GOLDEN GATE CONFERENCE – (Biennially – even years, in the Fall)
The Golden Gate Conference and Retreat at Asilomar– held in Pacific Grove, CA on the Monterey Bay is the big weekend-long conference sponsored by SCBWI SF/South for all regions. In the past, it was held annually in February or March. The March 2020 event was cancelled just one week prior due to the pandemic shutdown. In 2021, it was “The Golden Gate Year” with virtual presentations every month. The in-person Golden Gate Conference returned September 2022. After much consideration, it was decided that it was more feasible for our volunteer staff to organize a conference of this quality every other year. The next one will be September 2024.
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. Past 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 100-120, including speakers (although we have had as many as 140 in the past). 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 www.visitasilomar.com.
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. The beach is walking distance away, so if you have shoes for beach-walking, don’t forget those, either.
Attendance is limited and the conference generally sells out in a day or two. Registration opens in the month of May prior to the event date. Notification for open registration is done strictly via this website, our monthly email newsletter, and the SF/South Facebook group.
AGENTS DAY (Biennially – odd years, in the Spring)
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 March 2023.
ILLUSTRATOR DAY (Biennially – odd years, in the Fall)
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.