Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Annual Spring Conference – April 5-6, 2019 in Tulsa, OK

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Date(s) - 04/05/2019 - 04/06/2019
12:00 am

Tulsa City-County Central Library
400 Civic Center - Tulsa, OK 74103


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Oklahoma SCBWI invites you to join us

April 5-6, 2019

at the Tulsa City-County Central Library

for the 2019 Prism of Hope Conference


Registration is open (see below) and includes lunch on Saturday from Panera Bread and free parking in a secured parking lot. Critiques and/or face-to-face consultations are an extra cost, and there will be a “Mingle with the Speakers” with a cash bar on Friday night that will be at the attendees own expense. The Tulsa City-County Central Library is located at 400 Civic Center, Tulsa, OK 74103.


The Aloft Tulsa Downtown is offering a $91 rate for a block of rooms until March 5, 2019. We’ll check on an extension, if we need to. Click here to book you room at the discounted rate: Aloft discount rate for OK SCBWI conference attendees.


All attendees are welcome to participate for free in the “Postcard” contests based upon the conference theme of hope. Attendees and faculty will have the opportunity to vote on Saturday morning for their favorite pitch and their favorite illustrated postcard. Voting will be based upon how well the subject matter fits the theme of hope. Entries must follow these guidelines to be allowed in the contest:

To qualify for the Pitch Postcard Contest, you need to use white paper no larger than 6 x 4, type a story pitch of no more than 40 words with no illustrations or pictures that evokes a feeling of hope.

To qualify for the Illustrated Postcard Contest, you need to use a paper no larger than 6 x 4 and illustrate a scene with no words that evokes a feeling of hope.  

The crowd favorite of the Pitch Postcard Contest will receive a free face-to-face consultation with Mekisha Telfer. The crowd favorite for the Illustrated Postcard Contest will receive a free face-to-face consultation with Melia Parsloe.

New this year: During registration, attendees will have the option to choose their own professional for off-site critiques. This will be on a first registered, first served basis. Attendees choosing this option are responsible for getting their manuscripts/portfolio links submitted on time and correctly. After you register, you will receive an instructional email from

In addition, during registration, attendees will be able to choose their own professionals for a Face-to-Face Consultation. Click on a name and the available time slots will open. This will be on a first registered, first served basis and time slots are fixed and not negotiable. Attendees choosing this option are responsible for getting to their consultation on time and leaving the consultation on time. After you register, you will receive an instructional email from 


Art Displays: If you are interested in having your portfolio included in this year’s Art Display, you may reserve a spot for free when registering. Portfolios should be no larger than 11X17, approximately 10-15 pieces, (no original art). Bring it with you on Saturday. The Art Display tables will be set up in the back of the main room. You may drop off your portfolio any time after 7:45 am. Please be sure to pick it up no later than 5:00pm. Postcard samples or business cards may also be placed in or next to your portfolio. Contact Jerry Bennett ( with questions. 


Book Sales and Book Signing:

  • For traditionally published authors/illustrators, you may have your books sold at the conference book table (Limit of three) facilitated by Best of Books. Please register and then send the title and author to Amy Stephens at by March 8, 2019. You will automatically have your name on the list of authors/illustrators signing books at the end of the conference.


  • For those not using the conference book table, who want to participate in the book signing at the end of the conference, please register and then send an email to to say that you are participating in the book signing with your own books related to the kid/teen publishing industry.


  • For local publishers or non-traditionally published authors/illustrators, you may purchase table/booth space to sell your own items. A full table on Saturday is $30 and a half table (approximately 3 x 3 space) is $15. Please note: You may only sell items related to the kids/teens publishing industry. If a local publisher is selling your book at their booth, you do not need to purchase a booth. You will be fully responsible for your booth and neither SCBWI nor the library will be responsible for any loss.




Registration is open:

Regular registration January 19 – April 4: Members $170 and non-members $200

Students (Learn more about eligibility here: : Members automatically receive a discount.

Non-member student rate is $155, please email for instructions on how to register for this rate.


PAYMENT OF CONFERENCE TUITION/FEES: You may pay by PayPal or credit/debit cards at the end of registration. If you must pay by check, select the send payment by mail option on the drop-down list of payment methods. If you opt to mail payment, your registration will not be approved until all fees have been received. Consultation slots will not be assigned nor will space in the intensive(s) be reserved until your registration has been approved. Please send check/money order (payable to OK SCBWI)—along with a printout of your invoice to:
1205 S Air Depot #199
Midwest City, OK 73110
Please note “2019 Conference Registration” on the envelope and/or check.

Disclaimer: OK SCBWI is not responsible for technical difficulty during registration.



The following speakers will join us in April and they will also do some off-site critiques for $40 each (Deadline: February 7, 2019) and ten minute face-to-face consultations that weekend for $40 a consultation:

Rachel Murray, Assistant Editor for Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Rachel Murray started at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in 2014. She has experience with picture books, chapter books, middle grade fiction, and young adult novels in a variety of genres. She has had the pleasure of working on projects such as Stegothesaurus by Bridget Heos, illustrated by T. L. McBeth; First & Then and subsequent books by Emma Mills; and the NYT-bestselling Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. Rachel has begun building her own list with picture books and is looking to expand into the middle grade and young adult space. She has particular interest in horror/ghost stories/anything that gives her chills, contemporary romance, and magical realism. She welcomes characters with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.


Melia Parsloe, Associate Designer with Page Street Kids Publishing

Melia Parsloe is a designer and illustrator from Somerville, Massachusetts. She designs children’s books at Page Street Kids, a new imprint of Page Street Publishing. She also spent several years designing for the illustration agency Shannon Associates in New York, New York. 

Melia is a trained illustrator and graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art. In addition to her work in design, she also does freelance illustration work. When she is not drawing, Melia can frequently be found baking things with lots of sugar or getting way too emotional over a good book. (


Alexander Slater – Agent Trident Media Group

Alexander Slater has been with Trident Media Group since 2010. For many years he oversaw the foreign rights sales of all of Trident’s young adult and children’s projects, which includes the work of R.J. Palacio and Louis Sachar. Now with his own list, he’s kept his focus on YA and middle grade with an eye towards contemporary fiction, light fantasy, narrative nonfiction, and any work in general that expands the ideas of representation in children’s literature. Particularly, his manuscript wish list includes graphic novels, stories that blend genres, and historically underrepresented voices. Some of his clients today include Keah Brown, Jodi Kendall, Adam Perry, and SCBWI’s 2017 Emerging Voices Award Winner Anuradha D. Rajurkar.(


Jennifer March Soloway, Associate Agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Jennifer March Soloway represents authors and illustrators of picture book, middle grade, and young adult stories. She enjoys all genres and categories, such as laugh-out-loud picture books and middle-grade adventures, but her sweet spot is young adult. A suspense junkie, she adores action-packed thrillers and mysteries. Throw in a dash of romance, and she’s hooked! But as much as she loves a good thriller, she finds her favorite novels are literary stories about ordinary teens focused on family, relationships, sexuality, mental illness, or addiction. Regardless of genre, she is actively seeking fresh new voices and perspectives underrepresented in literature. Jennifer is actively building her client list and welcomes queries to To learn more about Jennifer, follow her on Twitter, @marchsoloway, and find her full wish list at


Mekisha Telfer – Editor Roaring Brook Press

Mekisha Telfer is an associate editor at Roaring Brook Press (Macmillian), where she is building a list of picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels. She got her start in publishing in 2014 as an editorial assistant with Simon and Schuster BFYR/Salaam reads, and has also worked briefly at Glasstown Entertainment. Some titles she’s had the privilege of working on include the New York Times bestselling series To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi, The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi, and Stuart Gibb’s Moon Base Alpha series. Mekisha is committed to supporting unrepresented voices and is always on the hunt for character-driven stories with a mix of humor and heart.(



The following professionals critiques are sold out. (Professionals will not be attending the conference.)


Kelly Delaney, Associate Editor Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Kelly Delaney is an Associate Editor at Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, where she acquires and edits picture books and middle grade and young adult novels. She has a master’s degree in Publishing: Digital and Print Media from NYU and has been at Random House Children’s Books for eight years. Books she has edited include Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi, Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung, Lucy and the Rocket Dog by Will Buckingham, and Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, and she has been fortunate enough to work with many of her favorite authors, from R.J. Palacio and Markus Zusak to Anita Lobel and Norton Juster. You can follow her on Twitter at @kellyunderwater.


Andrea Morrison, Agent with Writers House, LLC

Andrea Morrison started at Writers House as an intern in 2009. She’s had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators in genres ranging from picture books to middle grade and YA to adult literary fiction and nonfiction. Having studied Literature/Writing at University of California, San Diego and having earned her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, Andrea is hands-on editorially. She’s hungry for YA that appeals to all ages and that blends crazy-beautiful language with characters navigating the nutty, magical, and hard parts of being a teen. She’s also particularly excited about author/illustrator picture books and funny, heartfelt middle grade novels. Most importantly, she’s looking for characters that need to be heard—for stories that grab your heart and don’t let it go, even after they’re finished.



Prism of Hope Conference Schedule (Schedule and topics subject to change)


Friday Night – Conference Registration opens at 6:00 PM:

7:00 – Opening Remarks, Traditional song, poem, and introductions


7:30 – Alexander Slater – THE HOPE OF EVERY AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR, a session on the current industry and tips for getting work into the “prism.”


7:30 – Face-to-Face Consultations with Speakers


8:30 – Mingle with the Speakers


Saturday Conference Registration opens at 8:00 AM:

8:15 – Glass room – New Orientation Session


9:00 – Main room – Opening Remarks (Crowd favorite postcards voting until 12:30 PM and Face-to-Face Consultations continue throughout the day)


9:15 – Speaker Panel – Brief introduction, discussion about pressing issues in kidlit industry, their wants


10:15 – Mekisha Telfer – THE HOPE OF EVERY CHILD, a session on writing/illustrating for all children including how to handle characters outside your culture, gender, religion etc…


11:15 – Rachel Murray – HOPE…A HALLMARK OF BREAKOUT BOOKS, a session on achieving an irresistible “take-away” no matter what you are writing/illustrating


12:00 – Lunch 


1:30 – Door prizes/Crowd favorite announcements


1:45 – Jennifer March Soloway – REFINING THE PRISM, a session on three stages of revision


2:45 – Breakout Craft Intensives (Choose one session to attend):







3:45 – Breakout Craft Intensives (Choose one session to attend):

Rachel Murray – INTO THE DEPTHS OF THE PRISM, a session on deeper level techniques for writing and selling children and teen books – geared for agented and/or published authors


Melia Parsloe – THE WAVEGUIDE OF ILLUSTRATING, a session on illustrating specifically for children and teenagers


Jennifer March Soloway – THE BRIGHT ANGLES, a session on fundamentals of the craft of writing for children and teens – geared for non-published and/or non-represented authors


4:30 – Final door prizes/Finishing remarks/Book Signing and Mingle with Speakers


SCBWI Conference Policies:

No one under the age of 18 is permitted to attend any Conference events.


Blogging & Recording Policy:

By registering for this Conference, you acknowledge that audio taping, video taping, and/or transmitting or aiding in any of the foregoing of any part of the Conference (including, but not limited to, presentations, individual sessions, and networking events) is prohibited. Additionally, the material in all handouts and presentations is copyrighted and may not be reprinted, blogged, written, orally transmitted, and/or reproduced without written permission from the copyright holder only. If you are found in violation of the above, SCBWI reserves the right to remove you from the Conference and bar you from attending future conferences.

While we love when bloggers share thoughts about their overall experience, offer a personal anecdote, and/or briefly talk about something that resonated with them, it is equally important that bloggers not give away that which is not theirs to give. The fair use policy issued by SCBWI above refers to speakers’ rights, authors’ rights, and illustrators’ rights, under any circumstances, and it pertains to the content of our speakers’ talks, workshops, and/or handouts. This falls into the category of protecting intellectual property. Again, personal impressions, a quote that is cited, and/or a general overview would be considerate. However, it would be a breach of copyright law to give away a detailed report of a presenter’s material. Thank you in advance for taking this policy into account. Your professionalism is greatly appreciated.


Food Policy:

While we make every attempt to accommodate food sensitivities, please understand that we cannot ensure every single participant’s dietary preferences and food sensitivities for every meal.  We ask that if you have serious allergies/sensitivities or strict food preferences that you please bring supplementary food with you.


Anti-Harassment 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 has a zero-tolerance policy regarding harassment, intimidation, and discrimination. This includes all harassment, intimidation, and discrimination made on the basis of race, age, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, religion, class, body size, veteran status, marital/domestic partnership status, citizenship, or any other marginalized identity. Harassment includes verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as deliberate intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention, and bullying or coercion of any kind, in particular forcing another to accept your beliefs.


The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination at SCBWI programs and activities and is applicable to all SCBWI events and all SCBWI venues, including but not limited to SCBWI events, conferences, meetings, meet-ups, critique groups, and online interactions. Harassment, intimidation, and discrimination at any SCBWI event, any one of the foregoing events, or online is prohibited.

CLICK HERE to read full Anti-Harassment Policy.


Other Relevant SCBWI Policies:


Privacy Policy

The SCBWI takes very seriously the responsibility of maintaining our members’ privacy. It has long been, and will continue to be, our policy not to share or sell members’ personal information, including contact information or membership activity, such as conference or workshop attendance. Communications from the SCBWI to its members are limited to information regarding the field of publishing and related endeavors,

If members were to receive questionable correspondence from someone outside of the organization or believe their contact information may have been shared or hacked by an outside entity, please contact us at once at We will investigate the source and, if necessary, issue an immediate cease and desist order to the offending party,


Weapons Policy

It is the policy of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to maintain an environment that is safe for all persons.  To achieve this objective, it is the SCBWI’s policy to maintain a firearms and weapons free environment at all of our events and prohibit the possession of firearms and weapons regardless of any license or permit that an individual may have which would otherwise authorize the individual to carry firearms or weapons. Weapons are defined as anything that is intended to cause harm to another person.


Non-Solicitation Policy

The SCBWI has a very strict policy on the use of any and all member and Regional Volunteer contact information. This applies to all published materials from the SCBWI and information on the SCBWI website and on its regional websites. This includes all email addresses, member information and chapter volunteer contact information, including but not limited to Regional Advisors, Assistant Regional Advisors and Illustrator Coordinators. THIS CONTACT INFORMATION MAY NOT BE USED FOR ANY SOLICITATIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, OR OTHER ITEMS OF ANY KIND. Violation of this policy will result in immediate termination of your membership.