Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2020 Pocono Mountain Retreat: TOGETHER WE CAN

Loading Map....

Date(s) - 04/17/2020 - 04/19/2020
4:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The Barn at Boyds Mills
392 Boyds Mills Road - Boyds Mills, PA




April 17 – 19, 2020

Registration opens on February 1 at 8am.

→Network with peers, authors, illustrators, agents, and editors 

→Attend Workshops

→Have your work peer and professionally critiqued

→Retreat to your cabin to revise and write in this beautiful setting

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.
Adding sessions with our talented Eastern PA members soon.


 *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 for our 28th annual Pocono Mountain Retreat.

  • Enjoy portfolio reviews, manuscript critiques, craft sessions, and the comforts of the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center.
  • Faculty bios here.
  • Banner Contest details here.

Please read on for our tentative schedule,

registration details,

lodging and meal details,

scholarship details, and more!

Tentative Schedule

(Final topic titles to be added by February 15, 2020.)

Friday, April 17

3:00 – 4:00 pm            Arrival on campus and check into lodging

4:00 pm                         Optional opening session for new members, or new to publishing attendees

4:45 pm                         Faculty introductions via roundtables, all members encouraged to participate

5:30 pm                         Appetizers

6:30 pm                         Dinner

7:30 pm                        “Together We Can” opening keynote

8:15 pm                         Ice Cream Socials: Get to Know Fellow Members


Saturday, April 18

7:00 am                        YOGA (Optional) in the Loft

7:45 am                         Breakfast

8:30 am                        Morning Announcements

8:45 am                         KEYNOTE, Erin Entrada Kelly

9:30 am                         Break

9:45am – 12pm             CRITIQUE SESSIONS (see separate schedule)

9:45 am                         Breakout Session I (Attendee choice. No registration required.)

10:45                              Break

11:00                              Breakout Session II (Attendee choice. No registration required.)

12:00pm                       Lunch

1:15                                Announcements and Critique Group Introductions with Heather Stigall

1:30                                Breakout Session III (Attendee choice. No registration required.)

2:30                               Break

2:45 – 5:30                   Continued CRITIQUE SESSIONS (see separate schedule)

3:00                               Peer-to-peer meet-up or PAL meet-up/ Independent Writing Time

  • Peer-to-peer critique Please see Heather Stigall for details.
  • Illustrator peer-to-peer Please see Berrie Torgan Randall for details.
  • PAL (Published and Listed) Clubhouse Please see Alison Green Myers for details.

5:30                              Appetizers and book signings

6:00                             Dinner (final bids for Silent Auction at end of dinner)

7:30                             Peer-to-peer continued, S’Mores by the fire

8:30                          Silent Auction winners announced


Sunday, April 19

7:00 am                    Brook Road Nature Walk (Optional)

7:45 am                    Breakfast

8:30 am                   Morning Announcements and Upcoming Events Showcase

8:45 am                   Breakout Session IV (Attendee choice. No registration required.)

9:45 am                   Group Photo in front of the Barn

10:00 am                Closing Keynote with Floyd Cooper 

11:00                        Faculty Q/A

11:45 am                 Lunch and departures


Our full conference schedule runs from Friday, April 17th, 4:00pm through Sunday, April 19th, at 1:30pm. The cost is $255 for SCBWI members ($305 for non-members).  Sorry – no refunds after 3/10/20.

PAL REGISTRATION: $195 for SCBWI PAL Members for entire weekend. You can join our keynotes, attend our workshops, or just stay in your room and write. Hang out with your friends at meals, sell your books Saturday at our book sale, and (did we mention?) write! Sorry – no refunds after 3/10/20.


(not included in registration)

LODGING: Available onsite at the Highlights Foundation or at the nearby Central House.  Rooms for two nights (Friday and Saturday) and onsite meals from Friday (dinner) through Sunday (lunch) are $299 for a single and $249 for a double, triple or quad. Price includes room and meals for the weekend. Single rooms are limited and available on a first come, first serve basis.  For reservations, please contact Jo Lloyd at the Highlights Foundation at or call 1(877) 512-8365 or (570) 251-4557. Central House is a short drive from the retreat center.

*Please inform Jo Lloyd of any dietary restrictions when making lodging/meal arrangements*

MEALS: Are included in lodging costs from the Highlights Foundation but are not included in the registration costs.  If you will not be staying onsite, please contact Jo Lloyd to make meal arrangements.  If you have any special dietary preferences or requirements, please inform the Highlights Foundation when making lodging reservations.

Please speak directly with Jo Lloyd to ensure the arrangements available will meet your needs, or call 1(877) 512-8365 or (570) 251-4557. 

*Jo can also make arrangements for those wishing to unworkshop prior to the conference at $149/night.


ARTWORK/PORTFOLIO CRITIQUES: (at additional cost of $45) Register and add on this option. Bring your illustrator portfolio to the conference. You may also bring 1-2 originals to share with the art director/illustrator during your critique; however, SCBWI cannot be responsible for lost, stolen or damaged art. Do not send your portfolio/work in advance. Submit your payment of $45/critique with your conference registration.

MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUES: (at additional cost of $45) submissions are due on or before March 21, 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 March 21, 2020.


No submissions  or revisions will be accepted after this deadline.

Although a picture book may have fewer than ten pages, each manuscript counts as a separate submission.

You will receive an email confirmation of receipt of your manuscript.

If you do not receive confirmation by email, please let us know as we may not have received your submission.

We will try our best to honor your critique requests.

Submit your payment of $45/critique with your conference registration.

IMPORTANT: Critiques overlap with workshops, as such you may miss part of a workshop during your critique.


MORE FOR ILLUSTRATORS: Brand new EPA Banner Contest*

Find details here.


At least two full scholarships are available to SCBWI EPA members who demonstrate exceptional promise as writers or illustrators, and could not otherwise afford to attend the retreat. Scholarship(s) will cover the registration fee, lodging, and meals for the weekend. Recipient(s) are responsible for critique fees, transportation and should assist as needed during the retreat, for example, by working a shift at the event bookstore.

To apply: First, ensure that you are an SCBWI EPA member. On or before February 15, 2020 please email (Use Subject line: Pocono Retreat 2020 Scholarship Application) with a cover letter explaining why you wish to attend and what you hope to gain from the conference, as well as one of the following:

→Illustrators: One illustration (in any standard electronic format) and a link to your illustrator’s website

→Authors : Up to ten (10) pages of a manuscript (12 pt., double-spaced, saved as a .pdf, .doc or .docx). It may be a work in progress, but not work that is published or under contract.

→Author/Illustrators: Send a dummy OR manuscript (with above specifications) & one illustration. Dummy must be limited to 10MG. If you have difficulty with the size of your submission, please email

Winner will be notified by email by March 1, 2020.

The Selection Committee reserves the right not to award a scholarship if applicants do not meet necessary criteria. 


Illustrators, we hope you will participate in the Illustrator Showcase, an opportunity for you to display your artwork for the faculty and conference participants. To participate, please bring: your illustrator portfolio and/or one to two mounted prints, your illustration for the EPA Banner Contest*, promotional postcards or business cards, and any props, such as table top easels you need to display your work. Please make sure all materials are labeled with your name and contact information. Please do not display original art as SCBWI cannot be responsible for lost, stolen or damaged art.

If you have questions please email Illustrator Coordinator Berrie Torgan-Randall 



Details coming soon.

The Silent Auction is always a highlight of the Pocono Retreat. Every year SCBWI members and our faculty generously donate books, critiques, art, gift certificates, and care packages for the Silent Auction. These items are auctioned via silent bids on Saturday night. It’s a lot of fun!!!
The money raised from the auction finances the EPA SCBWI Scholarship Fund, which allows SCBWI EPA members who demonstrate exceptional promise as writers or illustrators to attend the conference when other financial means are not available to them. We hope you’ll consider donating an item for the auction. 
Please contact EPA volunteer Erik Ammon at with questions or donation information.


(Free with registration)

Peer-to-Peer manuscript and portfolio critiques will take place Saturday after breakout sessions.


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 March 21, 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 March 20, 2019.


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


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) - $305.00
Non-Member Registration (Does Not Include Lodging and Meals)

Member Registration (Does Not Include Lodging and Meals) - $255.00

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) - $195.00

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.