Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustrator Month 2020

Date(s) - 09/05/2020 - 09/26/2020
12:00 am

Want to build your children’s book career?

Join us for:


Illustrator Month 2020





All Online

September, 2020


Registration for our first-ever 2020 Illustrator Month opens July 1st at 9am.

We are thrilled to announce that we have replaced this year’s Illustrator Day with an all-new customizable format designed especially for the times. Illustrator Month 2020 is craft-focused, inspirational, and accessible to all from the safety and comfort of home. We’ve kept prices low, knowing this is a difficult time for everyone financially as well as emotionally. Read on for more details.




Week One: Keynote faculty member Chad Beckerman will kick off the month with a presentation about finding your visual voice. Chad will introduce the Workshop Intensive, which includes creating a fan art book cover of a well known MG/YA work of literature, in your own style. We will announce the winners of the Portfolio Show (see submission guidelines and deadlines below.)

Week Two: The Workshop Intensive – Part One. After a review of the Evolution of Book Covers, Chad Beckerman will art direct and critique participating members’ illustrations. (Space is limited to 15, so sign up early!)

Week Three: While participants in the Workshop Intensive work on their final art, we will host Individual Critiques by Chad Beckerman, Julie Downing, and Christy Hale. (Space is limited to 30, so sign up early!)

Week Four: We finish big with two events. 1) The Workshop Intensive – Part Two. We wrap up the Workshop Intensive with art direction and critique of participants’ final art from Chad Beckerman. And 2) A presentation from Oanh Jordan of Tiny Triumph Co. titled “A Purpose Driven Marketing Approach to Selling Books” on building your kidlit brand to attract readers and buyers.

Important Note: Illustrator Month events will NOT be recorded. These are live events on Zoom and you must participate live in the events at the scheduled times to participate.


Key Dates and Deadlines


August 28: Deadline to submit art for the Portfolio Show and Award Competition

September 5 at 10am -12pm: Illustrator Month Kickoff: Keynote and Workshop Introduction. Finishes with a presentation of our Best-In-Show Portfolio Showcase Award.

September 11: Intensive Workshop Sketches Due

September 12 at 10am – 12:30pm: Intensive Workshop Part One of 2

September 19 between 10 am – 1pm: Individual Consultations

September 25: Final Intensive Workshop Art due

September 26 at 10am – 12pm: Intensive Workshop Part Two of 2

September 26 at 1 pm – 2:30 pm: A Purpose Driven Marketing Approach to Selling Books with Oanh Jordan


Pricing & Options


Illustrator Month Keynote Presentation | September 5, 10:00 – 11:30 am, over Zoom

“Finding Your Visual Voice” with Chad Beckerman

Members: $15

Non Members: $30

This 90-minute online presentation featuring Chad Beckerman will reveal how to find your visual voice. Includes an introduction to and instructions for the Workshop Intensive (an optional add-on, see below). Finishes with a presentation of our Best-In-Show Portfolio Showcase Award.

SCBWI members, login before you register to get the discounted member pricing. Non-members, if you’d like to become a member before you register, go here.


Workshop Intensive | September 12 and 26, 10am, over Zoom

Participants: $25

Observers: $10

A two-part workshop. Must be purchased in conjunction with the Keynote, as the Workshop will be introduced and the project assigned at the end of the Keynote presentation. Participants will work on preliminary illustrations during the first week, and submit them before the Workshop Part One where Chad Beckerman will art direct and critique the participants’ illustrations. You will have 2 weeks to use the feedback to create and submit final art. In the final Workshop Part Two, Mr. Beckerman will review, art direct and critique participants’ art. Learn from his comments on your colleagues’ art as well as your own!


Portfolio Show and Award Competition | Award given during Keynote, September 5, 10:00 – 11:30 am

Entry Fee: $5

Submit your portfolio to be viewed and celebrated by our community. The Best-In-Show Award will be announced after the Keynote presentation. The winner will have the opportunity to be our featured illustrator on our website & social media and win a free registration to next year’s Illustration Conference. You are automatically entered into the judging for the showcase contest when you sign up. (If, for whatever reason, you want to be in the show but do not want to make yourself eligible for the award, sign up and then contact Isabella at to request exclusion from judging.)


Portfolio Consultations – September 19th

Individual, 15 minute consultation: $65

Receive a one-on-one, individual critique of your work from either Chad Beckerman, Julie Downing, or Christy Hale. (Note: Consultations are for illustrator portfolios only, i.e. the artwork of the illustrator. No text manuscripts will be critiqued during a portfolio review.) Space is limited to 10 spots per faculty member (30 total) so please sign up early to secure your spot, especially if you want your first choice.


A Purpose Driven Marketing Approach to Selling Books | September 26th at 1:00 – 2:30 pm

This one-hour online presentation, “A Purpose Driven Marketing Approach to Selling Books,” Oanh Jordan of Tiny Triumphs Co. will introduce you to the concept of personal branding and how to develop your kidlit brand to attract readers and buyers. In this presentation, you’ll learn the ease and comfort to a purpose driven marketing approach that helps you to identify your purpose, deepen your connection with your readers, and inspire your readers with your stories which are deeply rooted in your why.

Presentation: $10


Faculty Bios


Chad brings over 20 years of illustration and design experience to the Agency. After studying illustration as an undergrad at RISD, Chad went on to be a Designer at Scholastic, a Senior Designer at Greenwillow Books, and then became the Creative Director at ABRAMS Kids and Comic Arts, where he spent 13 years overseeing the design of 250 books a year – from picture books, to novels, to graphic novels, and art and entertainment books. Chad is behind the aesthetic for over forty New York Times bestselling and award-winning books including the blockbuster Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, the Caldecott honor and Corretta Scott King Award winning Trombone Story, illustrated by Brian Collier, and the Newbery Medal honor books El Deafo, and Heart of the Samurai.

He executed the design architecture for countless series including Origami Yoda by Tom Angelberger, The Questioneers (Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, Ada Twist) by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, Frank Einstein by Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs, The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, The Sisters Grimm and Jared Chapman’s Vegetables in Underwear.

Chad’s greatest joy is working with illustrators, he recently joined The CAT Agency : as an illustration agent, he is busy curating and cultivating a unique group of artists who are inspiring and innovating in children’s literature. Chad represents illustrators and author/illustrators from all over the globe, who create artwork for all ages and genres.

In addition to representing illustrators, Chad offers packaging of picture books, graphic novels and middle-grade series books through his design studio CWB Art & Design (

Chad lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his cat, Kentucky. He has an impeccable eye, a quick wit and gave himself a pandemic haircut that you should ask him about.



Oanh Jordan is the founder of Tiny Triumph Co., a literary marketing consulting firm in Portland, Oregon. Over the last four years Oanh has inspired and connected with many in children’s publishing to market with intention through a purpose driven approach with their book marketing. With a master’s in business and over 15+ years in corporate sales and marketing, Oanh blends her passion for children’s publishing with her ability to build trust between businesses and customers. To learn more about Oanh’s services and products, visit Connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @tinytriumphco.



Julie has illustrated over forty-five picture books including Cubs in the Tub: The True Story of the Bronx Zoo’s First Woman Zookeeper by Candace Fleming, The Fire Keeper’s Son by Linda Sue Park, Tessa Takes Wing by Richard Jackson, and First Mothers by Beverley Gherman. She has won many awards including a Parents Choice Award, the New York Public Library’s Best Books Award, APAAL Best Illustrated Book and the Irma Black Silver Medal. Her work has been featured in the Society of Illustrator’s Original Art Show. Julie teaches illustration to undergraduate and graduate students at the Academy of Art University. She lives in San Francisco, CA.



Christy Hale has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, including the Crystal Kite winner, Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature, as well as six books she also wrote: The East-West House: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan; Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building; Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World; Todos Iguales/All Equal: Un Corrido de/A Ballad of Lemon Grove; Out the Door (fall 2020); and Copycat: Nature-inspired Design Around the World (fall 2021). Christy served on the jury for the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show.
She has worked as an art director and designer in children’s book publishing for over 25 years, in-house at: Dutton, Putnam, Philomel, Bradbury, Macmillan, Four Winds, and Simon & Schuster; and as a consulting art director for numerous other publishers. She has worked as art director for Lee & Low Books since their first list, helping guide many new artists into successful careers. Christy teaches Writing for Picture Books at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She lives with her family in Palo Alto.


Portfolio Showcase Submission Guidelines

Guidelines will be sent within 24 hours after registration! Deadline to submit is August 28th. Entry fee is $5.

Check out our current Portfolio Showcase!


Registration is open until September 4th at 6pm.


Questions or concerns? Email Isabella Kung at