Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Winter Great Critique – January 2021

Date(s) - 01/30/2021
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

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 31st for SCBWI members is $15 and for non-members is $25. Regular rates start on January 1st, 2020 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 30th, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Registration closes January 24th, 2021.  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 2021 Faculty:


Carmen Bernier-Grand

Carmen T. Bernier-Grand is the Puerto Rican author of eleven books for children and young adults. Her biographies César: Yes, We Can! ¡Sí, se puede!, Diego: Bigger Than Life, and Frida: ¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life received Pura Belpré Author Honor Awards. Her biography Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina received starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly and was a 2012 Notable Book for Global Society.

In 2008, the Oregon Library Association’s Children’s Division awarded Carmen the Evelyn Sibley Lampman Award for her significant contributions to the children of Oregon in the field of children’s literature. Ten years later, Oregon Literary Arts awarded her the Walt Morey Young Readers Literary Legacy Award. 
Her next picture book, Juntos nos rerímos/ We Laugh Alike is scheduled for publishing in 2021.

Bernier-Grand is a member of SCBWI, Oregon Writers Colony, Authors Guild, PEN and AWP. She lives with her husband and bilingual Maltese dog, Lily, in Portland Oregon. 

Judy Cox – Picture Books 

Judy Cox is the award-winning author of twenty-eight books and more than thirty short stories for children.  

Her books run the gamut from picture books including Don’t Be Silly, Mrs. Millie! and One is a Feast for Mouse, to humorous chapter books such as The Secret Chicken Society and middle-grade animal-fantasy-adventures like The Case of the Purloined Professor.  

Judy’s books have been honored with many awards, including the Oregon Spirit Award, Nevada Young Readers Award, Children’s Choices, TIME magazine Top Ten Children’s Books, and the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe award.  

Judy has a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. She taught in Arizona, Oregon, and Idaho for nearly thirty years, finishing out her career as a reading specialist.  Judy currently lives in Grants Pass, Oregon with her black cat, Cleo.  


Facebook page: 


Christine Day – Middle Grade

Christine Day (Upper Skagit) grew up in Seattle, nestled between the sea, the mountains, and the pages of her favorite books. Her debut novel, 
I Can Make This Promise, was a best book of the year from  Kirkus, School Library Journal, NPR, and the Chicago Public Library, as well as a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book, and an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. Her second novel, The Sea in Winter, is coming to shelves on January 5, 2021. She also wrote the forthcoming She Persisted: Maria Tallchief, an early reader biography in a new series inspired by Chelsea Clinton’s bestselling picture book. Christine lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. 

 Donna Barba Higuera – Middle Grade

Donna Barba Higuera grew up in a tiny desert town in central California surrounded by agricultural and oil fields. Rather than wrangling dust devils, she’d spend recess squirreled away in the janitor’s closet with a good book. Her favorite hobbies were calling the library’s dial-a-story over and over again and sneaking into a restricted pioneers’ cemetery to weave her own spooky tales using the crumbling headstone for inspiration.

​Donna’s Middle Grade and Picture books reinvent history, folklore, and or her own life experience into compelling storylines. She still dreams in Spanglish. Her debut novel, Lupe Wong Won’t Dance, released on September 8, 2020 by Levine Querido. Her debut picture book, El Cucuy is Scared, Too! will be released by Abrams Kids in July 2021. Her Middle Grade Sci-Fi, The Last Cuentista will be released by Levine Querido in Fall 2021.Donna lives in Washington State with her husband, four kids, three dogs and a frog.

Pamela Smith Hill – Young Adult & Nonfiction

At 18, Pamela Smith Hill sold her first story to her hometown newspaper and has been writing professionally ever since.  She is the editor of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, a New York Times bestseller, and the author of the award-winning biography, Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life.  She has published three young adult novels and has taught creative and professional writing classes at universities in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.  Her Missouri State University massive open online classes on Laura Ingalls Wilder reached over 10,000 students worldwide.  Her books have been recognized by the Junior Library Guild, the United States Civil War Center, Oregon Book Awards, Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, the New York Public Library, the National Indie Excellence Committee, and the Mark Twain Award Committee.  She lives in Portland, Oregon. 

Deborah Hopkinson – Picture Books 

Deborah Hopkinson is the award-winning author of more than sixty books for young readers including picture books, middle grade historical fiction, and nonfiction.  Her awards include three Oregon Book Awards for a middle grade novel, How I Became a Spy: A Mystery of World War II London, a work of nonfiction, Courage & Defiance, and Keep On, a picture book.  She has won the Green Earth Environmental Award for Follow the Moon Home, two SCBWI Golden Kite awards for picture book text, and a Sibert Honor for Titanic: Voices of the Disaster.  In 2021 she will publish a nonfiction title, We Must Not Forget: Holocaust Stories of Survival and Resistance, a new Ready to Read Series about a historic ship’s cat entitled The Adventures of Trim, and a picture book, The Story of a Story. Deborah lives in West Linn, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter @deborahopkinson or visit her on the web at

Dawn Babb Prochovnic – Picture Books
Dawn Babb Prochovnic is the author of Lucy’s Blooms (forthcoming, 2021), Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?, Where Does a Pirate Go Potty?, and 16 books in the Story Time with Signs & Rhymes Series, including one title that was selected as an Oregon Book Awards finalist. She is a contributing author to the award-winning book, Oregon Reads Aloud. Dawn is a vocal advocate for school and public libraries and was honored as a 2015 Oregon Library Supporter of the Year by the Oregon Library Association. She is a frequent presenter at schools, libraries and educational conferences, and the founder of SmallTalk Learning, which provides American Sign Language and early literacy education. Dawn lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, two kids, two cats, and a feisty dog. Learn more

Aron Nels Steinke – Graphic Novel & Illustration

Aron Nels Steinke is a cartoonist and elementary school teacher. He began making comics in 2006 with the help of a grant from the Xeric Foundation and never stopped. In 2015 he and his wife Ariel Cohn won the Best Publication for Early Readers Eisner Award for their book The Zoo BoxMr. Wolf’s Class is his newest book series following the adventures of a class of anthropomorphs and their teacher who just so happens to be a wolf. The book series was a New York Times Editor’s Choice selection, received a starred review from Kirkus, and has won numerous awards including the Oregon Spirit Honor Award, the OTTER Award, and Kid’s Comics Choice Award and received a nomination for the Harvey Award. Book 3, Lucky Stars, was named by Chicago Public Library as one of the 2019 best books of fiction for younger readers. Book Four—Field Trip, is out now. Visit Aron online at