Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Dummy Day 2020

Date(s) - 12/06/2020
9:00 am - 3:00 pm

ILLUSTRATORS—Save the date!

Sunday, December 6th is “Dummy Day,” 9:00 am to 3:00pm on Zoom.

Dummy Day is back! Hear two inspiring, deep-dive presentations on the craft of creating a book dummy. Long-time veteran of the book publishing industry, Joy Chu, and author/illustrator/animator, J.R. Krause, will talk about “Making Your Opening Scene Irresistible” and “Pacing Your Picture Book Dummy”.

Are you in the midst of creating a picture book and wanting feedback? Add the OPTIONAL breakout critique and get fresh eyes on your work-in-progress in a small group led by a publishing professional. Critique group space is limited.

Morning Session: $15
Afternoon Critique Session (optional): Additional $25
You must sign up for the morning session in order to attend the critique session.


Date: Sunday, December 6



9:30am – 10:30am
Presentation: “Making Your Opening Scene Irresistible” with Joy Chu, followed by Q&A.

10:45am – 11:45am
Presentation: “Pacing Your Picture Book Dummy” with J.R. Krause, followed by Q&A.

Afternoon (optional)

1:00pm – 3:00pm
Critique group breakout session. Each critique group will be led by a faculty member or PAL author/illustrator.
Space is limited for the critique groups so sign up early. We may be able to add more space if the critique sessions fill, so make sure to sign up for the waitlist if it is already sold out.

If you choose to join us for the afternoon critique session, PDFs of your dummy must be sent to by December 1st at 11:59pm to ensure smooth running of the on-the-spot critiques.

Make sure your dummy opens as side-by-side pages with the odd-numbered page on the right. It does not have to contain any color illustrations or even be completed. Even text only is fine. You may also send in a storyboard layout or manuscript ready for dummying.

Please label your dummy pdf with your last name, underscore, first name, underscore, the letter for the stage your dummy is currently in; C (complete), P (partial), T (thumbnails), or M (manuscript or word dummy).
For example: lastname_firstname_C.pdf
Please use the name with which you registered, and mark the stage your dummy is in when you send it, even if it is different than what you marked when registering.

While registering for Dummy Day, choose the current state of your dummy. This will help us divide you into groups:

• Completed dummy (text and all sketches)
• Partial dummy (text and some sketches)
• Thumbnails (text and storyboard/thumbnail layouts)
• Manuscript only (partial or complete text, ready to paginate and thumbnail)

This event is for all levels of experience. Below are some resources:

A dummy is a mock-up of the book in black-and-white sketches, most often 32 pages long. Odd numbers should be on the right-hand page. The main story text usually starts on page 5, although pictures leading into the story may start on the front matter pages. There are many exceptions, but a typical 32-page book is laid out thus: Page 1 is the title page, page 2 & 3 are for copyright info and dedication, followed by fourteen double-page spreads and a single final page.

The Illustrator Guide in SCBWI’s The Book starts on page 15:

Debbie Ohi offers a variety of downloadable thumbnail templates here:

Dummy Day Faculty

Joy Chu teaches classes on children’s book illustration and portfolio development at UCSD Extension. A long-time veteran of the book publishing industry, she has art directed and designed thousands of books. She works with many international illustrators and publishers, most recently Levine Querido, Scholastic, and Gallaudet University Press. Prior to running her own studio, she was art director for children’s and adult trade books at Harcourt in San Diego; and in-house designer at Holt, Crowell/HarperCollins, and Knopf, in New York. Her books have garnered awards from the AIGA, ALA, SCBWI, and Publishers Weekly. She currently serves as an advisor for the San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books, and is on the Board of Advisors for the Children’s Book Writing & Illustration Certificate Programs at UC San Diego Extension. To learn more visit Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter @JoyC_sez and Instagram @JoyToTheNthPower.

J. R. Krause’s career as a narrative artist spans three decades. His PBs have been featured in The Boston Globe, BookPage, Kirkus, the Picturebooking Podcast, and the SCBWI Bulletin. His most recent PB Dragon Night is an Indie Next selection, an Amazon Best of 2019 So Far, and one of 10 Books You Should Read In 2019 by the Southern California Booksellers Association. He is also the illustrator and co-author of Poco Loco! and Happy Birthday, Poco Loco!, both written with Maria Chua. Since graduating from Rhode Island School of Design he has worked on many television shows including 500+ episodes of The Simpsons. To learn more visit, Twitter @jrkrausebooks and Instagram @j.r.krause.

SCBWI Members only.

No refunds.

This event will not be recorded.