Got questions about the All Y'all Texas SCBWI Writers and Illustrators Conference? We try to answer them below.
Where is the conference being held?
The Austin SCBWI 2023 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference is being held at the Austin Marriott North, 2600 La Frontera Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78681.
Is there an anti-harassment policy for the conference?
Yes! SCBWI has an anti-harassment policy that ALL attendees, volunteers, and faculty must agree to before they can attend. You can read it here. Additionally, if you have any issues during the conference, please see Austin Regional Advisor Stephanie Pellegrin, Assistant Regional Advisor Madeline Smoot, or Illustrator Coordinator Laura Fisk, and they will help.
What is your COVID policy?
I’m coming from out of town. Where should I stay?
Austin SCBWI has a block of discounted rooms at the Austin Marriott North, 2600 La Frontera Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78681 priced at $125 a night, not including tax and fees. Go here to book a room. The last day to book rooms at the discount price is April 15, 2024.
How much does the conference cost?
The conference runs Saturday, May 4, 2024, from 7:00am to 7:00pm and Sunday, May 5, 2024, from 8:00am to 4:00pm. The event will be available both in-person and online on Zoom. You can register to come in-person and online. Come to the sessions you wish to see in-person and join other session online. If you would prefer to only attend online, you'll receive a discount for attending only the online parts of the conference. Get a bigger discount with early-bird pricing if you register by March 18, 2024. The price includes lunch on Saturday.
Early Bird (By March 18, 2024)
In-person and online: $297 (members)/ $397 (registered users)
Online Only : $217 (members)/ $317 (registered users)
From March 19, 2023 until the conference date;
In-person and online: $347 (members)/ $447 (registered users)
Online Only : $267 (members)/ $367 (registered users)
These prices are higher than in the past. Why is that?
Yes, this is true. We have had to raise our fees for the simple reason that prices on everything from the venues to transportation has increased. If you find that this is a hardship for you financially right now, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if there are any available scholarships from your chapter. Any requests will remain completely private. Please also include which Texas chapter you belong to so that we can forward your email to the relevant chapter.
Is food included at the in-person conference?
Yes! Lunch is included on Saturday. There will be gluten-free and vegetarian options available at the lunches, but if you have very specific dietary needs, you may eat lunch elsewhere. On Sunday, we will be providing a two-hour break so that everyone can eat at one of the many restaurants conveniently located near the venue. Snacks will be provided both days.
Breakfast is NOT provided either day.
Will the conference be recorded?
Yes! Almost every presentation, session, and intensive will be recorded and be available for viewing through May 19, 2024. This will be available to every registered attendee regardless of whether you registered for In-person or Online Only. So pick the ones you want to attend live, and watch all the rest later!! *There will be a few presentation that will not be recorded, but those will be marked as LIVE ONLY.*
What are my payment options?
You may pay via credit card with Stripe.
If you sign up for manuscript and/or dummy critiques, your payment must be received at the time of registration.
I’m registered. How can I access my registration?
After you have logged in to our website, you can access your registration details by clicking on the MEMBER HOME button in the top right corner, then clicking My Events in the menu on the left side of the page. A list with all the upcoming SCBWI events that you have registered for will appear. Choose the All Y’All Writers & Illustrators Conference to view your registration details.
I’m registered. How can I add to or change my registration?
You can change or add to your registration on the general registration page.
What if I have to cancel?
We understand that situations change and things come up. If you have to cancel your reservation for the conference after you’re registered, you may get a full refund up to April 4, 2024 minus a $15 processing fee. After that, you may receive a 50% refund until April 27 (minus a $15 processing fee). No refunds will be issued for manuscript or dummy critiques after March 15, 2024. Portfolio reviews and pitches will be refunded in full ONLY if the spot is filled (minus a $5 processing fee). No refunds will be issued for critiques, reviews or pitches that were missed during the conference.
What’s the difference between the Saturday and Sunday sessions?
Saturday will have a full day of critiques, pitches, and portfolio reviews, the portfolio showcase, as well as inspirational keynotes and craft-based breakout sessions. During the breakout periods, you may choose from four sessions, including one for illustrators, one for professional development and two for writing craft. There is no additional charge for breakout sessions. All critiques and pitches and portfolio reviews are held on Saturday.
Sunday offers two craft-focused intensive sessions (three hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon) in three tracks: Novels, Picture Books and Illustrators. If you would prefer to focus on professional development, we will also have a professional development track intensive sessions at the same times.
Is there other social time?
The lunches are great networking opportunities. Also, Saturday will end with book signings with our faculty.
There is also the option to add the Networking Event Saturday evening for $50.
What should I do if I have special dietary needs?
The Texas SCBWI chapters wants you to be as healthy and comfortable as possible, however we cannot be responsible for providing special meals. We do our best to accommodate dietary issues, however. Please email email@example.com if you are a vegetarian or need gluten-free food, and we will provide the hotel with the number of attendees needing this food. If you have more stringent dietary needs, feel free to bring your own lunch and snacks.
How do the in-person critiques work?
You must be registered to attend in-person to sign up for a critique. If you register for online-only and for an in-person critique, your in-person critique WILL be canceled.
Critiques cost $80 for a 15-minute one-on-one manuscript or picture book dummy critique. The deadline to submit your pages is March 15, 2024. Please read our Manuscript Critique Submission Guidelines for information on how to submit.
Please note: If you sign up for a critique, you will miss some of the breakout session or keynote going on at that time. Unfortunately, that is unavoidable due to a very busy schedule. Critique times may not be changed on the day. If you miss your critique time, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to get another 15 minutes, so please keep an eye on the time. Aim to be in the critique area at least 5 minutes before your scheduled critique time. Refunds will not be given if you miss your critique time.
How do in-person portfolio reviews work?
You must be registered to attend in-person to sign up for an in-person portfolio review. If you register for online-only and for an in-person portfolio review, your in-person portfolio review WILL be canceled.
Portfolio reviews are for illustrators. The cost is $80 and involves a 15-minute one-on-one meeting with a faculty member giving you feedback on your images and portfolio. Bring your portfolio on the day of the conference to show your reviewer. For more information on general portfolio guidelines, visit the Portfolio Showcase page.
Please note: If you sign up for a portfolio review, you will miss some of the breakout session or keynote going on at that time. Unfortunately, that is unavoidable due to a very busy schedule. Review times may not be changed on the day. If you miss your review time, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to get another 15 minutes, so please keep an eye on the time. Aim to be in the critique area at least 5 minutes before your scheduled review time. Refunds will not be given if you miss your review time.
How does an in-person agent pitch/consultation work?
You must be registered to attend in-person to sign up for a pitch slot. If you register for online-only and for an in-person pitch, your in-person pitch WILL be canceled.
Agent/editor pitch sessions cost $15 and are 10-minute time slots when you may either pitch your story to the agent or editor, or simply ask questions about the industry or their agency or publishing house. The session allows you guaranteed time with that person. A pitch is not a guarantee of acceptance of your manuscript. It’s a chance to make an impression, get comfortable meeting with agents or editors, and learn. Make sure you are practiced and ready to go.
NOTE: Your pitch should be practiced and brief, one to three sentences that you can say in 60 seconds or less without rushing. It is a teaser, not a synopsis. The pitch is verbal only. If the agent or editor requests to see your manuscript, they will tell you how to send it to them AFTER the conference.
Pitch times may not be changed on the day and cannot be rescheduled if you miss your slot. Aim to be in the pitch area five (5) minutes before your scheduled time slot.
Agent/editor pitch/consultations can be purchased until the day of the conference. If they’re sold out, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the waitlist and we will email you if a spot opens up.
How do the online written-only critiques work?
You may be registered for either the in-person or online zoom version of the conference to sign up for an online written-only critique. There will be NO meeting. You will receive your critique via email.
Written-only critiques cost $55 for a written critique. The deadline to submit your pages is April 1, 2024. Please read our Manuscript Critique Submission Guidelines for information on how to submit.
I’m an illustrator. How can I have my portfolio in the Portfolio Showcase and be included in the judging?
To be included in the Portfolio Showcase, you must sign up for it when you register for the conference** (must be attending in-person). There is a $10 fee. When you sign up, you are automatically entered into the judging for the showcase contest. If you do NOT want to be included in the judging, please email email@example.com to let us know.
Maximum size for standard portfolio: up to 15″ width (unopened) and height. For liability reasons, no electronic portfolios, such as iPads, will be allowed as part of the showcase. If you only bring an electronic portfolio, it will not be displayed and your reservation fee will not be refunded.
For full information about the Portfolio Showcase, go to this informational web page.
**Where is the Portfolio Showcase on the registration page?
Well, for right now, the Portfolio Showcase option was breaking registration and keeping people from getting their registrations in. So, for now, we've taken it down so illustrators can register for the conference too. Once things have calmed down, we'll figure out what is wrong and add it back to the registration page at that time. We'll also be sending out an email to all in-person attendees who have already registered the opportunity to add the portfolio showcase to their registrations. THE PORTFOLIO SHOWCASE HAS NOT GONE AWAY. We're definitely having it this year. We're simply having some technical issues getting folks registered for it.
Are there other promotional opportunities for illustrators?
Yes! All illustrator attendees who are members of SCBWI may send us promotional postcards of their work to be included in the faculty gifts. Postcards must be a maximum of 6 inches by 8 inches and must be received by Illustrator Coordinator Laura Fisk by TBD. Illustrators will receive information about how to submit their postcards after they register.
What do I need to know about the Silent Auction?
All Texas SCBWI regions are completely volunteer run, and the fees we charge are used to pay for our events, including the costs of bringing in qualified speakers, food, printing and more. We try to keep costs low for attendees, and to that end, we have other opportunities that enable us to raise funds.
The Saturday of our annual conference includes an in-person Silent Auction with items that you can bid on.
Items that you win at the conference MUST be claimed and paid for by end of day Saturday, May 4th, 2024. We will not mail any items to winning bidders after the conference. If you are not available to pay for your item, it will go to the next bidder.
Payments can be made by cash, check, or credit card.
For more information about our Silent Auction and what will be available to buy, view the dedicated web page.
How can I donate to the Silent Auction?
First, THANK YOU! Donations help us have a robust Silent Auction for bidders and is a wonderful way to support your Texas SCBWI chapters. Look at our Silent Auction page for more information. (coming soon!) In the meantime email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I’m published. How can I get my book in the conference bookstore?
Our bookstore this year is limited to our in-person faculty. Since this conference involves the whole state of Texas, we just don't have room to stock books from all of our PAL members!
Are weapons allowed at the conference?
It is the policy of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to maintain an environment that is safe for all persons. To achieve this objective, it is the SCBWI’s policy to maintain a firearms and weapons free environment at all of our events and prohibit the possession of firearms and weapons regardless of any license or permit that an individual may have which would otherwise authorize the individual to carry firearms or weapons. Weapons are defined as anything that is intended to cause harm to another person.
Can I blog about and/or record parts of the conference?
By registering for this conference, you acknowledge that audio taping, video-taping and/or transmitting or aiding in any of the foregoing of any part of the conference (including, but not limited to, presentations, individual sessions, and networking events) is prohibited. Additionally, the material in all handouts and presentations is copyrighted and may not be reprinted, blogged, written, orally transmitted, and/or reproduced without written permission of the copyright holder only. If you are found in violation of the above, SCBWI reserves the right to remove you from the conference and bar you from attending future conferences.
While we love when bloggers share thoughts about their overall experience, offer a personal anecdote, and/or briefly talk about something that resonated with them, it is equally important that bloggers not give away that which is not theirs to give. The fair use policy issued by SCBWI above refers to speakers’ rights, authors’ rights, and illustrators’ rights, under any circumstances, and it pertains to the content of our speakers’ talks, workshops, and/or handouts. This falls into the category of protecting intellectual property. Again, personal impressions, a quote that is cited, and/or a general overview would be considerate. However, it would be a breach of copyright law to give away a detailed report of a presenter’s material. Thank you in advance for taking this policy into account. Your professionalism is greatly appreciated.
This does not answer all my questions. Who can I ask for more information?
If you have any other questions, please email Austin SCBWI Regional Advisor Stephanie Pellegrin at email@example.com.
March 18, 2024 – Last day for discounted early-bird pricing
April 4, 2024 – Last day for full refund
March 15, 2024 – Last day to sign up for manuscript and picture book dummy critiques
March 15, 2024 – Submission deadline for in-person manuscript and picture book dummy critiques
April 1, 2024 – Last day to sign up for online manuscript and picture book dummy written critiques
April 1, 2024 – Submission deadline for online manuscript and picture book dummy written critiques
April 15, 2024 – Last day to book hotel for discounted price
TBD – Last day that we can receive promotional postcards by SCBWI member illustrators attending the conference
May 1, 2024 – online critiques returned
May 2, 2024 – Last day for online registration
May 4-5, 2024 – Conference days
We look forward to seeing you in May!
Conference Illustration logo artwork by Laura Fisk Instagram:@laurafiskstudio