Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2023 Spring Mingle Conference FAQ

Will there be parking available? Yes, free parking is available in the AIS (Atlanta International School) parking lot located on Peachtree Avenue, across the street from the AIS sports field. This same lot is also adjacent to the AIS Early Learning Center. There will be signs posted on the day of the conference to direct attendees where to park.

Will there be a conference bookstore this year? Yes, we are working with a local indie bookstore to provide books. All registered attendees can complete this form by February 10th to have books in the conference bookstore. Special thanks to Cathy Lepik for coordinating the bookstore, and to Virginia Highlands Books for handling the transactions. If you want to participate in the Autograph Party for new releases since 2019, a place to note that is also on the bookstore form.

Will I get a chance to talk to agents and editors? Yes, absolutely. One of the best benefits of attending a conference is the chance to mingle with industry professionals during breaks, lunch, or when the conference wraps. Each breakout will also have time for Q&A. One reason the critiques are scheduled for Zoom the week after the conference is to allow more time for attendees to interact with faculty.

How will the Auction Work? We are thrilled to be holding a silent auction this year to raise money for DEI scholarships and free programming around the region. Since the pandemic began, we’ve been able to provide monthly meetings and have recently begun sponsoring local programming as well. The auction will fund these initiatives for 2023 and help us provide access to acquiring faculty and knowledgeable speakers on multiple topics to all of our members! Special thanks to Debbie D’Aurelio and Jyn Hall for coordinating the auction! If you have an item you’d like to donate, please use this form to let us know. Click here for a sample letter that can be used to ask for donations.

Are scholarships available? We will be awarding two “Windows and Doors” scholarships. More information here. Deadline to apply is December 30, 2022.

Do you have to be an SCBWI member to attend? No, but membership in SCBWI gives you discounted tuition ($75 less than the non-member rate).

What time does the conference start/end? Click here for the day’s schedule.

What’s the Pitch Event? It’s an analog version of the popular Twitter pitch contests. All the details are here. Deadline to send your pitches via the Google form is February 20, 2023.

Can I really submit material afterward to each of the faculty? Yes, even if the faculty member’s agency or publishing house is normally closed to unsolicited submissions, you’ll be allowed to submit material to each of them afterward. However, each individual agent or editor will set parameters on what they’d like to see and what the timeframe is for your submission to them. You’ll receive this information in the attendee packet at the conference.

Can I just bring copies of my manuscript to the conference and give them out to the faculty? No. This would not be professional.

What is the Joan Broerman Book Basket? Conference attendees are encouraged to bring new (or very gently read) books or buy books at the bookstore and contribute them to the Joan Broerman Book Basket. At the end of the conference, one name will be drawn from the conference attendees. This winner will take the basket of books and donate them to a library or school of their choice. This award comes with funds from the region to cover the cost to that library or school of cataloguing these books into their collection.

How do I participate in the Portfolio Showcase? Bring your portfolio (we recommend prints or copies, not original art) and any postcards/business cards. We will provide tables for these in the auditorium for faculty and attendees to browse throughout the day. Check out the Portfolio & Postcard Tips in the Illustrators’ Lounge of the website. 

What’s the deal with lunch? We have selected three boxed lunches from Jason’s Deli for you to pre-order during registration. These will be delivered to the school. We will also have a selection of canned drinks, coffee, and water. If the boxed lunches don’t work for you, or you simply prefer not to order one, please bring your own lunch. There will be no extras available for purchase the day of the conference. 

Are you providing breakfast or mid-afternoon cookies like in the past? Sorry, no. We plan to have coffee and tea in the morning, but don’t have space for the breakfast spread or snacks we have done in the past.

Is there anything going on Friday night or Sunday morning for conference attendees? While nothing official is organized as part of the conference, you’re welcome to connect with other conference attendees to meet up for drinks, meals, or to hang out and talk all things kid lit.

How do I choose which person to critique my manuscript? This year we are giving each conference attendee the option to select one critiquer from among the acquiring faculty (agents and editors) and/or one critiquer from among the authors. Each has provided a list of the types of manuscripts they’re willing to critique and we’ve noted those on the faculty page. If you have a question about whether your manuscript falls into the categories noted by a certain critiquer, check with us before you register. ( Spots are limited and fill up quickly, so we encourage you to sign up as soon as possible.