Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2019 Conference September 20-21

SCBWI Alaska

in Partnership with
Alaska Writers Guild
and AK Chapter Romance Writers of America
Brings You
An AMAZING Line up of Presenters and Presentations


Keynotes with Laurie Halse Anderson and Eddie Gamarra

16 Breakout Workshops on
Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Marketing, Craft, Traditional, Self Publishing and More

Diversity Author Panel

Optional Intensives and Roundtable Critiques

One-On-One Manuscript Reviews
with Editors and Agents
(Spaces limited-these sell out-sign up soon!)

Illustrator Juried Art Show AND Portfolio Display

Book Sales

Delicious Lunch

Scholarships Available!

Click here to register and for full conference agenda and more information  

Check Out Our An Amazing Line up of Children and Teen Faculty

Rachel Orr
of Prospect Literary Agency

Friday Intensive: “Bad Writing” (for picture book authors)
Voice flat? Not unique? Struggling to find your niche in the market? We will purposefully rewrite great passages in published books poorly in order to better understand the distinction between a solid voice and a flat one that doesn’t grab reader’s attention and keep it.

Saturday Breakout: “Get on the Right Page” (for picture book authors AND illustrators)
Look at your story through the eyes of an agent and editor by learning to how to pace your story, or illustrations, with page turns. We will study the art of pagination by making dummies of our works-in-progress. Illustrators who are not authors can practice laying out other participants stories.

Rachel Orr: Prior to joining Prospect Agency in 2007, Rachel worked as an editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she had the pleasure of working with such successful novelists as Dan Gutman and Suzanne Williams. Because of her editorial background, Rachel continues to do a lot of hands-on work with her clients before sending their projects out on submission. Rachel loves working with clients who come from diverse backgrounds and have fresh perspectives to offer readers.You can read more about Rachel at You can also find her tweeting at @Rachelprospect.

Award Winning YA author
Laurie Halse Anderson
Keynote: Creativity is a Wild Mind and a Disciplined Eye
Laurie explores the roots of our creativity and how we can change our lives so that our creativity is being constantly nurtured, allowing us to do our best work.
Saturday Workshop: Historical Fiction: Blood, Bone, and History
A fast-paced, fact-heavy look at the special demands of researching and writing historical fiction. Bring your questions and the log jams that are holding back your research!
Friday Intensive: Revision Without Tears
A deep dive into the craft tools necessary to revise your work until it sparkles on the page. Laurie will use examples from her own work and welcomes questions.

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous international, national, and state awards. She has been nominated three times for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was also short-listed for the Carnegie medal.

Eddie  Gamarra
VP Studio Development at Nickelodeon
Gotham Group Literary Agent

Keynote: Mind Your Business, How Authors can Transform Publishing from the Inside Out
Presented with middle grade author Kat Shepard

Saturday Breakout: Book-to-Screen: The Roller Coaster of Film Adaptations
In this session, we will examine a variety of examples of book adaptations for screens big and small, and discuss creative, financial, legal, marketing, and other considerations involved in the process. 

Saturday Breakout: Adapting Your Book to a Screenplay
This session will be dedicated to guiding those interested in the art and craft and business of screenwriting broadly, as well as those interested in adapting their own work. We will discuss practical and personal pros and cons for each type of writing process. 

Former college professor, Gamarra, as VP Studio Development at Nickelodeon, will be in charge of developing animated and live-action content for streaming platforms and third-party players. He was also an executive producer of The Maze Runner trilogy, Disney+’s Stargirl and Netflix’s Wendell and Wild, from Henry Selick and Jordan Peele.

Kat Shepard
Middle Grade Author

Saturday Breakout: Writing a Series for Authors of Middle Grade and Young Adult
While landing a series might feel like the ultimate goal for some authors, creating one offers a unique set of challenges to consider. This session discusses both the drawbacks and the payoffs of the format. We’ll look at novel structure vs. series structure, pacing, character arcs, and world-building, as well as differences in marketing and building an audience.

Illustrator, Artist, Graphic Designer

Lucas Elliott

Friday Intensive: Let’s Lay it Out: Comic and Kidlit Page Design
Whether you’re creating your first picture book dummy, or you are scripting your first graphic novel, determining how your story flows from one page to another is important. With this intensive, we’ll go through the anatomy of what it takes to develop a strong sense of story through panel design, composition, and framing.

Lynn Lovegreen
YA Author
Saturday Breakout: Nuts and Bolts for KidLit Newbies!
Maybe you want to write a book, or you have one started. But questions are swirling in your mind. Can this idea really be a whole book? What sort of book is it? Picture Book? Middle Grade? YA?? What about finding a critique group? Where do I even start?? You’re not alone–we’ve all been there at one point. With the help of this session, hopefully you’ll gain the tools you need to guide you in the right direction.

Who can enter? ANYONE in the state of Alaska, not just attendees of the conference, and it is a HUGE opportunity for Alaskan illustrators to get their work in front of editors, agents, and authors looking for an illustrator. 

Prompt: “They spent a fine, long day together.”

Here’s what you need to do: Create 1 piece inspired by the prompt. Submit only your BEST work and stay true to yourself!

CRITERIA: The name of the game is CHILDREN’S BOOKS. This is not a fine art show. Our select judges will be looking for dynamic pieces that also fit into the realm of books for young readers.

See the Juried Art Show page for more details on criteria, formatting for submission, and how to register.

Deadline: you can register for the event up until September 17. We really hope you are going to show your work. We’d hate for you to miss out.

We do not accept responsibility for artwork, lost or damaged, during the weekend.

Artwork will be displayed all day Saturday at the conference.

Winners: Two categories: Best in Show and People’s Choice (which both win a $50 visa gift card).

QUESTIONS: Contact Jena Lasley:

If you are registered for the conference, you can submit one portfolio for FREE.  Though you do still need to register.

DO NOT submit original art!

There is no contest for Portfolios this year. More details on formatting, what to submit, and how to register will be on the Juried Art Show page as well.

We do not accept responsibility for portfolios or dummies, lost or damaged, during the weekend.

Portfolios will be displayed all day Saturday at the conference.

QUESTIONS: Contact Jena Lasley:



Deadline: August 31

CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIP:  SCBWI Scholarship Winner(s) will receive One (1) admission to the 2019 AWG/SCBWI Conference for Writers & Illustrators and One (1) Intensive.

TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP:  One (1) travel scholarship of $100 will be awarded to help defray travel expenses. This may be awarded to any scholarship applicant, not necessarily to the conference scholarship winner(s). See eligibility requirement #4 below.


1) Must be at least 18 years old and an Alaska resident.

2) Need not be a member of SCBWI, but MUST be an author or illustrator for children’s or teen literature.

3) Preference will be given to diverse applicants (under-represented, marginalized writers and #OwnVoices writers—if a writer’s main character is marginalized or under-represented, the writer belongs to that same group).

4) The travel scholarship is intended for applicants beyond commuting distance to Anchorage. Preference will be given to applicants who must fly in for the conference.


Please email the following material to Kirsten Randall at no later than midnight, August 31.

1) Sample of your writing or illustrating

Writers – A 250-word from the beginning of a work-in-progress. This must be for readers under 18-years-old.

Illustrators – One illustration. Anything goes as long as you drew it AND it is intended for viewers under 18-years old.

2) Why me?
Explain in 250 words or less of what getting the scholarship would mean to you. Topics could include what going to the conference would mean to you, what you hope to learn or experience, and how you would use the money saved.

3) For travel scholarship:
From where you are traveling.

3) Please follow these directions:

  • E-mail your application to Kirsten Randall at
  • Deadline August 31, 2019
  • Subject line of e-mail:  Scholarship – (Your name)
  • In the body of the e-mail:  Name, E-mail address, Telephone number
  • Attach as a SINGLE (one) DOC or DOCX your “application” to include #1 and 2, and #3 if applicable to email
  • Attachment in manuscript format, double-spaced in Times New Roman 12-point font with 1-inch margins
  • If you have an illustration, it should be pasted into the application document
  • Do not put your name anywhere inside the attachment (your scholarship application)
  • File name: Scholarship + four non-sequential numbers of your choice, e.g., scholarship2354.docx (avoid common number sequences like 1234).