Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Author Extras

First Pages 

First Pages Sessions (included in your conference tuition)

Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall as editors and agents read that crucial first page of your manuscript? In these sessions, you will see and hear initial reactions of editors and agents to actual first pages submitted by conference attendees.

* Picture Book First Pages with agent Deborah Warren and Editor Emma Ledbetter.

* Novel First Pages with agent Andrew Karre and editor Stacy Whitman.

Bring THREE COPIES of your first page to the conference (PAPERCLIPPED – no cover sheets, no staples) with a maximum of 18 lines of text. At the check-in/registration table, we will have containers marked PICTURE BOOK FIRST PAGES and NOVEL FIRST PAGES. Please note that we will not have paperclips at the registration desk so please bring your own or we will not be able to include your pages in the session.

If you write both picture books and novels, please choose only ONE container in which to drop your first page to enable as many writers as possible to receive feedback.

Pages will be drawn randomly from the pile and read out loud after which the industry professionals will provide feedback.

NOTE: Please understand that due to time constraints, there is a chance your page will not be read and critiqued. However, a lot can be learned from listening to those that are read so we encourage you to pay attention!


  • Use one-inch margins all around, double-spaced, 12-point Times.
  • Center your title at the top, drop down two spaces, and start your text.
  • In the upper right corner note whether it’s a picture book, middle grade or YA novel, or non-fiction.
  • Your name is optional. 

Click this link for an example: First Pages Sample Formatting

One-on-One Manuscript Critiques (additional fee $40 members, $65 non-members)

This is a unique opportunity to have your writing professionally critiqued, so start preparing your manuscripts. All qualified manuscripts will receive a written critique and a one-on-one appointment with their critiquers at the conference. Unlike writing contests, the Manuscript Critique provides each entrant a valuable and constructive critique from a published author, an agent, or an editor. DEADLINE: AUGUST 7, 2015 

For full details on submitting for one-on-one critiques, visit the Manuscript Critique Page

PAL Book Sales

If you are a PAL (Published and Listed) member of SCBWI (see under “About SCBWI/Levels of Membership” for details), have a children’s book you’ve authored or illustrated, and will be attending the Fall Conference on September 19-20, 2015, you can have your book(s) included in the member book sale that weekend. Due to the popularity of this offering, the book table cannot accept books which have not been registered by Friday, August 21, 2015. There are no exceptions to this deadline to ensure books arrive on time. We also cannot sell books by members who will not be attending the conference. 

For instructions on registering, visit the PAL Book Sales Instructions page.

Critique Connect

Getting valuable peer critiques is one of the most important steps in becoming a better writer. This is a time to connect with other writers and/or illustrators in your area and start up a critique group or partnership. When you check in at the registration table Saturday morning of the conference, you will be able to indicate your geographic area so we can organize people who are near each other.

Writer Intensives

Post-Conference Intensives ($75 participant, Sunday, September 20, 2015, 12:00pm – 3:30pm)

Intensive sessions provide an opportunity to work on individual projects in a smaller setting under the guidance of a faculty professional. They are reserved for SCBWI members only on a first-come, first-served basis. You must be registered for one or both days of the conference to register for an intensive. 

Picture Book Roundtable Intensive: ReSeeing, Revising vs. Reasons for Rejection – Deborah Warren and Erin Dealey **SOLD OUT**

Novel Roundtable Intensive: How to Stop Worrying About the Kids in Order to Write Better – Andrew Karre

Writing Craft Intensive: Worldbuilding, Culture-Building & Diversity: Writing Diversity in Reality-Based and Fantastic Worlds – Stacy Whitman

Visit our Intensives page for full descriptions and information.