Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Conference Details

Please read through these conference details carefully.

Illustration by Julien Chung,


Montreal, Quebec, can be reached via many major airlines (Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport), by train (VIA Rail), and by bus (Greyhound). Our conference venue, the Holiday Inn Montreal Centre-Ville, is located right downtown, on the edge of Old Montreal and Chinatown at 999 St-Urbain, Montreal QC H2Z 0B4.



Need a place to stay while attending the conference? We have negotiated a special rate of $210 per night at the Holiday Inn Montreal Centre-Ville that applies to either single or double occupancy. If you want to bunk in with more roomies, the rates are $230 for triple occupancy or $250 for quadruple. You must book your rooms directly with the Holiday Inn Montreal Centre-Ville by April 26th. Phone 514-878-9888 or 888-878-9888 and give group code SCZ.

Illustration by June Steube,



The conference fee includes coffee and tea on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Special dietary needs must be brought to our attention at the time of registration. We will do our best to accommodate them, but cannot offer a guarantee. Contact Alma Fullerton at to discuss your dietary needs.



Illustration by Annette Gaffney,

On Friday evening, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., conference attendees are invited to kick off the conference by gathering with fellow attendees in the bar area of the Holiday Inn (just off the lobby) for an informal get-together. Illustrators are encouraged to set up their portfolios. Space will be available for authors and illustrators to share promotional materials, but as it is limited we ask that you keep them to a small stack, to leave room for others.



Illustration by Ellie Arscott,

Limited numbers of one-on-one manuscript critiques from one of our speakers or with a published author are available to conference attendees, for an additional fee. Critique fees must be paid with registration and cannot be refunded. If you request two critiques, we will do our best to accommodate both. (Note that a few long-distance critiques with editor Elizabeth Law of Holiday House are available for members unable to attend the conference. To sign up for one of these, just select “Distance crititque only” on the registration form.)

SCBWI members receive priority. No requests for consultation with a particular faculty member will be considered.

For novels, send no more than 10 manuscript pages, plus a one-page synopsis. For picture books (or shorter works), send only one manuscript, which cannot exceed 10 pages.

Manuscripts must be received no later than April 15, 2019. Please email them to

NOTE: Submissions MUST be sent attached as a Word doc in one file, and they must be in a standard, submission-ready format, i.e., double-spaced, in an easy-to-read 12pt font. Note that a properly formatted manuscript page is approximately 250 words. DO NOT play with your spacing, font, tabs, or margins to fit more text onto the page. If you fail to follow these guidelines, we reserve the right to refuse you a critique.



Illustration by Katherine Battersby,

The first page of your manuscript is what will capture (or not) an editor or agent’s interest. You will have an optional pre-conference opportunity to participate online in a “polish and shine” critique session with your fellow attendees. By workshopping your manuscript with fellow conference-goers before the deadline, you can submit a better piece of work for your one-on-one critique or the First Pages session.



Limited numbers of one-on-one portfolio critiques with one of our speakers are available, for an additional fee. Critique fees must be paid with registration and cannot be refunded. SCBWI members receive priority.

Bring your portfolio to the conference. We will not be held responsible for any damage to or loss of materials brought to the event.


Illustration by Anika A. Wolf,


In addition to the optional one-on-one portfolio critiques offered at the conference itself, there will be a pre-conference illustration assignment. It is optional, but is an excellent opportunity. You must have access to the internet to participate.



If you’ve never done this before, you’re in for a treat. First pages or short pitches submitted by attendees will be read aloud–publicly and anonymously–and the faculty will be invited to comment. Is this a manuscript they would keep on reading? Is an idea presented that intrigues them? What needs improvement before this work is actually submitted?

This is the closest you’ll ever get to knowing what goes through the mind of an agent or editor when your submission crosses their desk for the first time. Bear in mind that any work shared in this session is completely new to both faculty members and the volunteer reader, none of whom will have ever seen it before.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE, then no later than May 15, 2019, you may submit either or both of the following:

Illustration by Alice Carter,

• The FIRST PAGE of a manuscript, double-spaced, in a readable font no smaller than 12p. Do not send a page from a manuscript you are submitting for a one-on-one critique. At the top of the page, please indicate that the submission is a first page, and give its genre. You may submit a first page for more than one manuscript, on different pages.

• A PITCH PARAGRAPH that describes your book project (maximum: 200 words). At the top of the page, please indicate that it is a pitch paragraph. You may submit more than one pitch paragraph, on different pages.

Do not put your name on your submissions, as selected pages and paragraphs will be read aloud anonymously to the audience. As we cannot predict how many pieces will be submitted, we cannot guarantee that all will be heard.

Please email your submissions to


Illustration by Ellie Arscott,


We will be holding a silent auction to help offset the cost of this event. We will gratefully accept donated items for the auction. Please bring them to the event. Donations can be handmade or store-bought, serious or funny, book-related or not!



Books suggested by our speakers, or written or illustrated by members, will be offered for sale during the conference by Montreal’s children’s bookstore, Livres Babar Books, located in Pointe-Claire at 46 Sainte-Anne. To participate in the book sale, please fill out the Book Sale Information Form by April 1.



Illustration by Annette Gaffney,

All those who have registered and paid by March 15, 2019 will be entered into a draw for a chance to win an amazing prize: a one-on-one pitch session with literary agent Erin Murphy. Don’t walk. Run!

But don’t fret if you don’t win the draw. We are also holding a competition for five additional one-on-one pitch opportunities. To enter, send an email to, with the subject line “Art of Story Pitch Session Contest” by April 30, 2019. Place your pitch in the body of the email. The authors of the five best entries will present their pitches one-on-one to Erin during the Art of Story conference.






Please see the registration form for conference fees. Fees can be paid by cheque or money order in Canadian dollars (made payable to “SCBWI Canada East”), or by credit or debit card through PayPal. If paying by PayPal, you must register for the conference online at If you wish to use another method of payment, please email to discuss other options.

Member rates are only available to those whose SCBWI memberships are valid at the time of registration.

If you wish to split up your payments, please email to arrange details before attempting to register.

Illustration by June Steube,

No refunds will be given after May 13.

Member conference fee $385
Member one-on-one manuscript critiques $50 (1 critique)
$100 (2 critiques)
Member one-on-one portfolio critiques $50
Non-member conference fee $430
Non-member one-on-one manuscript critiques $60 (1 critique)
$120 (2 critiques)
Non-member one-on-one portfolio critiques $60


Illustration by Alice Carter,