Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Mid-Atlantic Fall Conference: Children’s Publishing in 2017

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Date(s) - 10/27/2017 - 10/28/2017
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Holiday Inn Dulles
45425 Holiday Drive - Sterling, Virginia 20166


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Contact Linda Budzinski to be put on the waiting list. 

Email: lindaacorn (at) yahoo (dot) com




Faculty Information   Intensive Workshops   Consultation Guidelines    Contacts     




Gary D. Schmidt


Susan Dobinick (Bloomsbury), Alyson Heller (Simon & Schuster), Tiffany Liao (Henry Holt), Julie Scheina (Scheina Editorial Services) 


Giuseppe Castellano (Penguin Random House)  


Sarah Davies (Greenhouse Literary), Adriana Dominguez (Full Circle Literary), Larissa Helena (Pippin Properties)


Kathy Erskine, Lezlie Evans, Maria Gianferrari, Leah Henderson, Sara Lewis Holmes, Sylvia Liu, Angele McQuade, Wendy Shang, Fran Slayton, Valerie Patterson, Mary Quattlebaum, Ellen R. Braaf, Erin Teagan, Joan Waites




Optional Intensive Workshops: Morning Session (9:00am – 12:00pm) See "Intensive Workshops” PDF for descriptions.  

A. Gary D. Schmidt: Antagonists are People Too 

B.  Matthew Winner: Making the Grade: Building School and Library Connections to Expand the Reach of Your Story

C. Tiffany Liao: Mirrors, Windows & Doors: Writing Diverse Fiction, Authentically & Respectfully

D. Angele McQuade: Cash and Creativity: How Cleaning Up Your Finances Can Spark New Creative Success   

Lunch Break: (12:00 – 2:00pm) Lunch is not provided on Friday

Optional Intensive Workshops: Afternoon Session (2:00pm- 5:00pm) See "Intensive Workshops” PDF for descriptions. 

E. Gary D. Schmidt: Antagonists are People Too  (Repeat of morning session)

F.  Sarah Davies: What it Takes: An in-depth look at concept, craft, and business know-how; all the tips you need to succeed in today’s children’s books industry 

G.  Susan Dobinick: The Fun and Functions of Nonfiction

H. Giuseppe Castellano: Illustrator Intensive: Style and Artistic Vision

PAL Roundtable (2:00pm- 5:00pm. Please note: This is the same time slot as the PM Intensives.)

Peer Critiques (5:30 – 8:00pm)

PAL Dessert Social (8:00 – 9:30pm)


7:30 Registration Opens

7:45 Continental Breakfast Begins/Book Sales/Art Display Drop Off  

7:50 First Timers Orientation (20 minutes)

8:00 Book Store Opens

8:30 Welcome/Introductions

8:45 Sarah Davies – The Magic of Voice: Tips on Finding and Developing a Unique Sound

9:30 Break/Book Sales

9:45 Literary Agents Panel: featuring Sarah Davies (Greenhouse Literary), Adriana Dominguez (Full Circle Literary), Larissa Helena (Pippin Properties) (Moderator: Erin Teagan)***
10:45 Morning Breakout Sessions
   a.  Julie Scheina (Julie Scheina Editorial Services LLC) Think Like an Editor: Common Manuscript Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
   b.  Giuseppe Castelllano (Art Director, Penguin Random House)  The Ins and Outs of a Children’s Book Art Department   

11:45 Lunch Break, Illustrators Networking Lunch, Pitch Perfect Luncheon Roundtable (Pre-selected boxed lunch provided)

1:15 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Gary D. Schmidt  That Kid Sitting on the Log, the One Over There

2:15 Break/Book Sales

2:30 Breakout Sessions:
   a.  Matthew Winner: Social Me: What Who You Are Online Says About Who You Are Online
   b:  Picture Book Panel: Sylvia Liu, Maria Gianferrari, Fran Slayton (Moderator: Lezlie Evans) *** 
   c:  Novel Panel: Sara Lewis Holmes, Wendy Shang, Leah Henderson (Moderator: Valerie Patterson) ***

3:30 Editors Panel featuring Alyson Heller (Simon & Schuster), Susan Dobinick (Bloomsbury),Tiffany Liao (Henry Holt). (Moderator: Ellen R. Braaf) ***   

 4:45 Wrap up/Evaluations/Book Sales & Signing

*** We invite attendees to submit questions for our editors, agents, and novel/picture book panelists in advance of the conference.  Please send them to Ellen R. Braaf at   Put “Questions” in the subject line.  Questions will be answered as time allows. 

Conference faculty and schedule may change without notice.


Tuition includes all conference sessions, a light continental breakfast, and a boxed lunch on Saturday. Tuition does not include the optional individual consultations or the pre-conference intensives on Friday.

$195 for SCBWI members; $225 for nonmembers on or before October 1.

$215 for SCBWI members; $245 for nonmembers after October 1.

(SCBWI student members will receive a 10% discount)

Not a member? Membership in SCBWI is just $95 for the first year and $80 per year after that. Learn about the benefits and sign up here. Please note that the optional consultations with conference faculty are available to SCBWI members only.


Friday Night Peer Critiques (Friday, October 27, 5:30pm – 7:30pm)

Are you looking for a critique group? Interested in forming a group of your own? This is an opportunity for conference attendees to connect with other like-minded individuals. If you have never been a member of a writers group, you will be able to get the flavor of how critique groups operate. If you have experience in critiquing, this is a great opportunity to have different eyes on a piece or to find someone else with whom to form a group.

Spaces are limited. To participate, select the “Peer Critiques” option when registering, and then contact Terry Jennings no later than September 30, 2017. Note “Peer Critiques” in the subject line and include the following information: manuscript type (e.g. picture book, MG/YA novel, nonfiction, short story, etc.), your hometown, and a brief description of your experience giving/receiving critiques.

Friday Afternoon PALRoundtable (Friday, October 27, 2:00pm – 5:00pm)

A forum for Published and Listed (PAL) members registered for this conference. This will be a time to gather with other PAL members to discuss career challanges, industry concerns and issues as well as ways our SCBWI region can better meet your needs. Moderated by Kathy Erskine and Mary Quattlebaum.  If you are a PAL member and plan to attend, please make sure you select the “PAL Roundtable” option when registering. For info on membership levels:  

Friday Night PAL Dessert Social (Friday, October 27, 8:00pm – 9:30pm)

SCBWI PAL members registered for the conference are invited to a get-together at Holiday Inn Dulles Friday evening 8:00-9:30pm. Desserts provided. Cash bar.  If you are a PAL member and plan to attend, please make sure you select the “PAL Dessert Social” option when registering. For info on membership levels:  

First-Timers Orientation (Saturday, October 28, 7:50 – 8:10am)

When registering, please let us know that this is your first SCBWI Mid-Atlantic conference so we can send you additional details on this preconference information session scheduled for Saturday morning, 7:50 to 8:10am in the Morven Park Room at the Holiday Inn Dulles. Contact Angele McQuade ( with questions.

Art Display (Saturday, October 28, 8:00am – 4:30pm)

If you are interested in having your portfolio included in this year’s Art Display, you may reserve a spot when registering. (Space is limited.) Portfolios should be no larger than 11X17, approximately 10-15 pieces. (No original art)  Bring it with you on Saturday. The Art Display tables will be set up in the back of the main ballroom. You may drop off your portfolio any time after 7:45 am. Please be sure to pick it up no later than 4:30pm.  Postcard samples/business cards may also be placed in or next to your portfolio.. Contact Joan Waites  with questions.

Pitch Perfect Luncheon Roundtable  (Saturday, October 28, 12:00pm – 1:00pm)

What is your book about? Do these five words strike panic into your heart? Whether you are an aspiring writer looking for an agent or a multi-published author signing books at your local indie store, you need to be able to explain the heart of your picture book or novel in a few succinct sentences. What's the hook that makes your book different? What types of readers would love it? Where does it belong on the bookstore shelves?  Grab your boxed lunch and join your fellow writers for an informal session where you'll learn tips for skillful, confident pitching and have an opportunity to practice on your peers. Please plan to bring a 3-5 sentence pitch. See our Pitch Tips here (link). Note that this session will NOT be attended by editors/agents but is intended as an opportunity for you to hone your pitching skills for future correspondence and events. You must sign up for this on your registration form; limited to 30 registrants on a first-come, first-served basis.  



Optional Pre-Conference Intensives (Friday, October 27)  See "Intensive Workshops” PDF for descriptions.    

You may choose a maximum of two workshops—one in the morning session, one in the afternoon session. 
$70 – SCBWI member fee for each workshop
$95 – Nonmember fee for each workshop


Optional Consultations with Conference Faculty  See “Consultation Guidelines” PDF for details. 

SCBWI members registered for the conference may sign up for an individual fifteen-minute consultation (manuscript/portfolio review) for an additional fee of $45. Required materials must be postmarked on or before September 15, 2017.   Requests that do not follow the consultation guidelines will not be honored. Contact  Ellen R. Braaf ( with any questions.  Put "Consultations" in the subject line.  


We strongly urge you to use PayPal to pay all conference fees. That option will appear as a default. To pay by check, select the send payment by mail option on the drop-down list of payment methods.   If you opt to mail payment, your registration will not be approved until all fees have been received. Consultation slots will not be assigned nor will space in the intensive(s) be reserved until your registration has been approved.   

Send check or money order (payable to "SCBWI Mid-Atlantic") and printout of your invoice to: SCBWI Mid-Atlantic; P.O. Box 3215; Reston, VA 20195-1215. Please note “2017 Conference Registration” on the envelope. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact our Conference Registrar: Linda Budzinski (


All conference fees are nonrefundable. Registrations are nontransferable. Walk-in registrations will not be accepted.  By registering for this conference, you acknowledge the cancellation/refund policy.


The Holiday Inn Dulles has set aside overnight accommodations for conference attendees October 25- 29, 2017 at a special rate of $89 per night plus taxes.  Please make reservations as soon as possible. The group rate expires on October 4, 2017.  Not sure of your plans yet? Take advantage of this great rate now. Unlike many of the discounted rates that you may receive, you may cancel your reservation, without penalty, up until 6pm on the day of check-in.

Reservation Link:  Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Conference 

Reservation Phone Number: 1-877-875-9823

Group Name: “Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Conference”

Block Code: O31   

Parking at the Holiday Inn: While there should be ample free on-site parking, overflow parking is permitted at neighboring hotels.

See "Conference-at-a-Glance" PDF for additional details.  Please read carefully before registering.