Professionals from established publishing companies and literary agencies will share their insights about children’s literature at the upcoming Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference. The Oklahoma Chapter of SCBWI, a professional organization of writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people holds an annual conference to allow aspiring writers and illustrators to meet publishing professionals in person. This year’s conference will be held on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7 at the Embassy Suites in Oklahoma City.
In addition to a full day of professional speakers on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., this year’s spring conference includes an Friday night program at no additional cost to registered attendees. Two breakout sessions will be available to choose from – “How an Oklahoman Made it in Children’s Publishing, and Lightning Tips” or “Finding Your Visual Voice.” Both will be led by publishing professionals and will be followed with a time for attendees to mingle with the speakers.
The SCBWI spring conference also offers a limited number of slots for paid written critiques from editors and agents. Top manuscripts, selected by the critiquers, will have a ten-minute meeting during the conference with the editor or agent who critiqued their manuscript. Manuscript deadline is Feb. 26. To hold a place, fees must be paid before the deadline. Off-site professional critiques are also available, with a deadline of March 16.
Chad W. Beckerman, Creative Director for Amulet Books, Abrams Books for Young Readers, and ComicArts, will conduct face-to-face paid art critiques during the conference.
All illustrators are encouraged to display their portfolio for conference viewing. Illustrators do not have to pay for a critique to display their portfolios.
Attendees also have the opportunity to purchase one-on-one paid face time with a professional. There will be a limited number of discussion times available. This can be used to ask for career advice, discuss your work, ask them to do a cold read of a first page and give comments, or any topic dealing with writing or illustrating.
This year, attendees will also have the option of participating in the crowd-favorite illustration postcard contest and the crowd-favorite 40-word pitch contest. Both are free to participate and include the prize of a free one-on-one face session with an art director, editor, or agent.
All conference registrations include the Friday night sessions, lunch on Saturday, and Saturday Social with Autograph Party at the end of the conference.
Registration is $150 for SCBWI members and $180 for non-members. SCBWI Student members will receive a ten percent discount upon registering, and non-member student registration is $155.
More information and registration forms can be found at www.oklahoma.scbwi.org.
This year’s publishing professionals include:
- Chad W. Beckerman, Creative Director for Amulet Books, Abrams Books for Young Readers, and Comic Arts
- Andrea Hall, Associate Editor with Albert Whitman & Company
- Hannah Mann, Junior Agent with Writers House Literary Agency
- Daniel Nayeri, Publisher at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
- Allison Remcheck, Associate Agent with Stimola Literary Group
- Emily Heddleson, Senior Manager, Library & Educational Marketing
- Jerry Bennett, Oklahoma Illustrator Coordinator and Professional Artist
Founded in 1971, by authors Stephen Mooser (President) and Lin Oliver (Executive Director), The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) is one of the largest existing writers’ and illustrators’ organizations, with over 20,000 members worldwide. It is the only professional organization for those specifically working in mediums of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia, and makes an annual presentation of the Golden Kite Awards, the only award presented to children’s book authors and artists by their peers.