Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Austin 2020 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference – ONLINE

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Date(s) - 05/02/2020 - 05/03/2020
7:30 am - 6:45 pm

Holiday Inn Austin Midtown
6000 Middle Fiskville Road - Austin , TX 78752


Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference 2020

Want to build your children’s book career? Don’t miss Austin SCBWI’s

2020 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference!


May 2-3, 2020

Schedule | Faculty Bios | FAQ | Critiques | Portfolio Showcase | Silent Auction


Registration for our 2020 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference is OPEN.

Due to the threat of COVID-19, the conference has been moved ONLINE! But you will still get all the incredible keynotes and breakout sessions, just from the comfort — and safety — of your own home. We’re even working on ways to replicate the lunch and other networking periods (although, you’ll have to provide your own food at home 😉 ).

Please note, we’re still confirming the final schedule, but we’re aiming to keep it close to our current schedule. We’ll update these pages when everything’s finalized.

Along with the move to online, we’ve lowered the prices! We know this is a difficult time for everyone financially as well as emotionally. We want to provide you with great programming and the community you need, all at a price you can afford.

If you’ve already registered, you will receive a refund via Paypal if you paid via Paypal or check if you paid by check. Please be patient while these refunds are getting processed. Each refund must be done manually. But the Austin SCBWI RA will work on getting them finished as soon as possible. To view the new prices, please go to our FAQ page.

If you haven’t already registered, you still can! Scroll down to the bottom of this page for the registration form. Tickets are available with the new prices.

SCBWI members, login before you register to get the discounted member pricing. Non-members, if you’d like to become a member before you register, go here.


This conference offers you opportunities to learn your craft, boost your career, get feedback on your work, and meet and make friends with fellow children’s book writers and illustrators. The schedule includes three keynotes; a publishing panel; 9 breakout sessions on writing, illustrating and professional development; intensives on picture books, novels and illustration; along with critiques, pitches, portfolio showcase, cookies and more. View the full schedule here.

For more information, click on the links in the gray menu on the right.


Below is the list of our fantastic faculty. Click on their names to read their Q&As. Click here to read their bios.


Karen Chaplin, Executive Editor, HarperCollins Children’s Books

Tiffany Liao, Editor, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Danielle Carnito, Art Director, Lerner Books

Stephanie Fretwell-Hill, Agent, Red Fox Literary

Laurel Symonds, Agent, The Bent Agency


Laurie Halse Anderson, Author of SPEAK, SHOUT and many more

Donna Janell Bowman, Author of KING OF THE TIGHTROPE, STEP RIGHT UP and more

Ben Clanton, Author/Illustrator of the NARWHAL AND JELLY series and ROT: THE CUTEST IN THE WORLD

Samantha M Clark, Author of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST


Liz Garton Scanlon, Author of ONE DARK BIRD, THE GREAT GOOD SUMMER and many more

P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, Author of THE HIDDEN CODE, HOMER’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE and many more

Lynne Kelly, Author of SONG FOR A WHALE and CHAINED

Cynthia Leitich Smith, Author of HEARTS UNBROKEN, TANTALIZE series, FERAL trilogy and many more


Christina Soontornvat, Author of A WISH IN THE DARK, DIARY OF AN ICE PRINCESS series, ALL THIRTEEN and many more


Click here to learn more about our faculty.

Learn from these amazing professionals in all our conference sessions.

Feedback Opportunities: You may also get feedback for your work from our faculty by purchasing a critique for your author manuscripts or a portfolio review for your illustrator portfolios. Find out more about critiques and portfolio reviews here. Illustrators you may also purchase a spot in our Portfolio Showcase to show your work.

Mentorship Opportunities: Writers, all the manuscript pages critiqued by our faculty will be eligible to win the Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award. Find out more about it here. Illustrators, all the portfolios in our Portfolio Showcase will be eligible to win the Emerging Voice Illustrator Mentor Award. Find out more about it here.

Haven’t been to an Austin SCBWI conference before? Read the highlights of our 2019 conference.

To register, fill in the form below. For hotel, fees and payment information — including WHAT TO DO IF PAYPAL STALLS during registration — read our conference FAQ.

Austin SCBWI is a non-profit run by volunteers and we are dedicated to providing quality, affordable programming and scholarships. To help us with our mission, please consider donating to our Silent Auction. Choose the option under the Tell Us About You section in the registration below.


Event Registration

General Information Required Fields*


Ticket Information

Non-Member Online Full Conference - $200.00
Full price for the full online conference

Member Online Full Conference - $150.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Discounted price for the full conference online

Non-Member Online Non-Intensive Only - $150.00
Full price for online non-intensive programming only (keynotes and breakouts)

Non-Member Online Intensives Only - $110.00
Full price for the online intensives programming only

Member Online Non-Intensive Only - $100.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Discount price for non-intensive programming only (keynotes and breakouts)

Member Online Intensive Only - $60.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Discounted member price for online intensive programming only

Event Extras

Manuscript and Dummy Critiques

                                Portfolfio Reviews

                                      Pitches (Choose One)

                                              Sunday Intensive (Choose One) - Requires Full or Intensives Registration

                                                    Other Additions - Requires Saturday Registration

                                                          Tell Us About You!

                                                                    The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
                                                                    To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
                                                                    Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

                                                                    You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


                                                                    The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion.


                                                                    The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.



                                                                    Code of Conduct

                                                                    All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, including faculty, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

                                                                    • intimidation, stalking, or following.
                                                                    • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
                                                                    • Inappropriate physical contact.
                                                                    • Unwelcome sexual attention.
                                                                    • Abusive verbal comments.
                                                                    • Quid pro quo– sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors.
                                                                    • Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.


                                                                    Reporting Procedures

                                                                    Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:

                                                                    • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.
                                                                    • A complainant may submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
                                                                    • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.


                                                                    SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

                                                                    If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



                                                                    The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made under this policy. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.



                                                                    SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.


                                                                    Sanctions for faculty, speakers, staff or board members may include any of the following:


                                                                    • warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
                                                                    • immediate removal from a particular event;
                                                                    • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;
                                                                    • withholding of a contracted honorarium;
                                                                    • prohibition from future speaking engagements;
                                                                    • prohibition from future faculty appointments;
                                                                    • expulsion from SCBWI; and/or
                                                                    • removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.


                                                                    Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

                                                                    • warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
                                                                    • immediate removal from a particular event, without refund;
                                                                    • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
                                                                    • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
                                                                    • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.


                                                                    If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will handle utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



                                                                    SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties and witnesses. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.



                                                                    If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.


                                                                    If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "anti-harassment policy" in the subject line.

                                                                    I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.