Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Winter Great Critique – January 2020

Date(s) - 01/18/2020
9:00 am - 12:00 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. 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.

There will be a meet and greet at 9:00, where attendees sign in and get their name tags, then can enjoy a cup of coffee and a snack while meeting other writers and illustrators. Faculty books will be available for purchase during the refreshment time as well.


The early bird rate through December 15th for SCBWI members is $15 and for non-members is $25. Regular rates start on December 16th and will be $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

You must pre-register for this event–no registrations at the door. Registration opens November 15th at 8:00 a.m. Registration closes January 10th.  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 Winter 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 January 18th! 

Questions about this event? Contact Lisa Gerlits,

Great Critique 2020 Faculty:


Cindy Baldwin – Middle Grade 
Cindy Baldwin is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Where The Watermelons Grow and the forthcoming Beginners Welcome. As a middle schooler, she kept a book under her bathroom sink to read over and over while fixing her hair or brushing her teeth, and she dreams of writing the kind of books readers can’t bear to be without. She lives in Hillsboro with her husband and daughter.

Addie Boswell – Picture Books
Addie Boswell is an artist and writer living in Portland but grown in Iowa. She specializes in murals and picture books that focus on family, community, and the creative power of children.  Titles include The Rain Stomper, The Snow Dancer, Five on the Bed, and the “In Motion” series which starts with Go, Bikes, Go! Her writing, always vetted by her decade-long critique group Viva Scriva, has won two Oregon Literary Fellowships, an Oregon Arts Commission Grant, and an Oregon Spirit Award. When not working from her home studio, Addie can be found teaching kids and adults around the Northwest, filching drawings from her five-year-old, and waiting for the rain to return. Find more at

Zoe Burke – Picture Books
Zoe Burke is the author of the Annabelle Starkey mysteries, Jump the Gun and No Gun Intended  (Poisoned Pen Press, 2013, 2016) and several children’s books including the Charley Harper Nature Discovery Books: What’s in the Woods, What’s in the Rain Forest, What’s in the Coral Reef, and What’s in the Desert? (Pomegranate, 2013, 2014, 2017). She has also developed and written board books for little ones: Count the Birds, Animal Alphabet, and Book of Colors (Pomegranate, 2015), CatBook, Owls & Loons, Lines and Triangles and Squares, Oh My! (Pomegranate, 2016, 2017), Molly Hashimoto’s Birds!  and Molly Hashimoto’s Trees! (Pomegranate, 2018, 2019).

In her day job, Zoe Katherine Burke (also known as Katie) is the vice president and publisher of Pomegranate Communications, an art book publishing company. She enjoyed a brief singer/songwriter career in the 1990s. She grew up on the East Coast, lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for some thirty-five years, and currently resides in Portland, Oregon.


Kelly Fry – Illustrator 
Kelly Fry is the illustrator of the Washington Post featured picture book “But I Don’t Eat Ants”. She has illustrated a number of books for kids including “Expert Advice on How to be a Lady” and “Birds of Wordhollow”. She’s also a maker of spot illustration and book covers, having worked for TinHouse Magazine and Microcosm Publishing. Fry lives in Portland, Oregon where she can be spotted teaching at PNCA or riding her bike around town.

Melissa Hart – Middle Grade 

Melissa Hart is the author of the award-winning middle-grade novel Avenging the Owl (Sky Pony, 2016) as well as Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens (Sasquatch, 2019), and the forthcoming middle-grade graphic nonfiction Media Adventurer’s HandbookDecoding Persuasion in Everyday News, Ads, Videos, and More (FirstSecond, 2020)She’s contributing editor at The Writer Magazine, and teaches for the MFA in Creative Writing program at Southern New Hampshire University. Web:
Twitter/Instagram: @WildMelissaHart 

Sarah Jane Marsh – Nonfiction
Sarah Jane Marsh is a narrative nonfiction writer and the author of Disney-Hyperion’s THOMAS PAINE AND THE DANGEROUS WORD and MOST WANTED: JOHN HANCOCK AND SAMUEL ADAMS (forthcoming 2020). Her Thomas Paine book is a 2019 Teacher’s Choice by the International Literacy Association and a National Council of the Social Studies Notable Book of 2019. Sarah loves visiting schools and sharing a growth mindset. She lives outside Seattle and got started at an SCBWI Great Critique event. Visit her or on Twitter at @MsSarahJMarsh.

Kate Berube – Picture Books
Kate Berube (Bear uh bee) grew up in a cow-filled Connecticut town where she dreamed of being an artist.  She earned her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and spent a semester studying in Paris. Like many artists, though, her career trajectory wasn’t a straight line – along the way she was a nanny, a tax preparer, a scenic painter, a decorative painter, and a bookseller (at celebrated Powell’s Books). Portland is where she now makes her home with her husband and daughter.

In 2013, Kate was featured on the blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, in an ‘Up-and-Coming Illustrator’ post. Publishers Weekly named Kate a spring 2016 ‘Flying Start’ and she now has five picture books published. Her work has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, and has been on multiple ‘best book’ lists, including Chicago Public Library, SLJ and All the Wonders. Kate’s authorial debut, HANNAH AND SUGAR, was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, was a CCBC Charlotte Zolotow Highly Recommended Title, a Parent’s Choice ’16, shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize, and won the Marion Vannett Ridgway Award and the Oregon Book Award for Children’s Literature. THE SUMMER NICK TAUGHT HIS CATS TO READ was a CLEL Bell Award winner. THE SANDCASTLE THAT LOLA BUILT and MAE’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL were both reviewed in the New York Times. MAE’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL is a finalist for the Oregon Book Award for Children’s Literature.


Suzy Vitello – Young Adult
Suzy Vitello’s young adult novels include Jr. Library Guild pick THE MOMENT BEFORE, THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES and THE KEEPSAKE. Her award-winning short fiction and nonfiction has appeared in The Rumpus, Mississippi Review, Plazm, Tarpaulin Sky, The Southampton Review and various anthologies and other literary journals. She has been a prize winner in The Atlantic Monthly Student Fiction Contest, The Frank McCourt Memoir Prize, and has been a recipient of an Oregon Literary Arts grant. She lives in Portland where she writes and runs workshops in her basement.

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Ticket Information

Non-Member Ticket - Early Bird - $25.00
Non-Member Ticket - Early Bird Rate

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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.