Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

April Pulley Sayre Celebration Conference

Date(s) - 11/05/2022
10:00 am - 2:30 pm


No Categories

Registration opens April 23 and ends November 3rd. All times are EDT.

**Two needs-based scholarships are available; please see below.****There will also be door prizes of April’s books!!**


April Pulley Sayre was not only a notable author of many nature-centered children’s books and a long-time IN-SCBWI member, but she was also a beloved friend, mentor, and wife to Jeff Sayre, a fellow naturalist. Sadly, cancer took April from us far too soon.
On this day, we gather to remember her passing almost exactly a year ago last November 6th, as well as to celebrate April’s life and achievements and honor her memory and contributions to the kid lit world.

We will begin with April’s husband, Jeff Sayre, saying a few words about his inspirational late wife. After that, our stellar faculty will give talks on a variety of topics pertaining to nature nonfiction for children, a subject April knew well and wrote about beautifully.

Bonus: agent James McGowan of BookEnds Literary will give paid critiques as our offsite faculty.



Saturday, November 5, 2022; 10:00 a.m. EDT to 2:30 p.m. EDT
A recording of the event will be made available to participants for a 30-day period afterwards.

SCBWI Members: $45
SCBWI Student Members: $30

Non-Members: $80
Student Non-Members: $55


Schedule: order of talks subject to change; all times are EDT
Check the Talks Descriptions page for further details.

10:00 – 10:10am   Welcome and instructions

10:10: – 10:30am   Jeff Sayre: Introduction to April and her life

10:30: – 11:30am   Andrea Welch: Capturing Wonder: Creating Nature Picture Books That Soar

11:30 – 12:10pm    Lunch Break

12:10 – 1:10pm      Lita Judge: How Journaling with Words and Sketches Can Strengthen Observation, Organize Your Topic and Lead to Writing Better Non-Fiction

1:15 – 2:15pm     Virginia Duncan: An office hour with Greenwillow Books featuring Virginia Duncan, VP & Publisher, and Sylvie Le Floc’h, Associate Art Director **be sure to check the Talks Description page to see how you can sign up for a live critique!

2:15 – 2:30pm     Wrap up + Door Prizes!

Check out the faculty bios at

EXTRA! Paid written critiques available:

A couple of the faculty AND a special offsite faculty (agent James McGowan) are offering a limited number of written critiques at $50 each. If you would like a critique, you need to purchase one at the time of registration though you don’t have to send it until September 15, 2022.

Please note the specific requests and requirements from each critiquer and email your materials as a Doc or PDF attachment or the link to your online portfolio to Diane Bradley-Kantor ( by September 15, 2022. Label your attachment with Last Name and Manuscript or Portfolio title (e.g. “Smith_JaneSmith Portfolio”). Be sure to put the name of your chosen critiquer in the subject line of the email (e.g. “Lita Judge critique”) so it’s clear to whom Diane should pass it along to.

Lita Judge: Each manuscript shall consist of one whole picture book, up to 1000 words. Each dummy or portfolio will consist of ten pages and can be sent as a file or link.

James McGowan: Each manuscript shall consist of one picture book, up to 1500 words. Illustrators may send a link to an online portfolio. Author-illustrators may send a PDF of a picture book dummy, or may send a private link if the dummy is online.

Andrea Welch: Each manuscript shall consist of one whole picture book, up to 1500 words, double spaced.


Submission opportunities:

All attendees will have an opportunity to submit to Andrea and James. The
specific submission information will be emailed, along with the link to the replay,
to attendees post-conference.


Scholarships Available:

We will award 2 needs-based scholarships to attend this event for free. Please send an email to either Diane Bradley-Kantor,, or Teresa Robeson, letting us know you’d like to apply. You don’t need to give a reason or do anything else. We’ll use to choose 2 recipients whom we’ll contact via email.

Applications are due OCTOBER 4, 2022.


Cancellation Policy & Trouble-Shooting:

Since this is an online event with a recording available for one month afterwards to watch at your own pace, there will not be any refunds issued.

Please add to your email contact list. Webinar invites and recordings are sent through the SCBWI email system. Sometimes they are blocked by filters. Send us an email if you do not receive your links by the dates below.

* Your link to join the live webinar will be sent by 6:00 p.m. EDT before the conference (November 4, 2022).

* The recording will be sent to all registered participants a couple of days after the conference (November 7, 2022) and will be available for re-watching for 30 days.

If you encounter any problems during your registration process for this event or have any other questions, contact Diane Bradley-Kantor,, or Teresa Robeson, and we will be happy to assist you.