Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2017 Houston SCBWI Conference Portfolio & Illustrator Breakout Session



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Portfolio Critique:

One-on-one critique sessions last 15 minutes. We cannot reschedule a missed appointment. To ensure a successful critique, see HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR CRITIQUE TIME. Portfolio critiques are for conference registrants only and are on a first come/first served basis. Do NOT send your portfolio in advance; bring it to the conference. There are a limited number of critiques available, so register early.

Portfolio Critique Registration:

Register for a portfolio critique online by September 30, 2017. We will let you know the time of your consultation when you pick up your registration packet on Saturday, October 7th. 

Registrations will be accepted until the available 15 critiques are filled. Any received after that are placed on a wait list. However, there is NO guarantee of a critique for those placed on the wait list.

If you are choosing to participate in the 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.

Portfolio Showcase:

Registration in the Showcase should be confirmed during online registration. If you wish to receive a name plate for your portfolio, registration MUST be received by September 30, 2017.  If you decide to participate in the Showcase but have already completed your online registration, please contact Illustrator Coordinator Diandra Mae at

The Portfolio Showcase will be held October 7, 2017 from 8:30am-4:00pm. Drop-off will be from 7:30am-8:20am. Pick-up will be by 4:05pm 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, vinyl, board cloth, compressed wood, etc. with page sizes from 8"x10" to 11"x14". It should be no larger than 17×26 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 picture book dummy may be examined by the art director or illustrator providing the portfolio 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:


Illustrator Breakout Session

For the 2017 SCBWI Houston conference, we are excited to be able to offer the Illustrator’s Breakout with Random House Childrens Books' Executive Creative Director, Martha Rago.
The topic will be WRITING WITH PICTURES : Exploring story-telling through the visual language of wordless or minimal text picture books.  How do you create character, emotion, narrative, and drama without relying on words? There is an assignment that will be emailed to illustrator breakout participants once registration is complete. Feedback and critique will occur at the conference during the breakout session.

Postcard Opportunity

All illustrator attendees who are members of SCBWI may send us promotional postcards of their work to be included in the faculty gift baskets. Postcards must be a maximum of 6 inches by 8 inches and must be received by Illustrator Coordinator Diandra Mae by September 2, 2017. Illustrators will receive information about how to submit their postcards after they register.