Portfolio Fest Submission

Hello Illustrators!

The conference Portfolio Fest is our chance to celebrate the skill and hard work of our illustrators. Illustrators are invited to submit a portfolio for conference faculty and fellow creators to peruse and enjoy the artwork, while playing Portfolio Bingo for a prize. We look forward to showcasing your work!

How to Submit

  • Anyone attending the fall conference is invited to display your artwork in the showcase. Simply select the checkbox for Portfolio Fest during registration. 
  • Sign the Portfolio Fest Release found under your MY EVENTS tab of you SCBWI Member Home. Click the green MEETING INFO button. 
  • Drop-off your work 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm on Saturday, Sept 21st at the Registration Desk. Please pick your work up by 8:00 pm. 

Submission Guidelines

  • DO NOT include original art—the portfolios are meant to be handled, and are displayed during the Saturday evening reception, where food and drink are present. Accidents happen!
  • Corral your samples! A loose-leaf binder or portfolio with plastic sleeves is ideal. That way, your images are protected and you control the order in which they are seen.
  • Maximum size 18” x 24” closed. Remember: your goal is to illustrate for children’s publishing, where the standard page size is 9” x 11”. If you have work that must be seen larger than that to be appreciated, it probably won’t be successful for the market. Most artists work at 150% to 200% of the finished size—if you do, that’s fine, but reduce your portfolio copies to the intended print size before displaying.
  • Identify yourself! Your portfolio MUST include your name and contact information in order to be displayed. Ideally, each page or image should include your name and contact information (email or website). 
  • PRO TIP: Include a stack of postcards or business cards to be placed by your portfolio.


Contact Carolinas IC, Ashley Belote.


What should I include in my portfolio?

Suggested 10-15 images. There are excellent resources online and in books about children’s publishing to help guide your selection of the types of images to include. The basic rule is to include your very best work and the work you want to be hired to do. Otherwise, please do consider your market. Don’t include “mature” subject matter, anything that would require content warnings, or still lifes, no matter how lovely. You are not only representing your skill, you are representing your point of view and your ability to carry a story.

Can I display business cards, etc.?

Yes! Please do! In fact, you should never display your work without providing some sort of takeaway for interested art buyers: a business card, postcard, or bookmark is best. Make sure your name and contact information are prominently placed. Because space is at a premium, we ask that you choose ONE takeaway to accompany your portfolio. NO easels, card holders, or printed books will be allowed.

How about PB dummies?

You may include a dummy, either of an original story or a treatment of a classic fairytale; either option would be a great way to show that you can portray characters consistently and that you understand pacing and flow, all of which are essential skills in producing a picture book. Again, make sure your name is clearly displayed. Your dummy MUST be attached in some way to your portfolio.

Can I get feedback before I get FEEDBACK?

Don't miss our pre-conference Portfolio Prep Session, free to registered attendees of this conference. You'll have a chance to display your work on screen and get input from other illustrators in a relaxed setting before getting "industry eyes" on your work!

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