Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2023 Regional Conference Components


What Is . . .?

Explanation of the Components of

SCBWI Florida’s Regional Conference 


Picture Book And Novel Intensives

•  Writing craft-based, all-day session that allows participants to dig deep into the world of the genre (Picture Books or Novels) and hone their writing skills.

•  Sessions include lecture, hands-on experiences, mentor texts, writing exercises, and more.

•  First-page critique opportunities available during the Novel session as time permits.

•  Written pitch critique opportunities available during the Picture Book session as time permits.

•  Useful to those who write in any genre of Picture Books or Novels.

•  Participants range from pre-published to published.

•  Limited to 25 participants.


NOTE: Only SCBWI members may register for an intensive. Intensives are not part of the full conference.



Illustrator Intensive

•  An all-day session that allows participants to dig deep into the world of kidlit illustration.

•  The session includes lectures, examples, hands-on activities, evaluation/feedback on work, mentor texts, and often features a pre-assignment that participants complete before the session and bring with them.

•  This intensive will be useful for those who are illustrators and author-illustrators.

•  Participants range from self-taught to trained, beginner to experienced, pre-published to published.

•  Limited to 25 participants.

NOTE: Only SCBWI members may register for an intensive. Intensives are not part of the full conference.



Keynote Addresses

•  Each keynote is 45-minutes in length and is for all participants attending the Regional Conference.

•  Delivered in the main meeting room/ballroom.

•  Usually inspirational and/or informational and may focus on one’s creative journey; a topic near to the speaker’s heart; industry trends, insider info, etc.

•  In the past, these presentations have been standing-ovation-worthy and career changing for our participants.



Legacy Keynote

•  Each year we will strive to invite at least one faculty member to our conference who is part of the legacy of kidlit, someone who has made significant contributions to the world of children’s publishing, and who’s career can serve as inspiration to us all.

•  The Legacy Keynote closes out our Sunday session.



Industry Panel

•  Agents and editors sit down together for a discussion of kidlit.

•  Moderated by an SCBWI Florida member, the panel is made up of the agents and editors who are speakers at this year’s conference.

•  You’ll discover what each industry professional is acquiring.

•  Q&A will focus on industry trends, best practices, working relationships, and more.

•  This year get ready for a fun, interactive approach to this panel.



Breakout Sessions

•  Each breakout session is 60-minutes long and may include lecture, writing exercises, Q&A, and more.

•  Breakouts focus on a craft, writing, or an industry topic.

•  Each is led by one of our invited guest faculty members.

•  A total of sixteen breakout sessions will be included during our four breakout periods.

•  During each of the four periods, four breakout sessions will run concurrently.

PLEASE NOTE: Seating in each breakout session is limited and you will choose which you will attend when you register. Spots will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis.



PAL Breakout Session

•  A breakout session will be offered for PAL (Published-and-Listed) Members.

•  The session is designed for those who are published and moving forward in their careers.

•  Open to PAL members only.

PLEASE NOTE: Seating in each breakout session is limited and you will choose which you will attend when you register. Spots will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis.



Early-Bird Sessions

•  Offered on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 7:00-7:45 a.m.

•  Designed for our early-to-rise members (and those who want to participate even if they’re not early birds).

•  Each session will guide you to begin your day as you wish—writing, drawing, or stretching.

•  Sessions and leaders include: RISE AND WRITE, RISE AND DRAW, and RISE AND STRETCH.

•  No pre-sign up is required.  Just come and enjoy!


3 Tips For Success Closing

•  The closing of our conference.

•  All faculty members (agents, editors, and creatives) will share three tips for success to inspire you as you prepare to head home.

•  Have your note pad ready for this don’t-miss-it closing session.




•  Our faculty of editors, agents, art director, authors, and illustrator/author will provide critiques for conference participants who paid for a critique.

•  This professional feedback will help take your creative work to the next level. Submissions will be made electronically.

•  You will receive a 15-minute face-to-face critique and written feedback at the time of your scheduled meeting.

•  Initially, participants may only sign up for one critique. As we get closer to the conference if additional spots are available, participants will be able to register for an additional critique.

•  Visit the critique guidelines page for help on formatting your submission.

NOTE: Critiques are $65.00 each. You must be registered for the conference in order to register for a critique.



First Books Panel

•  SCBWI Florida members who had their first PAL book released in 2022 are invited to participate in our First Books Panel.

•   The official SCBWI PAL guidelines can be found here.

•  The First Book Panel will be held during the opening session of the conference on Friday, May 19.

•  To participate, email Jason Pratt at Please use the subject line: First Books Panel.

•  The deadline to sign up for the First Books Panel is March 27, 2023.

•  For more information on the First Books Panel, click HERE.

NOTE: First Books Panelists must be registered for the conference. The PAL Slideshow, below, does not require registration.



Book Release Slideshow

•   We want to celebrate all of our SCBWI Florida published members who had a book (or books) released in 2022—whether they’re able to attend the conference or not.

•   To participate, please follow the instructions here. If you have any difficulty with the template, or have any questions, please email Jason at 

•  The deadline for submissions to the PAL Slideshow is March 17, 2023.



Elixir Mixer And Silent Auction

•   On Friday evening we invite you to the Elixir Mixer and Silent Auction.

•   Come enjoy socializing with old friends and make new friends.

•   A cash bar (which will also include non-alcoholic drinks) will be provided.

•   Come prepared to bid on some fabulous auction items.

•   Proceeds from the auction help provide Windows and Doors Scholarships for future events.

NOTE: This event is open to all SCBWI Florida members whether you are attending the conference or not. Please RSVP HERE.



Costume Cocktail Party

•  Following our critique sessions on Saturday, we will come together for a Costume Cocktail Party.

•  Dress in your Catch-a-Wave best and enter our costume contest.

•  Come prepared to dance to the hits of the Beach Boys, Don Ho and more!

•  Appetizers will be provided and there will be a cash bar (which will also include non-alcoholic drinks).

•  The dance floor will be open from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

•  Afterwards, gather up new and old friends and find a fantastic place for dinner. 

NOTE: The Costume Cocktail Party is only open to those who are registered for the Full Conference or Saturday only. Guest tickets may be available for purchase for $65. Costumes are optional.



Illustrator Portfolio Showcase

•   Illustrators are invited to bring and display their portfolios in our annual Illustrator Portfolio Showcase.

•   Our faculty (including agents, editors, and art directors) along with our members will enjoy oohing and ahhing over your work.

•  Faculty judges will recognize outstanding portfolios and our members will have the opportunity to vote on the Member’s Choice Award. For more information, visit our Portfolio Showcase page.

NOTE: Only those registered for the conference may participate in the Showcase.



Collector Pins

•   Our collector pins have been a favorite of members for over a decade.

•   This year’s pins will be designed by Debbie Ohi and will be sold for $5.00 each.

•   Proceeds from pin sales help support our ongoing free meetings around the state.



SCBWI Florida Literacy Award 

1.  The purpose of this annual award is to recognize an organization, institution, or program that is making significant literacy contributions to children in Florida.

2.  The award is member-nominated and chosen by member votes.

3.  The recipient is announced at the SCBWI Florida Regional Conference.

This year’s award will be $500.00.

To nominate an organization, institution, or program for the SCBWI Florida Literacy Award, please fill out an application here.