Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Conference Overview


Important Dates 

●  May 15:  Registration opens.

●  August 6:  Early registration deadline.

●  August 23:  Manuscripts for critiques must arrive and critique fees must be paid. Must be pre-registered for the conference with confirmation page included. (Sorry, no exceptions.)

●  September 2:  Deadline for illustrators to reserve portfolio display space.

●  September 13; 6 p.m. CT:  Deadline to reserve hotel rooms for special SCBWI conference rate.

●  September 17:  Registration deadline. If paying by check, payment must be received by this date to confirm your seat.

●  September 27:  Doors open for registration/check-in at 8 a.m. Conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

●  September 27:  Join conference faculty and attendees for a fun and relaxed cocktail reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

●  September 28:  Doors open for check-in at 8:30 a.m. Optional intensive sessions begin at 9 a.m. and end at 12 p.m.


Conference and Intensive Registration Fees:

●  Early registration (by August 6):  $155 for National SCBWI members; $175 for nonmembers.

●  Regular registration (by September 17 or when capacity reached):  $170 for National SCBWI members; $195 for nonmembers 

●  Intensives:  $50 for National SCBWI members; $75 for nonmembers (Space permitting, you can add an intensive to your registration if you change your mind.)

●  Manuscript and portfolio critiques:  $45 for National SCBWI members; $60 for nonmembers (critiques are full)

Conference, intensive and critique registration fees are not refundable. 


Saturday, September 27 (Click here for more detailed descriptions)

8:00 Registration and light breakfast

8:30 Welcome and Announcements

8:45 Opening Keynote–From Ordinary to Extraordinary–Sarah Davies

9:30 Keynote–Plotting your Way to Success–Ellen Hopkins

10:15 Break

10:30 Breakout Session 1

Five Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Got Published–Aaron Reynolds

How to Write a Great Thriller (or any really exciting story!)–Sarah Davies

Dummies for Smarties: Taking "Good Design Fosters Good Reading" to Heart–Sylvie Frank

11:45 Catered Lunch

12:00 Lunch Keynote–Why Authors Matter–Jordan Brown

1:00 Breakout Session 2

Under the Cover: A Picture Book from Sketches to Final Art–Maria Middleton

Writing for the Teen Landscape–Ellen Hopkins

Check-1-2-3: A Guide to Avoiding Common Picture Book Pitfalls–Sylvie Frank

What We're Talking About When We Talk About "Voice"–Jordan Brown

2:15 Break

2:30 Keynote–A Day in the Life of a Children's Book Designer–Maria Middleton

3:15 Faculty Panel

4:00 Closing Keynote–200 Rejections and Counting: My Journey to Publication–Aaron Reynolds

5:00 Cocktail Reception

6:30 End of Saturday Program

*  Critiques will take place throughout the day.


Sunday, September 28 – Optional Intensives (Click here for more detailed descriptions)

Note: Saturday registration is required to attend intensive sessions.

8:30 Registration and Light Breakfast

9:00-12:00 Instensive Sessions

He Said – She Said: An Editor and Author Engage in Incredibly Insightful Banter for about 3 Hours with Sylvie Frank and Aaron Reynolds

Creating Characters Readers Care About with Ellen Hopkins

Get it Covered: The art of Young Adult and Middle Grade Jackets with Maria Middleton

General Information

Conference Venue:  All conference events will take place at the Addison Conference Center, 5650 Addison Road, Addison, Texas, 75001. It’ conveniently located off of the Dallas North Tollway just north of Belt Line Road.

Hotel: Hyatt House Dallas/Addison

4900 Edwin Lewis Drive, Addison, TX 75001, (972) 661-3113

Conference attendees get a special room rate of $79 for a 1-bedroom suite or $129 for a 2-bedroom suite beginning May 15 (Valid until September 13 or until the room block sells out). These beautiful suites were renovated in 2012 and include a full kitchen, sitting area and separate bedroom(s). The room rate also includes a hot breakfast. The hotel does not have elevators, so please let the agent know when you reserve your room if you need first-floor access. Hotel staff can help all guests with luggage.

To book your room, please call the hotel directly on (972) 661-3113 or select the link below to reserve online.


Portfolio Display:  Illustrators:  Take advantage of table space to exhibit your portfolio (max 20”x16” open flat) and publicity material. Remember original art is not permitted since SCBWI cannot be responsible for loss or damage. Space is limited. If you would like to display your portfolio, email Kristine Tague by September 2. You will drop off your portfolio when you arrive at the conference on Saturday and pick it up before you leave Saturday evening. Please feel free to take it with you if you have registered for a portfolio review. 

Book Promotion:  Authors and Illustrators:  There will also be a table for anyone who has published material in the children's market to bring a flyer, bookmark or postcard to promote your latest book. You can also bring signed bookplates for those who may already own your book. Space is limited so please bring no more than one or two promotional items. This will be instead of a conference bookstore. 

Questions or to Volunteer:  Carol BarreyreBill Burton or Cindy Rodella Purdy.

Conference Volunteers

Thanks to the amazing volunteers who donate their time, ideas and talents to make this event happen!

Karen Blumenthal – panel moderator, critique moderator
Tina Boone – registration
Bridgette Booth – registration
Carrie Charley Brown – publicity
Christine Dao – faculty liaison
Alan Elliott: – faculty liaison
Muffet Frische – faculty liaison
Carol Gavounas – registration
James Hough – critique moderator

Sandy Lowe – catering coordinator
Chris Perry – faculty liaison
Rebekah Reed – critique coordinator, decorations
Murray Richter – critique moderator
​Diana Rosales – registration, critique moderator
Kristine Tague – graphics, portfolio coordinator
Dian Tooke – faculty liaison, registration coordinator
Catie Wright – faculty liaison