Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Diversity Day: Writing Outside Your Lane

Date(s) - 09/12/2020
10:00 am - 3:00 pm


No Categories

Join us for a unique opportunity of learning about how to ensure authentic diversity in your work

This online conference is open to everyone anywhere in the world.


Because the world is a beautifully diverse place filled with people of different abilities, orientations, and cultural histories, children’s literature should also reflect this variety. But how do you write about characters who are not a part of your own ability/orientation/culture? Newberry-winning author Linda Sue Park, Lee and Low editor Kandace Coston, book expert and editor Kim Childress, and author Natalie Davis Miller will show you how in this thoughtful and eye-opening online conference.

This conference is a follow up to the FREE SCBWI Digital Workshop by Linda Sue Park on Writing outside your lane: Yes you can do it. Here’s how. and will take you into greater depth in the topic.



Saturday, September 12, 2020; 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: $55
SCBWI Student Members: $30

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




Keynote speaker – Linda Sue Park

Linda Sue Park is the author of many books for young readers, including the 2002 Newbery Medal winner A Single Shard and the New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water. Her most recent title is Prairie Lotus, a historical fiction middle-grade novel. When she’s not writing, speaking, teaching, or caregiving for her two grandchildren, she spends most of her time on equity/inclusion work for We Need Diverse Books and the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. She is also on the advisory board of the Rabbit hOle national children’s literature museum project.





Kandace Coston

Kandace Coston is the assistant editor at Lee & Low Books, an independent, multicultural children’s book publisher in New York City. She grew up in the Bronx, New York, where she spent weekends at the library reading stories and writing her own. After graduating from Barnard College Columbia University, she won an internship grant from We Need Diverse Books and joined the Lee & Low team. Kandace enjoys working with new authors and illustrators and helping their projects grow into published picture books. Professionally and personally, Kandace loves books that feature strong female protagonists as well as any story that can make her laugh.






Kim Childress

Book reviewer for Girls’ Life magazine since its debut in 1994, Kim Childress is an author, award-winning editor, former middle grade editor for HarperCollins, and now Product Developer in Children’s Publishing at Childress Ink LLC, helping with all stages of book production, from conceptualization, editing, bookshelf and beyond. With 30 years in publishing, Kim is also a former bookseller at Kids’ Ink Children’s Bookstore in Indianapolis, and middle grade editor at HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Zondervan)—all while raising a personal focus group of four children. Author of Finding Your Future in Art (Cherry Lake/Sleeping Bear), share the adventures at



Natalie Davis Miller

Author of Swimming with Faith – the Missy Franklin Story, Reaching New Heights – The Kelly Clark Story, and Speed to Glory, The Cullen Jones Story, Natalie is also the Managing Editor of NDWorks, a campus news source for the University of Notre Dame. In addition, Natalie is currently the IN-SCBWI Diversity Coordinator volunteer.







September 12, 2020; all times are EDT

10:00 – 10:15    Welcome and brief introductions

10:15: – 11:30    Linda Sue Park keynote – title TBA

11:45 – 12:30     Time off for lunch

12:30 – 1:30      Kandace Coston, Editor at Lee and Low Books – Life is Messy: Tackling Tough Subject Matter in Picture-Book Biographies 

1:30 – 2:00        Kim Childress – Publishing Trends

2:00 – 2:10        Break

2:10 – 2:50        Panel – Attendees: please submit any questions you have for the panel to Diane Bradley-Kantor, by September 5th

2:50 – 3:00      Wrap up


Scholarship Opportunity:

Four scholarship spots* to the Diversity Day conference are available for writers and illustrators from marginalized communities, including but not limited to BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and people with disabilities. To apply, please send an email to Diane Bradley-Kantor at with the subject line, Diversity Day Scholarship. 
In the body of the email include the following information:
1) your name, email, and contact phone number.
2) whether you are an SCBWI member (need not be to enter)
3) whether you are a writer, illustrator, writer-illustrator, and how long you have been creating kid lit
4) your circumstances or how you qualify for this scholarship

Apply by August 1, 2020 

*These scholarships have been provided via a donation from keynote speaker, Linda Sue Park.


EXTRA! Critiques available:

Editor Kandace Coston and freelance editor Kim Childress are both offering critiques at $45 each. There are limited spots available – 7 for Kandace Coston and 10 for Kim Childress. If you would like to purchase a critique, you need to do so with your registration, though you don’t have to send it right away.

Please send the following as attachments to Diane Bradley-Kantor, in an email by August 12, 2020:

1) A cover/query letter including a brief author bio.

2) For picture book submissions, a PDF of the entire text and/or dummy.

3) For longer works (novel/poetry collection/nonfiction that is not a PB), include a chapter summary and the first ten pages as a PDF.

The critiques will be completed by the end of September, and Diane will email the feedback to you.

Submission opportunity:

All attendees will have an opportunity to submit to Kandace Coston at Lee & Low Books (which is currently closed to submissions). The specific submission information will be emailed to attendees post-conference.

LEE & LOW BOOKS is an independent children’s and young adult book publisher that focuses on multicultural themes. Everyone, not just people of color, can submit to them if their stories touch on diversity in authentic ways. See their website for guidelines and helpful info.


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 Friday, September 11, 2020.

* The recording will be sent to all registered participants on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 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.


Are you a member of SCBWI?

Did you know that SCBWI members always receive a discount on events?

Whether Regional events or the International Conference, all members receive a discount.

Are you a member of SCBWI?  

If so, please log in before continuing with your event registration.

If not, please consider becoming a member.  Click here to learn about membership benefits.

Thank you,

Event Registration

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Ticket Information

Non-SCBWI Member - $80.00

SCBWI Member - $55.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Student Non-SCBWI Member - $55.00

Student SCBWI Member - $30.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Event Extras


      The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
      To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
      Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

      You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


      The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion.


      The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.



      Code of Conduct

      All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, including faculty, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

      • intimidation, stalking, or following.
      • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
      • Inappropriate physical contact.
      • Unwelcome sexual attention.
      • Abusive verbal comments.
      • Quid pro quo– sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors.
      • Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.


      Reporting Procedures

      Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:

      • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.
      • A complainant may submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
      • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.


      SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

      If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



      The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made under this policy. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.



      SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.


      Sanctions for faculty, speakers, staff or board members may include any of the following:


      • warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
      • immediate removal from a particular event;
      • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;
      • withholding of a contracted honorarium;
      • prohibition from future speaking engagements;
      • prohibition from future faculty appointments;
      • expulsion from SCBWI; and/or
      • removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.


      Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

      • warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
      • immediate removal from a particular event, without refund;
      • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
      • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
      • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.


      If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will handle utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



      SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties and witnesses. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.



      If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.


      If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "anti-harassment policy" in the subject line.

      I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.