Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2017 Fall Retreat Conference SCBWI-Wisconsin

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Date(s) - 09/15/2017 - 09/17/2017
12:00 am

Chula Vista Resort
2501 River Rd - Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965


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SCBWI Wisconsin Fall Retreat INFO

Experiment and Play Logo



Experiment & Play

Conference registration icludes all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast.

Members: Early Bird $275 (through July 15), then $300 (July 16-August 31)

Non-Member: Early Bird $325 (through July 15), then $350 (July 16 – August 31)


Online Registration HERE  

 Mail-In Registration HERE  

For the schedule of events, faculty bios, critique info, and art contests & book store opportunities, please visit our 2017 Fall Retreat website.



We are bringing in eight national keynote speakers:

Editor from Sky Pony Press Alison Weiss

Editorial Director from Millbrook Press (Lerner Publishing Group) Carol Hinz

Art Director from Little, Brown Books Saho Fujii

Associate Agent from Janklow & Nesbit Associates Wendi Gu

Editor in Chief for the Wisconsin Historical Society Kate Thompson

Author & Executive Director of SCBWII, Lin Oliver

Author, Songwriter, and Performe Mary Amato

Author & Illustrator, Eliza Wheeler

For the schedule of events, descriptions of presentations, faculty bios, critique info, and art contests & book store opportunities, please visit our 2017 Fall Retreat website.


In addition, we’ve snagged several award-winning author & illustrator presenters:

Silvia Acevedo
Ann Angel
Valerie Biel
Tricia Clasen
Judy Dodge Cummings
Melissa Gorzelanczyk
Jacqueline Houtman
Lora Hyler
Sheri Roloff
Jeanne Styczinski
Pat Zietlow Miller

* Faculty subject to change without notice
For the schedule of events, descriptions of presentations, faculty bios, critique info, and art contests & book store opportunities, please visit our 2017 Fall Retreat website.


Optional Friday Intensives, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – cost is $15 (includes lunch, choose one)

We're also offering a Friday Intensive for people who want…


A Play Date, a series of presentations and roundtables featuring activities and prompts to get the ideas flowing. Led by Ingrid Kallick, Miranda Paul, and Andrea Skyberg. A limited number of spaces are available. Open to all conference attendees.

Work Party, a series of presentations, and writing prompts to get some real writing done. Led by Melissa Gorzelanczyk and Silvia Acevedo. A limited number of spaces are available. Open to all conference attendees.

Friday evening

Art Contest
SCBWI member illustrators attending the conference are invited to exhibit an unpublished illustration of three scenes in a sequence using the prompt GAME ON! The artwork should include the following objectives:

  • Show a sequence of three narratively connected scenes.
  • Show interaction of characters, suggesting a game.
  • Include the use humor and be creative.
The final artwork should be displayed on board with rigid backing, maximum 18” in any dimension so that it can be easily displayed on a small tabletop easel or book stand, which should be provided by the artist. The displayed illustrations will be judged by Art Director Saho Fuji and the winner will receive discounted admission to either the Spring Luncheon or the 2018 Fall Conference.








Portfolio Display
The illustrator's portfolio and one dummy, along with postcards or business cards can also be displayed in front of the contest piece. Even if you're not participating in the contest, you can still show your portfolio. There is no extra charge, but you must register for this when you register for the conference. 

Art Work Drop Off
Please drop off your mounted illustration, your own small tabletop easel labeled with your name, your portfolio and postcards (optional) in the Grand Ballroom Lobby before 5pm on Friday. Bring a color copy of your illustration – not the original – as we cannot guarantee the safety of your work. Art Show or Contest questions, please contact Illustrator Coordinator Ingrid Kallick at










Saturday evening

Whip up a tasty homemade dessert (based on a kidlit book) to share for our Get (Kid) Lit: Books, Beverages, and Beats boat cruise social. This 3-hour long desserts & drinks boat cruise will tour us down the Wisconsin River on the Clipper Winnebago—an open air work of art that features an onboard restroom and stereo system, so bring your dancing shoes! 

When we return to Chula Vista following the boat cruise, join us for the afterparty, where you can mingle with fellow writers and illustrators, and share your stories at the open mic session taking place in the Grand Ballroom. There might even be a chance for some karaoke.



This year, we’ll be offering the chance to purchase multiple/additional critiques, as we’ve received feedback from our prolific writers, many of whom work across genres/categories. Manuscript submission are due by August 6th. When you register for a critique, you must indicate what genre the manuscript will be (PB=Picture Book, MG=MidGrade, YA=Young Adult, GN=Graphic Novel, IL=Illustrator Portfolio, BD=Book Dummy)

In-Person Critique with National Faculty 
$50 for in-person, national faculty critique (limit ONE, first 70 w/correct formatting and received on time are guaranteed a national faculty critiquer)
Portfolio or Book Dummy Review
$50 for in-person, portfolio review (limit ONE, first 10 to purchase are guaranteed an art director reviewer)
Written Critique
$35 for additional written manuscript critiques (limit 3, must also have purchased one in-person critique to be able to purchase written critiques).








* No refunds will be granted for manuscript critiques or portfolio reviews. All manuscripts must be received via email by August 6, 2017. More info available on the Member Extras tab.










Chula Vista Resort
2501 River Rd. 
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
(855) 388-4782

We have a block of hotel rooms reserved at a rate of $99/night. Rooms in the Chula Vista, the location of all conference keynotes and breakouts, are junior suites, which are equipped with a fridge and microwave. This facility is handicap accessible. Chula Vista Resorts offers a waterpark, and includes multiple restaurants, cafe, bar, and even a spa! Please call the Chula Vista Resort at (855) 388-4782 before August 1st and mention you’re with the SCBWI Writing Retreat to receive the discounted rate and select your room type. We recommend reserving your hotel rooms early, even before you register. You can reserve your hotel room today if you want to!


All meals from Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast are included in your registration fee.

All meals will be served in the Chula Vista. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets will be accommodated with options. If you have additional medical or allergic diet needs, please mark the appropriate box and provide details when you register.

Attending participants may showcase ONE title in the conference book store. 
RULESThe book must have been released within the last 12 months. Self or traditionally published books are both accepted, however the book must be for children or teens, or on the craft of writing/illustrating. One title per person. If the bookstore is unable to get your book, you will be contacted with an option to bring your own copies. Book information (ISBN, Title, Release Date) is due by August 21, 2017. An email will be sent to you with instructions for submitting your book after July 15th.
















Audio taping, videotaping, and/or transmitting any part of this conference is prohibited. The presentations and handouts are copyrighted and may not be reprinted, blogged, tweeted, or reproduced in any way without written permission of the copyright holder. You may share your thoughts about the conference and some brief quotes, but please respect our speakers and the copyright law by not giving away detailed notes. Thank you for your professionalism.
Cancellation must be before August 20th.
  • All cancellations incur a $20 processing fee. 
  • Only registration and intensive fees may be refunded. 
  • No refunds will be granted for manuscript critiques or portfolio reviews. 
  • Registrant must contact Andrea Skyberg or Miranda Paul at to request refund.
  • Contact the Chula Vista for any lodging refunds. The conference is separate and we are unable to process lodging refunds. 









If you would like to volunteer to drive our faculty from Milwaukee or Madison, or help out in another way, please email us at


If you would like to make a general donation, or one specifically designated toward our Diversity Committee Scholarship there is a place to do that at the end of the registration. We'll also have the book basket donation, so please bring a book to share. The book basket is given out to one lucky participant who gets the chance to gift the basket of books to a local library or school. If you would like to contribute an item to our Diversity Auction please contact Rochelle Groskreutz at rochellegroskreutz@gmail.

















Please email: Andrea Skyberg and Miranda Paul, co-Regional Advisors SCBWI-Wisconsin at


Thank you from your Conference Coordinators! 

Miranda Paul

Andrea Skyberg

Ingrid Kallick

Rochelle Groskretz

Kat Abbott

RaChelle Lisiecki

Kate Lindsay