Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2019 Mentorship Schedule

Date(s) - 05/03/2019 - 05/05/2019
12:00 am

Gold Coast Hotel & Casino
4000 W. Flamingo Rd - Las Vegas, NV 89103

If this is your first SCBWI conference, here is a helpful link to prepare for your attendance: Conference Dos and Don’ts


Friday, May 3 Mentorship Kick-off

3:00 pm Mentee and Mentor Registration – Meet in Salon C of Gold Coast Conference Center

Directions to Salon C – Follow signs to the Arizona-Nevada Ballroom. There is a large sign above the escalator. Salon C is to the left on the 2nd floor after you go up the escalator.

3:30 – 3:45 pm – Welcome

3:45 – 4:45 pm – Introductions – Mentees, Mentors, Agents, Editor

4:45 – 5:30 pm Mentors and Mentees meet and greet and plan their schedules. Agents and editor can leave and meet for cocktails at Red Zone earlier if desired.

Everyone meet at Red Zone for cocktails at 5:30 pm

Dinner at 6:15 pm – we’ll walk over to the buffet together. Port O’ Call Buffet – Steak & Shrimp dinner buffet night.

In-Person Critiques: If you have signed up for an in-person critique with an agent/editor, a schedule will be posted here a few days prior to the conference date.


Saturday, May 4

8:00 am Welcome

8:30 am Keynote – Erin Entrada Kelly: Use Your Voice – How to find and use your voice as a writer, and bring voice to your characters on the page.

9:30 am Agent- Hannah Mann: Standing Out Amongst the Outstanding – Focusing on the content of your manuscript for submission, learn what makes a great manuscript a cut above in the pile.

10:30 am Break

10:45 am First Pages – Round Table: All agents and author faculty will participate in moderating sessions (All faculty must be present)

12:00 pm (11:45am) Lunch (Prepaid vouchers. We’ll need to go together as a group to skip the line for mentees and all faculty.)

1:15 pm Agent- Quressa Robinson: The Art of Conflict and Personality – Using classic craft techniques and exercises, we’ll plot stories as well as develop existing and new characters. (Writing exercises during workshop)

2:15 pm Speed Pitch Practice: All agents and author faculty will participate in moderating sessions (All faculty must be present)

3:30 pm Agent – Karen Grencik: 101+ Reasons for Rejection – In this breakout session, we will cover the most common reasons for rejection and look at examples of real manuscripts and rejection letters. The handout gives actual reasons for rejection, which is not to discourage one but to show the in-depth analysis that each manuscript undergoes. By being aware of these examples, hopefully you can eliminate a few of the possible reasons for rejection before making your submissions.

4:30 pm – Agent & Editor Panel for Queries

5:30 pm – Author Book Signing (All signing authors must be present)

Book signing will be in Salon C. Barnes and Noble will have books for sale.

7:00 pm – Dinner at Ports O’ Call Buffet. We’ll meet for group entrance to skip the line. Only for faculty and mentees. Prime Rib dinner buffet night; however, there are numerous selections for everyone.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

(Faculty change on Sunday – Kait, DongWon, and Karen will be the publishing faculty. Quressa and Hannah will not be present.)

8:30 am Welcome

9:00 am Agent – DongWon Song: How to Pitch – This talk covers the fundamentals of how to pitch, not just for your first book, but as a life-long skill. We’ll discuss the role pitching plays as your career progresses and how it can support you at every stage of your career. We’ll go over the core elements of how to construct a pitch, the importance of comp titles, and some basic strategies for refining your hook.


Starting 10:00 am – we will have two tracks of presentations:

TRACK 1 – Writer-illustrators and Illustrators (If you write picture books, we suggest that you stay in this track to learn what happens with illustrators so you have a understanding of how picture books are made and critiqued.)

10:00 am Editor – Kait Feldmann:Reading Images: Components of Visual Storytelling – In this presentation geared towards illustrators and writer-illustrators, we will cover some exciting ways to use art as a narrative form. Come hungry to feast your eyes on lots and lots of picture books and graphic novels that play with components like page-turn, gutter, white space, paneling, perspective, color, and more!

11:00 am Picture Book Workshop with Arree Chung, Ken Lamug, and Kait Feldmann

12:15 pm Lunch (Prepaid vouchers. We’ll need to go together as a group to skip the line for mentees and all faculty.)

1:30 Continuation of Picture Book Workshop

2:45 End of Conference

6:00 dinner for mentors and Sunday faculty. TBA.

TRACK 2 – Writers 

10:00 am – Heather Petty: Query Writing Workshop

11:00 am – Jim Averbeck: Synopsis Writing Workshop

12:00 noon Lunch (11:45am)

1:15 pm – Critique of Synopsis and Queries: Karen Grencik and DongWon Song

2:45 pm End of Conference