Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Conference Etiquette


How to get the most out of the SCWBI Conference

We want everyone to have a wonderful conference where you can network, listen, learn and hopefully get a deal. However, that also means being mindful of a few conference etiquette tips we’ve prepared.

First Timers: Welcome! Mingle, be brave, be open to learn and share your ideas. Most of all, have fun!

The Sessions: Please arrive on time. If you are late, make a quiet entrance. Sit still, listen and avoid talking or checking your email. If you have to leave early, sit near an exit.

Conference Volunteers: They are your friends and want to help. If you have a problem, please approach them with courtesy.

Business Cards: Make sure you bring plenty!

What Are You Working On? If asked, be prepared to give a succinct 1-2 minute knock-your-socks-off pitch.

Conference Program: Take time to read it!

Phones: Turn them off or switch them to silent. Think about whether it is urgent you take that call during a session. If you know you may need to take a call, sit near an exit.

Other Delegates: Get to know your fellow conference delegates. If you don’t know anyone, don’t worry! It will be filled with friendly, book-loving types. Take note of their business cards so you can know who they are and what they’ve done. If you notice someone on their own, go up and introduce yourself.

Your Name Badge is also your friend. Wear it for easy recognition.

Asking Questions in Sessions: Make them short, sharp, to-the-point and relevant to the session topic. Oh and make sure they are questions, not statements.

No Presenter Stalking. Professionals go out of their way to make themselves accessible. Be respectful and pitch to them at appropriate times. ie not the bathroom.


More about Approaching a Presenter

Do your homework about who the Faculty are and what they have done. Read some of their work. This way you can chat with them as an individual with a specific professional history, rather than simply an industry professional who may want to publish you.

Choose your moment: If a group of presenters is having a conversation, choose another time to chat. Speaking to a presenter directly after their session may not be the best time if they have to rush off or are surrounded. A more casual moment may be better.

Mention your project and if they seem receptive hand them a card. In fact, they will ask for one if they’re interested. If they want to see your manuscript, send it after the conference rather than bringing it along.

Be your charming best but not pushy.


Following up with Publishers

If a publisher or agent expresses an interest in seeing more work from you, brilliant! You should follow through in a timely manner, but remember that in the publishing industry and feedback and follow-up on your submission can be slow. Please remain courteous and professional – publishers are people too, and if you present as someone who may be difficult to work with, they will probably change their mind about working with you.


Surviving Manuscript Critiques

Cynthea Liu has some great tips when preparing for your Manuscript Critique, like relaxing, thinking up possible questions, taking notes and not letting a disappointing critique be the end of your world.









Terms and Conditions

SCBWI is a not-for-profit volunteer run organisation and all proceeds from these tickets are committed to Event expenses. Unfortunately we are unable to provide refunds, but we will allow transfer of Conference ticket to another eligible SCBWI member.

 Illustrator Showcase and Critique tickets are non-transferable.