Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI 50th Anniversary Year Kicks Off with The Big Five-Oh Conference


You won’t want to miss the 50th Anniversary Summer Conference of the SCBWI, to be held virtually from July 29 through August 2.  The three main days are July 30, 31 and August 1, with optional events on the day before and the day after, as well as a free bonus peer critique day on August 7.  Featuring a super-star faculty of over 50 industry leaders speaking on over 50 topics, the 50th promises to be memorable for all SCBWI members.

We are breaking the mold this year and providing an all-new format.  Gone are the hour-long conversations, replaced with over 50 fifteen or thirty-minute keynotes offering concrete and specific advice on all aspects of creating children’s books. Whether you want to learn how to create a graphic novel script or promote your illustrations on social media, how to outline your novel in three easy steps or write a rhyming picture book, there is meaty information for your specific interest.  In addition, every session will provide a handout of take-away points and tips, and all sessions will be available to attendees online for a month following the conference.  It’s a buffet of fifty plus topics and speakers for you to gorge on, both live and at your leisure.

Each day will also feature a themed mingle so you can get to know some of your fellow attendees.  And a series of nightly socials will provide opportunities to connect with like-minded writers and illustrators.

The pre-opening day, July 29, will feature two optional intensives, one called LAUNCHPAD with sessions aimed at new-to-the-field creators who are launching their careers.  The second intensive on that day is called PRO DAY, featuring a multitude of practical insider sessions for published authors and illustrators.  The final day, August 2, will bring you an intensive for illustrators, which is free to all those who have enrolled in the full conference.  Also on that day, we will also have PITCH ROUNDTABLES, where you select an agent or editor and participate in their hour-long pitch session.  Each attendee who registers for this day will get seven minutes to pitch their book and get a response from the agent or editor roundtable leader.  There is a limit of 900 places in the pitch roundtable day, so if you plan to take advantage of it, please mark the registration date in your calendar and don’t delay signing up.

By the way, the registration date is May 18, opening at 10 a.m. PACIFIC time.  (That’s 1 p.m. EASTERN time, and all kinds of other times in other time zones.)  Tuition for the main conference is $150.  Tuition for the July 29 intensive is $100.  (You must pick one and be signed up for the whole conference.). Fee for the Roundtable pitch day is $75.  Fee for the portfolio showcase is $75.  The Illustrator Intensive is included in your conference registration.

In addition, there is the career-altering Portfolio Showcase with two grand prizes, the opportunity to sell your books in our online conference bookstore, the bonus Peer Critique day (free to all registrants on Saturday, August 7), and a full set of handouts to remind you of all you’ve learned from this once-in-a-lifetime collection of masters in the field.

Over 30 scholarships are available, including many for underrepresented creators.  

Hope to see you there.  How can you resist?

Here is an alphabetical list of conference speakers, as of press time:


Kwame Alexander

Elana K. Arnold

Sarah Aronson

Darcie Little Badger

Jessixa Bagley

Claudia Bedrick

Jenny Bent

Sophie Blackall

Valerie Bolling

Alex Borbolla

Regina Brooks

Mahogany Browne

Cozbi A. Cabrera

Kacen Callender

Nancy Carpenter

Nancy Castaldo

Antonio Gonzalez-Cerna

Ruth Chan

Nidhi Chanani

Jenny Choy

Ernesto  Cisneros

Lesa Cline-Ransome

Brandy Colbert

Matthew Cordell

Kandace Coston

Mary Claire Cruz

Pat Cummings

Mike Curato

Adriana Dominguez

Elizabeth Dulemba

Kait Feldmann

Feather Flores

Marla Frazee

Saho Fujii

Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Grimes

Shannon Hale

Kirsten Hall

Deborah Halverson

Vashti Harrison

Leah Henderson

Saritza Hernandez

Zara Gonzalez Hoang

Tiffany D. Jackson

Milena Jahier

Allyn Johnston

Cecile Kaiser

Naz Kutub

Tricia Lawrence

Minh Le

Arthur Levine

Tiff Liao

Malinda Lo

Melissa Manlove

Barbara Marcus

Janae Marks

Alice McGinty

Torrey Maldonado

Heather Montgomery

Yuyi Morales

Erin Murphy

Michelle Nagler

Daniel Nayeri

Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Lin Oliver

Linda Sue Park

Hallie Patterson

Darcy Pattison

Ann Whitford Paul

Erica Perl

Beth Phelan

Tanusri Prasanna

James Ransome

John Rocco

Nadia Salomon

Dan Santat

Tammi Sauer

Gary Schmidt

Heather E. Schwartz

Karol Ruth Silverstein

Ronald L. Smith

Christina Soontornvat

Traci Sorell

Nova Ren Suma

Jennifer Swanson

Shaun Tan

Brent Taylor

Aiden Thomas

Brittany J. Thurman

Jennifer Vassel

Padma Venkatraman

Lisa Yee

Phoebe Yeh

Paula Yoo