Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

25th Annual Pocono Retreat

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Date(s) - 04/28/2017 - 04/30/2017
3:00 pm

Highlights Foundation at the Barn
392 Boyds Mills Road - Milanville, PA




Join us to celebrate 25 years of Eastern Pennsylvania SCBWI! 

Sign up now!

April 28-30, 2017

Held at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center


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

Attend Workshops, have your work professionally critiqued, and even find a little creative time if you'd like!

Our annual Pocono Retreat is packed with talent. This year’s faculty includes Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Kelly Light, and Kim Briggs, as well as industry professionals: agent, Tracy Marchini; agent, Taylor Martindale Kean; art director, Giuseppe Castellano; and editor, Orli Zuravicky.

Our theme this year is BY THE NUMBERS so bring along statistics about your work-in-progress to share with the group. You’ll enjoy portfolio reviews, manuscript critiques, craft sessions, and the comforts of the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center (yum!!)


PAL members have an extra incentive to join us this year and celebrate our 25th anniversary.

Check out your special PAL rate and opportunities to sell and sign books at the event.

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Click here for more information on Faculty Bios


Our full conference schedule runs from Friday, April 28, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM (registration and Critique-a-thon beginning at 10:30 am), through Sunday, April 30th, at 1:30 PM and the cost is $275 for SCBWI members ($325 for non-members).  Sorry – no refunds after 3/27/17

PAL REGISTRATION: $175 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 write. Sorry – no refunds after 3/27/17.

LODGING/MEALS: (not included in registration) 

Lodging is available on site at the Highlights Foundation or at the nearby Central House.  Rooms for two nights (Friday and Saturday) and onsite meals from Friday–Sunday lunch are $293 for a single and $218 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.

If you are choosing the Saturday-Only option, accommodations for meals can be made by contacting or call 1(877) 512-8365 or (570) 251-4557. Cost is $75.  

Single night room accommodations can also be arranged if needed.  Cost is $88.  Please contact or call 1(877) 512-8365 or (570) 251-4557.

If you will not be staying onsite, please contact Jo Lloyd (above) to make necessary meal arrangements.

*Please inform of any dietary restrictions when making lodging 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 you needs, or call 1(877) 512-8365 or (570) 251-4557. 


SATURDAY ONLY OPTION – Life is busy. We understand. If you can't get away for a full weekend, you don't have to miss the entire event!  You can register for our Saturday-Only option and still hear fantastic speakers, hone your craft in your choice of 2 Workshops (choose 1 from each selection A B or C), and opt to add in a professional critique too!  Cost for Saturday-Only Registration is $215 for SCBWI members ($250 for non-members).  Sorry – no refunds. Meals and Lodging are not included in Registration fees. Those opting for Saturday Only Registration will still need to make meal arrangements with Jo Lloyd at the Highlights Foundation.


One or two full scholarships are available to SCBWI EPA members who demonstrate exceptional promise as a writer or illustrator, and who could not otherwise afford to attend the retreat. Scholarships will cover the registration fee and full accommodations for the weekend. Recipients are responsible for their own transportation and will be asked to volunteer and assist as needed . Please do not apply if you can truly afford to attend. Those who have received SCBWI EPA scholarships previously may not apply.

To apply: First, ensure that you are an SCBWI EPA member. Then, no later than March 31, 2017 please email (Use Subject line: Pocono Retreat 2017 Scholarship Application) the following materials:

1. One-page cover letter explaining why you wish to attend and what you hope to gain from the conference

2. Illustrators: One illustration (in any standard electronic format) and a link to your illustrator's website OR Three Illustrations

3. 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 must not be published or under contract.

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

5. Winner will be notified by email.

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


(Free with registration) This is a peer to peer critique session where you can get feedback on your manuscript and offer others feedback on theirs)

Deadline:  Email your submission to subject line CAT Submission no later than April 7,2017.  Include your name, email and the genre at the top.  No cover letter. 

For picture books:  Send the entire 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.) 

Format:  Double-space, one-inch margins, page numbers, and use .doc or .docx format.


(Free with registration)  

Sign up for this invaluable peer review of your portfolio by contacting Illustrator Coordinator Adrienne Wright  by April 14, 2017.


ARTWORK/PORTFOLIO CRITIQUES: (at additional cost of $45) Register and add on this option. Bring your art to the conference. Please do not send your work in advance. Submit your payment of $45/critique with your conference registration.

MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUES: (at additional cost of $45) Register and add in this option. Email up to 10 pages of one manuscript, plus a one-page synopsis to  using Subject Line “MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE POCONOS 2017”.

For picture books:  Send one entire 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 7, 2017. No submissions will be accepted after this deadline and revisions will not be accepted either.

Note: 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 often overlap workshops, and signing up for a critique may mean you'll miss part of a workshop.


(Free with Registration) 

We’ve planned one session where a panel from the faculty will give feedback from selected Fresh Pages/New Looks. To be considered, please use Subject Line “Pocono Fresh Pages/New Looks” and submit the first page of your manuscript, double-spaced, 12-pt. type, one page only (starting at the top of page) or one illustration, saved as jpg or PDF to  Please include the genre and word count in the upper right hand corner of the page. Names should not be visible anywhere on the page. 

We regret we may not be able to use all submissions due to time constraints but we will try to accommodate a variety of genres. 

Fresh Pages/New Looks submission deadline is April 14, 2017.


Illustrators, table space can be provided for you to exhibit your portfolio. Be sure to have any display props you may need (such as a tabletop easel). Original art is not permitted, as SCBWI cannot be responsible for any loss or damage. Please contact Adrienne Wright at for more information. 


Speakers, workshop leaders,and critiquers, and attending conference will sell their books through our on-site independent bookseller The Book Connection. The conference bookstore will be open Fri., Sat., & Sunday.

PAL SCBWI members who are paid attendees of this event may also sell their books at the conference, but must provide copies for sale at an individual table, not through the bookseller. After registering for the event, email to arrange table space.

If you are a self-published member and would like to sell books during the conference, please email with details about your publication by April 7, 2017

All member book sales will take place on Saturday, April 29.

REGISTRATION: Register online at You may pay using PayPal or snail-mail a check payable to: Eastern PA SCBWI c/o Kim Briggs, PO Box 533, Pocono Pines, PA 18350



If you’re an SCBWI member, make sure you're logged in to the website so you can see discounted member pricing.

QUESTIONS? Contact the EPA SCBWI regional team (Kim, Alison, Lindsay, and Adrienne) at