Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

VIRTUAL 2020 Pocono Mountain Retreat: TOGETHER WE CAN

Date(s) - 04/18/2020
9:00 am - 3:30 pm




April 18, 2020

9:00 am – 3:30pm with LIVE keynotes, peer-to-peer roundtables, and faculty Q & As

PLUS: 30-day access to 18 pre-recorded lectures and hands-on sessions in our Thinkific virtual classroom.

→Gather in our virtual community.

→Have access to ALL breakout session in our virtual classroom

→Have your work peer and professionally critiqued

→Stay connected with writers and illustrators in EPA

Our 2020 faculty includes Erin Entrada Kelly, Floyd Cooper, agents Wendi Gu and Eric Smith, editor Kathleen Merz, editor Alex Borbolla, and senior designer Erica De Chavez.
Eastern PA Member Presenters: Virginia Law Manning, Eric Bell,
Rose Cappelli, Eric Taylor, and Erik Ammon


 *Faculty bios here.

Our theme this year is TOGETHER WE CAN…

Together we can learn.

Together we can grow.

Together we can create.

Let’s come together virtually for our 28th annual Pocono Mountain Retreat.

Please read on for our tentative schedule,

registration details,

scholarship details, and more!

Tentative Schedule


LIVE Virtual Conference: Saturday, April 18, 2020

(All times EST)

8:45 am     Regional TECHNOLOGY check (use the link provided by our EPA team on 4/11 to access the LIVE program)

9:00 am      Welcome and Technology Guidelines

9:15 am       Faculty Introductions

9:30 am      Let’s Get Personal: How to Become Your Own Muse, Erin Entrada Kelly

10:00 am    Attendee Q & A with Erin Entrada Kelly

10:30 am    Move to small group sessions (personalized schedule to follow)

– 10: 30 – noon, virtual peer-to-peer roundtables meeting via Zoom (link provided 4/11)

– 12:00 – 1:30pm, virtual portfolio reviews with Erica de Chavez and Floyd Cooper (link provided 4/11)

– 12:30pm – 1:15pm, PAL discussion: Mentoring Programs and Read Local (link provided 4/11)

-Our Thinkific* virtual classroom opens (link provided 4/11).

                  *Thinkific: 18 pre-recorded sessions, downloadable resources, hands-on exercises on novel writing, picture books, illustration, and the business of publishing. (Virtual classroom open for 30-days!)


1:30 pm       Whole Group LIVE session Part II

2:00 pm      Floyd Cooper Keynote: LIVE

2:30 pm     Attendee Q & A with Floyd Cooper

3:00 pm     Closing remarks, and Thinkific reminders

3:30 pm      Peer-to-peer portfolio meeting via Zoom (link provided 4/11)



The cost is $180 for SCBWI members, $230 for non-members, and $120 for SCBWI PAL Members. This price includes LIVE keynotes, peer-to-peer roundtables, and access for 30-days to the Thinkific classroom with 18 lessons.

FACULTY CRITIQUES (A limited number of Faculty Critiques remain.)

ARTWORK/PORTFOLIO CRITIQUES: (at additional cost of $45) Erica de Chavez or Floyd Cooper will review your portfolio using a live Zoom meeting (link sent 4/11).

MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUES: (at additional cost of $45) submissions are due on or before March 28, 2020. Format your work in 12 point font, with one-inch margins, and double spacing.

⇒Please include your name on every page of your work as a header or a footer, as well as identifying information on page one: first & last name, email address, title, genre.

⇒Please SAVE YOUR FILE as Pocono20_Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT as a PDF or DOC or DOCx.

    Example: Pocono20_Gu_Myers_Rhoades Family Fun

⇒Then send your file to Alison at The subject should read: Pocono20_Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT (same as saved file name).


For picture books:  Send one full manuscript.

For chapter books, MG, YA:  Send up to 10 pages of your manuscript, plus a one-page synopsis. (Include synopsis in the same document; please don’t send two documents.)

Please follow standard formatting guidelines, double-spaced, 12 point font. Manuscripts must be received by April 5, 2020.

Manuscripts will be reviewed by faculty between March 30 – May 15, 2020. You will receive extensive written feedback on your submission. We will return this feedback to you in prompt manner.

SCHOLARSHIPS have already been awarded for the 2020 Pocono Retreat.

Congratulations to our recipients.


Details coming soon.


(Free with registration)

Peer-to-Peer manuscript and portfolio critiques will take place Saturday, April 18th between 10:30am – 1:30pm.

(Link provided 4/11 for your Zoom meeting call-in.)


For picture books:  Send entire manuscript and one or two sentence pitch. (Include pitch in same document.)

For chapter books, MG, YA:  Send up to 10 pages of your manuscript, plus a one or two sentence pitch. (Include pitch in same document.)

Format:  12pt font, double-spaced, one-inch margins, page numbers, and use .doc or .docx format. Include your name, email, and the genre on the first page of the submission, followed by your one or two sentence pitch.

Email your submission to CAT Coordinator Heather Stigall at 


(example, PocCAT20_PB_Stigall_THREE LITTLE PIGS)

no later than April 5, 2020.

Upon sending, CAT participants will receive a confirmation (if you do not receive confirmation, contact Heather.)


Sign up for this useful peer review of your portfolio by contacting Illustrator Coordinator Berrie Torgan-Randall by April 5, 2020.


Register online at Payments accepted via PayPal.

(Special arrangements can be made for those paying by check by emailing Rona at


IMPORTANT: If you are an SCBWI member, make sure you’re logged into the website so you can see discounted member pricing.

QUESTIONS? Contact the EPA SCBWI regional team at

A note from your EPA Volunteers:

Dear Friends,

We look forward to our Pocono Retreat each year– to gathering with you all, eating good food, and talking about great books. This year will be a little different, and we are asking for your support as we try to make the best out of the options that we have been given. We promise to flood the community with goodwill on April 18th, in the LIVE sessions, especially during our peer-to-peer roundtables where we will get to see each other face-to-face, even if remotely. We also plan to offer the highest quality hands-on sessions in our Thinkific classroom, with access to written materials and recordings for 30 days. We hope that this extended time will challenge you to try out an illustration breakout session, dip your virtual toes in a novel writing exercise, or “meet up” with a new EPA member presenter. 

Our team is made up of dedicated volunteers who are trying as hard as they possibly can given time limitations, family responsibilities, new roles at their jobs, and their own creative pursuits. We ask that you give as much understanding as possible to the decisions made at this time by these volunteers. That said, if you do not think the virtual conference is for you, or you do not wish to participate remotely, SCBWI has instituted a 100% refund policy during this time. Please email one of our regional advisors at and she will promptly offer you 100% reimbursement as quickly as she can. (Jo Lloyd at the Highlights Foundation has already been in touch about reimbursements for room and board at the retreat center due to the volunteer team’s decision to move online.)

The Virtual Retreat is much more than a one day event now, and we are excited to see what hosting a one-day kickoff, plus a one month online program has to offer. Throughout the month online, use the discussion features to post materials, offer feedback, and engage in community. TOGETHER WE CAN is needed now more than ever.

Thank you for your support!

The EPA SCBWI Volunteer Team


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

Non-Member Registration (Does Not Include Lodging and Meals) - $230.00
Non-Member Registration (Does Not Include Lodging and Meals)

Member Registration (Does Not Include Lodging and Meals) - $180.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Member Registration (Does Not Include Lodging and Meals)

PAL-Member Registration (Does Not Include Lodging and Meals) - $120.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Published and Listed (through SCBWI National) Member Registration (Does Not Include Lodging and Meals)

Event Extras


              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 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, 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.
              • Inappropriate physical contact.
              • Unwelcome sexual attention.
              • 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.
              • 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.


              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, 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 handle 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.