Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustrator Extras

Calendar Image Contest

Pre-registration and Saturday Attendance Required

During Saturday morning registration, turn in one (1) printed (not original) 8.5″x11″ (horizontal oriented) kidlit appropriate illustration to be displayed for public voting. 12 illustrations will be selected and the top vote-receiving winner will grace the calendar cover, receive free Fall 2019 conference attendance, and the honor of having their image featured on RMC 2019 conference materials and merchandise. 2019 RMC calendars will be sold to members. All winners and 2018 conference speakers receive a free copy. Just think… art directors, editors, and influential industry professionals staring at your image for one full month!

Entering this contest is included with conference tuition, but you must pre-register to save your spot. If you’re already registered and want to add on this item, please contact our registrar, Lindsay Eland at 

MUST-READ RULES: Calendar Contest Guidelines

Voting will be left open through Arts & Eats. Tickets will be tallied around 6pm. Official announcement of winners will be Sunday morning.

First Impressions Illustration Critique Session 
with Laurent Linn, Art Director Simon & Schuster (Sunday, included in Sunday registration)

In an effort to provide all attendees with an illustration critique, a group format digital slide show session will be utilized. Each attendee may submit up to three illustrations. Each image will be anonymous and critiqued live on-screen. All attendees to the First Impression session may submit files but are not required to do so. If you submit images, you must attend the review.

Please e-mail the following:

  • Up to three illustrations.
  • Artwork must be newly created within the last two years.
  • JPG files, RGB format
  • Place your art on a WHITE background, 1024 pixels wide x 768 pixels tall.
  • E-mail to our Illustrator Coordinator at (Kaz will send you a confirmation e-mail so you know your images have been received.)


Portfolio Display during Arts, Eats & Autographs 

Tables will be provided for displaying illustrator portfolios during Arts, East, & Autographs on Saturday from 4:40-6pm. We’ve asked all available faculty to spend time looking at your work, so set out those promotional postcards! There will be food and drink at the event. No original artwork, please!

 Juried Portfolio Contest, Pre-registration and Conference Attendance Required

For an additional $20.00, illustrators may submit their portfolios for review by Laurent Linn, Sylvie Frank, Alvina Ling, and Tim Travaglini. YOU WILL BE SEEN!

Portfolios, postcards, and signed waivers must be checked in on Saturday at 3:20 pm at the end hallway past the ballroom. Ask registration staff for directions if needed.  Cut off is 3:30. Be prompt.

Prizes: The winner will receive a one-on-one portfolio consultation via Skype with Simon & Schuster Art Director, Laurent Linn. The runner-up receives a $20 gift certificate to the conference bookstore.

The results of the judging will be announced on Saturday evening at Arts & Eats. Post-conference, Kaz Windness will contact the prize winner and arrange a convenient consultation time with the art director.

Please Note: No portfolio feedback is provided with this contest. Sign up for a one-on-one portfolio review if you want feedback.

Please pick up your portfolio at 4:30. Portfolios will be left unattended after 4:40. Bring your portfolio to Arts & Eats! (see details above)

Refer to the Juried Portfolio Review Guidelines for important rules. To expedite check-in, please PRINT & SIGN: Illustrator Juried Review Release

One-On-One Portfolio Consultations Pre-registration Required 

A limited number of 30-minute private critique sessions with Laurent Linn, Alvina Ling, Sylvie Frank, Luke Flowers, Lily Williams, Brooke Boynton-Hughes, and Kaz Windness are available to conference registrants. Please note this is a members-only offering. Illustrators should bring their entire portfolio for discussion, but they should be prepared to focus on their four strongest pieces for an in-depth critique. Due to limited space, registration for consultations is online only and first come first serve. Select this optional offering when you register here. PLEASE NOTE: Portfolio reviews occur during the course of the conference while sessions are running. You will miss part of the conference, but you’ll receive a valuable one-on-one review.

Member Book Sales

Bookstore deadline: Friday, August 24th, 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 August 22-23, 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 24th, 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, August 24th, 2018. 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 at Just like the Wizard of Oz, Carrie has all the answers!

For instructions on registering, visit Book Sales Instructions 

Optional Illustrator Post-Conference Intensive

Illustrator Intensive with Laurent Linn Sold out! To inquire about a wait list, contact our registrar, Lindsay Eland at

Exploring YOUR Illustration Style 

What is an illustrator’s style? It’s more than art materials used, genre (realistic, animation-influenced, etc.), format (traditional media, digital, etc.), or subject matter. Style shows the artist’s vision—their way of taking all the tools in the illustrator’s toolbox (composition, line, color, contrast, emotion, narrative storytelling, research, etc.) and creating art that is singularly them. It doesn’t look like anyone else’s art and shows the unique way in which that artist sees the world.

This assignment will be to create a finished illustration by challenging you to use your own style in interpreting a classic work of art. Hopefully, this will be fun, artistically challenging, and will let you have a great new portfolio piece when we’re done!


From the provided images of art masterpieces (BELOW), select one to illustrate in your style. Select one of these choices that speaks to you and could show how you would interpret it in your own, unique way. Feel free to change or alter it in any way you like—substitute the people with newly invented characters or your own established characters, or children, animals, etc. Whether you change the costumes and scenery or simply interpret the images as rendered but in your way, the final image should clearly be a recognizable interpretation of the original, but showcasing your style.

By September 14, 2018, send a jpeg of your final illustration to

On the Conference Illustrator’s Intensive day, please bring your original final art piece (or printout if you work digitally). As a group, Laurent will discuss each attendee’s final piece projected on the screen, looking at how it is successful in showing style as well as how it could perhaps be improved.

The goal is to challenge you to truly analyze your style—how do you create art in a way like no one else? Also, our goal is for everyone to learn from each other and be inspired and energized by talking about art with fellow creative people. While attendees may be at different experience levels and perhaps a bit shy of sharing their art in front of others (aren’t we all?), the day will be positive with a good energy of children’s books.

Masterpieces to choose from:


Self-Portrait (1934) by Malvin Gray Johnson

Mary Cassatt Young Mother Sewing 1900

Marie Antoinette and her Children by Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

Jan Van Eyck, Arnolfini_Portrait, 1434

Birth of Venus-Sandro Botticelli, circa 1485

An internet search for larger images is recommended.

Pre-registration required, limited space

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.

LUNCH: Those who register for an intensive will also receive a boxed lunch and beverage!

In past conferences, it has been hard to get lunch prior to the start of the intensive, so intensives are now inclusive of a boxed lunch of your choice (selections will be made during online registration) and a beverage. Marriott catering staff will be ready to distribute boxed lunches in exchange for your registration ticket. Distribution will happen immediately following the close of the conference. 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. Visit our Intensives page for more information.

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 (illustrators). Volunteer leader Stan Yan 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:  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.