Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Annual Spring Fever Conference 2019

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Date(s) - 03/23/2019 - 03/24/2019
8:00 am - 5:30 pm

Embassy Suites-Destiny USA
311 Hiawatha Blvd. West - Syracuse, NY 13204


Registration is Open!

Thank you for your patience….

Early-Bird Registration Now Open!

Take Advantage of the Early-Bird Registration Fees for SCBWI Members — Honored Through December 24th, 2018. General Registration Fees will go into effect on December 25th, 2018.

Limited Critiques Available

Don’t Miss Out! Register Today!


Conference Faculty

Featured Speakers:

 Grace Lin, Author/Illustrator (Keynote)

Grace Lin, a NY Times bestselling author/illustrator, won the Newbery Honor for “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” and the Theodor Geisel Honor for “Ling and Ting.” Her 2016 novel “When the Sea Turned to Silver” was a National Book Award Finalist. Her most recent book “A Big Mooncake for Little Star” (August 2018) received starred reviews from Kirkus, BCCB, and School Library Journal, along with other high praises from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, among others. Grace is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Visit her website:


           Patrick Collins  
Creative Director, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Patrick art directs and designs picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels. Some of the recent picture books he has worked on are: A Boy, A Mouse and A Spider illustrated by Lauren Castillo; Brave! Poems about Amazing Hispanics illustrated by Rafael Lopez; Cricket in the Thicket illustrated by Melissa Sweet; and Dogosaurus Rex illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. His recent novel projects include Bloooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel and In the Shadow of Liberty. Patrick studied art at Northeastern University in Boston. Patrick is accepting a limited number of critiques. See “Faculty One-on-One Critiques” below.


Steven Salpeter
Literary Agent, Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Steven joined Curtis Brown in 2013 and is now actively building his own list, seeking literary fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers, young adult, and authors who can blend elements of these genres. Steven is also interested in narrative nonfiction, gift books, history, humor, and popular science. In Chapter Book, MG and YA Steven would be particularly excited to see more of the following: fictional or nonfiction stories that explore tough topics in accessible ways, #ownvoices across any genre; fantasy with unique magic systems; historical novels; thrillers; second world fantasies with no magic; witches; dragons; rogues; pirates with morals; larger-than-life geniuses up against tragic circumstances perhaps of their own devising; average teens with big hearts or big problems; complex characters; laugh-out-loud contemporaries; romcoms; heartfelt contemporaries with literary voices;  non-western inspired mythology; unique retellings; graphic novels of all kinds; and more. Visit his website: Steven is accepting a limited number of critiques. See “Faculty One-on-One Critiques” below.


                                                                             Alyson Heller
Senior Editor, Aladdin/Simon and Schuster

Alyson joined the Aladdin team in 2008 after a two-year stint in the Simon & Schuster Associates Program. She acquires picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and the occasional YA, but her heart is in contemporary middle grade. Aly is actively looking for non-fiction projects as well for her list. On both the non-fiction and fictional side, she has a particular affinity for strong female characters who kick butt and take names, stories that represent the under-represented and stories that take on tough stuff in the middle grade space. Tweet her @EditorAlysonH.  Alyson is accepting a limited number of critiques. See “Faculty One-on-One Critiques” below.

Additional Guest Showcase Faculty to be Announced…Stay Tuned!


Session TOPICS Include:

  • Avoiding Pitfalls When Pitching to an Agent
  • Techniques for Revising & Editing Your Picture Book
  • My Journey to Contract; An Illustrator’s Story
  • Developing Plot Know-How; The Basics
  • How to Craft a First Chapter
  • Investigating Alternative Paths to Publishing – The Educational Market
  • Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing
  • Self Marketing for PALs; Expectations & Options
  • Exploring Illustration Technique and Style
  • Many More topics to be announced…Stay Tuned!


NEW This Year:

  • Friday Evening: Welcome Meet & Mingle Reception – Light Snacks & Ice Breaker Activities!
  • New & Improved Critique Opportunities
  • Illustrator Portfolio Showcase
  • More High-Interest Breakout Sessions
  • Quick & Easy Access to PAL Bookstore & More Browsing & Signing Times
  • New Panel Session with Featured Speakers (Sunday)
  • Illustrator Craft Share
  • Night Owl & Early Bird Informal Chat Sessions – informal sessions are hosted by SCBWI participants on wild-card topics
  • Next Steps – News & Updates from Headquarters, Staying Connected Contact Info Swap & Post Conference Support


DRAFT Schedule (subject to updates)

Friday, March 22nd

5:00 pm Welcome Meet & Mingle Reception

Saturday, March 23rd

8:00 – 8:45 am Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:45 – 9:00 Welcome & Introductions
9:00 – 10:00 KEYNOTE: Grace Lin (Author/Illustrator)
10:15 – 11:00 Patrick Collins (Art Director)
11:15 – 12:00 Steven Salpeter (Agent)
12:00 – 1:30 Lunch – Bookstore Open & Book Signing by Grace Lin & PAL Authors
1:30 – 2:45 BREAKOUT (Session 1, tentative)

A. Illustrator My Journey Session (Guest Faculty)

B. Submission-Ready Writer Session (Steven Salpeter)

C. Craft Writer Session (Alyson Heller)

3:00 – 4:15 BREAKOUT (Session 2, tentative)

A. Illustrator Assignment Session (instructions to come – Patrick Collins)

B. Picture Book Craft Writer Session (Alyson Heller)

C. MG, YA, Novel Craft Writer Session (Grace Lin)

4:30 – 5:15 Speed Dating for The “Perfect Match” (Critique Partners) – Writers & Illustrators – Primarily designed to find new critique partners (instructions to come). If you already have a critique group, plan ahead to use this time for a productive meet up.
5:30 – 6:30 Free Time/Cash Bar – Portfolio Showcase Viewing & Bookstore Open & Book Signing by Grace Lin & PAL Authors.
6:30 – 8:00 Dinner on Your Own
8:00 – ? ·      Open Mic – read aloud, seek feedback as you wish!

·      Night Owl Informal Chats

(Shared by those in-the-know with those who want-to-know. What topic would you like to share? Submit a brief description to us.)


Sunday, March 24th

7:00 – 7:45 am ·      Early Bird Informal Chats

(Shared by those in-the-know with those who want-to-know. What topic would you like to share? Submit a brief  description to us.)

8:00 – 8:30 Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 8:45 Welcome & Introductions
9:00 – 10:00 BREAKOUT Sessions (tentative)

A. Illustrator – (title & instructions to come – Patrick Collins)

B. Writers – Alternative Path to Publishing –  The Educational Market (Guest Faculty)

C. Writers/Illustrators – Self-Marketing: Expectations & Options…for soon-to-be published, newly published, seasoned PALs, and interested others:  (Guest Faculty)

10:15 – 11:45 ROUNDTABLES – A PAL member will guide the process of group feedback.

Critique Roundtable … for Writers (Please make your table group selection at the time of registration (drop down menu will appear). Table # assignment and further instructions will be forwarded in advance of the Conference.

A. YA Author Group

B. MG Author Group

C. Picture Book Author Group

D. Picture Book/Illustrator Group

Illustrator “Craft Share” Roundtable … for Illustrators – Illustrator attendees who select this option will share/demo for 5 – 10 minutes a skill or medium they use or apply in their artwork.

(instructions will be forwarded upon registration)

12:00 – 1:20 Lunch – Bookstore Open & Book Signing by Grace Lin & PAL Authors

(Special Honor to Regional PALS with New Releases; April 2018 – March 2019)

1:30 – 2:15 PANEL Discussion with Featured Speakers (Patrick Collins, Steven Salpeter, & Alyson Heller)

·      State of the Industry

·      Direction of the Industry

·      Working Habits

·      Social Media

2:30 – 3:15 Closing Session: The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing (Guest Faculty)
3:15 – 3:45


3:45 – 4:00

Next Steps (News & Updates from Headquarters, Staying Connected Contact Info Swap & Post Conference Support): PALs, Illustrators, New Members, Soon to be Published Members

Goodbyes & Door Prizes


Registration Fees

Nov. 26 – Dec. 24, 2018
Members Only: $190. (both days); $120. (single day – Saturday or Sunday)

Dec. 25, 2018 – March 8, 2019
Members Only: $215. (both days); $135. (single day – Saturday or Sunday)
Non-Members: $265. (both days); $175. (single day – Saturday or Sunday)
Full-Time Students (18 and over): $75. (Saturday only)

 No onsite registration will be available. We are unable to refund payment if you are unable to attend.


Faculty One-on-One Critiques

A limited number of One-on-One manuscript and artwork critiques are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Sign-ups will appear (while they last) when you select a Registration Ticket. Registrants may sign up for one critique only (while they last).

Manuscripts and artwork for critiques are due March 1st by 5 pm.

Writers, please submit your manuscript to with the following subject line and document title: FacultyLastName_Title_YourLastName. For example, if your name is Jane Doe and you are submitting a manuscript entitled Best Book Ever for critique with Alyson Heller, you would title your document and the subject line of the email as follows: Heller_BestBookEver_Doe. Manuscripts should be in Times New Roman, 12 point font, double-spaced, using standard manuscript formatting. You may submit the following:

Alyson Heller:

  • PB (picture book) = one complete picture book of approximately 500 – 750 words
  • MG (middle grade) = 15 pages with a one page query (query should be single-spaced)
  • CB (chapter book) = 10 pages with a one page query (query should be single-spaced)

Steven Salpeter:

  • YA (young adult) = 20 pages with a one page query (query should be single spaced)
  • MG (middle grade) = 15 pages with a one page query (query should be single-spaced)
  • CB (chapter book) = 10 pages with a one page query (query should be single-spaced)
  • Narrative Nonfiction (within YA, MG, or CB ages) = up to 10 pages with a one page query
  • Author/Illustrators for Graphic Novels = as little as 2 pages and up to 20 pages of art, sketches, or script with pitch or general description (send in PDF format)

Illustrators, Patrick Collins will critique either one dummy or a portfolio. Please submit to with the following subject line and document title: FacultyLastName_ artwork (dummy or portfolio) review_YourLastName. For example, if your name is John Doe and you are submitting a dummy to Patrick Collins, you would title your material in the subject line of the email as follows: Collins_dummy_Doe. All artwork should be submitted in PDF format.


Manuscript Submissions Following the Conference

Conference attendees are allowed to submit materials to faculty members following the conference if your work fits the editor’s or agent’s guidelines. Specific submission guidelines for each faculty member will be provided at the conference.

Hotel Information

The conference hotel is the Embassy Suites – Destiny USA in Syracuse. Rooms are available at a discounted group rate of $149. (plus taxes and fees) per night. Lodging expenses are not included in the registration fees. Please contact the hotel to make your reservation. Call 315.303.1650 or use this booking link (you may need to copy and paste the entire link into your browser):  Group Name: SCBWI

The registration fees include the cost of the Conference as well as a light continental breakfast and a buffet salad/sandwich lunch each day. The lunch includes a selection of healthy and tasty choices. Should registrants have special dietary restrictions, there is an option to request a vegetarian, gluten free, or vegan meal. Please email your request to: (include in the subject line “dietary meal request”) immediately after you’ve registered and/or to make us aware about outstanding allergies.

If you have questions not covered in the conference information included on this website, email:


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

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Event Registration

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Ticket Information

Early-Bird Registration - Both Days (Saturday & Sunday, March 23 & 24) - $190.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Sign-ups for event extras & critiques will appear when this ticket is selected

Early-Bird Registation (Saturday, March 23 Only) - $120.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Sign-ups for event extras & critiques will appear when this ticket is selected

Early-Bird Registration (Sunday, March 24th Only) - $120.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Sign-ups for event extras & critiques will appear when this ticket is selected

Clear Ticket Selection -

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.