Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Fall Philly 2019

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Date(s) - 11/02/2019
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine St. - Philadelphia, PA


Stories Bring Us Together

This year at Fall Philly, we’re focusing on all the ways stories can make the world a more inclusive, understanding place. We’ll help you get your story into the hands of the kids who need it with keynotes and breakouts on everything from character development to marketing strategy, a special panel on sensitive and diverse representation, and professional faculty critiques. Fiction or non-fiction, picture books or novels, published or just starting out, we’ve got you covered!

Only $100 for SCBWI members, including lunch! ($130 for non-SCBWI members)

We are excited to offer up to two scholarships to writers whose manuscripts connect with this year’s theme! Please see below for application details.


Here’s an overview of what the day will look like:

9:30 a.m. Registration opens

10:00 a.m. Keynote with Nicole Fiorica (asst. Editor, Margaret McElderry Books): Developing Compelling Characters

11:00 a.m. Breakout sessions

Juliana Lauletta (publisher at Kane/Boyds Mills Press): Writing for the Educational Market

Kat Enright (agent at Seymour Agency): Recognizing Bias in World-Building

Donna Gephart (middle grade author): Tickling Your Reader’s Funny Bone

12 noon Lunch (included with registration – please select your entree at registration)

1 p.m. Faculty Panel: Bridging the Divide – Real Talk on Writing Sensitively, Inclusively, and Accurately Featuring Dawn Michelle Hardy, Jes Negron, Jamie Beth Cohen, Adrienne Wright, and Donna Gephart

2 p.m. Breakout sessions

Adrienne Wright (author/illustrator): Developing A Story Across Racial Lines

Jamie Beth Cohen (YA author): Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers

3 p.m. Closing Keynote with Dawn Michelle Hardy, The Literary Lobbyist (Dream Relations PR & Literary Consulting)

4-4:30 p.m. Optional Guided Tour of the 5 Senses Exhibit at the Free Library

*Critiques will take place throughout the day. Please select the faculty member and time of your choice at registration. See below for more information!

Meet the Faculty….

Adrienne Wright grew up in South Africa where she studied illustration and graphic design at the College of Art and Design in Johannesburg. After working as a designer and art director in advertising agencies there and in the US, she followed her interest in illustration. As a long time member of SCBWI, she volunteered as Illustrator Coordinator for the Eastern PA chapter, and finally realized her dream. Her debut picture book HECTOR: A BOY, A PROTEST, AND THE PHOTOGRAPH THAT CHANGED APARTHEID, which she wrote and illustrated, was published in June 2019.




Donna Gephart’s award-winning middle grade novels include Lily and Dunkin, In Your Shoes, Death by Toilet PaperHow to Survive Middle School and her latest, The Paris Project. Her first novel, As If Being 12-3/4 Isn’t Bad Enough, My Mother Is Running for President, won the prestigious Sid Fleischman Award for humor. She’s a former creative writing teacher and a popular speaker at schools, book festivals and conferences. After 21 years in South Florida, Donna has returned to the Philadelphia area with her family and is enjoying soft pretzels, WaWa hoagies and vegan cheesesteaks.



Jamie Beth Cohen is a writer who works in higher education. She writes about difficult things, but her friends think she’s funny. Her non-fiction has appeared in, The Washington Post/On Parenting, Salon, and several other outlets. Her debut novel, Wasted Pretty, was published by Black Rose Writing in April 2019. Set in 1992, it’s the story of a sixteen-year-old girl who is deemed “pretty” for the first time and all the things that are exciting, annoying and, in her case, dangerous about that moment. Although a writer at heart, Jamie has done a number of other things in order to feed, clothe, and shelter herself and her family. Her favorite job was scooping ice cream in Pittsburgh, PA when she was sixteen years old. She thinks everything about sixteen was wonderful and amazing, except all the stuff that was horrible. Connect with her at, on Twitter @Jamie_Beth_S, or on Instagram @WastedPretty.


Kat Enright, (they/them), is an Associate Agent at the Seymour Agency who represents both fiction and non-fiction. As someone who lives on the corner of many intersections, they are most especially interested in elevating voices of marginalized authors. For more information, please check out their MSWL on, and they can be found on Twitter and Instagram (both, @katenright).





Jes Negrón has worked in media in both the book and video game industries. Her biggest passion is elevating underrepresented voices, which is reflected in both her professional and personal projects. Jes currently works as Editor for Boyds Mills & Kane, where she acquires children’s literature. When she isn’t reading, writing, or editing, she is probably playing video games, binging TV shows, or singing karaoke. She has an unhealthy obsession with Xenomorphs and will fight you about the feminist themes in the Alien franchise.




Nicole Fiorica is an assistant editor at Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. She works on everything from picture books through young adult, in a wide range of genres including both fiction and nonfiction. Nicole has the pleasure of working with a number of talented  authors that include Cassandra Clare, Margaret Rogerson, Kit Frick, Hilary McKay, Susan Cooper, Amber Smith, and many others. She is always on the hunt for stories that push the limits of the imagination and characters that come alive on the page. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, Nicole enjoys pottery and watches too much reality TV.

Juliana Lauletta serves as publisher of Kane/Boyds Mills Press.

(bio coming soon!) 







Dawn Michelle Hardy is a powerhouse who shares industry truths. She is a talented entrepreneur who helps writers garner notoriety on which they can build a respectable career as established authors.

In a 2013 career profile published by Ebony magazine Dawn Michelle Hardy was described as ‘the literary lobbyist’ for the range of support she offers novice authors. With 17 years of experience working with self-published and traditionally published authors of fiction, non-fiction and poetry this is the ideal moniker for this charismatic self-starter.  Dawn is a highly creative and passionate book publicist, literary agent and publishing consultant with a proven track record of taking writer’s ideas from conception to completion.

Dawn understands that promoting writers and their books are about discoverability, access and an entrepreneurial approach. The New York native is a frequent conference speaker who enjoys igniting a fire under up and coming writers with publishing aspirations. She shares her insights on industry and career focused podcasts including Manuscript Wish List, Switch Pivot or Quit and Dreams in Drive.

As an independent publicist Dawn launched Dream Relations PR & Literary Consulting in 2004. Through her agency she consults self published authors on best publishing practices, prepares writers for the querying process, and manages pre-publication details for debut book campaigns resulting in notable sales, increased readership, award wins and industry honors including, the Phyllis Wheatley Award, New York Times Bestseller Eric Hoffer Award for Independent Publishing, National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA),USA Best Book Award, and PEN Literary Award finalist in Non-Fiction Sports.

For 8 years Dawn represented sports writers and cultural critics as an associate agent with Serendipity Literary Agency. During this time, she established herself as thought leader in the constantly changing publishing space and built a solid list in which 75% of the titles she brought to market are collaborative ideas birthed from pop-culture topics in the genres of music, sports, LGBT and civil rights.

Dawn serves on the NAACP Image Award literary committee for fiction and memoir/biography, was awarded ‘Publicist of the Year’ by the African American on the Moves Book Club and inducted into the Copiague High School Hall of Achievements for being a distinguished alumna. She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology who completed the New York City Marathon in 2014.

The truth as Dawn sees it, is that if you truly want to publish a book that will be well received by readers, the most important assets are having the right resources and tools and the discipline to see it through.


Faculty Manuscript Critiques

-Please select the faculty member(s) and time slot(s) of your choice at registration.

-Please submit up to 10 pages of a single manuscript (double spaced, 12pt Times New Roman, 1-inch margins) plus a one-page synopsis to before October 12, 2019. You will receive a confirmation e-mail upon receipt. (Please note that even if a picture book manuscript consists of less than 10 pages, you may only submit one manuscript per critique.)

-Each 15-minute face-to-face critique costs $45, and includes both written and verbal feedback from the faculty member of your choice. You will receive written feedback via the SCBWI Gold Form at your designated appointment time.

-Please note that critiques are scheduled during breakout sessions and keynotes throughout the day. We advise carefully checking the available critique slots against the day’s agenda before making your selections.


-Up to two scholarships will be awarded to writers whose work connects in some way to the theme of “Stories bring us together.” All applications will be carefully reviewed by the regional team of Eastern PA SCBWI.

Application deadline: September 30, 2019

-Please e-mail the following information to :

-A brief letter of introduction explaining why you would like to attend Fall Philly this year and how you and/or your manuscript connects with the theme

-Up to 10 pages of your manuscript, plus an optional one-page synopsis for novels

Current SCBWI members who live in Eastern Pennsylvania will be considered first, but current members from other regions may also apply. Please note that if no applicants meet the requirements, EPA SCBWI reserves the right not to award scholarships for this event.


Your registration fee includes a catered, boxed lunch by la Brulee, served on-site. At the time of registration, you’ll be asked to make an entree and beverage choice. The following options will be available:

1. House Roast Beef: Roast Beef, Oven Roasted Red Onions, Arugula & Lemon Basil Mayo on an 8 Grain Roll; served with potato salad, gourmet chips, and cookie
2. Smoked Chicken Salad: Smoked Chicken Salad, Chipotle-Lime Aioli & Bibb Lettuce on a Croissant; served with potato salad, gourmet chips, and cookie
3. Tabbouleh Salad (vegan): Bulgar Wheat, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Scallions & Torn Parsley with a Lemon Mint Vinaigrette; served with fresh-baked roll, gourmet chips, and cookie
Please select either bottled spring water or Honest Tea iced tea .
(Complimentary coffee will be available at morning registration.)


Please e-mail co-RA Lindsay Bandy at with any questions or concerns. Can’t wait to see you there!




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-SCBWI Member - $130.00
Includes catered lunch

SCBWI Member - $100.00
Includes catered lunch

Event Extras

Please select your lunch (included with registration)

        Please select a beverage (included with registration)

            Faculty Critiques (Optional, additional charge)

                                                                                                                                            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.