Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Wearing Two Hats 2019

Date(s) - 02/09/2019
9:30 am - 5:00 pm

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

logo by Cortney Benvenuto

If you’re a writer/illustrator, a writer who wants to illustrate, or an illustrator who wants to write, please join us for this very special event in Portland. We’ll explore the dual life of author/illustrators at this one-day workshop, featuring Mike Curato, Author/Illustrator of The Little Elliot series, and April Ward, Art Director at Random House.


9:30-9:45 Check in

9:45-10:00 Introduction, welcome

10:00-11:15 Speaker #1:  Mike Curato, Author/Illustrator, TOPIC: Advanced Bookmaking for Nerds

11:15-11:30 Break, Book Sales

11:30-12:30 First Glance Critique session

12:30-1:45 Lunch, Book Sales

1:45-3:00 Speaker #2: April Ward, TOPIC: Cover Collaboration

3:00-3:15 Break, Book Sales

3:15-4:15 First Glance Critique Session Round 2 with April Ward and Mike Curato

4:15-4:45 PANEL: Working Dynamics between Art Director and Author/Illustrator 

4:45-5:00 Questions, wrap up, goodbye


ADVANCED BOOKMAKING FOR NERDS: Mike Curato will expound about his illustrating and writing process from start to finish. He’ll share how he does his research and creates a reference comp, as well as his digital color techniques. Mike will also talk a little bit about how he makes books: through vulnerability and dessert. Nerds only.

COVER COLLABORATION: While an author and illustrator wears two hats there are also many other heads involved in a book’s cover process…including your editor, art director, production manager, sales department, marketing and publicity, and sometimes even booksellers. April Ward will talk about the collaborative cover decision making process and show some examples of how ideas can evolve from early sketch to printed boo

FIRST GLANCE CRITIQUES: We will have two First Glance sessions with April and Mike doing on-the-spot critiques. There will be up to 10 participants in each session and everyone will bring 4 portfolio prints or the first 4 pages of a dummy to project via Elmo camera. You must sign up for this event when you register, first come, first served. There is no extra fee for this opportunity.


Mike Curato is the author-illustrator of everyone’s favorite polka-dotted elephant, Little Elliot. Mike’s debut title in the series, Little Elliot, Big City has won numerous awards and has been translated into over ten languages. There are now four additional books in the series. He is the illustrator of Worm loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, and What If…by Samantha Berger. He is also working on his debut young adult graphic novel, Flamer.

Mike was born and raised outside of New York City, and earned a BFA in illustration from Syracuse University. After College, he worked as a graphic designer for the better part of ten years until his dream of making picture books became a reality. He currently lives in North Hampton, MA.


April Ward is the middle grade Art Director Random House Children’s Books, specializing in fiction and nonfiction books for readers ages 8-12. Originally from Oregon, April studied art and design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She has been a children’s book designer for many prestigious publishing companies including HarperCollins, North South Books, Flashkids Books, Harcourt Trade Publishers, and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, before recently joining Penguin Random House. While working as an Art Director for MCPG, April had the honor of collaborating with Mike Curato and designing his Little Elliot series, along with his stunning picture book All The Way to Havana.




This event is limited to 50 attendees. Registration opens November 10th and closes January 15th. Early Bird Registration Fees: Members: $80, Non-members: $110. Early Bird rate ends December 1st. After December 1st, fees will be Members: $90, Non-members: $120. No refunds after January 10th.

Lunch is included in your registration fee. Plans are for a salad and sandwich bar so everyone’s special diet needs should be accommodated. Dessert will be cake, including a gluten free option. Questions about this or anything else, please contact Robyn Waters, Illustrator Coordinator, at

Two Scholarships are available for this event. Deadline to apply is November 9th, at 4 pm. See full details and get an application form here.


A limited number of Written Book Dummy or Written Portfolio Consultations* (sent in advance of the event) and On-the-Spot Portfolio Consultations** (to be done at the event) will be offered. You may only sign-up for one critique OR a consultation. You must pre-register; first-come, first-served. Written dummy or written portfolio consultations are $60 each; on-the-spot portfolio consultations are $50 each.

There will also be limited opportunities for on-the-spot First Glance Critiques. There is no extra cost for First Glance Critiques but you must pre-register.

Please read complete instructions, taking note of deadlines, by following the link in the tan box in the upper right corner of this page.

In addition, we will be selling Mike’s books (see schedule above). We can accept cash, checks, and debit/credit cards.

*These written critiques by April Ward, AD, will be given to the attendees at the end of the event.

**Portfolio consultations will take place during the 10 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. presentations. (See schedule above.)

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Ticket Information

Non-Member Ticket - $120.00
Non SCBWI Members

Member Ticket - $90.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

SCBWI members only

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.

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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.