Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


Date(s) - 05/02/2020
8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Park Towers Luxury Condo (home of Mary Jo Wilen)
1 Hughes Center Drive - Las Vegas, NV 89169

Annual Nevada Writers and Illustrators Conference

CANCELED DUE TO COVID – 19 Health Precautions. Refunds will be processed in the next few days.


Illustration by Sarah Elliott

Join us for a full day packed with craft and information for both writers and illustrators. We have a wonderful group of faculty to help you on your road toward creating great children’s books.

This conference is a little bit of everything. We’ll help you think like an agent, editor, and as a writer for illustrators, or as an illustrator for writers. From learning the secrets of the publishing business to polishing your manuscripts, and perfecting your queries with an opportunity to pitch, we’ve got you covered. So, join us and dive in.

We have 65 critique spots for you so that you can have your one-on-one with an agent, editor, or art director.


$155 early registration until Feb 29

$175 regular registration from Mar 1

$200 for non-member registration.

Critiques: $51



Hotel rates are available until April 1.

Click on this link for detailed FACULTY BIOS.


Keynote: Daria Peoples, Author-Illustrator

Daria Peoples-Riley is the author and illustrator of THIS IS IT and I GOT NEXT (Greenwillow/HarperCollins). She is also the illustrator of GLORIA TAKES A STAND by Jessica M. Rinker, a picture book biography about the life and work of Gloria Steinem (Bloomsbury). Daria is currently working on her next, untitled picture book, also with Greenwillow/HarperCollins.


Art Director:

Laurent Linn, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Writing Like an Illustrator & Illustrating Like a Writer
Whether you write or illustrate, crafting stories for children’s literature is all about storytelling. By challenging yourself to think differently, you can find new tools to tell your unique stories in a deeper way.

Sr. Exec. Editor:

Krista Marino, Delacorte, an imprint of PenguinRandomHouse (acquires MG & YA)

Thinking Like an Editor to Polish Your WIP

Ms. Marino will unveil a common tool that every publisher uses—to show how an editor needs to think while acquiring and how it can help a writer to revise their work. It pulls back the curtain a bit on the publishing side and also provides a new way of thinking about one’s work.



Claire Draper, The Bent Agency (accepts nonfiction, PB, MG, YA)

How to Write a Query
Have you ever struggled with writing a pitch? Couldn’t find the right words? We’re going to be talking about how to write a query. What to include, where, and why. I’ll be sharing some examples and we’ll walk through what works and what doesn’t.



Tricia Lawrence, Erin Murphy Literary Agency (accepts nonfiction, PB, MG, YA)

Writing Characters to Fall in Love With

A workshop-based focus on character motivation, based on one tip in Brandilyn Collins’ book, GETTING INTO CHARACTER: SEVEN SECRETS A NOVELIST CAN LEARN FROM ACTORS. Attendees will think about what motivates their main character, digging deep into how to use that motivation to write characters that feel alive on the page.



Janna Morishima, Janna Co. Literary and Illustration agency – accepts PB, graphic novels, visual stories.

Insider Secrets on How to Build a Successful Career
Curious to learn more about how agents and editors choose authors and illustrators to work with? Want to understand what it takes to stand out, and how to strategically build your career? In this presentation, get the scoop on how to find mentors, improve your work, and build a following so you have the best chance for success as a published writer or artist.




Critique pages are due by March 25, 2020 at 5pm PST. Please follow the formatting guidelines. For those receiving portfolio reviews, please bring your portfolio to the event.

Submit 10 pages plus a title page for written critiques for novels. If you are submitting a picture book, you may submit up to two PB text with a total word count of fewer than 1,000 words together; HOWEVER, you will only receive feedback on one of them.

Written critiques will also have and a 10-minute in-person meeting. Portfolio reviews are 15 minutes in-person. (Make sure to bring your portfolio to the conference.)



During this period of public health concerns, SCBWI had modified its cancellation/refund policy as follows:  If you are sick and cannot attend an event, you will be able to receive a full tuition refund up until the day of the event so that you can stay home, take care of yourself, and prevent the spread of illness.  This policy is in effect until September 1, 2020.   Be well.-19 worries.



8:00 Registration Checkin

8:15 Welcome

8:30 Keynote – Daria Peoples, Author-Illustrator

9:30 Krista Marino, Sr. Exec. Editor

10:30 Break

10:45 Agent Claire Draper

11:45 Lunch (Info session regarding NV Mentorship Program)

1:00 Laurent Linn, Art Director

2:00 Agent Janna Morishima

3:00 Agent Tricia Lawrence

4:00 Break

4:15 Publishing Industry Panel

5:00 Pitch to Panel

6:00 End of Conference

Individual Critique schedules will be posted.



There will be a section for portfolio display for those that want to show their work.



Park Towers is a luxury condominium complex with an event center. We are able to use the private event center because our member, Mary Jo Wilens, lives there and arranged it for us. It’s a beautiful, nonsmoking facility.



There is NO parking at Park Towers at Hughes Center; however, there is free parking all around the area that is less than 1 minute walk. (Do not park at Lawry’s). You must walk to the Park Tower. There is an elevator at Park Towers, but again, we will not have parking at the location.



370 Hughes Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89169

 Phone(702) 650-0040

We have 50 rooms blocked for the event. You must make a reservation BEFORE April 1, 2020. The hotel is four minutes’ walking distance from the conference location. It’s less than a block away. To receive the rate, you’ll need to tell them you’re with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (the full name, not the acronym).

The room rate is $129 per night plus tax. There is no resort fee. The rate is the same from April 29 – May 5. The special rate includes:

  1. Guest room Wi-Fi
  2. Complimentary self-parking
  3. Complimentary breakfast
  4. No resort fee which they normally charge $30 a day