Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2019 Conference Information


In the past, I had to sign up for specific sessions. Is it different this year?
Yes, you can decide the day of the conference which classes you would like to attend.

What’s the dress code?
Anything goes, but most people dress in business casual.

Is the Friday night social required?
No, but it’s going to be fun! This is a great chance to meet other members, meet the faculty, and socialize without the pressure of a formal activity. We will have light snacks (chips, popcorn, pretzels), a cash bar, and some games and door prizes! This event is $15.

It doesn’t seem like there are any classes or opportunities for feedback Friday night. Why should I attend?
Agents and editors are much more likely to respond to submissions if there is a personal connection. This is an opportunity to mingle with the faculty members without the pressure of pitching. Plus, who doesn’t want to be friends with an editor or agent?
In addition, you’ll be sure to meet writers and illustrators that can be mentors, critique partners, friends year-round.

Is lunch included?
Yes! (Breakfast is not.)

Should I give faculty members a copy of my manuscript/dummy/portfolio?
No. The time to share your manuscript is during speed dating on Saturday or through an official submission process after the close of the conference. This is SCBWI policy and will be strictly enforced. Please be professional and courteous to the faculty.

How do I get a critique?
You can purchase a personalized, written critique from one of our industry faculty members during registration. At the conference, you’ll get information on how to submit your manuscript (up to 10 pages), dummy, or portfolio. Critiques will be returned by email. You can also get a first look critique, if you wish, during speed dating on Saturday, but remember you only have 8 minutes. See below for more information on Speed Dating.

What is Speed Dating?
You asked and we answered! Based on feedback from prior conferences, plus the increasing availability of online course, we realize the biggest advantage of a live conference is a personal connection. Therefore, we have increased the opportunities to interact with industry faculty members. Speed dating is your chance to spend 8 minutes, one-on-one with the faculty member(s) of your choice. Ask for a question, read a few pages of a manuscript, share your portfolio, discuss your synopsis… the options are as big as your imagination. The 8 minutes is your total time to ask and hear responses, so use your time wisely because after 8 minutes are up, it will be the next person’s turn.

Can I sign up for multiple “Speed Dating” sessions?
Yes, but for now only one per faculty member.

Is there a Portfolio Showcase?
Yes, there is a free portfolio showcase where conference attendees can display their art and promotional items. Faculty can view the showcase, but we are not guaranteeing feedback. Click here for more information about the showcase.

What is the Query Letter Session?
To kick off the conference, attendees are encouraged to bring ANONYMOUS query letters and submit them at registration. As time allows, faculty members will review submitted query letters and share what works and what doesn’t.

What is the Pitch Paddle Party?
One line pitches and/or art images will be shared anonymously with industry faculty. They will respond with a simple “yes” or “no.” This is free, but we can’t guarantee your pitch will be selected or shared.

Where can I tell you about my dietary needs?
If you have a dietary restriction that may interfere with our lunchtime menu, please let us know so that alternative food can be provided. If you make a note in the dietary request box during registration, we will contact you for your specific needs.

How can I volunteer? If I check the “I will volunteer” box, what am I volunteering for?
You can let us know you want to volunteer by checking the “I Will Volunteer!” during registration. Volunteering includes light work either before or during the conference. hosting the registration table, stuffing folders, etc.

How do I give feedback about the conference?
We welcome your input. At the end of the conference, a Google form will be available for you to provide feedback electronically.

Do I have to select my workshop choices?
No. You can decide at the conference.

Can I cancel my conference registration?
Yes, but depending on when you do, you may not get a full refund (minus $70 administrative fee.) No refunds will be given on the 8-minute Pitches. No refund on Manuscript Consultations. Visit the conference page for full details.

 I’m ready to sign up for the conference!



• Registration opens: 10:00 am (EST) on Saturday, August 31, 2019
• Rooms at the Hyatt at the discounted rate until: October 18, 2019 (link to room discounts is on the registration page)
• Conference registration closes: Sunday, November 3, 2019

How do I register?

1. Go to “2019 PA West Fall Conference: Welcome to Our Neighborhood.”
3. Make sure your information is correct or fill in your general information if you are not yet a member.
4. If you want to attend the Friday Social, check that box. (This event is $15.00).
5. If you want to purchase a Speed Dating session, select which faculty you want to meet. You can choose more than one. (This activity is $30.00).
6. If you want to purchase a post-conference critique, select the faculty member. (This option is $70.00).
7. Click the Continue button to verify your information.
8. Confirm your information, and click the Continue button at the bottom of the screen (depending on the size of your screen, you may need to scroll down to see this button) to enter your payment information through PayPal. PayPal is the only payment option; no checks, credit cards or cash can be accepted.

• Make sure you’ve scrolled to the bottom.
• Reload the page.
• Close your browser and reopen it.
• Try a different browser.
• Try a different computer or mobile device.

Please note: All seats are first come-first served, and your seat at this conference will not be confirmed until conference tuition is finalized through PayPal. If you don’t make your payment when you register, please know that the system considers that spot available, and anyone after you who makes a payment can claim it.



 Now I’m ready to sign up for the conference!




Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport website

Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport Floor Plan

DOs and DON’Ts of Conference Etiquette

Blogging and Recording policy

SCBWI Levels of membership

You will receive an automated message confirming your registration. DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE.
If you need more information, have questions, or registration problems please email


OK, now I’m really ready to sign up for the conference!


If you’re an SCBWI member and want to check that your registration is correct:

Log in to the SCBWI page

Click on the “My Home” button on the top right

Click on the “Event History” link on the left

Click the “View Registration Confirmation” link beside the fall conference listing