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

Golden Gate Conference cancelled

It is with great sadness that we announce our decision to cancel the 2020 SCBWI SF/South Golden Gate Conference at Asilomar. Based on the guidance of state and county public health officials, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization, we felt it was no longer responsible to bring a large group together in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
We did not take this decision lightly, as we know how much you count on this conference as a way to build community and build your professional careers. We are deeply and truly sorry that we are not going to be providing our community with this opportunity this year. The conference has been held for 36 years and this, the 37th year, will be the first time in all those years that we have come to a decision like this. We are living in unprecedented times.
Please contact us at if you have any questions.




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. Registration is closed. We are sold out.

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 closed. We are sold out. 

This event is fully booked.