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SCBWI Oklahoma/Arkansas 2024 Spring Conference

Apr 12, 2024 - Apr 13, 2024

College of Liberal Arts, University of Central Oklahoma

Join us this Spring for...


Inspiring Keynotes and Panels


Manuscript and Portfolio Consultations


Portfolio Showcase for Illustrators

Important Information...


Conference Venue - UCO Liberal Arts College


Hotel - Hampton Inn Oklahoma City Northeast

More Information...

The Conference Hotel, Hampton Inn Northeast Oklahoma City, has a limited number of rooms in the block pricing, so you will want to reserve your room soon. However, there are several other hotels in the area. You can easily do a google search for hotels near UCO.

There will be a Friday night mixer after opening night events at Round Midnight. It is located downtown Edmond, 9 S. Broadway, Edmond, OK 73034. Round Midnight does not serve food, but there are some lovely restaurants near it.

Lunch on Saturday, which is included in your conference registration, will be catered by McAlister's Deli. You will be able to make your choice from several options before the conference.

There will also be an optional post-conference meal with the faculty on Saturday after the conference at Rudy's "CountryStore" and Bar-B-Q, located at 3437 W Memorial Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73134. They are giving us their patio area for a private space to eat and mingle with other conference attendees as well as the speakers.

The post-conference meal and Friday night mixer are optional, and not covered with your conference registration.

Options for feedback on your work:

$50 for consultations only with our onsite conference faculty.

$50 for written critiques only with our onsite and offsite faculty.

$100 for a combined consultation and written critique with our onsite faculty.

Please note, payments are now made digitally only, therefore we are not able to accept checks.

If you sign up for a consultation, you will receive your consultation time and location a few days prior to the conference.

If you sign up for a critique, the submission information is on the registration form, but will also be mailed out to you by our wonderful Assistant Regional Advisor, Jennifer Sneed.

And, last but not least, detailed maps will be coming your way the week of the conference.

Published Authors and Illustrators:

One of our favorite things at our conference is the book sales table. This is where we have a chance to buy the fabulous books published by our members.

Our book sales are run through Best of Books in Edmond, so books on this table must be books that could be sold in their store. And, Best of Books gives a percentage of these sales back to the organization.

If this applies to you, email Amy Stephens. As long as Best of Books can get your books in time, they will be on the sales table.

Amy's contact information is: amydeestephens@yahoo.com 

Pitch and Postcard Contest

We will once again be having the Pitch and Postcard Contest. In order to participate, and be considered for the winning consultation, you must follow these guidelines:

To qualify for the Pitch Contest, you need to type (no handwritten entries will be accepted) in 12 pt. font on white paper (color paper will be disqualified) no larger than 6 x 4 (larger will be disqualified), a story pitch of no more than 40 words with no illustrations or pictures (anything with illustrations including illustrated letters/words will be disqualified). The winner will receive a free face-to-face consultation with Kelly Delaney.

To qualify for the Illustrated Postcard Contest, you need to use a paper no larger than 6 x 4 (larger will be disqualified) and illustrate a scene that evokes the power of story with no letters/words/signatures (anything with writing will be disqualified). The winner will receive a free face-to-face consultation with Tracy Shaw.

You will turn in your entries to the designated basket on the registration table on Friday evening. If you do not make it to the Friday evening session, you will turn it in on Saturday morning. Nothing will be accepted after 8:30, as we need time to display them.

Throughout the morning, conference attendees will have the chance to go look at the entries and vote for one in each category.

The winners will be announced right after the lunch break on Saturday, and at that time they will be given their consultation information.

Conference Schedule:

Oklahoma/Arkansas SCBWI 

2024 Spring Conference 

Friday April 12, 2024 

5:30 Registration/Check-In opens 

6:30 Welcome – Introductions and Opening Remarks 

6:45 Keynote with Kelly Delaney - From Idea to Book  Get a “behind-the-scenes” look at how an idea gets onto the page, into the hands of an agent, signed up by an editor, revised, revised, revised, and published.


7:45 Speaker Panel Voices in Kidlit and Faculty Wishes and Wants 

        Door Prizes

 8:30 Offsite Mixer at Round Midnight - 9 South Broadway, Edmond

Saturday, April 13, 2024

8:00 Registration/Check-In opens 

8:15 New Attendee Orientation Session –  with Anna Myers and Helen Newton

         Is this your first SCBWI conference? New to the children’s lit world? Our seasoned

members and local legends will share their tips on making the most of your first conference.   (Location TBA)                

9:00 Opening Remarks and Introductions 

9:15 General Session Presentation - Stephanie Fretwell-Hill and Brenda Maier - Our Journey with the Author/Agent Relationship

10:10 Break  

10:20 Door Prizes 

10:30 General Session Presentation - Matt Phipps - Struggling With Imposter Syndrome - and how it can affect creators, agents, and even editors at all points in the writing, querying, submissions, and editorial process, and how to battle through it in your own writing and publishing journey.

11:30 General Session Presentation with Morgan Hughes -  You Have to Start Somewhere - The challenges and struggles of getting started in publishing, as both an author or illustrator, and as an agent. 

12:15 Door Prizes 

12:30-1:30 - Lunch Catered by McAlister’s - Instructions for lunch will be provided on Saturday.

1:45 - Door Prizes

2:00 Breakout Craft Intensives #1

Kelly Delaney - How To Support Supporting Characters. Take a deep dive into secondary characters and learn how to utilize them to make your main character and your story as a whole stronger.


Morgan Hughes - TBA

Tracy Shaw - Tips from an Art Director: How to Get Your Foot in the Door of Children’s Book Publishing  Knowing more about the business side of picture books – how we function, what we expect, and best practices – will help you navigate how best to get noticed and achieve your publishing goals. Learn about what really goes on behind the scenes of book production, hear some uplifting success stories, and take notes on my best advice for both new and experienced authors/illustrators.

3:00 David Corby - Websites for Mere Mortals - Basic information for maintaining an author or illustrator website.

4:00  Breakout Craft Intensives #2

Stephanie Fretwell-Hill - Dear Agent: Crafting Effective Cover Letters - Give yourself your best shot at gaining the attention of an agent.

Matt Phipps - Why Does Everything In Publishing Take So Long? A detailed timeline of how agents and editors evaluate a project at every phase, from querying to acquisition and beyond. This session hopes to offer some clarity to authors on what happens once their manuscript is submitted into the “black hole”, to hopefully alleviate the anxiety that comes up in the very long waiting game of being out on submission.

Tracy Shaw - Character Design Workshop: Let’s deep dive on what makes a successful character in a picture book. We’ll discuss both visual/physical details as well as building personality and authenticity. Bring sketch materials!

4:50 Closing Remarks - Final Door Prizes 

6:00 Post Conference DinnerRudy’s “Country Store” and Barbecue - 3437 W Memorial Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73134

*Rudy’s is counter service. Order at the counter and make your way to the enclosed patio. 

Conference Prices

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Premium Member Price: $180

If you are a registered member of SCBWI, you will get a $$ discount on the OK/AR Spring Conference.


Registered User (non-member) Price: $220

If you are not a member of SCBWI, you will pay full-price for the OK/AR Spring Conference.

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