Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2016 Houston SCBWI Conference – Portfolio and Illustrator Breakout Session

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Portfolios & Illustrator Breakout  



Portfolio critiques are for conference registrants only. Simply register by the deadline and bring your portfolio along with you to the conference. We will let you know the time of your consultation when you pick up your registration packet on Saturday, October 22nd.

One-on-one critique sessions last 15 minutes. We cannot reschedule a missed appointment. 

Do NOT send your portfolio in advance; bring it to the conference.

If you are choosing to participate in the portfolio showcase, then you will drop your portfolio off during morning registration, pick it up from the showcase and take it to the critique room. Once the critique has been completed, return the portfolio to the showcase table.

This is a wonderful opportunity. The time will go by quickly, so make the most of it by being prepared.  Ask specific questions about your work and how your portfolio can best be improved. Listen carefully to the feedback given. And be sure to thank the person giving you the critique for their time. 



Registration in the Showcase should be confirmed during registration. Deadline to register for this via mailed registration is October 1, 2016. Emailed registrations will be accepted until October 17 or until the available 15 critiques are filled, so register early! If you decide to participate in the Showcase but have already completed your online or paper registration, please contact Illustrator Coordinator Diandra Mae at

The Portfolio Showcase will be held October 22nd from 8:30a-3:45p. Drop-off will be from 7:30am-8:20am. Pick-up will be by 4:00pm sharp. Prizes for the winners will be awarded at the end of the conference day.

Remember NO ORIGINAL ARTWORK should be included in your portfolio. Have high-quality color copies of your art in your portfolio instead. Please label all artwork as well as the portfolio case. Promotional materials such as postcards and business cards are permitted, but they must be able to fit in the allotted display place on the showcase tables. 

The portfolio can be leather or vinyl with page sizes from 8”x10” to 11”x14.” It should be no larger than 17 x 26 when opened. It should contain no more than 10-20 representational pieces of your BEST artwork and any dummies that you may wish to show. If you are bringing a book dummy, remember to attach it to your portfolio. Keep in mind that your dummy may be examined by the art director or illustrator providing the critique, but it is not guaranteed. 

If you are preparing an illustration portfolio for the first time, check out the SCBWI Illustrators Guide (page 13) of THE BOOK. Or check out the tips compiled by illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba:

Still have questions? Contact Diandra Mae:



For the 2016 SCBWI Houston conference, we are excited to be able to offer the Illustrator’s Breakout with Random House Art Director, Maria Middleton. The focus of the session will be on character design and development based on a children’s literature classic. The session assignment will be emailed to illustrators following conference registration. 

Initial sketches and story brief will be emailed to Illustrator Coordinator, Diandra Mae at by AUGUST 3rd. Any illustrator registrations after this date will receive their assignment feedback at the conference.