Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


This program has been UPDATED but is not yet final. Details all subject to change.

Note: The theme of our 2020 conference is “Your Weekend MFA.” An MFA, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a Masters of Fine Arts.


Friday: Welcome to your Weekend MFA

(Subject to change)

1pm Arrival and Registration (Note the new start time, earlier than in past years!)

Conference Kickoff

MFA Foundations: Craft Sessions

Breakout 1A: The Writing Process from Idea to Revision

Breakout 1B: Intro to Children’s Literature: A Primer

Breakout 2A: The Craft of Picture Books

Breakout 2B: Novel Structures

Breakouts: RoundTables, Fireside Chats or Free/Flex time

Fireside Chat A: Illustrator Chat

Fireside Chat B: Published Author Chat / Book 2 and Beyond!

Fireside Chat C: General Interest / The Creative Life: How to maintain your creativity in the face of jobs, kids, stress, and our silicon-valley-achievement-driven culture.

Community building: Meet & Greets with sub groups (Illustrators, PB, MG, YA)


Keynote Address

Portfolio show and party


Saturday: Your MFA Deep Dive 

(Subject to change)

MFA Deep Dive topics

Beginnings and Endings

Plot, Structure and Pacing

Master Class Breakouts


MFA Deep Dive topics



Panel: It Takes A Village: Building your Creative Community (Critique Partners, Critique Groups, Paid Editors & Book Doctors, Craft Book Clubs, Mentors & Coaches)

Flex Time

Critique Connect

Writing/Illustrating Workspace

Sunset Beach Walk




Book Sales & Signing


Sunday: Making the most of your Weekend MFA

(Subject to change)

The Business of Writing: Query Letters and Synopsis Writing

Local Author talks and Panel Discussion

Putting It All Together: Connecting the Dots

Conference wrap-up and closing ceremony



This is not a final program. All topics, details, timing and order of events are subject to change. 

Check back for updates!