Laura Shovan, Leah Henderson, and Barbara Carney-Coston! This webinar is presented as part of the Read Local Challenge, which gives you the chance to win prizes by reading books by featured authors from Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Virginia!

A Conversation with Middle Grade Authors 2

The MD/DE/WV Region is pleased to host a FREE webinar, open to everyone, featuring middle grade authors R.D Henham and Deborah Kalb! This webinar is presented as part of the Read Local Challenge, which gives you the chance to win prizes by reading books by featured authors from Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Virginia!

A Conversation with Young Adult Authors

The MD/DE/WV Region is pleased to host a FREE webinar, open to everyone, featuring young adult authors Kathy MacMillan, Linda Budzinski, Meg Eden, Pintip Dunn, and Christina June! This webinar is presented as part of the Read Local Challenge, which gives you the chance to win prizes by reading books by featured authors from Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Virginia!