Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators



The Golden Gate Conference and Retreat at Asilomar– held near Monterey, CA, is the big weekend-long conference sponsored by SCBWI SF/South for all regions. It is typically held the last weekend of February or first weekend in March. (Due to COVID rescheduling, in 2022 it will be held in September.) Award winning authors and illustrators, editors, and brilliantly talented local authors and illustrators make up the faculty of this popular event.  Attendance is limited and the conference generally sells out in a day or two. Registration typically opens in October. (For 2022, it will open in May).  Notification for open registration is done strictly via this website and the NorCal SCBWI announcement list (see our Community page for how SCBWI members can join this list).

Over the years, San Francisco South’s Asilomar conference has gained a reputation as one of the most impressive intimate gatherings of talent in the field of children’s literature. Speakers include editors and art directors, award-winning authors and illustrators and the agents who represent them.  Recent speakers include Daniel Handler, Jon Agee, M.T. Anderson, Arthur Levine, Cynthia Lord, Gary Schmidt, Namrata Tripathi, Jacquelyn Woodson, David Weisner and Dan Yaccarino.

The conference is limited to a small group of approximately 140 people, including speakers. The Asilomar grounds are on the Pacific Ocean near Monterey Bay in Northern California, two hours south of San Francisco. Many of the Asilomar buildings are historic, and the famous dining hall, designed by Julia Morgan, provides a friendly, personal gathering place for conference attendees and speakers. You can see the conference grounds in more depth at

As the conference is in a woodsy retreat setting, the dress is “camp-casual.” In particular, plan to bring comfortable shoes––there is a bit of walking between our conference meeting room and the dining hall. Depending on the weather, you may want to bring an umbrella, and you’ll certainly want to bring a coat. The beach is walking distance away, so if you have shoes for beach-walking, don’t forget those, either.

AGENTS DAY (Biennial Event)

Join us for a wonderful day on the San Francisco Bay to learn more about what agents want and how to acquire one. Find out what agents most want to know about you and your work. You’ll learn how to write a query letter, hear the latest about the publishing industry, meet and reunite with other children’s book writers, and – most of all – have some fun. Writers will be given the opportunity to pre-submit their work to agents for critiques and hear inspiring presentations. Our next Agents Day will be virtual, scheduled for Spring 2023.

ILLUSTRATOR DAY (Biennial Event)

Join us for a wonderful day on the San Francisco Bay to learn more about illustrating children’s books. Are you ready to be inspired? We’ll pick up new tips and tricks, not to mention hear the latest about the industry, meet and reunite with other children’s book illustrators, and – most of all – have some fun. Our portfolios will be viewed by art directors, editors, agents and award-winning illustrators. We will also have a First Look panel, a Q & A with local children’s literature experts, individual portfolio critiques, and inspiring presentations. Our next Illustrators Day will be in-person, scheduled for September 2023.