Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2015 Golden Gate Conference

Date(s) - 03/06/2015 - 03/08/2015
2:30 pm - 12:00 pm

Asilomar Conference Grounds
800 Asilomar Avenue - Pacific Grove, California [CA] 93950

The 32nd Annual SCBWI Golden Gate Conference and Retreat will be held March 6-8, 2015 at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA.

IMPORTANT! Please Note: Registration for the Golden Gate Conference requires TWO steps. Your registration here with SCBWI covers conference attendance and optional consultations only. Attendees must then register directly with Asilomar for housing (meal tickets are included). There is an additional cost for housing that is not included in the SCBWI conference fee. Two-night double occupancy at Asilomar is $333.94. Two-night single occupancy is $503.14. See the HOUSING section below for details. Your SF/South conference registration confirmation email will also provide links to complete your Asilomar housing registration. 





Over the years, the Golden Gate Conference has gained a reputation as one of the best intimate gatherings of authors and illustrators. Recent speakers include Daniel Handler, Jon Agee, M.T. Anderson, Erin Murphy, Carolyn Mackler, Arthur Levine, Cynthia Lord, Gary Schmidt, David Shannon, Namrata Tripathi, Jacquelyn Woodson, David Weisner and Dan Yaccarino. 

The conference is limited to a small group of approximately 140 people. 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

This year’s conference theme is: BE AN OPENER OF DOORS. Inspired by the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, we will explore the doors to story and imagination we open for children, as well as the doors we open for each other in our careers. Together, agents, editors, writers and illustrators open doors through craft improvement, creative exploration, and network building. Attendees will come away with inspiration for the year ahead, craft-intensive take-aways, and new business know-how.

Click here to view the conference schedule. 



Our 2015 faculty includes:

Brown_smJORDAN BROWN  –  Executive Editor, HarperCollins Children’s Books
Jordan Brown is an executive editor with the imprints Walden Pond Press and Balzer + Bray at HarperCollins Children’s Books. In the ten years he has been in children's editorial, he has been fortunate enough to work with such esteemed authors and illustrators as Jon Scieszka, Anne Ursu, Gris Grimly, Steve Brezenoff, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Chris Rylander, Erin McGuire, Laura Ruby, Kevin Emerson, Christopher Healy, Greg Ruth, Dan Wells, Lois Metzger, M. Sindy Felin, and many others. Amongst the books he's edited are New York Times bestsellers, ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, an NPR Backseat Book Club Selection, and a National Book Award finalist, in addition to other accolades. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Fleischman_smPAUL FLEISCHMAN  –  Author
Paul Fleischman has written novels, plays, poetry, picture books, and nonfiction. He's won the Newbery Medal for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, a Newbery Honor for Graven Images, and was a National Book Award finalist for Breakout. In 2012 he was the United States' nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award for the body of his work. His latest book is Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines.



Lewis_smE.B. LEWIS  –  Artistrator
E.B. Lewis has illustrated sixty-five books for children including Jacqueline Woodson’s Coming on Home Soon, a 2005 Caldecott Honor Winner; Nikki Grimes’ Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, the 2003 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner; Alice Schertle’s Down the Road, an ALA Notable Book; Tolowa M. Mollel’s My Rows and Piles of Coins, an ALA Notable Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Bat Boy and His Violin by Garvin Curtis a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and Jacqueline Woodson’s The Other Side, a 2002 Notable Book for the Language Arts.


McLean_smLAURIE McLEAN  –  Agent, Fuse Literary
Laurie McLean spent 20 years as the CEO of a PR agency and 8 years as an agent/senior agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents before forming Fuse Literary (formerly Foreword Literary) in 2013 with her two partners. At Fuse Literary Laurie specializes in adult genre fiction plus middle-grade and young adult children’s books. Prior to founding Fuse, Laurie was also the Dean of San Francisco Writers University and on the management team of the San Francisco Writers Conference. Laurie also co-founded two ePublishing companies with client partners: for vintage out-of-print romance, and for out-of-print classic tween and teen books.


Moore_smALLISON MOORE  –  Associate Editor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Allison Moore works on a wide range of books from illustrated titles to middle grade and young adult novels. She is the editor of the upcoming City Shapes by Diana Murray and illustrated by three-time Caldecott Honoree Bryan Collier; I Love You Blankie, a board book that encourages imagination by Sheryl Haft and illustrated by Jane Massey; and President of the Whole Sixth Grade, a middle school story by Sherri Winston. She has also worked on picture books by Todd Parr, Sujean Rim, Nancy Tafuri, Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, Marc Brown, and Bob Staake; novelty books by Sandra Magsamen; and novels by Jewell Parker Rhodes, Karen Healey, and Andrea Davis Pinkney, among others. Before joining Little, Brown, Allison interned at Bloomsbury & Walker Books for Young Readers, Barefoot Books, the Kneerim & Williams agency, and Simon & Schuster UK. 


Muldrow_smDIANE MULDROW  –  Editorial Director, Golden Books/Random House
Diane Muldrow is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book and Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned From a Little Golden Book. She has worked in children's publishing for over 25 years, and is the longtime editorial director of Little Golden Books as well as a prolific author of books for children.



Newman_smPATRICIA NEWMAN  –  Author
Patricia Newman is the author of several fiction and nonfiction trade books, school and library titles, and magazine articles for children, including a new series of nonfiction novelty board books to be released in 2015/2016; Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a Junior Library Guild Selection and NSTA recommended book; Jingle the Brass, a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Smithsonian-recommended book; and Nugget on the Flight Deck, a California Reading Association Eureka! Silver Honor Book for Nonfiction. Visit her at 


Norman_smTAYLOR NORMAN  –  Assistant Editor, Chronicle Books
Taylor Norman is an assistant editor at Chronicle Books. Over the past four years, she has had the honor to work on Megan Jean Sovern’s The Meaning of Maggie, Cathy Camper and Raul the Third's Lowriders in Space, and Annie Barrows’s Ivy + Bean series. With a particular interest in novels for middle grade and young adult readers, she is passionate about making books that matter: honest stories that need to be told as much as they need to be read.  


Saddler_smJODELL SADLER  –  Agent, Sadler Children’s Literary
Agent and founder of Sadler Children's Literary, Jodell Sadler is the author of Pacing Picture Books to Wow!, Craft Picture Book Magic, and Be Original, Love Writing, and Get Published (working title). She earned her MFA in Writing for Children & YA from Hamline University, 2009, works as an adjunct and English Teacher, and jumped into agenting in 2012 and loves it. She hosts Picture Book Pacing, Editing, and Avoiding Burnout tutorials and Webinars with Writer’s Digest and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). Please visit her online at


Ursu_smANNE URSU  –  Author
Anne Ursu is the author of several books for young readers and is the 2013 recipient of the McKnight Fellowship in Children’s Literature. Anne’s latest book, The Real Boy, is an Indie Next pick and was on the 2013 longlist for the National Book Award. Her book Breadcrumbs was acclaimed as one of the best books of 2011 by the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly,, and the Chicago Public Library. Anne teaches at Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and lives in Minneapolis with her son and four cats. 




PLEASE NOTE: SCBWI does not handle Asilomar housing reservations. You will need to register with Asilomar directly for room and board. After you complete your conference registration, please continue to our housing information page at for complete details.

Off-Campus registration: Asilomar Conference Center allows us a very limited number of off-campus tickets. Thus, off campus registration is first-come first-serve. However, we have negotiated with Asilomar to provide an alternate option after the first-come, first-serve tickets are sold out. Attendees may pay an additional fee rather than the full housing cost and stay off campus. To work out this special arrangement, please email RA Naomi Kinsman at




Each year, we award the annual Golden Gate Writer’s Award and the Golden Gate Illustrator’s Award. Editors will choose candidates for the Writer’s Award from those writers who submit their work for a paid manuscript critique, and an Art Director/Illustrator committee will select candidates from those illustrators who submit their portfolio for a paid critique.

NEW THIS YEAR: We will offer TWO Golden Gate Writer's Awards–one for a picture book and one for a MG or YA novel.





15-minute manuscript critique with a faculty member. Your manuscript will be sent to the faculty member best suited to critique it. All manuscripts will be reviewed by an agent or editor. However, there will also be a very limited number of slots for those attendees who would prefer a consultation with Newbery winning author, Paul Fleischman. You will have an opportunity to indicate your top 2 picks for a manuscript reviewer in your submission materials.

The submission policy is as follows:

– One picture book manuscript of up to six pages in length (1,200 words max). You may only submit ONE picture book manuscript per paid consultation, regardless of the length.

– Or, for MG/YA novels, up to 10 pages (2,500 words max). You may include a brief one page optional synopsis in addition to your 10 page sample.


20-minute illustration portfolio critique with a faculty member. Please bring your portfolio to the conference. Maximum size: 11" x 17". Do not bring original art.

We will be hosting our annual illustration portfolio display, so we encourage you to bring your illustration portfolio even if you choose not to purchase an individual consultation. However, only portfolios of illustrators who submit their work for a paid critique will be eligible for the Golden Gate Illustrator's Award.


Sit down with Laurie McLean, literary agent and marketing expert, to discuss your writer platform. Whether you are published or pre-published, it is never too early to start thinking through the online presence that will be key to your marketing efforts. Prior to the consultation, you will complete a form that will give Laurie a picture of your current marketing efforts and your interests, be they video, blogging, social media, etc, for next steps. During the consultation, Laurie will discuss this form with you and help you set specific action steps. 


NOTE: Select only ONE Round Table option. They happen simultaneously during the conference.

The First Pages round table consultations will be held with up to five participants and one editor. Each participant will bring to the conference 6 copies of the first full page of their manuscript (up to 275 words max of either a novel or picture book). Text should begin at the top of the page, double-spaced, 12 pt. font. Please include your name, title and genre. You will be paired with like-genre, if possible. The submission will be read at the beginning of the session and commented on openly by the editor. Each writer will be given the opportunity to ask questions for clarification after the editor comments on his/her piece, but otherwise, writers are asked to remain silent while listening to the editor’s valuable feedback. In this way, you will have the opportunity to receive your own feedback and listen to the consultations of others.

You will receive two opportunities to read your prepared pitch—one at a round table with Agent Laurie McLean, and another at a second round table with Agent Jodell Sadler. After you read your pitch, Laurie and Jodell will provide you with feedback. So, not only will you receive one-on-one feedback on your pitch from both Laurie and Jodell, but you will also sit in on your peers’ pitches and consultations as well. We will send you materials to help you draft your pitch ahead of time.




There will be no refunds after January 15, 2015, unless we can fill your spot from the waiting list. There will be absolutely no refunds after February 15, 2015, except in the case of a family emergency. All refunds will be minus a $25 processing fee.




SCBWI members receive the Earlybird registration price of $275 until December 31, 2014. Starting January 1, 2015, the regular ticket price for members will increase to $310.
Availability for this event is limited! Register today and SAVE!