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Oktoberfest 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

What if something happens and I am unable to attend the conference? 

We will provide a full refund for conference fee (minus $25 administrative fee) until Sept 22, 2023. After Sept 22, refunds will only be given in case of military service or a death in the family. We do not give credit toward future events for cancellations.

The critique fee is non-refundable, and you will not receive a critique if you miss the electronic submission deadline (Sept 19) or cancel your conference registration.


I need accommodations for handicapped use at Roundhouse Conference Center. Are there any?

Roundhouse Conference Center offers a wheelchair-friendly environment with level pathways for easy accessibility. If you have any specific concerns or require additional accommodations, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Co-Regional Advisor, Colleen Riordan. We're committed to ensuring a comfortable and inclusive experience for all attendees.

If I stay overnight to attend the conference, do you have a hotel recommendation?

We suggest that you consider the Residence Inn San Ramon as it’s located very close to the conference center and walking distance from restaurants. Make your reservation early as rooms will sell out.

Will the lunch have gluten-free options or handle specific requests for food allergies or dietary needs? 

Yes, the lunch buffet will include gluten-free and vegetarian options. While we make every attempt to accommodate food sensitivities, please understand that we cannot ensure every single participant’s dietary preferences and food sensitivities for our conference lunch buffet. If you have serious allergies/sensitivities or strict food preferences, we ask that you please bring supplementary food and leave it in your car as no outside food will be allowed in the conference center. We appreciate your understanding.

Your lunch buffet is included with admission.


I have never been to an SCBWI conference. What is the polite way to approach an editor or agent?

Please don’t hand manuscripts or illustrations to the faculty. Only offer information about your work, if asked. The faculty submission guidelines will be in your conference folder. Click here to see excellent tips for a new conference attendee from SCBWI National Conference Blogger Jane Makuch. 


Can I bring a friend or my children (who will be very quiet.)

All attendees are required to pay the registration fee. We do not provide childcare. Due to insurance considerations, no one under the age of 18 is eligible to attend.


I signed up for a manuscript critique and have not received my guidelines and who to send it to yet.

The submission guidelines for writer and illustrator critiques are posted on the Manuscript Critique Page & Portfolio Critique Page

Will there be an in-person portfolio showcase for illustrators?

This year, there will be tables set up for illustrators to showcase printed postcards and/or a dummy book during the conference. Please make sure all items are labeled clearly with your name and contact information. When arriving at the conference, you will be directed to the showcase room to leave your items. Please note that we are not liable for the loss or damage of any items, although we will do our best to protect your dummy books. There will not be a showcase judging in person. However, we will host an online portfolio showcase. A winner will be announced during the conference. If you bring a portfolio or material to showcase, your items will be on display for all faculty and attendees. Also, there will also be a virtual slide show where your art can be featured during the conference.


I am having trouble registering.

We are using SCBWI registration software. If you are an SCBWI member, make sure that you are logged into your SCBWI member account to receive the SCBWI conference rate.

If you are having trouble purchasing, please note that the green Purchase button now sits on the navy blue bar floating on the bottom of your page. 

If you are still having difficulty, please email our Co-Regional Advisor, Colleen Riordan.


I have a blog. Can I blog a report on the speaker presentations? 

Please see the SCBWI policy on our conference website. If you meet the criteria, you are welcome to share comments on social media using this hashtag: #SCBWIOktfest23


I am trying to join a critique group or put together a critique group. Will there be an opportunity to sign up for a group or network?

Our conference is a very full day. If you would like to join a critique group, please reach out after the conference to our CritConnect/Critique Group/New Member Coordinator, Nanette Heffernan.


After registration, will I receive more information about the conference?

You will receive multiple mailers regarding our conference throughout the next few months. Keep an eye on your inbox. The conference webpage will be updated to reflect any changes and/or additions, so please check in as often as you’d like. You’ll also receive a folder the day of the event with conference particulars.


Where am I supposed to park?

Parking for the Roundhouse Conference Center will be available. Please check the sidebar on the right side of the conference homepage for detailed information about our new venue.


What should I wear and what should I bring?

We recommend professional casual attire as you will be meeting members of the industry. Please bring your own water bottle and refill as needed. A notepad and pen will be your best friend as ideas come fast and furious! If you have food or drink (other than water) that you bring from home, please consume it outside due to conference rules.


I’m an SCBWI member and run private classes. Can I share my information at the conference?

You may put your information on the Free Stuff table. Please respect our attendees by not personally soliciting for your private activities. You must retrieve your information or it will be discarded at the end of the conference. For more information, please refer to the right hand sidebar on the conference home page under Cancellations, Refunds, and Policies.

Schedule Subject to Change Without Notice.