Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Turning Writing and Illustrator Ideas into Graphic Novels

Date(s) - 01/16/2021
10:00 am - 3:30 pm


No Categories

Original illustration created by Andy Jewett

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

Registration begins Thursday, October 1, 2020 and ends at 4:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, January 14, 2021.


Graphic novels are finally getting the notice they deserve! Beloved by many generations of kids, adults are now realizing that kids can sharpen their reading skills and learn in this fun format.

Want to become a part of this rising industry?

The brainchild of agent Natascha Morris, The Tobias Agency, this virtual conference is for writers and illustrators–beginner and intermediate–who are interested in learning more about getting published in graphic novels with our stellar faculty.

And, just like an in-person conference, there will be door prizes!

**Be sure to sign up for our follow-up webinar with First Second art director, Kirk Benshoff, in May!**



Saturday, January 16, 2020; 10:00 a.m. EST to 3:30 p.m. EST

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




Faculty bios: please see this page for full description



Schedule: subject to slight changes within the 10-3:30 time frame

January 16, 2021; all times are EST

10:00 – 10:15    Welcome and brief introductions

10:15: – 11:15    Kiara Valdez : Starting from Scratch: The Graphic Novel Process 

11:20: – 12:20   Shannon Watters: Why Go Graphic: Writing Comics for Kids and Teens

12:20 – 1:00     Time off for lunch

1:05 – 2:05        Danielle Burby: Let’s Talk Market: What makes a graphic novel salable?

2:10 – 3:10        Panel – Attendees: please submit any questions you have for the panel to Diane Bradley-Kantor, by January 9, 2021

3:15 – 3:30      Wrap up + Door Prizes!


EXTRA! Critiques available:

The faculty are offering written critiques at $45 each. There are limited spots available for each faculty member. If you would like to purchase a critique, you need to do so at the time of registration though you don’t have to send it until December 1, 2020.

Please note the specific requests and requirements from each critiquer and email your materials to Diane Bradley-Kantor ( by December 1st. Be sure to put the name of your chosen critiquer in the subject line (e.g. “Danielle Burby critique”) so it’s clear to whom Diane should pass it along to.

Danielle Burby: full synopsis + first 5 pages of script; MG and YA only

Kiara Valdez: up to 20 pages of script; young reader, MG and YA

Shannon Watters: 1 page synopsis + 10 pages of script; MG and YA only


Natascha Morris: 1 page synopsis + 10 pages paneled out. Priced at $70 each, her critiques will have written feedback in addition to 15-minutes of a Zoom call.


Submission opportunities:

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



Various Resources:

Kidlit411 GN page – a clearinghouse of free resources

Kids Comics Unite – a wonderful group started by Agent Janna Morishima for graphic novel creators to support each other

KidLitGN – a Facebook group for MG and younger graphic novel creators sharing resources to help each other grow in their knowledge of the industry. They hosted a KidLit GN (@KidLitGN) Twitter pitch event in October that landed some of their creators agents and deals. They will host another one in May 2021. They also have a website dedicated to the pitch event.

#INscbwiGN2020 – a hashtag attendees can use to connect with each other or to share on social media; please be sure to tag us at inscbwi on Instagram or SCBWIindiana on Twitter!

The Word for World is Image – A comic artist and an illustrator draw out discussions about comics, illustration, and power. By Charis Loke and Max Loh

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 and 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. EST before the conference (January 15, 2021).

* The recording will be sent to all registered participants a couple of days after the conference (January 17, 2021) 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.