SF/South Golden Gate Conference (General Info)

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.  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.  Notification for open registration is done strictly via this website, Twitter, and the SF/South Facebook group. (See our Community page for links.)

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 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. 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.