Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Author Extras

Second Annual Golden Pen Award

Manuscripts submitted for critique will have the opportunity to be nominated by faculty members for consideration for the RMC SCBWI Letters & Lines Golden Pen Award. All members who register for a manuscript critique will be automatically considered for nomination. Finalists will be announced at the conference and final judging will occur after the conference concludes.

LOGISTICS: As mentioned, faculty critiquers will have the opportunity to nominate a manuscript for this award. Nominated manuscripts will be narrowed down and then sent for final judging to SCBWI PAL members who live outside the Rocky Mountain Region. In the final stage of judging, the author’s name will be removed from the document so final judging will only consider the words on the page.  The prize you ask? Not only will you gain the prestige of such an award, but you will also receive free tuition to the following year’s Letters and Lines conference!

One-on-One Manuscript Critiques

Limited space available, you must pre-register for this choice

Deadline to turn in pages if you register for a critique:  August 11, 2018 by 9 p.m.

Critiques serve as a unique opportunity to have your writing professionally critiqued by an author, agent, or editor. This option requires pre-registration and is offered on a space-available basis for an additional fee of $50. Because critiques typically sell out fast, manuscript critiques are an optional add-on for SCBWI Members only. (It’s not too late to join!)  If a critique is on your wish-list, please register early! Critique appointments are assigned during workshop times based on the critiquer’s schedule during the conference. Please be aware you may miss a portion of a workshop in order to receive one-on-one feedback about your manuscript.

How it works: You are in the driver’s seat! On a space-available basis, you may pre-register for a one-on-one critique with on-site faculty, and pre-select your critiquer. Once the slots are full on a particular faculty member, registration will no longer allow the option. That means those who register early will have the most options! Take time to read faculty member biographies to select the perfect match for you. Once you have registered for a critique, you must submit your 10 pages to Denise Schurr, Manuscript Critique Coordinator, by the deadline.

Properly submitted manuscripts will have a 10 minute, one-on-one appointment with their critiquer during the conference. Critique appointment time-slots will be assigned and coordinated by volunteer Denise Schurr. Again, please be aware, you may miss a portion of the conference workshops/programming for your appointment.

And now for some of those pesky rules:

Please do not include illustrations with manuscript submissions. This offering is for manuscript text only.

Please follow all the instructions (especially on formatting) located on the instruction page linked below.

Please meet the deadline. Critiques are non-refundable. We always feel sad for the people who miss the deadline and have to forfeit their fee. We want happiness, and unicorns, and rainbows, so get-er done on time!

One critique maximum per person.

Please note we have limited spots in both critiques and portfolio reviews, therefore author-illustrators may only select one of the premium add-ons, either portfolio review or manuscript critique, but not both. That way we can spread the opportunities.

*DEADLINE: Your manuscript must be properly formatted AND submitted to our critique coordinator by August 11, 2018 at 9 p.m. or your fee will be forfeited.

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

NOTE:  *Critiques are an optional add-on and a MEMBERS ONLY offering. Critiques are offered on a space available basis, therefore we can offer a maximum of one per person.

Member Book Sales

Bookstore deadlineAugust 24, 2018

If you are an SCBWI member, have a children’s book you’ve authored or illustrated, and will be attending the Fall Conference on September 22-23, 2018, BRAVO! Huzzah! Congratulations! Furthermore, this qualifies you to have one title included in the member book sale during conference weekend. Due to the popularity of this offering, the book table can only accept books that have been registered by 11:59pm Friday, August 24, 2018. Because we have to ensure books arrive on time, and we have to pre-plan our space, there will be no exceptions to this deadline.

Please note a few pesky but important rules

  • Only members who are attending the conference may have their book sold at the conference;
  • SCBWI rules and limited space allow for only one title per attendee.
  • Please follow the instructions to the letter. Instructions are here at this BOOK SALES INSTRUCTION’s link
  • Please meet the unbreakable deadline, September 15, 2017. We want to see your book in our store!
  • Carrie Seidel is our book sales conference coordinator and your single point of contact. Please don’t contact our bookstore partner, instead direct ALL  questions to Carrie Please  at Just like the Wizard of Oz, Carrie has all the answers!

For instructions on registering, visit Book Sales Instructions

Critique Connect

Interactive Critique Connect Workshop: Come to critique or to critique and exchange emails so you can form a new group. This year, the Critique Connect for writers and illustrators will take place starting at 6:15pm, which is after the autograph party and social hour. It is important to arrive on time in order to form the groups equitably.The Critique Connect will be run in the same way as the national conferences. You’ll gather at 6:15 pm and sit at a table marked for your target group (illustrator, picture book, middle grade, young adult, chapter book, non-fiction). Groups will be set to allow for a maximum of five people per group, therefore if eight picture book writers show up, there will be two picture book groups. Volunteer leader Judith Snyder will be on hand to pre-set tables with signs and help you find your group. The session will start with a general review about the “sandwich” method of offering critiques and remind you of the evening’s plan, which is to circle up with your peers, decide on who will be the timer, and establish a fair amount of time per person. If you have five people in your group and you have 1.25 hours remaining to meet, then you should set a timer of 15 minutes per person (five minutes for reading and 10 minutes to get feedback and ask questions). WHAT TO BRING:  Writers, bring FIVE copies of five pages of your manuscript illustrators, bring your portfolio. *The contact for this event is Judith Snyder. During this event, you can let Judith know if you are looking for a long term critiquing group. At the end of the session, we hope to have new groups formed and will be relying on you to let Judith know if you are forming a new group AND have space for other members. Judith can be reached at .

What can you do right now? If you are looking for ways to find a critiquing group, go to the SCBWI website and log in (you must be logged in). Click on Regional Chapters and select Rocky Mountain. Once there, find Critique Groups page on the right side menu.. The chart shows groups open to new members. If none of the groups meet your needs, you can start your own group by sending a note to our critique coordinator, Judith, at: with the requested information. Also contact Judith if you have questions prior to the conference.

Optional Writer Post-Conference Intensives 

Sunday, September 21, 2018, 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Additional Fee: $85 SCBWI member-participants, includes boxed lunch and beverage!

Pre-registration reguired, limited space, See Intensives page for more details

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 and on a first-to-register, first-filled basis. You must be registered for one or both days of the conference in order to register for an intensive.

Marriott catering staff will distribute boxed lunches in exchange for your registration ticket immediately following the close of the conference on Sunday. Please note: Box lunches are only for those who registered for a post-conference intensive. Sorry, there is no price adjustment available if you forgo the boxed lunch.

Pre-register for one of the following:

Novelist Craft Intensive with Laurie Halse Anderson Space Available! If you’d like to add this intensive to an existing registration, contact our registrar, Lindsay Eland at

Revision Without Tears: bring your manuscript and all your hard questions for a deep dive into the revision process.
Novel Plot Workshop with William James Limón Space Available! If you’d like to add this intensive to an existing registration, contact our registrar, Lindsay Eland at
In Plotting Your Novel, BLENDING CHARACTER AND PLOT  you’ll learn how the four Plot-Character Layers guide dramatic tension, develop character, and illuminate theme.
Bring a 1-page plot outline.
If you only have an idea, brainstorm: 1) Who is in your story? 2) What happens? 3) When and where? 4) Why do you want to tell this story?

Novel Roundtable with Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Sold out! To inquire about a wait list, contact our registrar, Lindsay Eland at

Space Limited to 10 participants

Pre-register for this roundtable for middle grade or young adult novelists. Space is limited to 10. You’ll meet in an intimate setting and receive live, on-the-spot feedback on the first three (3) pages of your manuscript from an agent. (Yes, it must be the beginning, first THREE pages of a manuscript; Please format 12 point font, Times New Roman, double spaced, one inch margins. Not only do you benefit by receiving direct feedback on your work-in-progress, you also grow by hearing constructive comments from an agent on everyone else’s work, too.

NOTE: All participants should bring 11 STAPLED copies of the first THREE pages of their work-in-progress middle grade or young adult novel (one for Kristin, one for you, and one for each participant = 11) Please format 12 point font, Times New Roman, double spaced, one inch margins.

Picture Book Roundtable with Tim Travaglini Sold out! To inquire about a wait list, contact our registrar, Lindsay Eland at

Space Limited to 15 participants

Pre-register for this special roundtable gathering and hear how an agent thinks. Space is limited to 15 writers each. You’ll meet in an intimate setting and receive live, on-the-spot feedback on the first five pages of your picture book manuscript. Please format 12 point font, Times New Roman, double spaced, one inch margins. Not only do you benefit by receiving direct feedback on your work-in-progress, you also grow by hearing reactions and comments on everyone else’s work, too.

NOTE: All participants must bring 16 STAPLED copies of five pages of a work-in-progress picture book manuscript. (One for Sean, one for you, and one for each participant = 16) Please format 12 point font, Times New Roman, double spaced, one inch margins.