Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2019 SCBWI SoCal Writers and Illustrators Day at CSUF

Date(s) - 09/28/2019
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

CSUF, Titan Theater Inside the Titan Student Union Building
800 N. State College Blvd. - Fullerton , CA 92831-3599

This conference is now closed!! Stay tuned for details on next year’s conference

Saturday October 3rd, 2020.


Our annual 2019 SCBWI Writers and llustrators Day at Cal State University Fullerton is coming on SATURDAY, September 28, 2019 along with an Illustrators Art Exhibit the night before.  

Calling all writers, Illustrators, published and pre-published creative people. You are invited to meet an Editor, an award winning author/illustrator and three Agents along with published authors and illustrators. Get the insiders scoop on Children’s Publishing. 

The one-day conference is packed with plenty of opportunities for our attendees: Picture Book contest, Middle Grade Contest, Young Adult contest, manuscript critiques, dummy critiques, Friday night Illustrator’s Art Exhibit, First Pages Panel, Portfolio Displays, bookstore hosted by Mrs. Nelson’s Books, lunch with the editors and authors, Pal Book displays, book signings, and book giveaways. Don’t miss out on this fabulous chance to connect with industry professionals!


Brian Lies, award winning author/illustrator

Brian has illustrated almost thirty books, including his 2019 Caldecott Honor-winning THE ROUGH PATCH, which also won a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite Award, Got to Get to Bear’s! and his NY Times-bestselling bat series ( Bats at the Beach Bats at the Library,  Bats at the Ballgame, and Bats in the Band).  His first two written-and-illustrated titles were Hamlet and the Enormous Chinese Dragon Kite (1994), and Hamlet and the Magnificent Sandcastle (2001).

BONUS OFFERING: sign up for a 15-minute one-on-one consultation with Brian on either your picture book dummy or portfolio.

Beth Phelan, Literary Agent – Gallt & Zacker

Beth Phelan (she/her) has been working in agencies since 2010, now at Gallt & Zacker since late 2017. She represents authors of middle-grade and young adult books and gravitates toward stories and characters that inspire, and anything with a touch of humor and the bittersweet—across genres. Beth is also the creator of #DVpit, a Twitter pitch event for marginalized creators, which she launched in April 2016. (Twitter: @beth_phelan, @DVpit_).


Stephanie Guerdan, assistant editor – HarperCollins Children’s Books

Stephanie Guerdan is an assistant editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she moved in 2017 following jobs at a literary agency and as a bookseller. Some of the titles she’s worked on include New York Times bestselling author Natalie Lloyd’s Problim Children trilogy, Tehlor Kay Mejia’s critically acclaimed debut We Set the Dark on Fire, and the Soldier Dogs series. She is interested primarily in middle grade and YA, especially in speculative genres and graphic novel formats, with a focus on inclusive stories from fresh voices.


Stephen Barbara, literary agent – Inkwell Management

Stephen works with a variety of clients, including New York Times and international bestseller Lauren Oliver, Newbery Medal winner and New York Times bestseller Laura Amy Schlitz, National Book Award nominee Lisa Graff, Printz Honor awardee Susann Cokal, bestselling fantasy graphic novelist Ethan Aldridge, and children’s author Minh Lê, whose picture book Drawn Together appeared on more than 20 “Best Of” Lists at the end of 2018; clients local to Southern California include Atia Abawi, author of the acclaimed YA novel A Land of Permanent Goodbyes, and Marlene Perez, author of the popular eight-book Dead Is … series.

While selective in taking on new clients, Stephen is always drawn to compelling stories that marry quality writing to bold, imaginative concepts.


Jonah Heller, Associate Editor – Peachtree Publishing Company 

Jonah Heller is an Associate Editor at Peachtree Publishing Company Inc. in Atlanta, GA. He graduated with an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and earned his BFA in Dramatic Writing for Film and TV at the Savannah College of Art and Design. His editorial focus ranges from board book to young adult. Say hello on Twitter @jrheller87


Andrea Loney – award winning Picture Book Author


Andrea J Loney received the 2014 Lee & Low New Voices Award for her picture book biography TAKE A PICTURE OF ME, JAMES VAN DERZEE!, a Junior Library Guild Fall 2017 selection with a starred Publishers Weekly review and an NAACP Image Award Nomination. Her picture book BUNNYBEAR, published by Albert Whitman & Co., was on the 2018 ALA Rainbow List, and DOUBLE BASS BLUES will be published by Random House Knopf in October 2019 as a Junior Library Guild Winter 2019 selection with starred reviews from Kirkus, Horn Book, and Publishers Weekly. Andrea is a proud faculty member of SCBWI and the Highlights Foundation, as well as a board member of the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California. She volunteers as a story time reader, a second grade coordinator, and a curriculum development specialist at Reading to Kids. A graduate of New York University with a BFA and an MFA in Dramatic Writing, she’s currently a computer science instructor at a Los Angeles Trade Technical College.


    Author panel : D. Garfinkle and M. Perez                           

Marlene Perez – Middle Grade/Young Adult Author


Marlene Perezis the author of books for children and adults, including the best-selling DEAD IS series for teens. DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK was named an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers as well as an ALA Popular Paperback. DEAD IS JUST A RUMOR was on VOYA’s Best Science Fiction, Horror, & Fantasy List.  Her novels have been featured in Girl’s Life, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan. The first book in her newest teen trilogy will be released in 2020.

She grew up in Story City, Iowa and is the youngest of twelve children. She lives in Orange County, California with her husband and children. Visit Marlene at www.marleneperez.comor follow her on Twitter @MarPerez or on Instagram at marperezauthor.



Debra Garfinkle – Middle Grade/Young Adult Author 


Debra (AKA Debby) Garfinkle has published 32 books in eight languages for teens and children under the names D.L. Garfinkle, Debra Garfinkle, and D.L. Green. Her YA novel Storky: How I Lost My Nickname and Won the Girlmade her a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Her humorous chapter book series include 14 Zeke Meeks books and the Silver Pony Ranch series with Scholastic. Holiday House will publish her middle grade novel, Violet and the Pie of Life, in Spring 2021 under the name Debra Green. Debra lives in Orange County, works as a lawyer, and hopes one day to settle on a pen name.


Illustrator breakout session for attendees with Brian Lies

—Discussion panel with authors Debra Garfinkle and Marlene Perez.



Hannah Mann,  junior agent – Writers House

Though Hannah Mann will not be at the conference, she has generously agreed to offer 10 written critiques!



Hannah Mann is a junior agent with Writers House. She received her BA in narrative studies from the University of Southern California. As Steven Malk’s assistant since 2013, she has had the privilege of working closely with a variety of extraordinarily talented best-selling and award-winning authors and illustrators. In 2017 she began building her own client list of authors and illustrators, focusing on character-driven children’s work, from the youngest picture books to mature YA.


art on this page courtesy of the ever talented, generous Steve Bjorkman



To enter contest for Picture Books, Middle Grade, or Young Adult, email five pages to:

Deadline: Sept 2nd midnight

  email as attachment

Subject header:Genre/contest/2019 CSF


MG/contest/2019 CSF        PB/contest/2019 CSF             YA/contest/2019 CSF

Follow format guidelines posted here:

art by Steve Bjorkman                         


After you’ve successfully registered …

Deadline: Sept 2nd midnight    email as attachment

To submit your 10 pages for a written critique from the agent/editor you signed up for, email to:

Subject header:

EDITOR or AGENT NAME /Written Crit/2019 CSF


Guerdan/Written Crit/2019 CSF

Phelan/Written Crit/2019 CSF

Follow format guidelines posted here:



For a chance to have the first page of your work read aloud and critiqued by a panel of editors and agents, email to:

Deadline: Sept 2nd midnight    email as attachment

Subject header: Genre/First Page/2019 CSF


MG/First Page/2019 CSF        PB/First Page/2019 CSF

YA/First Page/2019 CSF

Follow format guidelines posted here:

Illustrator Opportunities

Free Exhibit for Illustrators: 

Illustrators Gallery Night Event

5:30-6:30 PM Friday September 27

room VA 292, 2nd floor Building E, Cal State Fullerton

daily parking $10/free after 5PM

Gallery Night is a GREAT opportunity for your work to be seen by our prestigious faculty!
There is no fee for this event but there are a few rules to ensure everyone gets ample time to be appreciated and seen.
* You may bring 1 illustration mounted or matted.  Giclees or copies are fine. No Frames!
Images must be no larger than 11″ x 17″ (Matted: 14″ x 20″).
* Due to room limitations, only one illustration per artist is allowed.
* You may add a set of postcards or business cards next to your work. Postcards should be no larger than 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″. (Optional: One Sheet/Comp Sheet showing your work on an 8.5″ x 11).
* NO PORTFOLIOS! No exceptions! This Gallery Night is an intimate ‘meet and greet’. You will have ample time to have your portfolio seen by the RIGHT person during our Portfolio Exhibit..and, of course, reviewed by our faculty if you chose.
* No food or drinks allowed in the room.
* Only registered illustrators allowed to exhibit work.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Gina Capaldi at:
Portfolio Event
 Saturday September 28 during the conference
 This is a great opportunity for illustrators work to be seen by our faculty.  
What you need to do: Once you have checked into Author/Illustrator’s Day, set-up your portfolio behind the stage of the main conference room. The placement of your portfolio is determined on a ‘First Come, First Serve’ basis.  
Once you have selected your space and set-up your business cards, postcards and/or contact sheets, you must leave.  Portfolio deliveries must end when the conference begins. * Late deliveries will be handled only during the first break-and if there is room available. 
*While every effort is made to retain the placement of your portfolio there is no guarantee that it will remain in its original position. Due to space constraints, the final positioning of Portfolios will be determined ONLY by the ILLUSTRATOR COORDINATOR or US Regional Illustration Coordinator.
Portfolio Pick-up: After event at 6:30 PM
Portfolio requirements: No larger than 15″ x 13″ (closed). No more than 15 images. NO ORIGINAL ART
Dummies: 1 dummy, attached to your portfolio is allowed
Marketing materials requirements: Bring enough marketing materials!  Postcards (no larger than 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″), business cards, contact sheets (8.5″ x 11″ folded to 8 1/2″x 5 1/2″).
* No more than one grouping of Postcards allowed. 
** Please Note: Your portfolio will be pulled from the exhibit if there is a clear and blatant disregard of the above rules. 
Some ideas of what to add to your portfolio: Bring your best work. Try to have your illustrations tell a story. Children and animals in various poses that show continuity. 
Questions?  Contact Gina Capaldi (Illustration Coordinator)
SCBWI SoCal Website Regional Contest
Your work could be featured as the official regional banner art on the SCBWI SoCal website. The website is frequently visited by agents, editors, SCBWI members, and others.
How it works: Bring your portfolio to Authors/Illustrators Day on Saturday, September 28 and our guest faculty will choose the winning portfolio. Your name will be announced towards the end of the day! The winner receives 1 year full membership and bio segment with link to personal website on our SCBWI SoCal website.
*  Please note:  Parties must agree upon unlimited usage for one year in the form of digital media or print with appropriate credits.
*  Artwork must be original with copyright held by winner.
*  Contest is limited to SCBWI members who attend Author/Illustrator Day, September 28, 2019.
Questions? Contact Gina Capaldi  (Illustrator Coordinator):


For questions contact our awesome event coordinators:

SoCal Regional Advisor, Tim Burke at


SoCal Co-Assistant Regional Advisor, Bev Plass at


SoCal Co-Assistant Regional Advisor, Ernesto Cisneros at


Illustrator Coordinators: 

 Regional Illustrator Coordinator, Gina Capaldi  at