Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2020 Golden Gate Conference at Asilomar

Date(s) - 03/13/2020 - 03/15/2020
1:00 pm

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

Navigation note:

Don’t miss the conference sidebar to the right of this page for more information.



The San Francisco South Region of SCBWI is excited to announce the 37th Annual SCBWI Golden Gate Conference and Retreat, to be held March 13-15, 2020, at the breathtaking Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. 

This year’s conference theme is “Your Weekend MFA.” (An MFA is a Masters of Fine Arts, an advanced degree program to teach the craft of writing, art, or other fine art subject.) We are planning a deep dive into craft, guided by top-notch experts in the children’s writing and illustrating industry. Be immersed and inspired by a diverse faculty of talented professionals of craft including editors and agents, award-winning authors and illustrators.

Whether you are new to children’s writing and illustration, pre-published, or published, come meet new and old friends, learn from experienced industry professionals, and walk away with the creative tools to take your work to the next level in this competitive industry of children’s publishing. 

The conference is limited to a small group of approximately 120 people. Over the years, the Golden Gate Conference has gained a reputation as one of the best and most intimate gatherings of authors and illustrators. Our faculty of speakers includes the industry’s top authors, illustrators, agents, editors, and publishers. 


Meet Our Faculty

Full bios can be found here.

Cynthia Leitich Smith, Keynote Author

Scott Campbell, Keynote Author/Illustrator

Matthew Ringler, Senior Editor at Scholastic

Grace Kendall, Senior Editor at MacMillan

Sarah Jane Abbott, Associate Editor at Beach Lane Books

Jennifer March Soloway, Associate Agent at Andrea Brown Literary

Stephanie Fretwell-Hill, Agent at Red Fox Literary

Lisa Ramee, Author

Diana Toledano, Illustrator, Teacher, Author

Abigail Hing Wen, Author

Stay tuned for updates and additions as we finalize our last few faculty members.


Don’t Miss These Deadlines

October 28, 2019: Registration opens 

December 6, 2019: Early Bird Pricing ends 

January 5, 2020: Submission deadline for critiques (conference add-on)

January 31, 2020: No tuition refunds for cancellations after this date. (See full policy below.)



SCBWI Member: Early Bird Discount $375 until December 6th. Price goes up to $400 on December 7th. You must be logged in to your SCBWI site to receive your member discount. 

SCBWI Non-member: $500. (If you are a non-member, we encourage you to get a membership which would save you money over the non-member price!)

Important Note: The tuition price does not include accommodations and meals, which must be reserved on the Asilomar registration page separately. Click here for more information about making your reservation.

To learn more about attending the conference without reserving accommodations, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for information about our very limited “off-campus” tickets and pricing. 


Conference Add Ons

In addition to the rich schedule of regular conference programming, you have the option of adding the following to your conference experience:

Manuscript Critique: Receive a 15-minute manuscript critique with an agent or editor. Click here for more details. Cost: $75.

Virtual Manuscript Critique: Receive a written-only manuscript critique from an agent or editor after the conference. Cost: $60.

Portfolio Critiques: Receive a 15-minute portfolio review with our keynote illustrator. Click here for more details. Cost $75.

Author & Illustrator RoundTables: Share a sample of your work with a faculty member plus up to six peers and learn from the feedback on your work and the work of your colleagues. Click here for more details. Cost $60.

Mentorship Program: Every SF/South Regional member who signs up for an individual critique will be considered for a chance to be mentored by one of our experienced professionals for six months. Click here for details. This program is free to members. (You may opt out of consideration during registration if you do not want to be considered.) Cost: Free.

Peer Critiques: Sign up for Conference Peer Critiques if you would like an opportunity to give and receive feedback on your work with fellow artists/writers. If you select this free add-on during registration, we will contact you with further details about how to prepare for your participation. Cost: Free.

Act fast! These Add Ons fill up very quickly. If the add-on you want is sold out, you will have the option to be added to a waiting list. You will not be charged for any waitlisted items. We will contact you if a waitlist item becomes available and arrange for payment at that time.



Scroll to the bottom of this page to register. 

Important: Registration is a two-step process. After registering for the conference, you must go to the Asilomar website to make your accommodations reservation separately. Attendees will be offered a special SCBWI group rate when registering. Click here for more information on housing and how to secure your housing reservation.



Our conference takes place on the historic ocean-fronted property of Asilomar, near Monterey Bay in Northern California, two hours south of San Francisco. 

After registering for the conference, you must go to the Asilomar website to make your accommodations reservation separately. For more information about accommodations, click here



Critiques: ​There will be no refunds on critiques after January 5, 2020, the submission deadline. 

Conference tuition: You may request a refund until January 31st. All refunds are subject to a $25 cancellation fee. No refunds after January 31st.

Accommodations: Asilomar has their own cancellation policy with different dates. Be sure to note their policies when you make your housing reservation.

For questions regarding registration, please contact


Registration is open!

Are you a member of SCBWI?

Did you know that SCBWI members always receive a discount on events?

Whether Regional events or the International Conference, all members receive a discount.

Are you a member of SCBWI?  

If so, please log in before continuing with your event registration.

If not, please consider becoming a member.  Click here to learn about membership benefits.

Thank you,

Event Registration

General Information Required Fields*


Ticket Information

Non-Member Ticket - $500.00
Reminder: You must sign up for accommodations with Asilomar separately.

Earlybird SCBWI Member - Off Campus - $460.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Limited Availability. Only select this if you are planning on staying off campus. Price includes Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and dinner.

Earlybird SCBWI Member: On Campus - $375.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Reminder: You must register for accommodations with Asilomar separately.

The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion.


The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.



Code of Conduct

All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, including faculty, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

  • intimidation, stalking, or following.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • Inappropriate physical contact.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Abusive verbal comments.
  • Quid pro quo– sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors.
  • Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.


Reporting Procedures

Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:

  • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.
  • A complainant may submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
  • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.


SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made under this policy. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.



SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.


Sanctions for faculty, speakers, staff or board members may include any of the following:


  • warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;
  • withholding of a contracted honorarium;
  • prohibition from future speaking engagements;
  • prohibition from future faculty appointments;
  • expulsion from SCBWI; and/or
  • removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.


Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

  • warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event, without refund;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
  • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
  • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.


If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will handle utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties and witnesses. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.



If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.


If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "anti-harassment policy" in the subject line.

I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.