Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Inside Scoop! SCBWI-Iowa Fall Conference

Unleash your storytelling superpower and enthusiasm for children's literature!

Want to get better at your craft? Share work with an editor or agent? Have lunch with an award-winning author? If so, we have a conference for you! 

On October 13-14-15 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, SCBWI-IA is hosting an illustrator workshop, followed by a weekend conference extravaganza. The event features critiques, portfolio reviews, individual story meetings, first pages, a roundtable workshop, a story slam evening, a book signing hosted by Barnes & Noble, orientation for newcomers, hands-on presentations, and much more. The event is open to members and non-members alike–anyone who wants to make great books!

What are the benefits of coming to one of Iowa's SCBWI conferences? With under 100 attendees, you'll have a great opportunity to get to know speakers, published authors/illustrators, and like-minded kid-lit enthusiasts. Check out our great line-up of people. For complete details, visit the website:

Coming to Cedar Rapids!

Lisa Cron           story genius           wired for story

We have incredible speakers, including a 6-hour workshop with Lisa Cron on the art of storytelling. It will be packed with information, writing exercises, tips and much more. Lisa, a best-selling author and international teacher of writing, was received like a rock star when she spoke at the Wild, Wild Midwest Conference in 2016. Now she'll bring her expertise to Iowa. (On top of that, she has Iowa roots!)

Jill Santopolo          the light we lost (written)tangle(edited)

Author/editor Jill Santopolo is currently the Editorial Director at Philomel Books. Her expertise includes everything from PB to YA, and she's an adjunct writing instructor. She's edited several award-winning books and written an international best seller! Come hear what she has to say about the business of writing. 

Jennifer Soloway           

Agent Jennifer Soloway is currently building her list. She's looking for everything from PB to YA. Jennifer has an MFA in English and Creative Writing and a background in marketing. This combination makes her the perfect person to help you polish and sell your work. Jennifer is accepting Story Doctor meetings.

John Sandford          john 2            john 1

The incredible John Sandford is offering the contest of a lifetime! He's giving the illustrators an assignment, and the winner will have an illustration published in FACES magazine. The contract comes with a payment of $1500. John, also a published writer and illustrator, will present to the whole group during a lunch-and-learn. John is also conducting individual Portfolio Reviews. (Illustrations above by John)

Off-Site, but Near to Our Hearts!

In addition, we have three off-site critique readers who bring their own energy and ideas to the virtual table…


Emily Feinberg is an Associate Editor of Roaring Brook Press. This up-and-comer is seeking NF of all sorts, picture books, chapter books and middle grades. In addition to editing, she's a Highlights Foundation staff member and has master degrees in Children's and English Lit.

carrie           Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 10.35.27 AM

I had the pleasure of meeting Carrie Howland at SCBWI-NY and became reacquainted when Writers & Poets ran an article on people to watch. As an agent at Empire Literary, she's seeking PB, MG, YA and adult fiction and non-fiction. She holds a degree in English and creative writing, and she's a published poet.

renee 2              renee hooker

Renee Hooker was highly recommended by the beloved Karl Jones, who attended Iowa's 2016 fall conference. Renee is an Associate Editor at Grosset & Dunlap. She is especially interested in picture books, chapter books, and nonfiction. She loves characters who break the mold and stories that are uplifting and funny.

We Love Our Iowa Authors!

Sarvinder           Linda Skeers conf          Calla

Featuring Sarvinder Naberhaus, Linda Skeers, and Calla Devlin, this year's breakout sessions have something for every genre! All three authors have exciting, new books coming out in the areas of nonfiction, young picture book, and young adult. These hands-on breakouts will have you writing and thinking about your own work. 

jill esbaum          Susan new 3

In addition, a few more familiar faces will be helping out with First Pages and/or Critiques, including Susan Schmid and Jill Esbaum. Susan has an acclaimed new series called 100 Magic Dresses. Jill writes both non-fiction and fiction picture books and has over 30 books published or under contract. Both of these award-winning authors will share their inspiring talents.

Now, all we need is YOU! From the earliest picture book writer to the YA market, there's something for everyone at this event. We hope to see you there.

To register, view the full schedule or learn more details, please visit the website: v= 

Email with any questions you might have.