Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Miami Regional Conference 2015

2015 SCBWI Florida Regional Conference

“The Hero’s Journey to Children’s Publishing” 



Review Schedule Here

General Info from A – Z:

ARTWORK/PORTFOLIO CRITIQUES: Illustrators, bring your art to the conference. Do not send your work in advance. Send critique fee of $45 with your conference registration form no later than December 10th, 2014.

AUTOGRAPH PARTY!: Our very first book signing closes the conference on January, 18th, from 1-2 PM. Come mingle and meet your favorite authors, illustrators, and faculty members. Get your books signed and photographs taken—a great way to end the weekend!

BOOK BASKET: Bring a new or gently-used children’s or YA book to put in our donation basket which will be donated to Urgent, Inc, ( a community development organization dedicated to empowering young minds to transform their communities.

BOOK SALES: Faculty and SCBWI members attending the conference may sell their books through our on-site bookseller, Books & Books. Contact Marcea Ustler, by December 1st, 2014, with your book titles/ISBN numbers. Only PAL (Published and Listed) members are eligible to sell books. Please visit to ensure your publisher is PAL-approved. The conference bookstore will be open Fri – Sun, and our Autograph Party will be on Sunday, January 18th at 1:00 PM.

COMMEMORATIVE CONFERENCE PINS: Add our SCBWI Florida Regional Conference 2015 pin to your collection! Each year, we feature a different illustrator, and this year’s pin will be designed by Raul Colón. Proceeds from the sale help finance free events around Florida.

EARLY REGISTRATION: Register for the conference by December 1st, 2014, and be entered to win critiques, pins, or books!

FIRST-PAGE CRITIQUES: Bring the first page of your manuscript, double-spaced, 12-pt. type, one page only (starting at the top of page) to the registration desk before 4:30 PM on Friday, January 16th. Include title of piece and genre at the top. No name. Panelists will select a few anonymous submissions to read aloud and critique on Friday at 5:00 PM. If your submission is read aloud at an intensive, please submit a different piece for the panel. LIMIT ONE (1) SUBMISSION FOR FRIDAY’S PANEL and ONE (1) SUBMISSION FOR FRIDAY INTENSIVES. All submissions will be recycled afterwards.

HEROES -vs- VILLAINS MASQUERADE: In a world…of good and evil…one man…or woman…will win the costume battle. Come don your snazzy masks, capes, and heroic (or cowardly) supersuits and go head-to-head at the Heroes vs.Villains Masquerade. Costume contest winner will receive a free critique! Dance to the criminal sounds of DJ Iggy from 7:30 – 11:00 PM. Our Saturday night parties are an SCBWI FL tradition! Tickets for non-attendee guests available for $50 at registration.

HOTEL: Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel. Rooms are $145/night for a single and $155/night for a double. For reservations, call the hotel at 305-871-3800 or 1-800-325-3535. A free shuttle runs from the airport to the hotel every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes at night.

Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel
3900 NW 21st Street – Miami, FL 33142
Click here to book your room.

INTENSIVES: Friday, January 16th, 2015 – 9 AM to 4 PM. A star-studded faculty lineup spends an extra day focusing on the craft of writing – $200 (includes buffet lunch). Intensives include a first-page critique session (see submission guidelines under First Page Critiques). Important notice: any SCBWI member can attend the Intensive only if desired.

Illustrator Intensive: Presented by Laurent Linn and Raul Colón, this intensive is specifically designed for illustrators only! Come learn the ins and outs of creating stunning and memorable artwork for children’s books in a close-knit, hands-on setting. (Limited to 15 participants)

Picture Book Intensive: Presented by Chris Cheng, Heather Alexander, Stacey Barney, and Verla Kay, this amazing workshop will guide participants through an in-depth, hands-on look at successful, classic picture book writing and illustrating in today’s market. (Limited to 25 participants)

Novel Intensive: Presented by Andrew Karre, Lorin Oberweger, Chris Grabenstein, and Kathleen Duey, this novel intensive is a must for any middle grade or YA writer hoping to hammer their manuscripts into publishable shape. (Limited to 25 participants)

MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUES: Send two copies of your manuscript (up to 10 pp) to: Kerry O'Malley Cerra, 4260 NW 95th Avenue, Coral Springs, FL 33065. Please follow standard formatting guidelines (see "From Keyboard to Printed Page: Facts You Need to Know" at Manuscripts must be received by December 10th, 2014. Note: Although a picture book may have fewer than ten pages, each manuscript counts as a separate submission. DO NOT MAIL VIA A SERVICE THAT REQUIRES SIGNATURE FOR DELIVERY. You will receive an email confirmation from Kerry informing you of the time and critiquer assigned to you. We do NOT honor requests for specific critiquers. Each critique submission is $45.

MEALS: Below is a list of what to expect for each meal:

Friday: Buffet lunch included with intensive registration

Friday Night Reception: Cash bar at Books & Books. Dining on your own in Coral Gables following the reception

Saturday: Buffet breakfast in the Rickenbacker Restaurant is included with hotel registration (meal ticket received at check-in). Coffee and tea included outside conference room all morning for all attendees. Lunch buffet will be served for all attendees at the Rickenbacker Restaurant.

Saturday Dinner: Dinner included for full conference attendees only. Cash bar.

Saturday Only Attendees: Lunch included. If you wish to attend the Saturday night Heroes vs. Villains Masquerade, you may purchase a ticket for $50 at the registration desk.

Click here to download the Submissions Form

NEWSLETTER: Our newsletter, written by Mindy Weiss, is available at and is chock full of member good news, market information, and the latest word on conferences, contests, and events happening all around the state!

PORTFOLIO/ART EXHIBIT: Illustrators, take advantage of three feet of table space provided for you to exhibit your portfolio on Saturday, Jan. 17th. Bring plenty of handouts and display props (such as a tabletop easel). Original art is not permitted, as SCBWI cannot be responsible for any loss or damage. Drop off illustrators’ portfolios on January 17th before 8:30 AM outside the main conference room for the art show. Please contact Angela Padrón at for more information.

REGISTRATION: Register online here, or use this registration form to snail-mail along with check payable to: SCBWI Florida, 125 E. Merritt Island Causeway #209, Merritt Island, FL 32952.


FULL CONFERENCE, begins Friday, Jan. 16th, at 4:30 PM and runs through Sunday, Jan. 18th, at 2:00 PM (does not include Friday intensives). The cost is $250 for SCBWI members ($275 for non-members).
(increases $25 for both members and non-members after December 13th, 2014)

For Saturday only attendance, SCBWI members pay $205 ($230 for non-members).
(increases $25 for both members and non-members after December 13th, 2014)

For Sunday only attendance, SCBWI members pay $75 ($100 for non-members).
(increases $25 for both members and non-members after December 13th, 2014)

To attend the Friday Intensive, add $200 (SCBWI members only) to your FULL CONFERENCE cost.

Heroes -vs- Villains Masquerade ball – Included with FULL CONFERENCE attendees, $50 for one guest of those attending. $50 per person for separate entry.

WEBSITE: Visit our website,, for more information and FAQ’s. Contact Assistant Regional Advisor, Curtis Sponsler,, for any updates or troubleshooting. We can also be found on Facebook at our Florida SCBWI Page.

QUESTIONS? Contact SCBWI Co-Regional Advisor, Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld at (321) 338-7208 or or Co-Regional Advisor, Gaby Triana, at (305) 321-8481 or

REMINDERS: Since we cannot control the temperature in the conference rooms, you may want to bring a sweater, cape, or fire-breathing dragon with you. Overnight parking, $15; daily parking, $7.

2015 SCBWI Florida Regional Conference Schedule

“The Hero’s Journey to Children’s Publishing”
January 16-18th, 2015
Miami, Florida

FRIDAY, JANUARY 16th, 2015

8:00-9:00 AM – Registration for Intensives
9:00-4:00 PM – Picture Book, Novel, & Illustrator Intensives
3:30-4:30 PM
 – General Registration/Drop-off First Page Critiques at Registration Desk
4:30-5:00 PM
 – Meet Your SCBWI Florida Regional Team
5:00-5:45 PM
 – First Page Critiques
5:45 PM – Board buses for Books & Books (265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables)

6:30 PM – Reception at Books & Books. There will be a cash bar.
7:30-9:00 PM
 – Enjoy dining on your own at Books & Books or on famous Miracle Mile. Last bus departs Books & Books at 10:00 PM.


7:00-8:30 AM – General Registration
8:00 AM-4:30 PM – Art Exhibit: Artists must pick up portfolios by 4:45 PM
8:30-8:45 AM
 – Co-Regional Advisors Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld & Gaby Triana: Welcome and Announcements
8:45-9:30 AM
 – Chris Grabenstein: "Saying Yes All The Way To Mr. Lemoncello's Library"
9:30-9:55 AM – Verla Kay: Perfecting Picture Books
9:55-10:10 AM – Break (turn in your editor panel question cards)
10:10-10:50 AM
 – Editor Panel 
10:50-11:15 AM
 – Raul Colón: "The Art of Daydreaming"
11:15 AM- 12:00 PM – First Books Panel
12:00-1:00 PM – Lunch
1:00-1:25 PM
 – Laurent Linn: "Behind-the-Scenes: Balancing Art and Business"
1:25-2:10 PM – Justin Chanda: "The State of the State of the Industry"
2:10-2:20 PM – Break (turn in your agent panel question cards)
2:20-3:00 PM
 – Agent Panel
3:00-3:30 PM – Kathleen Duey: "Helping Characters Learn to Talk (and breathe)"
3:30-4:15 PM – Chris Cheng: "A-Z of Children’s Publishing – or how I have survived as a children’s author for 25 years"
4:15-4:20 PM – Crystal Kite Presentation
4:45-6:45 PM – Critiques in East Hall

SUNDAY, JANUARY 18th, 2015

7:00-8:45 AM – Critique Group Leaders' Meeting in the Rickenbacker Restaurant
9:00-10:30 AM – Workshop 1 (choose one)
Chris Cheng: "Marketing ME – ways to earn money from marketing you as the children’s creator; the business of bing a children’s book creator"
    B. Justin Chanda: "Here’s How I Edit Picture Books"
    C. Linda Joy Singleton: "Creating a Synopsis in 30 Minutes"
    D. Verla Kay: "Making Words Sing: How and why your choice of words can make or break a story." 
    E. Raul Colón: "The Truth of Line and Color"
    F. Heather Alexander: "Voice Lessons"
    G. Kathleen Duey: "Creating people and places that live and breathe"
    H. Lorin Oberweger (*NEW PAL workshop!)
10:30-10:45 AM – Break
10:45 AM-12:15 PM
 – Workshop 2 (choose one)
Laurent Linn: "Drawing in Style: What Is My Style? & Knowing When You're There"
    J. Stacey Barney: "Chit Chat and Jibber Jabber: In Other Words, Dialogue"
    K. Linda Epstein: "What Agents Mean When they Say "Show don't Tell"
    L. Ginger Clark: "Contract Clauses: The Crucial Ones"
    M. Andrew Karre: "Thyself (and Stop Worrying About Audience): Crafting a durable and personal identity as a writer"
    N. Chris Grabenstein: "Flashlights Under The covers:  How to plot to keep kids turning the pages"
    O. Lorin Oberweger (*NEW PAL workshop!)
12:15-1:00 PM – Main Meeting Room for Rising Kite Awards & Door Prizes|
1:00-2:00 PM
 – Autograph Party

Important Dates for Attendees:

December 1, 2014: Deadline for Early Registration to be entered to win prizes!
December 1, 2014: Deadline to contact Marcea Ustler,, if you wish to sell books (PAL members only)
December 10, 2014: Deadline for Manuscripts & Artists’ critiques
December 10, 2014: Deadline for Advance Registration (reduced rates)
December 31, 2014: Deadline to contact Angela Padrón,, if you wish to exhibit your portfolio
December 31, 2014: Deadline to reserve hotel room for special SCBWI conference room rate
January 16, 2015: Intensive Registration, 8:00-9:00 AM
January 17, 2015: General Registration, 7:00-8:30 AM. Drop off first-page critiques by 9:00 AM. Illustrators drop off portfolios between 7:00-8:00 AM in the main conference room for art show.
January 16-18th, 2015: Bookstore open all weekend

June 5-7th, 2015: Mid-Year Workshops in Disney World.