Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2020 Virtual Letters & Lines Conference

Date(s) - 09/12/2020 - 09/13/2020
12:00 am

Art by Kaz Windness, 2019 Calendar Contest Winner

The Rocky Mountain Chapter

Annual Letters & Lines Virtual Conference

Dive into Craft!

September 12-13, 2020


Schedule Faculty Bios FAQ | Critiques | Intensives | Portfolio Showcase | Attendee Packet | Faculty Handouts | Virtual Bookstore


Registration is now closed!

Recordings of sessions will be available to conference attendees within 48 hours of the close of the event. Recordings will be taken down after 30 days. Please login to the Attendee Packet (linked above) to access the recordings once they are available.



This conference offers you opportunities to learn your craft, boost your career, and get feedback on your work. The schedule includes three keynotes; a industry professionals panel; 33 breakout sessions on writing, illustrating and professional development; intensives on picture books, novels and illustration; as well as critiques, portfolio reviews and showcase, a virtual bookstore of faculty titles hosted by BookBar, and more. Due to the threat of COVID-19, the conference will be held ONLINE ONLY – but you will still get all the incredible keynotes and breakout sessions, just from the comfort — and safety — of your own home (although, you’ll have to provide your own food).

View the full schedule here.

For more information, click on the links in the gray menu on the right.


The weekend will include a combination of live and pre-recorded sessions through Zoom and YouTube. An added benefit of the virtual conference is that ALL sessions will be recorded for registered attendees to review for one month following the conference. No more worries about schedule conflicts if there is more than one session you’d like to attend during the same time-slot! Also, no need to choose your live sessions now! The week prior to the conference, registered attendees will receive instructions on how to log into all the virtual meeting rooms and access pre-recorded sessions on YouTube.

Along with the move to online, we’ve lowered the prices! We know this is a difficult time for everyone financially as well as emotionally. We want to provide you with great programming and the community you need, all at a price you can afford. To view the new prices, please go to our FAQ page.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page for the registration form. You may pay through your Paypal account or via credit card on Paypal. We do not accept checks through the mail in order to limit trips to our post office box.

SCBWI members, login before you register to get the discounted member pricing. Non-members, if you’d like to become a member before you register, go here.

Below is the list of our fantastic faculty. Click here to read their bios.


Sylvie Frank, senior editor at Paula Wiseman Books
Stephanie Fretwell-Hill, agent at Red Fox Literary
Megan Ilnitzki, Editor at Harper Collins Children’s
Aneeka Kalia, Assistant Editor Viking Children’s books/Penguin Random House
Natascha Morris, agent at BookEnds Literary


Pat Cummings, author/illustrator
Mitali Perkins, author
Jean Reidy, author
Beth Anderson, Author
Melanie Crowder, Author
Larry Day, Illustrator
Nancy Bo Flood, Author
Martha Freeman, Author
Megan E. Freeman, Author
Angela C. Hawkins, Illustrator
Darby Karchut, Author
Jessica Lanan, Illustrator
Jenny Mason, Author and Podcaster
Jeannie Mobley, Author
Laura Perdew, Author
Dan Santat, Illustrator
Nanci Turner Steveson, Author
Leslie Vedder, Author
Lily Williams, Illustrator
Kaz Windness, Author and Illustrator


Member Book Sales

Bookstore deadline11:59 p.m. MDT, Monday, August 24, 2020

If you are an SCBWI member, have a children’s book you’ve authored or illustrated, and will be attending the virtual fall conference on September 12-13, 2019, BRAVO! Huzzah! Congratulations! Furthermore, this qualifies you to have one title included in the virtual member book sale during conference weekend. Due to the popularity of this offering, we can only accept books that have been registered by 11:59pm, Monday, August 24, 2020. 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 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, Monday, August 24, 2020. 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 or your book may be excluded from the bookstore. Just like the Wizard of Oz, Carrie has all the answers!

Again, for instructions on including your book in the virtual bookstore, visit Book Sales Instructions.


Opportunities for Illustrators!

See the Illustrator Extras page for full information

Got what you need? Check the supply list for your sessions in the session descriptions on the Conference Schedule page.

2020 Calendar Image Contest Twelve images will be chosen for the 2021 calendar, voted on by conference attendees and faculty. The 1st place winning image will also be featured on 2021 Fall Conference Material and Merchandise, and receive free tuition to 2021 Letters & Lines.

Individual Portfolio Consultations with esteemed faculty.

Optional Illustrator Intensive with Pat Cummings.

Portfolio Contest: Entrance fee, $20.00. This offering allows illustrators to show their portfolios to esteemed industry faculty who will select a winner. Please have your SCBWI member online portfolio updated and ready by September 9th, 2020. Results of the judging will be announced on the first day of conference. The winning entry will receive a one-on-one Zoom consultation with a large publishing house art director. 

Opportunities for Writers!

See the Author Extras page for full information

Golden Pen Award: All manuscripts submitted for critique will have the opportunity to be nominated by faculty members for consideration in the RMC SCBWI Golden Pen Award. Finalists will be announced during the conference and final judging will occur after the conference concludes by SCBWI PAL members who live outside the Rocky Mountain Chapter. Manuscripts will remain anonymous so judges will only consider the words on the page. The prize you ask? Not only will the winner gain the prestige of such an award, but also receive free tuition to the following year’s Letters and Lines conference!

Optional Manuscript critiques (for additional fee) are available to SCBWI members. All critiques will be held virtually, using breakout rooms through Zoom with a one-on-one consult with your chosen faculty member. Read the faculty bios before registering to make sure they critique the type of genre and category you are submitting. Manuscript Critiques are on a space-available basis and require pre-registration. You MUST submit your manuscript pages to our critique coordinator by August 1, 2020. Manuscripts received after this deadline will be disqualified. Please note, there are NO refunds on manuscript critiques. See manuscript critique page for submission info.

Optional Post-Conference Intensives (for additional fee; see Intensives page) Sunday afternoon with Melanie Crowder, Megan Ilnitzki, and Aneeka Kalia.

Conference Tips

Tweet and tag your RMC SCBWI community by adding @SCBWIRockyMtn and our conference hashtag #LettersLines2020

Attention Bloggers!  — If you plan to share your experiences from the conference, please note our Blogging & Recording Policy.

Tips for Registering:

* SCBWI members: make sure to sign in with your username and password before you start the registration process in order to take advantage of the member discounts and opportunities (i.e. manuscript critiques are offered to members only).

* We accept payments through PayPal, either with a PayPal account, or with a debit/credit card. If you choose the option to pay by credit card, PLEASE NOTE the system will take you to the PayPal website, however you do not need a PayPal account to pay with a credit card. At the PayPal site, choose the option that says “Pay with a debit or credit card.” PayPal will then take you to a secure page to enter your credit card information.

Questions? Please check the FAQ page.
If you don’t find the answer there, contact Jerilyn Patterson, or Dow Phumiruk