Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Fall Harvest Authors and Illustrators Day

Date(s) - 10/01/2022
8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Titan Student Union, Pavilion Room, Cal State University Fullerton
800 N State College Blvd - Fullerton, CA 92831



Speakers (alphabetical by last name)

Marlo Berliner

Associate Agent at Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Marlo Berliner has been actively building her list as an Associate Agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency since 2018. She joined JDLA as an editorial intern after having completed a previous internship at The Bent Agency. Marlo has been involved in publishing in various capacities since 2007, first as a writer, then an award-winning young adult author, then a freelance editor, and finally a children’s lead bookseller at Barnes & Noble. She is a member of SCBWI. Prior to her career in the publishing world, Marlo was an accounting manager for a Fortune 500 company and holds B.S. degrees in Economics and Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Marlo lives in Northern New Jersey with her husband, two sons, and one rambunctious puppy named Max (who doubles as her puplicist).

Heather Buchta

Author of Beyond the Break and Chasing After Knight

Heather Buchta loves sports, the Bible, and a good glass of whiskey. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in communications, Heather taught high school English for twelve years in South Central LA before becoming a full-time author. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, running, obstacle-course racing, snowboarding, rock climbing, and playing soccer. She lives in the beach cities of Los Angeles, where she dotes on her two dogs and writes stories from her indoor porch.

website / twitter / instagram


Jemiscoe Chambers-Black

Associate Agent at Andrea Brown Literary

Before Jemiscoe “Jem” Chambers-Black joined Andrea Brown Literary Agency in 2020, she was an assistant director for film and television. Her love for books prevailed, and she returned to school to study English literature and creative writing in fiction and earned her MFA. She is currently building a diverse list of illustrators and authors, and currently represents adult fiction, YA, MG, CB, and picture book authors (by referral only). Across the board, and regardless of age group or genre, she is interested in writing that contains authentic emotional resonance–whether it brings on the giggles or tears or both.

website / twitter / instagram

Kayla Cichello

Agent at Upstart Crow Literary

Kayla Cichello is an agent with Upstart Crow Literary open to picture books through YA and illustrators. She’s searching for voices that can make her laugh, and keep her turning the page, but above all else, voices that feel authentic and honest. Some of her clients include Ana Otaru, author of the upcoming picture book MASQUERADE FOR GRANDPA (Atheneum/S&S, 2023), and a follow up in 2024, and author/illustrator Kirbi Fagan, illustrator of SUMMER OF THE TREE ARMY (Sleeping Bear, 2021). You can find more about Kayla’s taste at:

website / twitter / instagram

Ernesto Cisneros

Award-winning author of Efren Divided and Falling Short

Ernesto is a 20-year veteran teacher currently serving the city of Santa Ana: the colorful but mostly dismissed section of Orange County, California.  He teaches reading and writing to local students at an inner-city intermediate school.

He holds an English degree from the University of California, Irvine; a teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach; as well as a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from National University.

website / twitter / instagram

Saho Fujii

Senior Art Director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

Saho Funii has designed a wide range of books, including picture books, board books, activity and novelty books, and middle grade and young adult novels. She currently oversees the LBYR’s picture book list. She has worked with many award-winning illustrators, including Sophie Blackall, Grace Lin, LeUyen Pham, Jerry Pinkney, and Javaka Steptoe.


Tootie Nienow

Author of There Goes Patti McGee:  The Story of the First Women’s National Skateboard Champion

Tootie Nienow has been a school librarian for ten years. Before that she was a teacher, photographer, mother, social worker, and soldier. She loves sharing silly, scary, and suspenseful stories with her students. Although she has ridden a skateboard around her neighborhood, she has never once attempted a handstand. Tootie lives in Southern CA with her husband and dog.

website / twitter/  instagram

Lori Polydoros

Author of Quake Chasers: 15 Women Rocking Earthquake Science

Lori Polydoros has been writing for children for over twenty years and has published over 80 books, article and short stories. Her latest work is QUAKE CHASERS: 15 Women Rocking Earthquake Science published by Chicago Review Press April 2022. Her life in education has been a wild ride—first teaching elementary and then moving on to middle school. She is a high school English teacher and community college adjunct instructor in Orange County, California. A long-time SCBWI volunteer, Lori does many author visits and writing workshops. When she’s not writing, she may be hiking with her two unruly rescue pups, looking for butterflies or traveling off-the-beaten path with her amazing two kids and husband. Lori’s lifelong dream is to tell stories that carry us away, give us a reprieve from the dark reality life can bring, and empower those without a voice. To remind us of the tenacity and resilience of the human spirit.

website / twitter / instagram

Susi Schaefer

Illustrator of Zoo Zen, and Author-Illustrator of Cat Ladies

Born and raised in the Austrian Alps, Susi Schaefer trained as a glass painter in the medieval town of Rattenberg. After moving to Southern California for sun and adventure, Susi studied graphic design. She’s the illustrator of ZOO ZEN by Kristen Fischer, author-illustrator of CAT LADIES and the upcoming THE GLOW SHOW. Susi lives in North Tustin, California, with her family.

website / twitter / instagram

Jonathan Westmark

Executive Editor at Albert Whitman

I’m looking to create books that affirm and expand readers’ understanding of themselves and the many ways in which they can fit into the world. And I’m looking for authors and illustrators who represent the diversity of our population.

I’m looking for young adult and middle grade fiction, chapter books, and picture books across most genres. I love editing manuscripts that engender empathy and expand readers’ conceptions of themselves and how they fit into the world.

Cyndi Wojciechowski


Cyndi Wojciechowski is a Filipino-American illustrator and character designer. She illustrated the #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Superpower Sisterhood, written by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush. Her love for books stems from childhood. After working many years as a teacher, a stage and costume designer for children’s theatre, and creating art installations for TEDx Youth Bommer Canyon, Cyndi decided to pursue a lifelong dream, to illustrate children’s books. She lives in Southern California with her family and her furry rescue lab. She is represented by Jemiscoe Chambers-Black. 

Critiques, Contests, Scholarships


For Writers

Written Critiques

If you register for a written critique, please follow these instructions:

Formatting: Your manuscript must be saved as a Word document, double-spaced, Times New Roman, one-inch margins, and must have a header with your name and page numbers. The synopsis may be single-spaced, one-page, one-inch margins and saved as page 11 of your submission. In the case of picture book submissions, if you wish to give the faculty member the option of viewing your dummy along with your manuscript, please include a dropbox link along with the text. We cannot guarantee that all faculty members will be open to viewing the dummies.

Email ten pages of your manuscript and a one-page synopsis as one attachment (doc or docx) to Bev Plass:

Subject line: Critique/Agent or Editor’s last name/Your full name; for example: Critique/Chambers-Black/Bev Plass

Deadline: August 20, 2022, midnight

1:1 Pitching Sessions

You may sign up to pitch your projects to one of our faculty during a 10-minute 1:1 session. Available for in-person attendees only. For tips on creating a pitch for your book, read this.

Written Contest

You’re encouraged to join our writing contest. At the event, we’ll announce winners in three categories: Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. If you submit MG or YA,  email 5 pages. If you enter a PB, submit the entire document.

Formatting: Your manuscript must be saved as a Word document, double-spaced, Times New Roman, one-inch margins, and must have a header with book title and page numbers. DO NOT put your name on your pages. The judges need your entries to be anonymous.

Email your pages to Cynthia De La Torre at

Subject line: Genre (PB, MG or YA), Contest, Your First & Last name.

Deadline: August 20, 2022, midnight

First Pages

During our event, we will read aloud anonymous first page submissions to the group, and a panel of experts will give off-the-cuff feedback. If you’d like to participate,  please bring three copies to the event, paperclipped together, and turn them in at the registration table.

Formatting: Your manuscript must be one page, double-spaced, Times New Roman, with one-inch margins. If it’s YA or MG, format the bottom half of the page. If it’s PB, you may submit a full page entry.

If you are attending virtually, please email your first page submission to Bev Plass at  In the email SUBJECT box, write FIRST PAGES, GENRE (PB,MG, OR YA), your FIRST LAST NAME .

Deadline : September 24, 2022, midnight

For Illustrators Secret Code

For Illustrators

1. Portfolio OR picture book dummy Critiques 

Get a written critique by Art Director Saho Fujii!

Deadline: August 20, 2022, midnight. Only 10 spots available! 

How to submit your Portfolio

All portfolio submissions  MUST be online. After registering for your spot (at the bottom of this page), fill out this form

How to submit your Picture Book Dummy

After registering for your spot (at the bottom of this page), email Shiho Pate at with

• Subject line “Dummy Critique from FIRST NAME LAST NAME”

• 1 PDF with 15 MB or less

• Picture book best practices:

2. Portfolio Showcase

Sign up for the Writer’s Day and you are eligible to participate! 

Deadline: August 15, 2022, midnight.

How to submit your portfolio

Fill out this form

Bonus option for attending in person

Bring your physical portfolio on the day of the conference!

• Portfolio size can’t exceed 32″ across or 15″ high. Please email Shiho Pate at if you plan to bring your portfolio so we can plan for enough table space for all participants

3. Ask an Art Director

Talk to Art Director Saho Fujii privately for 10-minutes! Bring your questions. Bring samples of your work!

Sign up for your spot at the bottom of this page. Only 5 spots available!

For Everyone Secret Code

For Everyone

1. 2023 SoCalendar 20% off with registration!

Get your first annual 2023 SoCalendar!

Each month features artwork from talented local SCBWI members

The calendars make great holiday presents!

When you register for the conference, you get to VOTE for which illustrations to go into the calendar. Votes due Aug. 15, so register early!

The SoCalendar will be sold at the conference and online for $25. As a special deal to those who pre-order with their registration, you can buy it for only $20!

2. Book Signing

Our author and illustrator speakers will sign books. Bring your own or purchase them at the bookstore the day of the event

3. Equity and Inclusion Scholarships

Five scholarship spots to the SCBWI Fall Writers and Illustrators Day 2022 are available for writers and/or illustrators from underserved communities, including but not limited to BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and people with disabilities. To apply, please send an email to Cynthia De La Torre at with the subject line: Equity and Inclusion Scholarship.

Submission guidelines

In the body of the email include the following information:

• Your name, email, and contact phone number

• Whether you are an SCBWI member (need not be to enter)

• Statement of intent (how would winning this scholarship help you put forward an underrepresented voice?)

• A one page writing sample or illustration sample

• Winners will be notified by August 30. Scholarship awards are non-transferrable and cannot be exchanged for cash. 

Deadline: August 20, 2022, 10 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

4. Covid Safety

To help everyone feel safe and healthy, and to minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19, we will follow safety procedures implemented by SCBWI and CSUF. We’ll sit at round tables in the Pavilion to allow for distance between attendees. You may choose to attend in person or attend online via Zoom.

If you choose to attend in-person, you agree to the following:

You must show proof of vaccination OR proof of a negative PCR test taken no earlier than three days before the event.

You or your family members must not have been sick for 10 days prior to the retreat.

You must wear a mask when indoors.

These guidelines may be updated to reflect current policies implemented in Oct.

5. Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel for any reason, you may do so by Friday, September 30 for a full refund. Other options include changing to the online version of the conference (with appropriate reimbursement) or watching the video-recordings at a later date. If you need to cancel or change your registration option, please contact Bev Plass at

Registration Secret Code

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

In-Person Attendance (Non-Members) - $200.00

In-Person Attendance (Members) - $150.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Zoom Attendance (Non-Members) - $150.00

Zoom Attendance (Members) - $100.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

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 Zooms, Webinars, online meetings, 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, volunteers, 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;
  • Unwelcome sexual attention or advances;
  • 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;.
  • Harmful or prejudicial verbal comments, written comments, or visual images related to gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion, socio-economic status, disability, age, appearance, body size, or other personal characteristics;
  • Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images
  • Unwelcome or uninvited attention or contact
  • Physical assault (including unwelcome touching or groping);
  • Real or implied threat of physical harm;
  • Real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm;
  • Body policing, unwelcome photography or recording;
  • Doxing
  • 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.

We expect all participants at SCBWI activities, meetings, and networking events to abide by this Anti-Harassment Policy in all venues, including sanctioned events, ancillary events, unofficial events, and social gatherings.


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, volunteers, 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 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.