Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

L.A. Writers Day 2019

Date(s) - 03/09/2019
8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Skirball Cultural Center
2701 North Sepulveda Blvd. - Los Angeles, CA 90049

Who’s Reading? Keeping It Fresh for Today’s Generation

When: Saturday, March 9th 2019
Where: Skirball Cultural Center – Magnin Auditorium and Hass Conference Center
Online registration will close: Friday, March 1st at 11:59pm. A limited number of walk-ins will be admitted on the day of the event.

Knowing your target audience sounds simple but are you really in touch with today’s readers – and editors? Our faculty will share insights, knowledge and advice to keep pace with those savvy end-users. Join us for a morning of keynotes and a panel and an afternoon of informational breakouts.

Extras and opportunities:

1. Written faculty review of your first 10 pages ($45 fee, deadline January 6th, 2019)
2. A free, pre-conference contest (deadline January 4th, 2019)
3. Instagram contest
4. Door prizes
5. Free parking
6. Lunch included

Click for information about:

Manuscript reviews ($45 fee)
The free writing contest
C. Harrington Scholarship

Please note: Two different volunteers are tracking the writing contest and the fee-based manuscript reviews. Therefore, your manuscript must be submitted to BOTH (at the appropriate email addresses) if you wish to participate in both.

– Early Bird Special (members only, before January 15th 11:59 p.m.): $120
– Regular Member (after January 15th): $135
– Non-Member: $175
– 10% discount will automatically apply for Student SCBWI members at check out.

Keynote Speakers:

Frances Gilbert
Dear Author: This Is Why I Rejected Your Manuscript
Learn from an editor the many reasons why picture book manuscripts get rejected – some of which you can address in your writing and pitches, some of which are entirely out of your hands. We all get rejected – now learn the real reason why!

Tamora Pierce
Teen Readers Are Infectious
How books are spread among families and friendships

Cornelia Funke
A Conversation with Cornelia Funke
Your chance to chat with this award-winning author, illustrator and philanthropist.

Panel Topic:

TMI: How Much is Too Much?
We all agree that children need stories to help them cope. But what exactly are they coping with these days and what books are they reaching for? A conversation with Lee Wind, Cathie Chenoweth, Mona White and Frances Gilbert.

Breakout Sessions (While registering for Writers Day, choose two of the following sessions to attend) :

Frances Gilbert
Inside the Publisher’s Office: How Your Book Gets Acquired, Developed, and Sold
What happens when your agent submits your manuscript? And what happens after it gets accepted? Go behind the scenes of one of the “Big Five” publishers and learn how a book moves from manuscript to book store shelves.

Tamora Pierce
Fantasy: It’s More Real Than You Think
How elements of the everyday world appear in fantasy.

Abigail Samoun
Where to Begin?
How to craft irresistible openers.

Alexis O’Neill
School Visits: Juicy Research and Best Practices
There’s fresh new research on the school visit front. Find out what can help you and your readers have engaging, meaningful, and memorable in-person experiences. This session is designed for published authors & illustrators or those who have a pub date for an upcoming book.

Meet the Faculty!

Frances Gilbert – Editor-in-Chief, Doubleday Books for Young Readers

Frances Gilbert started her career in children’s books when she was still a kid, working in the children’s department of her town library throughout high school. After graduating from university with an M.A. in English, Frances’s first job in publishing was as a Book Club Editor at Scholastic Canada in Toronto. She moved to New York in 2000 to set up a children’s editorial division at Sterling Publishing, where she stayed till 2012. Frances then moved to Random House Children’s Books, where she is Editor-in-Chief of Doubleday Books for Young Readers. Titles she has acquired and edited include: The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, by Mark Twain, Philip Stead, and Erin Stead; I Don’t Want to Be a Frog, by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt; the Hello, World! board book series, by Jill McDonald; and Wordy Birdy, by Tammi Sauer and Dave Mottram.

In addition to editing children’s books, Frances also writes them: She is the author of I Love Pink (Step Into Reading), an abridgment of The Secret Garden (Little Golden Books), and the forthcoming titles Go, Girls, Go! (Beach Lane/S&S); I Love My Tutu (Step Into Reading); and I Will Always Be Your Bunny (Doubleday). She lives in Brooklyn with her fuzzy cats Jack and Teddy. Her loves include: curling, swimming, tea, crime fiction, The Great British Bake-Off, Coronation Street, and musical theatre.

Tamora Pierce – Author

Tamora Pierce is the winner of the 2013 Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement in Young Adult Literature, the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, and the 2005 Skylark Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction. She is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of more than 28 fantasy novels for teenagers, and has been Guest of Honor at numerous conventions, including Worldcon 2016. She has written comic books, radio plays, articles, and short stories, and currently devotes her minimal free time to local feline rescue. Tortall: A Spy’s Guide, a collaborative effort with other experts on her Tortall universe, came out in October 2017. It was followed in February 2018 by the first in a three-book Tortall series, Tempests and Slaughter. Tammy lives in central New York with her husband Tim Liebe and their uncountable number of cats, two parakeets, and the various freeloading wildlife that reside in their back yard.  You may find her at, or on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Cornelia Funke – Storyteller and Illustrator

Cornelia Funke is published all over the world in so many languages, that she feels sometimes as if she got lost in her own stories. She is German but lives in Malibu, CA – and in all the worlds she explores with her readers. Some of Cornelia’s books include The Thief Lord, the Inkheart trilogy, Dragon Rider, Princess Pigsty and The Book No One Ever Read.

Abigail Samoun – Author and Co-Founder of Red Fox Literary

Abigail Samoun was an in-house children’s book editor for over ten years, working on a wide range of projects, from board books to young adult novels. Her books received such honors as the CCBC Charlotte Zolotow award, the New York Public Library Ezra Jack Keats award, and the Pura Belpre. In 2011, Abigail made the transition from editing to agenting, co-founding Red Fox Literary with Karen Grencik. She is the author several children’s books, including What’s In Your Purse? (Chronicle Books, 2014), The Little Traveler series (Sterling Publishing, 2014), and Mind Afire, an illustrated biography of inventor Nikola Tesla. Abigail lives in Sonoma, California, with her entomologist husband, two curious little boys, a chihuahua, and a gaggle of chickens.

Alexis O’Neill – Children’s Book Author, School Visit Expert, Writing Teacher

Since 2006, Alexis O’Neill’s column for the SCBWI Bulletin, “The Truth About School Visits,” has been helping authors and illustrators navigate the craft and business of doing school visits and other public appearances as has her blog, A veteran teacher and popular school visit presenter, Alexis is the author of The Recess Queen, The Kite That Bridged Two Nations, and other books. She was awarded the California Reading Association’s Dr. Marcus Foster Memorial Award for making significant and outstanding contributions to reading throughout California. You can find her at and

Cathie Chenoweth – School Liaison for the Los Angeles Public Library system

Cathie Chenoweth is the School Liaison for the Los Angeles Public Library system. Prior to her current position, she was an elementary school librarian and former elementary school teacher. She has earned her BA in Liberal Studies and Teaching Credentials from California State University Fullerton and her MLIS from San Jose State University.

Lee Wind – Author and Blogger

Lee Wind is the author of the young adult novel, Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill, named a BookLife Prize Semi-Finalist, one of Publishers Weekly’s Top Five Independently Published Middle Grade and Young Adult Books of 2018.

Lee is the founding blogger and publisher of I’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read?, an award-winning website about books, culture, and empowerment for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Questioning and Queer youth, and their Allies. For over 11 years, readers from 100-plus countries have racked up 2.6 million page views—and counting! 

In his “Clark Kent” jobs, Lee is the director of marketing and programming at the Independent Book Publishers Association and the official blogger for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. His Superhero job is writing, inspired by our world’s amazing—and untold—LGBTQ history. 

Lee lives in Los Angeles with his husband and their teenage daughter. Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill is his debut novel. Visit him online at

Mona White – Dean of Student Safety and Wellness for Las Virgenes Unified School District

Mona White is currently Dean of Student Safety and Wellness for Las Virgenes Unified School District. Her job encompasses wellness education, family and student counseling, drug and alcohol counseling, and program creation and implementation. As a licensed marriage and family therapist and formerly a middle school counselor, she has worked with children, teens and their families for over 30 years.

Nephele Tempest – Literary Agent at Knight Literary Agency

Nephele Tempest joined The Knight Agency in January, 2005, opening the Los Angeles-area office. As an agent, she works with a number of talented writers, assisting them to hone their skills and build their careers. Nephele comes from a diverse publishing and finance background, having previously worked on the editorial side of the business, as well as for several major New York investment firms as a financial advisor and later a financial marketing and communications writer. Her previous experience provided her with insight into multiple aspects of the publishing industry.

Nephele continues to actively build her client list and looks for work with both strong, well-developed characters and a story that pulls her in and won’t let go. She is seeking women’s fiction, historical fiction, single-title romance, fantasy and science fiction, and both young adult and middle grade fiction of any sub-genre.

Nephele Tempest is one of the faculty members helping with manuscript reviews.

Stephanie Guerdan – Assistant Editor at Harper Collins

Stephanie Guerdan came to HarperCollins in 2017 following jobs at a literary agency and as a bookseller. Some of the titles she has worked on include New York Times best-selling author Natalie Lloyd’s Problim Children trilogy, critically acclaimed author Tiffany D. Jackson’s sophomore novel Monday’s Not Coming, and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, the sequel to the Stonewall Honor-winning The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. She is interested primarily in middle grade and YA, especially in speculative genres and graphic novel formats, with a focus on inclusive stories from fresh voices.

Stephanie Guerdan is one of the faculty members helping with manuscript reviews. She will not be on-site the day of Writers Day.

Faculty for Writers Day 2019 is subject to change

Click here for the SCBWI anti-harassment policy


Please note: $30 administrative charge for refunds before the refund deadline of February 17, 2019. E-mail your refund request to the Los Angeles region:

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Ticket Information

Non-Member - $175.00

SCBWI Member - $135.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

10% discount will automatically apply for Student SCBWI members at check out.

Event Extras

Written Manuscript Review, Optional

    Breakout Session 1 - Choose your first breakout session to attend

            Breakout Session 2 - Choose your second breakout session to attend

                    Lunch Options - Lunch is included, choose one option

                          The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
                          To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
                          Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

                          You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


                          The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion.


                          The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.



                          Code of Conduct

                          All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, including faculty, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

                          • intimidation, stalking, or following.
                          • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
                          • Inappropriate physical contact.
                          • Unwelcome sexual attention.
                          • Abusive verbal comments.
                          • Quid pro quo– sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors.
                          • Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.


                          Reporting Procedures

                          Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:

                          • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.
                          • A complainant may submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
                          • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.


                          SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

                          If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



                          The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made under this policy. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.



                          SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.


                          Sanctions for faculty, speakers, staff or board members may include any of the following:


                          • warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
                          • immediate removal from a particular event;
                          • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;
                          • withholding of a contracted honorarium;
                          • prohibition from future speaking engagements;
                          • prohibition from future faculty appointments;
                          • expulsion from SCBWI; and/or
                          • removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.


                          Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

                          • warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
                          • immediate removal from a particular event, without refund;
                          • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
                          • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
                          • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.


                          If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will handle utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



                          SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties and witnesses. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.



                          If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.


                          If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "anti-harassment policy" in the subject line.

                          I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.