Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

11th Annual SF/South Illustrator’s Day 2017

Date(s) - 09/16/2017
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Embassy Suites by Hilton
250 Gateway Blvd - South San Francisco, CA 94080


$120 EARLYBIRD PRICING for SCBWI members begins JUL 19, 2017 at 9am and ends AUG 17, 2017. Prices will go up to $130 on AUG 18, 2017. Registration ends SEPT 15, 2017.

Non-Members $180

About Illustrators' Day:

Once again it is time for SF South's Annual Illustrators' Day! This year we'll be joined by Caldecott Award-winning author/illustrator Dan Santat and VP, Creative Director of Little, Brown David Caplan! As always, we'll have presentations, critiques, and a portfolio showcase. 

We'll also be joined again by Kristine Brogno of Chronicle, agent and co-founder of Red Fox Literary, LLC, Abigail Samoun, and local illustrator and insctructor Julie Downing,

New this year! Don’t have a full portfolio, but need some feedback on current projects? How about a peer critique from a seasoned member of our region? Bring 1-2 pieces in various states of finish and let’s see if we can problem-solve and give them that extra something special!

AVAILABILITY IS LIMITED. Register NOW and give your craft and your career the boost that it deserves. If you have any questions, please contact the SCBWI SF/South's planning team at


SF/South Illustrator's Day 2017 Agenda 

8:30 – 8:55  Registration and portfolio showcase set up.

8:55 – 9:10  Intro/Welcome

9:10 – 10:05  Cover and interior illustration for MG novels – David Caplan:

10:10 -10:45  1st group of assignment reviews (Dan Santat and David Caplan)

15 minute break and showcase browse (coffee, tea, & snacks)

11:00 -12:00 The Importance of Clarity in Illustration – Dan Santat 

12:00 -1:00  Lunch

1:00 – 1:30  Mingle and Materials Swap Meet. Faculty to privately review Portfolio Showcase 

1:30 – 2:00  2nd group of assignment reviews  (Dan Santat & David Caplan)2:00 – 2:45  Words + Pictures/Pictures + Words: What's the Difference? – Kristine Brogno

Picture books are the perfect marriage of text and art, but sometimes you need more of one and less of the other to make the book as strong as it can be. We'll look at examples of picture books and picture book design where text and image play off each other successfully and talk about why they work so well.

15 minute break and showcase browse, coffee & tea.   


3:00 – 4:00  Panel discussion: We'll discuss the results of the pre-event survey about the professional needs and concerns of the working illustrator. Possible topics include: Materials safety, grants/scholarships, continuing education, self-promotion, hardware, software, contests, financial planning, etc.

4:00 – 4:15  Honoring Lea Lyon and passing the baton

4:15 – 4:30  Showcase Award, Wrap-up, pick up portfolios



Lunch will be provided at the event. Please select 1 lunch option in the Event Extras list provided in this registration. If our options do not meet your dietary needs, please contact

Hotel Information

There is a hotel discount available for attendees interested in staying at the hotel for the conference. Use discount code id1 when booking to receive the group rate of $209. To make your reservation:

Directions to Venue Location

Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport
250 Gateway Boulevard,South San Francisco, California, 94080


  • BY CAR: When traveling North on Highway 101: Take Highway 101 North, exit Grand Avenue, turn right on East Grand Avenue, turn left on Gateway Boulevard and the hotel is on the right hand side. Traveling South on Highway 101: Take Highway 101 South, exit Grand Avenue, turn left on Airport Boulevard, turn left on Grand Avenue, turn left on Gateway Boulevard and the hotel is on the right hand side.

  • BY CALTRAIN: The hotel is a 7-minute walk from the South San Francisco Caltrain station



Join superstars in the children's book world for a full day of ideas and learning about the industry and craft. You don't want to miss it!

SantatSantat1Dan Santat
Dan Santat is the author/illustrator of Sidekicks, Are We There Yet?, and After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) coming in October 2017. Dan won the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators for Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett. He is also the creator of the Disney animated hit, The Replacements, and his book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, received the 2015 Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and various pets.


Caplan1David Caplan
David Caplan is the Creative Director overseeing the design of all books published by the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers division of Hachette Book Group. This includes a wide variety of formats such as Novelty, Picture Books, Licensing/Media Tie-in, and Middle Grade/Teen fiction. He has worked at Simon & Schuster, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and Scholastic Inc.




Kristine Brogno
Kristine Brogno is an award-winning art director and designer and is currently the Design Director of Children's Publishing at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She’s had the great honor of working with a broad range of children’s artists — from first-time book illustrators to seasoned veterans, including Carolyn Conahan, Ward Jenkins, Calef Brown, Tom Lichtenheld, Andy Rash, Melissa Sweet, Jen Corace and Meilo So, among many others. When she’s not reviewing sketches and looking for the perfect typeface, you can find her exploring the Bay Area and beyond with her two sons.



Julie Downing
Julie Downing was born in Denver, Colorado, graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in San Francisco, CA, where she can see a corner of the Golden Gate Bridge from her studio window. Noted for rich, jewel like watercolor illustrations, she has illustrated over 45 picture books. The art for her most recent book, Lotus and Feather by Ji-li Jiang, is rendered traditionally using watercolor, colored pencil, ink and then combined digitally.
SamounAbigail Samoun
Before co-founding Red Fox Literary, LLC with Karen Grencik in 2011, ABIGAIL SAMOUN was an in-house children’s book editor for over ten years. Her books received such honors as the CCBC Charlotte Zolotow award, the New York Public Library Ezra Jack Keats award, the SCBWI Golden Kite, and the Pura Belpre Honor. As an agent, Abigail now represents authors and illustrators working in a range of genres, from board books to young adult novels.


Free Portfolio Display:

Illustrators are invited to bring portfolios for display along with business cards, postcards and book dummies. No charge. There will be private viewings of all the portfolios by our faculty–an amazing opportunity for your art to be noticed. All attendees who bring their portfolio for the display tables will be considered for the Golden Gate Portfolio Award.

One (1) permitted
Size: (Measure while open) 
Maximum width: 32” max. 
Maximum height: 12” max. 
Closed Portfolio: 3” tall max. 
10 – 15 images suggested.
Copies or prints only; no original art.
Name: your name and contact information must be in or on your portfolio.
* Please Note: Portfolios that do not follow requirements will be 
disqualified from judging, and may be placed at a back table.

Business or Promotional Cards—50-100 suggested.
Size: Up to 5”x 7” horizontal or vertical.
Only one design required. (one stack will be placed by portfolio)
No card holders permitted.

One (1) or two (2) permitted.
Size: Dummies may not be larger than your portfolio.
Dummy is optional, not a requirement. 
Dummy may not, in any way, be a partially or fully 
published book. This includes self-published.
Up to two (2) dummies permitted.
Dummy must be attached to your portfolio.
(string, yarn or ribbon works well)


Golden Gate Portfolio Award:

The Golden Gate Portfolio Award is presented annually at SF/South Illustrator's Day. Portfolios will be viewed, privately, by art directors, editors, agents and award-winning illustrators, who will select this year's recipient. The recipient will receive complimentary registration to either the 2018 Golden Gate Conference at Asilomar or the 2018 SF/South Illustrator's Day.

Note: If you decide not to pay for a one-on-one portfolio review, we encourage you to bring your portfolio, postcards, business cards and dummies, if you have one, to present on our display tables at no charge. All attendees who bring their portfolio for the display tables will be considered for the Golden Gate Portfolio Award.


This year, you have an option of paying for portfolio review sessions by industry experts such as the faculty team ($60), or reviews of works-in-progress (WIP) by experienced professional peers ($25). Please purchase only ONE of either category option. LIMITED SEATS are available in each category and we would like to give more people the chance to get their porfolios reviewed.

Faculty Portfolio Review:
Attendees can opt to pay an additional fee of $60 to have a 20-minute one-on-one portfolio review with ONE of our attending faculty members. One portfolio review per attendee, please. 
NOTE: If you select a $60 Faculty Portfolio Review, you may NOT also select a $25 Professional-Level Member WIP Review.

Individual Portfolio Critiques will be offered by: 

David Caplan Creative Director, Little, Brown Books

Dan Santat Author/Illustrator and Caldecott medal winner

Kristine Brogno  Children's Design Director, Chronicle Books

Julie Downing  Author/Illustrator and Children’s Lit Teacher

Abigail Samoun Founder, Redfox Literary

NOTE: Each reviewer has a limited number of available slots. Please select your preferred reviewer in the "Event Extras" options below. If your first choice for a reviewer is sold out, you will need to select a different reviewer.

Professional-Level Member WIP Review:
Attendees can opt to pay an additional fee of $25 to have a 15-minute one-on-one review of 1-2 pieces (finished or unfinished) with ONE of our professional-level SCBWI members in attendance. One portfolio review per attendee, please. NOTE: If you select a
select a $25 Professional-Level Member WIP Review, you may NOT also select a $60 Faculty Portfolio Review.

Individual WIP Reviews will be offered by: 

Kristin Abbott, 
Brian Bowes,

NOTE: Each reviewer has a limited number of available slots. Please select your preferred reviewer in the "Event Extras" options below. If your first choice for a reviewer is sold out, you will need to select a different reviewer.


FREE Special First Look Session:
This year, our speakers, David Caplan and Dan Santat, are offering a special FREE illustration prompt. The faculty and all attendees will view your work for the first time the day of the conference. David and Dan will comment aloud on the work, providing perspectives from an illustrator and creative director. 

For this year's optional assignment, David Caplan has presented two quotes to choose from to illustrate over 3, double-page spreads; 2 sketches and 1 finish. 

The quotes are:
“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein

The due date is September 1st, a little tight, and this is also part of your challenge. 

EDIT!!! It's going to be STINKING HOT over the next few days so I'm extending the deadline a bit. New Deadline is Septermber 5th, 3pm!

Please submit your work in the form of a PDF to SFsouth-ic@scbwi.orgThese will be projected on the big screen, so  when scanning, use 300 dpi and max measurements of 1024 wide x 768 tall.

Refund Policy
A refund of the registration fee, minus a $25 administrative fee will be available up until September
 1, 2017

We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions, please contact the SCBWI SF/South's Planning Team at


Consultation Waitlists

Due to popularity, consultations fill up very quickly. If all paid portfolio critiques with event faculty are sold out, please consider a review with one of our pro-level members. If both options are sold out, or you are only interested in a critique with a faculty member, please click here ( to enter yourself onto our waitlist. If any critique slots become available, we will contact waitlistees on a first-come first-served basis and arrange payment at that time. Thank you.


If you encounter any problems during your registration process for SF/South Illustrators' Day, contact and we will be happy to assist you. Thanks!