Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Winter Great Critique – January 2022

Date(s) - 01/22/2022
9:00 am - 12:00 pm


WINTER GREAT CRITIQUE 2022 is over, but…

Please join us next June for the





WINTER 2022 Great Critique is a Virtual Event: BOOKING NOW CLOSED

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.

Faculty books will be available for purchase.

Registration – You Must Pre-Register For This Event 


EARLY BIRD rate extends through December 18th, 2021 

(For SCBWI Members: $20)    (For Non-Members: $30)     


REGULAR rates start on December 19th, 2021: 

(For SCBWI Members: $25)    (For Non-Members: $35)


Registration opens November 20, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

Registration closes January 15, 2022.  

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  GREAT CRITIQUE RESOURCES page for information on how the Virtual Great Critique works. 

Questions about this event? Contact Lisa Gerlits,


Winter Great Critique 2022 Faculty:


Susan Blackaby – Picture Books  SOLD OUT

Susan Blackaby worked in educational publishing for over 40 years and has written hundreds of fiction and nonfiction titles for the K–8 audience, focusing on early literacy. Otherwise she has dabbled across genres, and her own projects include picture books, nonfiction, and poetry. Her most recent title is Where’s My Cow? from Sleeping Bear Press. She lives on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River.

You can find out more at


Lois Harris – Nonfiction, Picture Books, Magazines SOLD OUT

Lois’s articles and stories have appeared in children’s magazines and The L. A. Times. She is the author of four biographies for children: Mary Cassatt: Impressionist Painter, Charlie Russell: Tale-Telling Cowboy Artist, Maxfield Parrish: Painter of Magical Make-Believe, and Lotta Crabtree: Gold Rush Fairy Star. Lois has taught writing and presented in bookstores, libraries, elementary schools, colleges, museums, and children’s literary conferences in numerous states and Canada. She earned her B. A. in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Washington and is a member of The Authors Guild, the Western Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, where she judged their Magazine Merit Awards for several years. Lois lives in Anacortes, WA.

Gretchen McLellan – Picture Books  SOLD OUT

Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan is a former elementary reading specialist who now devotes herself to writing for children. 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), No Party Poopers!, Lucy Semple ill. (Little Bee), and When Your Daddy’s a Soldier, E. G Keller ill. (Viking 2022). 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, puppy Bodie, 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, and sewing. Please visit Gretchen at for more information about her books, events and author visits.

Jewell Parker Rhodes – Novels  SOLD OUT

Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is the award-winning author of several books for adults and youth including the New York Times bestsellers Ghost Boys and Black Brother, Black Brother. She is also the author of Paradise on Fire, Towers Falling, and the celebrated Louisiana Girls’ Trilogy: Ninth WardSugar and Bayou Magic.  

Rhodes has visited hundreds of schools across the country and is a regular speaker at colleges and conferences. The driving force behind all of Jewell’s work is to inspire social justice, equity, and environmental stewardship.

Rhodes is the Founding Artistic Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Narrative Studies Professor and Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair at Arizona State University.  She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Carnegie-Mellon University. She enjoys teaching, walking her Toy Aussie Sheepdogs, theater, dancing, and music. Born in Pittsburgh, she now lives in Seattle.

Ellie Peterson – Picture Books SOLD OUT

Ellie Peterson is the author and illustrator of IT’S A ROUND, ROUND WORLD! and THE REASON FOR THE SEASONS from Boyds Mills Kane. Her work is inspired by her many years of teaching and her bicultural upbringing. Ellie also serves as the Equity Inclusion coordinator for the Western Washington chapter of SCBWI. She is represented by Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management. Her next two books, HOW TO HUG A PUFFERFISH and SCHOOL IS WHEREVER I AM will release with Roaring Brook Press in the Spring of 2022.

Stephanie Shaw – Picture Books  SOLD OUT

Stephanie Shaw loves talking stories with other picture book writers. Stephanie has fifteen books in publication that range from ‘lullaby’ type board books to picture books for the four to ninety-four year old set.  Her latest picture book is Sylvia Finds A Way, illustrated by Fiona Lee (West Margin Press, 2021). 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

*When providing your manuscript ahead of The Great Critique, please include any specific question that you would like Stephanie to address. Thanks!

Marcy Tippmann – Illustration 
 Marcy Tippmann has been working as a professional illustrator for fifteen years, creating nature-inspired art for children’s books, textiles, and advertisements. She earned a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and currently lives outside of Eugene, Oregon, surrounded by trees and animals. 

Throughout her career, she has illustrated eight books for children. Her most recent book, “Crusty and His Red Sweater,” is the first in a series of children’s books focusing on the true stories of dogs rescued by Tracy’s Paws Rescue in South Texas. Marcy is also a book designer and editor with many years of experience working with self-publishing platforms.

Melissa Wiley – Novels

Melissa Wiley is the author of The Nerviest Girl in the WorldThe Prairie ThiefFox and Crow Are Not Friends, the Inch and Roly series, the Martha and Charlotte Little House books, and other books for kids. Melissa has been blogging about her family’s reading life and tidal homeschooling adventures at Here in the Bonny Glen since 2005. She is @melissawiley on Twitter and @melissawileybooks on Instagram.