Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Summer Great Critique: June 2020-A Virtual Event

Date(s) - 06/27/2020
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Date – 06/27/2020
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

The comfort of your own home!



The Critique

SCBWI Oregon’s Great Critique is an event that happens twice a year. Each session is an awesome opportunity for writers and illustrators to be critiqued by a professional and 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.

Registration: Opens May 6th

The early bird rate through June 3, 2020 for SCBWI members is $15 and for non-members is $25. Regular rates start on June 4th and will be $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

You must pre-register for this event. Registration closes June 24th. You must select your critiquer when you register–one selection only. Please review the Great Critique Faculty Bios below before you select your critiquer.

If you are having trouble registering, contact Robin 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 where to send your manuscript or digital images and how to attend the event virtually.

Questions about this event? Contact Lisa


Summer Great Critique 2020 Faculty:


 Carolyn Conahan – Illustrator 

Carolyn Conahan fell from a family tree of teachers and engineers and rolled away to a world of make-believe, writing and illustrating stories for children. Recent projects include illustrations for STUBBY THE FEARLESS SQUID, by Barbara Davis-Pyles, THIS OLD VAN, by Kim Norman, and TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN OREGON, by Susan Blackaby. She also wrote and illustrated THE BIG WISH and TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS DOGS. In her day job, she’s staff illustrator for Cricket Magazine (which means she draws the bugs). She lives in Portland, OR, and works (so to speak) in a studio built of recycled materials, in the shade of a tree she brought home in her pocket.

Visit her at:

Kevin Diller – Picture Books

Long ago and far, far away—well, Los Angeles, actually—Kevin used to make his living as a screenwriter and playwright before turning to producing commercials as an accidental career. Fatherhood brought him back to writing and a bedtime story he used to tell his daughter eventually became HELLO, MY NAME IS OCTICORN, from HarperCollins. The sequel, OCTICORN PARTY!, came out earlier this year.  Kevin lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two kids and anxiety.

Karl Newsom Edwards – Picture Books

Karl Newsom Edwards is a Bay Area native, and a graduate of the California College of the Arts with a degree in drawing. He has illustrated children’s picture books since the 1990s.

“Fly!” was his author/illustrator debut in 2015. “I Got a New Friend” is his second author/illustrator book published by Knopf.  He illustrated “The Hugely Wugely Spider” (Farrar Straus Giroux) and “Stewart’s Best Pen” (Clarion). Picture books for very young readers are his focus. He lives in Portland, Oregon and is an avid cyclist.

Jane Kurtz – Picture Books TABLE FILLED

Jane Kurtz is an award-winning author of more than forty books including picture books, middle grade novels, and ready-to-read books. Her newest nonfiction picture book, What Do They Do With All That Poo? (Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster) was one of five finalists for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books, an Oregon Spirit Book Award, a children’s choice award in Mississippi, and a nominee for awards in many other states. She is currently reviewing thumbnails for a new picture book inspired by her Portland neighborhood: Chickens on the Loose (West Margin Press). She is also on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Children’s and YA Literature and volunteers her time to create Ready Set Go Books in English and Amharic for children in and from Ethiopia.


Jody J. Little – Middle Grade & Young Adult 

Jody J. Little is a third-grade teacher who loves sharing her joy of books and reading with her students. She lives in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon with her family and an immortal pet rabbit. Her debut middle-grade novel, Mostly the Honest Truth, was a Winter/Spring 2019 Indies Introduce and Indies Next Selection, and a 2020 Oregon Book Award Finalist. Her second novel, Worse Than Weird, is a story set in Portland about discovering the weird in everyone. Visit her at or follow her on Twitter @jodyjlittle

Sara Nickerson – Middle Grade

Sara Nickerson studied journalism and creative writing at Washington State University. After graduation she moved to Seattle and began her writing career, working in television and film. She wrote a screenplay that would become her first middle-grade novel: How To Disappear Completely and Never Be Found (HarperCollins, 2002). She is also the author of The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me (Dutton, 2015) and Last Meeting of the Gorilla Club (Dutton, 2019).

Dan Richards – Picture Books TABLE FILLED

Dan Richards is a beloved children’s author known for his picture books Can One Balloon Make An Elephant Fly and Penny and Penelope and his middle grade novels Stu Truly and Stu Truly First Kiss. His latest picture book Once Upon A Goat received a Booklist starred review and was a Junior Library Guild Selection, Amazon Best of the Month Book, and an Indie Next Selection. Dan lives in Bothell with his wife, two kids, and two mischievous doodles. Visit Dan at 

Mary Elizabeth Summer – Young Adult

Mary Elizabeth Summer contributes to the delinquency of minors by writing books about teenagers with criminal tendencies. She has a BA in creative writing from Wells College, and her philosophy on life is “you can never go wrong with sriracha sauce.” She lives in Portland, Oregon with her wife, daughter, two dogs, and two evil overlor—er, cats. She is the author of the TRUST ME series.



Due to a system glitch it appears as though you can choose more than one session. However, these sessions are held simultaneously so you’ll only be able to attend one.

Please choose one critiquer only.