Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

26th Annual Pocono Mountain Retreat 2018

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Date(s) - 05/04/2018 - 05/06/2018
3:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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


You bring the FORCE to your work.

We’ll bring the FORCE with awesome faculty and engaging sessions.


May 4 – 6, 2018

Registration opens on February 27 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 annual Pocono Retreat is packed with talent. This year’s faculty includes: Tara Lazar, Angela Dominguez, Harold Underdown, and KM Walton, as well as industry professionals: editor Kate Prosswimmer, art director Ellice Lee, and agent Kira Watson.

Our theme this year is MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU and is meant to inspire FORCE in your work and in the children’s book community. You’ll enjoy portfolio reviews, manuscript critiques, craft sessions, and the comforts of the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center.


Faculty bios HERE.

Tentative schedule HERE.


Our full conference schedule runs from Friday, May 4th, 3:00pm with an optional tour of Boyds Mills Press and Highlights Magazine editorial offices, through Sunday, May 6th, at 1:00pm. The cost is $275 for SCBWI members ($325 for non-members).  Sorry – no refunds after 4/17/18.

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 (did we mention?) write. Sorry – no refunds after 4/17/18.


(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 $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.

*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. 


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) 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 2018”

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 12, 2018.

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.


At least one full scholarship is available to SCBWI EPA members who demonstrate exceptional promise as a writer or illustrator, and who could not otherwise afford to attend the retreat. Scholarship(s) will cover the registration fee and full accommodations for the weekend. Recipient(s) are responsible for transportation and should assist as needed during the retreat.

To apply: First, ensure that you are an SCBWI EPA member. EXTENDED TO March 18, 2018 please email (Use Subject line: Pocono Retreat 2018 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 OR Three Illustrations

→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 April 2, 2018.

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, 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 Virginia Law Manning at


The conference faculty will sell their books through our on-site independent bookseller. The conference bookstore will be open  Saturday & Sunday.

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. All member sales will take place on Saturday, May 5th.

The Silent Auction is always a highlight of the Pocono Retreat. Every year businesses, 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. Please consider donating an item for the auction, and follow this link to see the fantastic packages already submitted!
Contact EPA Illustrator Coordinator Virginia Law Manning at with questions or donation information.


(Free with registration)

New to 2018, Peer-to-Peer manuscript and portfolio critiques will take place Saturday evening prior to the Silent Auction announcements.


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 5 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.

Deadline:  Email your submission to ARA Lindsay Bandy, subject line CAT Submission no later than April 12,2018.


Sign up for this useful peer review of your portfolio by contacting Illustrator Coordinator Virginia Law Manning by April 20, 2018.


(Free with Registration)

Faculty will offer informal 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. font, one page only (up to 250 words) or three illustrations from the same narrative (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. 

Deadline: April 20, 2018.



Register online at Payments accepted via PayPal or check payable to:

Eastern PA SCBWI c/o Kim Briggs, PO Box 533, Pocono Pines, PA 18350


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 (Kim, Alison, Lindsay, and Virginia) 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

Please also register for meals and lodging with Jo Lloyd.

Member Ticket - $275.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

For SCBWI members. Please also register for meals and lodging with Jo Lloyd.

PAL TICKET - $175.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.


Event Extras

26th Annual Pocono Retreat Critiques

                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 has a zero-tolerance policy regarding harassment, intimidation, and discrimination. This includes all harassment, intimidation, and discrimination made on the basis of race, age, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, religion, class, body size, veteran status, marital/domestic partnership status, citizenship or any other marginalized identity. Harassment includes verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as deliberate intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

                The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination at SCBWI programs and activities and is applicable to all SCBWI events and all SCBWI venues, including but not limited to SCBWI events, conferences, meetings, meet-ups, critique groups, and online interactions. Harassment, intimidation, and discrimination at any SCBWI event, any one of the foregoing events, or on-line is prohibited.


                Code of Conduct

                All participants in SCBWI events and activities, 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:


                -Deliberate 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 controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct 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:


                -All SCBWI conferences 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 request assistance from any SCBWI officer, employee, or regional team member.


                -SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any incident of harassment. 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 can be filled out anonymously or with identifying information. 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 online. Emails will be monitored at all times, including during SCBWI events. SCBWI will fully investigate all complaints, including those made anonymously, and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence. Please note however, 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. SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.




                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. 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. Every report will be investigated by a panel consisting of independent consultants specializing in issues of harassment. The results of the investigation and the recommendations of the panel will be reported to the officers of SCBWI, who will determine, in conjunction with the panel or, when appropriate, in consultation with an independent arbiter, the appropriate sanction.

                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 the 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;


                -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 the event, without refund;


                -denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;


                -termination of SCBWI membership, without refund;


                -prohibition future SCBWI membership





                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. 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.


                * SCBWI acknowledges the contributions of Geek Feminism, Science Fiction Writers of America, and WisCon for their work in developing anti-harassment policies.



                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.