Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2018 Regional Conference Schedule


January 12-14, 2018

Miami, Florida




8:00-9:00 AM –Check-in for Intensives (Get your badge and folder.)

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 in lobby 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 Miracle Mile. Last bus departs Books & Books at 10 PM.




7:00-8:30 AM  – Check-in for conference. (Get your badge and folder.)

8:00-4:30 PM  – Art Exhibit

(Artists must pick up portfolios by 4:45 PM)

8:30-8:45 AM  – Co-Regional Advisors Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld & Dorian Cirrone: Welcome, announcements, and introduction of faculty.


8:45-9:30 AM  – Sara Pennypacker: The Top Ten Things I've Learned: Sara Pennypacker has been writing for children for twenty-five years. In this keynote, she'll share what she's learned.

9:30-10:00 AM  – Judy Schachner: My Life in Books: A behind-the-scenes look at an insane, yet very responsible #1 New York Times bestselling picture book author and illustrator.


10:00-10:15 AM  – Break


10:15-11:00 AM  – Editor Panel 

11:00-11:45 AM – First Books Panel

11:45-Noon – Special Presentation


12:00-1:00 PM – Lunch


1:00-1:45 PM  – Jonathan Maberry: Who Are You? Setting your social media and professional brand, building an audience, and having fun.

1:45-2:15 PM     Lee Bennett Hopkins: Celebrity: Encounters With Writers.


2:15-2:20 PM  – Break


2:20-3:05 PM  – Agent Panel

3:05-3:35 PM –   Shutta Crum: Becoming Real—Creating Books that Matter:  From wordless picture books to 90,000-word young adult fantasies, Shutta will talk about the key ingredients needed to create books that will touch the hearts of your readers and matter in their lives.

3:35-4:20 PM  – Lin Oliver: 40 Years of SCBWI Eavesdropping—The Ten Most Helpful Things I’ve Learned.


4:30-6:45 PM – Critiques in East Hall

4:30-5:00 PM – Special autograph session with Sara Pennypacker outside critiques room.

7:30-11:00 PM – “Creating a Masterpiece” Costume Ball



Click here for details on workshops.


9:00-10:30 AM  – Workshop 1

10:30-10:45 AM  – Break

10:45 AM-12:15 PM  – Workshop 2 

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, 2017: Deadline for Early Registration and to be entered to win prizes!

December 15, 2017: Deadline to contact us if you want your book for sale at the conference bookstore. Contact Mimi Powell at This is open to all PAL members (two-book limit). Self-published members can sell one book but must sign consignment contract with Books and Books. Those whose publisher doesn’t accept returns must also sell on consignment.

December 8, 2017: Deadline to send in Manuscripts & notification of portfolio/dummy critiques.

December 8, 2017: Deadline for Early Registration.

December 31, 2017: Deadline to contact Linda Shute at if you wish to exhibit your portfolio.

January 5, 2018: Deadline to reserve hotel room for special SCBWI conference room rate. Subject to availability.

January 12, 2018: Intensive check-in at Front Desk, 8:00-9:00 AM.

January 13, 2018: General check-in at Front Desk, 7:00-8:30 AM. Illustrators drop off portfolios between 7:00-8:00 AM in the main conference room for art show.

January 12-14, 2018: Bookstore open all weekend.