Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Something Blue – Illustrator Conference

Date(s) - 05/21/2022
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Art by Robb Miller

Something Blue

Illustrator Online Conference May 21, 2022

Registration  Closes Thursday, May 19 at 5:00 PM

 Recordings will be available for 30 days after the conference


  • Cost for SCBWI Members: $25.00
  • Cost for Nonmembers: $50.00


**Payment can be made online during registration with a major credit card or sent by check to SCBWI Iowa, 6732 Northview Drive, Urbandale, IA 50322


Portfolio Reviews: 

Reviews are assigned as first-come-first-served basis and are $50.00 per portfolio review. 

  • Lucas Elliott (Illustrator): 10 portfolio reviews
  • Janine Hauber Le (Janine Le Literary Agency): 10 portfolio reviews
  • Eugenia Mello (Illustrator): 10 portfolio reviews
  • Kristen Nobles (Art Director at Charlesbridge): 10 portfolio reviews
  • Jessica Saint Jean (Agent at Jill Grinberg Literary Management): 10 portfolio reviews

For paid portfolio reviews, upload not more than 10 digital images to Wednesday, April 15 by 5:00 PM. Late submissions will be charged, but not critiqued. Your subject line should include your first and last name. 


Tentative Zoom Schedule (Central Time)

8:00 AM – Welcome 

8:15-9:15 AM, Janine Le- Show Me Your Vision: An agent’s perspective on preparing, revising, and querying picture book dummies and graphic novel pitch packets and on bringing others’ manuscripts to life

9:30-10:30 AM, Eugenia Mello – The Invisible Threads

Building a compass from intuition and trusting in the invisible threads that weave together a journey. A talk about the courage to insist on, the alchemy involved in our line of work and observations on how/when a certain kind of magic seems to manifest itself.

10:45 AM -11:45 PM, Kristen Nobles – Creating Evocative Images 

What makes a promotional postcard or website opening piece stand-out? How can you be sure your work resonates with an art director or editor? Most importantly, how do publishing teams make the leap from your portfolio to a book contract? I believe it’s all about memorable imagery. We’ll look at some of the visuals that have stayed with me over the years, and often led to contracts. They succeed not only due to content but also perspective, emotional connection, and palette choice. We’ll look at some of my favorites including specific visuals that led to Sophie Blackall and Jon Klassen’s first book deals.

12:30-1:30 PM, Jessica Saint Jean – Querying agents for illustrators.

Learn about preparing submission materials, researching agents – including how to find literary agents who rep illustrators – how to stay organized during the querying process, do’s and don’ts, etc. Understand the comparison between working with art reps and literary agents who rep illustrators, what to talk about on “the call” if an agent is interested in working with you, and some “shmagent” red flags. 

2:00-5:00 PM Lucas Elliott – Going Further to Refine your Design: A Procreate Workshop 

Join illustrator Lucas Elliott as he shares his experience with the program Procreate and learn how you can utilize this expansive program in your own art-senal. This session will focus on more intermediate uses of the program such as getting to know adjustment tools, playing with light and shadow, a splash of color theory and potentially more. This session is open to all, but recommended for intermediate users who have had some experience with the program. 


Lucas Elliott is an illustrator


Lucas Elliott – illustrator

Lucas Elliott is an illustrator in Anchorage, Alaska. His work has been published in the graphic novel “Moose”, IDW Comics, and Upper Deck Entertainment. He holds a BFA in Painting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and currently teaches Graphic Design & Illustration at the University of Alaska Anchorage. When he’s not working on his next book, You can find him adventuring with his wife and canine companion. You can find out more about him at his website





Janine Le launched the Janine Le Literary Agency


Janine Le – Janine Le Literary Agency

Janine Le launched the Janine Le Literary Agency, a full-service agency representing authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults. Janine brings to her new venture the classic training of over twelve years working closely with leading children’s book agents, experience supporting the various career needs of children’s book luminaries and debut creators alike, and an entrepreneurial spirit to meet today’s challenges. 



Eugenia Mello is an illustrator


Eugenia Mello – illustrator

Eugenia Mello is an illustrator and graphic designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina currently living and drawing in NYC. She studied Graphic Design at the University of Buenos Aires, where she also taught Design and Typography courses for several years.






Kristen Nobles – Art Director at Charlesbridge

Kristen Nobles has worked in children’s books for over twenty years as a Publisher, Art Director, and Designer at independent publishing houses including Candlewick Press, Chronicle Books, and Page Street Publishing. Currently, as an Art Director at Charlesbridge, she loves to collaborate with debut talent on strong characters, stories with heart, or a surprising spin on the tried-and-true subjects of kid books. She graduated from the University of Buffalo with degrees in Communication Design and Art History, and has pursued further studies at SVA, Harvard, and Mass Art. With 2 kids under 2.5 years old, Kristen spends her free time napping – at home near Providence, RI, or lakeside in her cozy Maine cottage. Visit




Jessica Saint Jean Jill Grinberg Literary Management


Jessica Saint Jean – Jill Grinberg Literary Management

Jessica Saint Jean is a literary agent representing visual storytellers. Prior to joining Jill Grinberg Literary Management in 2020, Jessica worked in the art department at Candlewick Press, where she was in charge of illustrator searches and negotiating illustrator contracts for 6 years. She started her career as an editor at Barefoot Books, enabling her to bring experience from both an art and editorial perspective to her role as an agent. Jessica earned her B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, and still lives in Massachusetts – though now a few miles north of downtown. She loves any excuse to make a color-coded spreadsheet, walk instead of drive, and start a new book.


For questions about registration, please contact Cindy Johnson at

International Members Only: If our payment system isn’t processing your credit card payment, email Cindy Johnson at to request an alternate method of payment. Please include your name and mailing address in your request.