Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Deadlines, Clarifications and PAL Bookstore


Early Bird Registration ends 3/1/20. Avoid paying an increased registration fee! Payment must be received by 3/1/20.

The deadline to register and pay for a Portfolio Critique is 3/15/20.

The deadline to submit a title for the PAL Bookstore is 3/15/20.

Written Manuscript Critiques and payments are due 3/15/20.

The deadline to register and pay for the conference is 4/15/20.


Manuscript Critiques (Please see the Manuscript Submission Guidelines link to the right.)

This is a MEMBERS ONLY opportunity. Only one manuscript per person may be submitted. All manuscripts AND payments ($50) must be received by 3/15/20. Online payments will be made at time of registration. Payment by check must be received by 3/15/20. Payments by check will clear within two weeks. WE ARE UNABLE TO ACCCEPT MAIL REQUIRING A SIGNATURE. 

All payments by check and manuscripts for critique must be sent to our P.O. Box:

P.O. Box 1017
Davis, CA 95617

Portfolio Critiques and payment must be received by 3/15/20. (See the conference link for illustrators for more information.)
This MEMBERS ONLY opportunity is a critique of your portfolio, performed in person by an art professional. (This is not the same as the Portfolio Showcase.) Payment ($50) must be paid at the time of registration, or if paid by check, it must arrive no later than 3/15/20. Bring your portfolio with you to your critique meeting on the day of the conference. Do NOT send it to us in advance.

The Portfolio Showcase doesn’t have a deadline. Just show up with your portfolio at the specified time and place. (See the conference link for illustrators for more information.)

The Portfolio Showcase is a FREE opportunity open to MEMBERS ONLY. Artists can display their work on tables in the “Portfolio Room” during the conference. Attendees and faculty are encouraged to leave written notes. Judges will choose one winner, who will receive a free face-to-face Portfolio Critique at next year’s 2021 Spring Spirit Conference.

Portfolio Showcase vs. Portfolio Critiques: Explained

The Portfolio Showcase is FOR MEMBERS ONLY and is a display of the portfolio artwork on a table, like an informal art gallery, for conference attendees to view. It is free. Attendees and faculty are encouraged to leave comments via post-it notes on the artwork. Portfolio Critiques are paid-for critiques FOR MEMBERS ONLY, where an art professional gives you feedback on your portfolio.

PAL Bookstore title submissions are due 3/15/20.

Each PAL member (after registering for the conference) may submit one title to be included in the conference bookstore. In the event that we receive more titles than the bookstore can stock, priority will be given to debuts and those not represented in the 2019 PAL Bookstore. At the request of our conference bookseller, all titles submitted must be PAL titles. Additionally, your book must have been published between April 1, 2019 and April 1, 2020. To submit your title, please register for the conference and then send the following information to Nikki Shannon Smith at 

Title, Author, Illustrator (if applicable)
Publication Date


A full refund of registration less a $30 processing fee will be granted through March 15, 2020. From March 16, 2020 through April 15, 2020, a 50% refund will be offered IF we can fill your spot using the waiting list. Otherwise, no refund will be granted. No refunds will be offered after April 15, 2020. No refunds for manuscript or portfolio critiques regardless of cancellation date. We are a nonprofit organization, and our region is run completely by volunteers. Refunds create additional paperwork, time, and PayPal fees for the region, so we thank you for understanding this non-negotiable cancellation policy.

Please Note: During this period of public health concerns, SCBWI had modified its cancellation/refund policy as follows:  If you are sick and cannot attend an event, you will be able to receive a full tuition refund up until the day of the event so that you can stay home, take care of yourself, and prevent the spread of illness. This policy is in effect until September 1, 2020. Be well.


By signing up for this event, you acknowledge that audio/video recording and/or transmitting or aiding in 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 of the copyright holder ONLY. Conference tuition is what pays for the “inside” information you’ll learn at the conference.