Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustrator Intensive–Friday



     1:00 p.m. WELCOME
               Dorothia Rohner

    1:00-3:00 p.m. INTENSIVE 

     3:00-3:30 p.m. LIGHT SNACK


PDF Illustrator Intensive + Conference General OCTOBER 13-14-15 2017 BROCHURE 


     Please find an overview below. More information will be provided via Dropbox after individuals register.




Welcome to the Iowa SCBWI Illustrator Intensive!

John Sandford Art Director – Cricket Media








There will be a Grand Prize Winner from this year’s Illustrator Intensive.

The winner will be assigned to illustrate a folktale story for Faces Magazine in 2018 ($1500 fee) 


Early Registration Opens July 25th. 
1st Sketches Due: August 31, 2017

(Limit: 20 + or – a few)


Your challenge is to illustrate a short story to demonstrate your storytelling, composition, and art skills. 

The story was previously published in Faces magazine, one of Cricket Medias’ children’s magazines. 

Faces, for children 8 to 12 years old, is about people, countries, and cultures of the world, featuring a different place 

or people in each issue. 


You will be illustrating a  4-page folktale from a theme country – an opportunity to add color and texture to the magazine with
illustration – 
an imaginative departure from the non-fiction photography used in the rest of the magazine. 


This story chosen is from ancient Peru: 

WANAMEY – The Tree of Life

This story is 4 pages/2 spreads long. 


(After you register you will be linked to a Dropbox Folder with the story, detailed information and the layout for each of the spreads.)


Register right away so you can get started. 

Rough Pencil Sketches Due: August 31, 2017





    • Redesign the 4 pages/2 spreads any way you wish to tell the story

    • reset text block widths and lengths 

    • make room for borders

    • group text blocks to allow for a full page for art

    • replace the main title lettering with a font or hand-lettering of your own

    • flood the pages with color

    • add a dark background if that suits, making sure the text will read – white text on dark, in a little heavier font weight



    • Illustration is traditionally intended to supply images for action and items literally described. 

        The illustrator as storyteller, however, can use suggestion, inference, symbols, to add meaning or foreshadowing
        what’s about to happen, or something that’s in a character’s mind, etc. This is incredible power!  When images
        work with the story, the reader’s brain is firing on several levels as their imagination starts filling in the rest of that

    • Consider researching Peruvian art, design, textiles, clothing, tools, housing, animals, etc. to help add authority and
        voice to your art.   

    • Keep the flow of the story in mind, playing up important points.

    • Try to keep us a little off-balance, in that this should not be predictable. We want the reader to follow this to the end.



Pencils for the 4 pages/2 spreads due August 31

    Your drawings can be done traditionally using the PDF or JPG’s as layouts or Digitally using the InDesign


    You do NOT need to make pencils beautiful – only readable. Very rough drawings will suffice for composition.


    UPLOAD  your pencils for 4 pages/2 spreads as one document PDF, (SMALL setting for PDF) to:


        DROPBOX FOLDER>Pencil Sketches DUE AUG. 31,2017


RESPONSE: September 2 to September 10

    John will add notes about your pencils in the DROPBOX Comment area. 


    John will highlight one piece to finish for the Illustrator Intensive in October.



    Bring finished art to Cedar Rapids

    Bring a printout of your pencils



* Your finished art will be judged with your pencils.

* One Grand Prize Winner will be selected.

* The Grand Prize Winner will be assigned to illustrate a folktale story for Faces Magazine in 2018 ($1500 fee). 

* The Grand Prize Winner, if they wish, may wear a laurel wreath or a wreath fashioned from paper laurels.

* The Grand Prize Winner may use the honorific initials behind or below their name in correspondence, business cards,

            Christmas cards and stationery:

If anyone asks, that's …
Grand Prize Winner of the Illustrator's Intensive, Iowa Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators   

Beyond that:

    • Be published in a Cricket Media magazine, and have other art directors view their work. There are 11 magazines.

    • Folktale sample appropriate to children's picture books

    • Viewed all over North America

    • A blurb in the magazine about this award and you, the Grand Prize Winner

    • Possibly SCBWI will make some noise as well!!!

    • Be the object of respect, admiration, envy, jealousy, and the attentions of obsequious sycophants

    • Be able to sign name with the much coveted honorific initials

Click here to REGISTER


Questions? Contact Dorothia Rohner (Illustrator Coordinator-Iowa SCBWI):