Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Summer Great Critique 2019

Date(s) - 06/22/2019
9:00 am - 12:30 pm

TaborSpace, The Dining Room
5441 SE Belmont Street - Portland, OR 97215

SCBWI Oregon’s Great Critique is an event that happens twice a year. (Don’t you love our new logo?) Each session is an awesome opportunity for writers and illustrators to be critiqued by a professional and up to five of their peers.

Never been in a critique group? Wish you could be critiqued by someone who is ahead of you in the publishing game? Want to strengthen your work? Need a fresh set of eyes and ears on that oft-revised piece? This is your chance. A published author or illustrator will lead each small group and critique your manuscript or art. You’ll also hear/see others’ work and get feedback from those writers and illustrators too. Plus you’ll learn from the comments by the critique leader about the work of others.

So join us for a morning of perfecting your craft. And, who knows, you might make a few new like-minded friends to start a new critique group, too. And you can purchase some books from our faculty members—we now take credit cards as well as checks and cash.


9:00 to 9:30: Check-in, networking, and refreshments

9:30 to 9:50: Faculty Introductions

9:50 to 10:50: Critique Session

10:50 to 11:00: Break

11:00 to 12:00: Critique Session

12:00 to 12:30: Faculty Book Sales


Registration opens Friday, April 12th at 8:30 a.m. Early bird rate through May 18th for SCBWI members is $15 and for non-members is $25. Regular rates start on May 19th and will be $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

Registration extended through Monday, June 17th at 11:59 pm.  There are a few spots left. You must select your critiquer when you register—one selection only. Please review the Great Critique Faculty Bios below before you select your critiquer.

You must pre-register for this event—no registrations at the door.

If you are having trouble registering, contact Sue Ford at

How It Works

IMPORTANT! Please refer to the Summer Great Critique Resources page for information on how the Great Critique works. That page also tells you what to bring, and how many copies, on June 22nd! Click on the link above and there’s also a link in the tan box in the upper right.

Questions about this event? Contact Joan DiCicco,


Wendy Wahman – Illustration


Former Seattle P-I newspaper artist, Wendy Wahman now writes and illustrates children’s books. Her debut picture book, Don’t Lick the Dog; Making Friends with Dogs, was selected as a 2010 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, starred for Outstanding Merit and accepted to the Society of Illustrators Original Art show. Other books include A Cat Like That, Snowboy 1,2,3, Rabbit Stew, Pony in the City, and Nanny Paws.  Wendy’s editorial illustrations have appeared in major publications including Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, writer Joe Wahman and their standard poodles.

Hannah Holt – Picture Books

Hannah Holt is a children’s author with an engineering degree. Her picture books, The Diamond & The Boy (2018, Balzer+Bray) and A Father’s Love (2019, Philomel) weave together her love of language and science. She lives in Oregon with her husband, four children, and a very patient cat named Zephyr. She is on Twitter at @hannahwholt. Website:

Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan –
Picture Books
Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan is a former elementary reading specialist who now devotes herself to writing for children and visiting schools. She is the author of Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3, Grace Zong ill. (Peachtree), I’m Done! Catherine Lazar Odell ill. (Holiday House) and Button and Bundle, Gillian Flint ill. (Knopf). When Your Daddy’s a Soldier, E.B. Lewis ill. (Beach Lane) and No Party Poopers!, Lucy Semple ill. (Little Bee) will appear in 2020. She writes chapter books and middle-grade fiction as well.

Gretchen grew up as a global nomad, daughter of a career Army officer, and lived on three continents. She has settled in Camas, WA where she lives with her husband, cat and dog, stunt squirrels, nomadic neighborhood chickens, and celebrates when her children and grandchildren come home. Children will find a home in her heartfelt books about community, courage and compassion.

When she isn’t writing or teaching, Gretchen can be found reading, playing word games, attending plays, hiking in the woods with her dog, x-country skiing and sewing. Please visit Gretchen at for more information about her books, events and author visits.

Stephanie Shaw – Picture Books
Stephanie Shaw loves talking stories with other picture book writers. Her (thirteen so far) books range from “lullaby” type board books to picture books for the four to ninety-four year old set.   Don’t be timid about sharing either rhyme or prose—she loves and writes both. She works with a variety of traditional publishers in the UK and US, as well as many stories with Highlights and High Five magazine. More info on Stephanie can be found on her website at

Katherine Schlick Noe – Middle Grade

Katherine Schlick Noe retired in 2015 from Seattle University’s College of Education where she taught literacy in the Master in Teaching and directed the Literacy for Diverse Learners graduate programs. She now lives in Oregon’s upper Hood River Valley and writes fiction for young readers. Katherine’s first novel, Something to Hold (Clarion, 2011) explores issues of belonging, friendship across cultures and finding the courage to speak out for justice. The book was selected as the 2015 Jefferson County (Oregon) Community Read and nominated for the 2015 Sasquatch Award (Washington Library Media Association). It also was chosen as the 2013 youth selection for Hood River County (Oregon) Reads, won the 2012 Washington State Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award (Washington Center for the Book), and named a 2012 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (NCSS). Katherine has also co-authored four books on literature circles for teachers. She is currently working on a young adult novel set in Seattle. Her website is:


Cidney Swanson – Middle Grade


Cidney Swanson writes unforgettable contemporary characters who are genuinely shocked to find themselves thrown into perilous or Sci-Fi situations. Cidney’s work has received several awards, including a Kirkus Reviews annual Best of Young Adult/Teen and an SCBWI Spark Honor Book. Although known for YA, Cidney has a soft spot for Middle Grade stories and reads them avidly. When not placing her characters in peril, Cidney can be found asking her husband, cats, kids, and anyone else who will listen why it rains so much in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Her website is:


Carolyn O’Doherty – Young Adult
 Carolyn O’Doherty is the author of a young adult trilogy about teenagers who can freeze and rewind time. The first novel, Rewind (Boyds Mills Press), was named a Best Book of 2018 by Multnomah County Library and is one of YALSA’s 2019 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. The sequel, Unleashed, comes out in September. The final book in the series arrives in spring of 2021. Carolyn holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast. She has taught at The Attic and facilitated workshops for Write Around Portland. Carolyn lives in Portland where, when not writing, she develops affordable housing. Visit her at:

Ruth A. Musgrave – Nonfiction

Ruth A. Musgrave is an award-winning nonfiction author of hundreds of magazine articles and 20-plus books. She has seven new books out in 2019. Five of her books are for National Geographic Kids including Bedtime (Look & Learn series) and four books for their new Little Kids First Board Book Series: Space; Animals on the Go; Ocean; and Wild Animal Sounds. Her middle grade books include Gates of the Arctic (Rourke, 2019), Dry Tortugas (Rourke, 2019), and Mission Shark Rescue: All About Sharks and How to Save Them (National Geographic Children’s Books). As the contributing writer, Ruth is part of National Geographic Little Kids Magazine’s editorial team. Ruth’s work is translated and sold throughout the world. Website: