Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear and/or bring to the conference?

We suggest that you dress in “business casual comfortable” with a light sweater or jacket (for cooler rooms) and comfortable shoes! Homewood, AL, is a highly walkable city, and the conference venue, our preferred hotel, and our Friday evening trivia event are all just a short walk from one another. As for what to bring, here are some ideas from 

Can I bring copies of my manuscript or artwork to the conference and give them out to the faculty?

No, this is considered unprofessional. There are many other appropriate avenues and opportunities for your work to be seen by agents, editors, and other publishing professionals. 

Will there be an opportunity for my portfolio to be seen?

Yes. There will be tables arranged where illustrators can leave their portfolios for faculty and attendees to review. Please do not bring original artwork! There are also 15 slots available for professional critiques via Zoom during the 2 weeks following the conference. This opportunity is an add-on to conference tuition and needs to be selected during registration.

Will I get a chance to talk to agents and editors? Yes, absolutely. One of the benefits of attending a conference is the chance to mingle with industry professionals during breaks, lunch, or when the conference wraps. Each breakout will also have time for Q&A. One reason the critiques are scheduled for Zoom the week after the conference is to allow more time for attendees to interact with faculty.

Will there be an opportunity for me to sign my books? Yes! Friday evening following the intensives, you’ll have the option of sitting with other authors and illustrators whose books are sold in the onsite bookstore. You can sign your books then or any other time during the weekend. Bring your signing pen! Be sure to complete this form by the March 1st deadline. Otherwise, the conference bookstore will not have your book to sell.

How do I choose which person to critique my manuscript? Each critiquer has provided a list of the types of manuscripts they’re willing to critique; this list is available in the Critiques section (link available soon). You can also do a google search with their name and #mswl (manuscript wish list) to know more about their preferences. If you have a question about whether your manuscript falls into the categories noted by a certain critiquer, check with us before you register. Spots are limited and fill up quickly, so we encourage you to sign up as soon as possible. 

Can I really submit material to the conference faculty after the conference? Yes! Even if the faculty member’s agency or publishing house is normally closed to unsolicited submissions, you will be allowed to submit material to them after the conference. However, each agent or editor will set their own individual parameters on what types of material they will accept and the timeframe for submission. 

Where can I find all of my conference information? To save trees, we are using a Virtual Folder for this event. Some items will be available before the conference, some during, and all will be available until June 5, when the Folder will be permanently closed. You can print and bring any items. You can view others from your handheld device. Note that anything in the Virtual Folder belongs only to registrants who have paid to attend. Do not share the link or content with others. 

How can I prepare? Before departing for the conference, review your registration and remind yourself of previously scheduled sessions (e.g., an intensive, portfolio review and/or Art Show sign-up). Log in to and then MY EVENTS. Links will appear there. Make a list of items you might need or any deadlines. 

Are the sessions, keynotes, or panels recorded? No recordings will be made of any session, keynote, or panel during the conference weekend. This conference is an in-person experience only. 

Can I bring my child to the conference? All SCBWI conferences and events are for people 18 or older who registered for the conference. Children are not permitted to participate in the conference sessions or be within the conference area for their safety, to satisfy the insurance contract, and for the ease of conference attendees. Children accompanied by an adult are welcome at the public events: the Friday book signing and portfolio show and the Sunday Homewood Library event with Gordon C. James.

After the conference, how do I submit my manuscript/portfolio to an agent, editor, or art director? We will include instructions on submitting to the agents, editors, and art directors in the Virtual Folder. 

Will coffee service, snacks, or lunch be provided at the conference?

Our conference this year will not include any food, beverage, or catering options. However, our conference venue, the Homewood Public Library, is located within walking distance of several great local restaurants, cafes, and coffee/specialty beverage shops. We’re providing an hour-and-a-half for lunch this year and encourage attendees to explore Homewood’s dining options. Some nearby restaurants include (with the distance from the Homewood Public Library):

Farm Bowl + Juice Co – 0.6 miles – Oatmeal, dragon fruit, and acai bowls, smoothies, coffee, and juice.

Urban Cookhouse – 0.6 miles – Sandwiches and wraps, salads, fork & knife plates.

Big Bad Breakfast – 0.6 miles – A range of breakfast items, plus sandwiches, salads, and burgers.

Kale Me Crazy – 0.7 miles – Wraps and sandwiches, salads, poke bowls, toasts, and smoothies.

O’Carr’s Delicatessen – 0.5 miles – Soups, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches.

Real & Rosemary – 0.6 miles – Soups, salads, sandwiches, and plates.

SoHo Social – 0.5 miles – Appetizers, salads, sandwiches, plates, and tacos.

SoHo Standard – 0.5 miles – Lunch and dinner options with weekend tapas brunch.

SoHo Taco – 0.5 miles – Mexican.

Whiskey Foxtrot Burger Shoppe – 0.8 miles – Burgers and hot dogs.