Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Who is the Conference contact for email questions?

Please first read through our sidebar pages. If you don’t see your question answered, you may contact Assistant Regional Advisor, Natasha Yim.

Please remember that our regional conference is run completely by volunteers. We will get back to you as soon as we can.


If I stay overnight to attend the conference, do you have a hotel recommendation?

We suggest that you consider the San Ramon Marriott as it’s only a short walk to the conference center and walking distance from restaurants. Make your reservation early as rooms will sell out.


I have never been to an SCBWI conference. What is the polite way to approach an editor or agent?

Please don’t hand manuscripts or illustrations to the faculty. Only offer information about your work, if asked. The faculty submission guidelines will be in your conference folder. Click here to see excellent tips for a new conference attendee from SCBWI National Conference Blogger Jane Makuch. (You must be online as the link is to a web page.) Check out our policy page on the sidebar for more information.


What is the Conference website URL?

What conference workshop sessions should I attend?

Please look at the titles of the topics for the speakers to determine which breakout sessions are best for your needs, level, and experience in children’s writing. Once you have selected your sessions, you will not be able to change prior to the conference.

If you would like to change a session during the conference, please check with the information desk. You may be able to trade to a different session, pending space.


What if something happens and I am unable to attend the conference? 

Please see our cancellation policy in the right hand side bar of the registration home page. Refunds will only be given in case of military service or a death in the family.

The critique fee is non-refundable and you will not receive a critique if you miss the July 13, 2019, electronic submission deadline or cancel out of the conference.


I need accommodations for handicapped use at Bishop Ranch. Are there any?

Bishop Ranch is a flat, easily-accessible area. If you have more concerns, please email our Assistant Regional Advisor, Natasha Yim.


Can I bring a friend or my children (who will be very quiet.)

All attendees are required to pay the registration fee. We do not provide childcare. Children under the age of 18 are not eligible to attend due to insurance considerations.


I signed up for a manuscript critique and have not received my guidelines and who to send it to yet.

The guidelines for written and illustrator submissions are posted on the conference web site. See the sidebar on the right for direct links.


I am not a PAL (Published and Listed) SCBWI member but have had a book published recently. May I still participate in the bookseller event?

Yes, you may. Please see the Published Attendee Book Sale Guidelines link on the sidebar to the right of the conference home page for detailed instruction.


I am a PAL member and have a book published. Where do I sign up to participate in bookseller event?

The guidelines for PAL book submissions are posted on the conference web site. See the right hand sidebar for links to more information.


I am having trouble registering.

We are using SCBWI registration software. If you are an SCBWI member, make sure that you are logged into your SCBWI member account to receive the SCBWI conference rate.

Be sure to continue to click and scroll through all screens, including the Anti-Harassment policy. Next, click the green button at the bottom to submit your credit card information.

If you are still having difficulty, please email our Assistant Regional Advisor, Natasha Yim.


Will the lunch have gluten-free options or handle specific requests for food allergies or dietary needs? 

Yes, the lunch buffet will include gluten-free and vegetarian options. For more food guidelines, please see the sidebar information.


I have a blog. Can I blog a report on the speaker presentations? 

Please see the SCBWI policy on our conference website. If you meet the criteria, you are welcome to share comments on social media using this hashtag: #SCBWIOktfest19


What if I have to leave before the conference ends, how do I get my critique?

If you need to leave early, please give Kathy Urban, our manuscript submissions coordinator, an 8 x 11” self-addressed envelope with $1.50 postage OR have someone pick up your critique for you.


I am trying to join a critique group or put together a critique group. Will there be an opportunity to sign up for a group or network?

Our conference is a very full day. If you would like to join a critique group, please reach out after the conference to our CritConnect/Critique Group/New Member Coordinator, Nanette Heffernan.


After registration, will I receive more information about the conference?

You will receive multiple mailers regarding our conference throughout the next few months. Keep an eye on your inbox. The conference webpage will be updated to reflect any changes and/or additions, so please check in as often as you’d like. You’ll also receive a folder the day of the event with conference particulars.


Where am I supposed to park?

Free parking for Bishop Ranch Roundhouse Conference Center will be available. Please check the sidebar on the right side of the conference homepage for detailed information about our new venue.


What should I wear and what should I bring?

We recommend professional casual attire as you will be meeting members of the industry. Please bring your own water bottle and refill as needed. A notepad and pen will be your best friend as ideas come fast and furious! If you have food or drink (other than water) that you bring from home, please consume it outside due to conference rules.


I am self-published. Can I bring my book?

See Published Attendee Book Sale Guidelines on the sidebar on the right hand side of the conference home page if you would like to have your book sold on consignment through our bookstore. If you miss the submission deadline, please do not bring books with you. You are welcome to display bookmarks and/or postcards of your self-published work on our Free Stuff table. If you do not remove it at the end of the day, it will be thrown away.


I’m an SCBWI member and run private classes. Can I share my information at the conference?

You may put your information on the Free Stuff table. Please respect our attendees by not personally soliciting for your private activities. You must retrieve your information or it will be discarded at the end of the conference. For more information, please refer to the right hand sidebar on the conference home page under Cancellations, Refunds, and Policies.

Schedule Subject to Change Without Notice.

Thank you to John Ledda for our gorgeous conference masthead!