Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2018 Regional Conference Info from A-Z

“Creating a Masterpiece”

January 12-14

Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel

3900 NW 21st Street

Miami, FL 33142

General Info from A-Z



HOW TO REGISTER: Register online here and follow the prompts to pay online. (Make sure your dues are up to date in order to pay the member rate or else the software will charge you more.) If you prefer to use snail mail, download the registration form here (or see website sidebar) and mail it, along with a check payable to SCBWI Florida, to: SCBWI Florida, 125 E. Merritt Island Causeway #107, Box 266, Merritt Island, FL 32952.


DEC. 1, 2017:*: EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION to be entered to win, critiques, pins, or books!



DEC. 9, 2017: ALL COSTS GO UP $25!!

*All deadlines are at midnight on the date stated.

                       FULL CONFERENCE: Friday, Jan. 12, 4:30 PM-Sun. Jan. 14, 2 PM

                       INTENSIVES: Friday, January 12 from 9-4 PM.

INTENSIVES DETAILS: Friday, January 12 from 9-4 PM. A star-studded faculty lineup spends an extra day focusing on the craft of writing or illustrating. The fee includes a buffet lunch and a first-page critique session (see submission guidelines under First Page Critiques). In order to attend, participants must be SCBWI members.

·      Illustrator Intensive: Presented by Judy Schachner and Patrick Collins, art director at Macmillan.  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 20 participants.)

·      Picture Book Intensive: Presented by Melissa Manlove, Sylvie Frank, and Shutta Crum, this Intensive will guide participants through an in-depth, hands-on look at successful picture book writing in today’s market. (Limited to 28 participants.)

·      Novel Intensive: Presented by Jennie Dunham, Jonathan Maberry, and Lorin Oberweger, this Intensive is a must for any middle grade or YA writer hoping to hammer their manuscripts into publishable shape. (Limited to 30 participants.)


·      FULL CONFERENCE (DOES NOT include a Friday Intensive): SCBWI members pay $280 (early registration), $305 (late registration)

Non-members pay $310 (early registration), $335 (late registration).

·      SATURDAY ONLY: SCBWI members pay $210 (early registration), $235 (late registration).

Non-members pay $240 (early registration), $265 (late registration).

·      SUNDAY ONLY: SCBWI members pay $85 (early registration) $110 (late registration)

Non-members pay $115 (early registration), $140 (late registration).

·      FRIDAY INTENSIVES: (FOR SCBWI MEMBERS ONLY) $225 (early registration), $250 (late registration)



Get your Van Gogh or Picasso on for our annual costume contest. Dress in your favorite “artistic masterpiece.” The winner will win a free critique at a future conference! Dance and dine from 7:30-11 PM. Our Saturday night parties are an SCBWI- FL tradition! Tickets for those not attending the FULL CONFERENCE will be available for $60 upon registration or at the check-in desk. For those paying the FULL CONFERENCE price, one ticket is included.




Attendees may send in up to ten pages of a manuscript for a paid critique on Saturday. Please read all of these guidelines to ensure you have the best experience. 

1)    SEND AS AN ATTACHMENT, ONE manuscript per email in .DOC format (up to 10 pp). You must FOLLOW FORMATING GUIDELINES (see “From Keyboard to Printed Page: Facts You Need to Know” at

2)    If you are submitting multiple manuscripts or the same manuscript more than once, SEND EACH ONE ATTACHED TO A SEPARATE EMAIL.

3)    The cost is $60 per critique. Pay online when you register. Or if you register by mail or add manuscripts after you register, send your check, payable to SCBWI Florida, to: SCBWI Florida, 125 E. Merritt Island Causeway, Suite 107, Box #266, Merritt Island, FL 32952.

4)    If you are submitting a novel, please submit the FIRST 10 pages. If you want to submit a synopsis of the novel along with your pages, the full submission MUST BE NO LONGER THAN 10 PAGES TOTAL. If your novel is finished, we suggest you include a synopsis so your critiquer can give you the best critique. The synopsis must also be double-spaced.

5)    Although picture book manuscripts may have fewer than 10 pp, each one counts as a separate submission. Poems in collections or verse novels may be single-spaced with double-spacing between poems but with no more than 250 words per page.

6)    Send to with the subject line as YOUR NAME, TITLE OF THE BOOK, CATEGORY (PB, MG, YA, or POETRY) GENRE (Fantasy, Contemporary, etc.), and either WIP (Work in Progress) or COMPLETE. For example: J.K. Rowling, The Sorceror’s Stone, MG, Fantasy, Complete.

7)    In the body of the email, please tell us who has critiqued your manuscript before, i.e., critiquers at previous conferences, members of your critique group who might be critiquing at our conference, etc. Also, if you have an agent and/or have been traditionally published, please let us know. This helps us make the best match.

8)    If there is something you want your critiquer to know, i.e., biographical information or info regarding the fact that your manuscript is part of a series, DO NOT WRITE IT IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, include it as part of your ten pages. Only the ten pages are forwarded to the critiquers.

9)    Submissions must be emailed by midnight December 8, 2017. You will receive an automatic reply when you send in your manuscript. Closer to the conference, you will receive an email letting you know who will be critiquing your manuscript and at what time. Critiques are usually done on Saturday after the workshops unless otherwise specified.

10) We CANNOT honor requests for specific critiquers or specific time slots.



1)    Illustrators, if you’d like a professional critique of your artwork, you MUST send an email to with the subject line: SCBWI Florida Portfolio Review or Dummy Review by midnight December 8, 2017, stating that you want to be scheduled for a critique.

2)    The cost is $60 per critique. Pay online when you register. Or if you register by mail, send your check, payable to SCBWI Florida, to: SCBWI Florida, 125 E. Merritt Island Causeway, Suite 107, Box #266, Merritt Island, FL 32952.

3)    Bring your portfolio or dummy to the workshop on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at your scheduled time. Do NOT mail your art ahead of time.

4)    You will receive an email in advance as to who will be critiquing your porfolio or dummy and at what time. Critiques are usually done on Saturday after the workshops unless otherwise specified.



If you’d like to go on our traditional Friday night field trip to Books and Books in Coral Gables, meet us in the lobby at 5:45 sharp to get on the buses. We will have a cash bar reception at the bookstore. You will be on your own in beautiful Coral Gables for dinner. Buses back to the hotel will leave the bookstore every half hour up until 10 PM.



If you would like a chance to be critiqued anonymously in front of the group, 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 12. Include the title of the piece and genre at the top. No name. Panelists will select a few submissions to read aloud and critique on Friday at 5 PM. If your submission was read aloud at a Friday Intensive, please submit a different piece for this panel. LIMIT ONE SUBMISSION FOR FRIDAY’S PANEL and ONE SUBMISSION FOR A FRIDAY INTENSIVE. All submissions will be recycled afterwards.



Book your room early to ensure availability. Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel, 3900 NW 21st Street, Miami, FL 33142. Rooms are $175/night for single/double and $195/night for triple/quad. For reservations, call hotel at 305-871-3800 or 1-844-292-7757 or click here:

Hotel is currently changing website to reflect SCBWI pricing. Make sure SCBWI price shows up before you register.

Deadline to reserve at the SCBWI rate is Jan. 5, 2018, subject to availability. A free shuttle runs from the airport to the hotel every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes at night.



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

·      Friday: If you check into the hotel Thursday night, you will receive a ticket at the hotel registration desk for a buffet breakfast on Friday morning at the hotel’s Rickenbacker Restaurant. Buffet lunch is included in the hotel’s Rickenbacker Restaurant with Intensive registration. Ticket will be given at Intensive check-in.

·      Friday Night Reception: Buses will take us to Books & Books where there will be a cash bar. Dine on your own in Coral Gables following the reception. Buses between Books & Books and the hotel will run every half hour until 10 PM.

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

·      Saturday Dinner: Dinner included for FULL CONFERENCE ATTENDEES ONLY. Cash bar. (Dinner ticket received at conference check-in desk.)**

·      Saturday Only Attendees: Lunch included. Ticket will be given at conference check-in desk.

·      Saturday Only and Sunday Only Attendees: If you wish to attend the Saturday night “Creating a Masterpiece” Costume Ball, you may purchase a ticket for $60 at the registration desk.**

·       Sunday Breakfast: If you stay in the hotel Saturday night, you will receive a ticket for Sunday breakfast buffet at hotel registration.

**You may also purchase tickets for guests at $60 per ticket.


Add our SCBWI Florida Regional Conference 2018 pin to your collection! Each year, we feature a different illustrator. Proceeds from the sale help finance free events around Florida.



Illustrators: take advantage of table space provided for you to exhibit your portfolio. Bring handouts and display props (such as a tabletop easel). Original art is not permitted, as SCBWI cannot be responsible for loss or damage. Drop off portfolios on Saturday, January 13 before 8:30 AM outside the main conference room for the art show and pick up by Saturday at 4:45 p.m. We cannot be responsible for artwork. Please contact Linda Shute by December 31, 2017 if you want to display your portfolio.



Contact SCBWI Co-Regional Advisor Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld at (321) 338-7208 or or Co-Regional Advisor Dorian Cirrone at



·      Since we cannot control the temperature in the conference rooms, you may want to bring a sweater or jacket.

·      Overnight parking $15 per day; daily parking, $8.

·      Bring a new or gently-used children’s or YA book to put in our donation basket which will be donated to a worthy charity.

·      Check our website and social media frequently for updates and info on presenters, workshops, Intensive agendas and possible homework.



Faculty and SCBWI members attending the conference may sell their books through our on-site bookseller, Books & Books. Contact Mimi Powell at with your book titles/ISBN numbers by December 15, 2017. PAL (Published and Listed) members are eligible to sell two books. (Please visit for SCBWI’s list of PAL publishers.) Self-published authors and non-PAL members may sell one book. If your books are self-published or your publisher does not accept returns, please contact Mimi Powell to find out who to speak to at Books & Books to work out an agreement to sell on consignment at the conference. 

The conference bookstore will be open Friday through Sunday.



SCBWI is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience in its events and activities for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion . We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion,  deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. SCBWI reserves the right to require anyone not complying with the above to depart from any event at which any such activity has been perpetrated and to bar them from future SCBWI events.

 Any member who experiences harassment at an SCBWI event can issue a complaint to executive director Lin Oliver at



Our book signing closes the conference on January 14 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!

A special autograph session with Sara Pennypacker will take place from 4:30-5 PM on Saturday outside the critiques room.



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