Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 20, 2011

UPDATE: FAQ’S For Writing & Illustrating Conference

As most of you know, the registration for the NJSCBWI JUNE CONFERENCE is up on

If you have taken the time to look at the registration you will see there are two pages to fill out.  It is packed, because the conference is packed with opportunities.  I highly recommend that you read the detailed conference information, before you fill out the form and read the information about the workshops.  We are still collecting descriptions, so if there is something missing please check back daily.  Example:  I am doing a workshop on making a book trailer and have been so busy, I have not written a blurb for that, though I do think it is pretty clear with just the title.  

Here are the three things to read:
Registration Form and Pricing
Detailed Conference Information (including manuscript instructions)
Workshops and Pre-Conference Intensives Descriptions

REMINDER: If you are a published author and want to be included in the Bookfair and signing, if you are an illutrator and want to exhibit, or if you want to participate in the Saturday night group critique sessions, you MUST e-mail the person on the registration form to get on the list. Don’t wait to grab your spot!

FAQ’s and the answers:

1. Can I sign up for two intensives?  No, not unless you have two bodies.  All the intensives are being held at the same time on Friday

2.  If I am a Writer/Illustrator can I have an art portfolio critique and a editor critique?  Yes

3.  I’m an illustrator, but I don’t know if I am ready for an art director to look at my portfolio.  Any suggestions?  Yes, we have just added something new just for illustrators like you.  Author/illustrator/Designer/Illustrator Coordinator Leeza Hernandez will be doing “Portfolio Shake Down.”  So if you want feedback, because you are unsure of what’s working or what’s not working, you can meet with Leeza and she will help give you direction.  Please note:  You can sign up for a Portfolio Shake Down for only $45.

4.  I don’t understand the circled and star choices.  Would you please explain? 
There are 8 workshop sessions during the conference, but there are 32 workshops available, so you need to let us know, which ones you are most interested in attending. We will do our best to get you everything you want.  Thus the reason why we are asking you to circle  8 workshops out of the 12 you check off.  We are also giving you a chance to star 3 workshops as “MUST HAVE”.  We will stand on our heads to make the three happen for you.  But please note: There are limits when chosing the workshops in the editor/agent area (limit 6 total check-off choices and only 4 circled choices).

5. When will I find out my schedule?  You will receive you schedule when you check in at registration.  There just isn’t anyway for us to give it to you any sooner.  There is a ton of work to make this conference work.  Please know we do everything we can to make it a stellar event for you.

6.  Will there be lunch for the people attending the Intensives?  No, we are trying to keep the cost down for you.  There will be water, soda, coffee, tea, juice, fruit, cookies and other snacks out the whole afternoon.  If you need more substantial food, please have lunch before you register at 12:00pm.

7.  Will there be any contests?  Illustrators can sign up to exhibit their artwork and portfolios.  The faculty will judge and chose the winners.  This will be announced on Sunday.  Also, this will be the 4th year for our Logo Contest.  The winner gets his artwork printed on the bag that we give to the faculty.  Last year, we had a second and thrid place winner, too and their logo and name was printed on other give-a-ways.  A lot of factors go into deciding if we have more than one winner.  Please check back to read more about this.

8.  Will you be doing the dinners with the editors that people can bid on, again this year?  Yes, the Summer Networking Dinners have been so successful for our members, that we are going to arrange them again for this coming summer.

9.  If I want to donate something for the Scholarship Raffle, who do I contact?  Send an e-mail to .  Even if you can’t atend the conference you can still donaste something to help the Scholarship Fund – it has helped so many SCBWI members.  

10. Can I use a credit card to pay for the conference?  If you would like to use a credit card, you can send the money using PayPal.  Please add $10 to your total and use to send the money.

11.  Why don’t you have the address that I need to use for mailing in my manuscript?  This conference allows you to sign up for more than one critique.  Last year we did 265 one-on-one critiques.  There isn’t one person who could handle getting all those manuscripts out in a timely manner to the editors and agents, so we have to use all our volunteers to get the job done.  We match you up to the best of our ability and then after that is decided, we assign a volunteer to receive the submissions for each editor/agent.  This is done in April, thus the reason for finding out this information at that time.  Please if you are going away, make arrangements or let us know if there will be a problem. 

12.  Where do I mail my first page?  If you sign up for a first page, you need to bring 3 copies of one first page with you to the conference.  We are not collecting them beforehand.

13.  How do I go about finding a roommate to help with the hotel expense?  We are going to assign a volunteer to keep a list of people looking for a roommate.  In the meantime you can send an e-mail to  .

14.  Will the editors be at the Peer Group Critique Session on Saturday night?  No, this is just for authors.  If you sign up, we will put you in a group with other like writers.  These sessions are a great way to make friends, get new ideas about your work, and improve your manuscript.  But please do not sign up, unless you plan to participate.  We make up the groups accordingly, so if you do not read everyones manuscript and or do not show up, you ruin it for everyone.  You will be asked to exchange, Full picture book manuscripts and the first 15 pages of a novel with synopsis via e-mail one month before.  Groups usually consist of five writers.

15.  Why does it cost so much for the people not staying overnight to come to the Mix and Mingle?  In order to get the best price for the hotel facilities, I had to sign a contract guaranteeing a ton of overnight rooms.  This is the first year our conference is a full weekend, but this adds to the cost.  It also gives us more time to do everything we want.  I always wanted to do a social party for everyone with the faculty, but it would never fit in before.  Well this year it does, so in order to entice people to stay overnight we decided to charge the people who were staying over two nights, less than the per person cost.  So the jump to $95 for people not staying over two nights seemed like a big jump.  After thinking about this, we have decided to give a price reduction for the people staying only one night.  The Early Bird price for them will be $45.  We will change this on the registration and adjust for anyone who has already paid the higher amount.  Hope this helps some of you. 

Hope this helps you when you fill out the form.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. The newest addition to my volunteer list for the conference is the duty of connecting people who would like to share a hotel room. (Ame recently contacted me about doing it.) So anyone interested should let me know and leave me your name, email, phone — and hometown if you’d also like to try to carpool with anyone.
    Connie —


  2. Thanks for all of that info. I was just looking at the registration form and was a bit confused. I’ve got in now! I’m in Delaware and hoping to make to the conference this year. It sounds great! Thanks to all of the volunteers who have already put in the time to make this so enticing.


  3. Lois,

    Look forward to you joining us. It’s a big job. Definitely, needs a lot of help to run all the parts.



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