The Society of Children's Book  Writers and Illustrators

SoCal OC/San Bernardino/Riverside/ Long Beach Chapter

Make checks out to SCBWI and mail to:                 SCBWI - Francesca Rusackas                                          4195 Chino Hills Pkwy, #381                                         Chino Hills, Ca 91709

Francesca Rusackas - Regional Advisor                    

Bev Plass - Co-Assistant Regional Advisor             

Ernesto Cisneros - Co-Assistant Regional Advisor           

Gina Capaldi - Regional Illustrator Coordinator    

Priscilla Burris - National Illustrator Coordinator     

Tim Burke - Event and Meet-Up Coordinator

Conference Coordinators and volunteers;                                      Tim Burke                                                                                                   Heather Butcha                                                                                      Cliff Cramp                                                                                         Lori Polydoros                                                                    


Trisha de Guzman - Associate Editor - Farrar, Straus, Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan.  Trisha is actively building her list, and is open to a wide range of material ranging from picture books to young adult novels, with a particular interest in books from #ownvoices creators, especially Asian/Asian American, immigrant, LGBTQ+, and neurodiverse authors and illustrators. Before joining FSG, she worked in editorial and subsidiary rights at Rodale Books, where she edited The Fantastic Body by Dr. Howard Bennett, Lindsay’s Joyride (Shred Girls #1) by Molly Hurford, and Runner’s World magazine branded books. Born in Manila, Philippines, she moved to New York City when she was seven.

Jordan Hamessley, Literary Agent, New Leaf Literary & Media. After nearly a decade of experience working on the editorial side of publishing at Penguin Young Readers (Grosset & Dunlap), Egmont USA, and Adaptive Studios, Jordan Hamessley made the switch to agenting.  Jordan is interested in science fiction and horror. She is also looking for quirky, non-fiction picture books with a STEM focus and narrative non-fiction middle grade and YA. Jordan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and sings show tunes and tap dances in her spare time.

Natascha Morris - Literary Agent -  BookEnds.             Natascha came to BookEnds from Simon and Schuster’s Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Margaret K. McElderry Books. Prior to that she was an intern with Sourcebooks. Natascha is looking to represent authors writing picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, historical fiction, and narrative non-fiction.

Natalie Lakosil, Literary Agent - Bradford Literary Agency. Natalie’s specialties are all ages (PB, chapter book, MG, YA) of children’s literature (fiction and nonfiction). In novels, multi-cultural, magical realism, LGBTQ, strong female leads, sci-fi/fantasy, gritty, thrilling and darker contemporary novels, and horror. In picture books, she likes quirky or character-driven, lyrical bedtime books humor, strong voices, strong characters, and texts with fun, clever and unexpected twists at the end.

 Lauren Rille - Art Director - Simon & Schuster                Lauren works with the Beach Lane, Atheneum, and McElderry imprints. Before joining S&S, Lauren was a designer at Sterling and Harcourt Children’s Books. Some books she’s designed include the most recent edition of Are You There God, it’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, cover illustration by Debbie Ohi; Lauren's debut picture book, I Feel Teal, illustrated by Aimee Sicuro, will be published in 2018 by Beach Lane Books. Lauren loves the collaborative process of working with editors and illustrators, and she’s always on the lookout for new talent.

Merrie Destefano- YA Author                                              Merrie’s novels include Lost Girls (2017) and Valiant [Dec. 2018], both published by Entangled Teen, and Afterlife and Feast, both published by HarperCollins, and Fathom and Shade, both self-published. Merrie is the editor of Victorian Homes magazine, Zombies magazine, Haunted: Myths and Legends magazine, and founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine. Visit Merrie at:       

 Steve Bramucci – MG Author                                                      Steve is a novelist, travel writer, adventurer, teacher, and storyteller. He’s rowed down the Mekong River in a traditional Vietnamese x’ampan, ventured into the Outback with Aboriginal elders, and spent four months driving a rickety Nissan Patrol through East Africa.  Steve’s first novel, The Danger Gang & the Pirates of Borneo! was published by Bloomsbury last year, and its sequel, The Danger Gang and the Isle of Feral Beasts! will be released this October. Visit Steve at;

 Henry Herz - PB Author                                                                 Henry writes fantasy and science fiction for children. His books include; Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes,Best Picture Book at SoCal SCBWI Editor’s Day), When You Give an Imp A Penny, Mabel and the Queen of Dreams, Little Red Cuttlefish, Cap’N Rex & His Clever Crew, Little Red Cuttlefish, Good Egg & Bad Apple, How The Squid Got Two Long Arms, Alice’s Magic Garden (Familius, 2018), Two Pirates + One Robot (Kane Miller, 2019), and Sherlock Chick & Bunny Watson (Pelican, 2019). Visit Henry at;

Alane Adams is a recovering entrepreneur turned author and literacyadvocate. She is the creator of the Legends of Orkney, a middlegrade Norse mythology series, and The Coal Thief, The Egg Thief, andThe Santa Thief historical picture books for early-grade readers. 

 Pre-conference Opportunity

Friday, October 5th, 2018
Illustrator’s Art Exhibit Bring:• One piece of unframed art - appropriate for children’s publishing• Size - No bigger than 11” x 14”• Bring 25 business cards (Attendees only. No guests allowed.)                                                                  4:30pm – 5:30pm: Exhibit Set up Time                             5:30pm – 6:30pm: Exhibit Time

Classroom #VA292 on the 2nd floor (Take State College Blvd. to Arts Drive. Park on the 2nd level of the NPS parking structure. We will be meeting inside the Visual Arts building, 2nd floor  Classroom #VA292) When walking out of the NPS onto Art Drive the Visual Arts building will be in front of you on the left, first building. Any questions email Illustrator Coordinator, Gina Capaldi  at;

Both writer's and illustrator's contests must have a minimum amount of entries. 

For a refund please email a written notice along with your name and address, check number and amount paid by 9/1/18 to:  No refunds for program changes. No refunds allowed if you have signed up for a critique or pitch spot. No refunds after 9/1/18. Returned check fee is $35.00.


Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM PDT
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CSUF Titan Student Union Building - Titan Theatre 
800 North State College Boulevard
Fullerton, CA 92831-3599

Driving Directions 


Francesca Rusackas 
The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 


For a refund please email a written notice along with your name and address, by 9/1/18 to:SOCAL-RA@SCBWI.ORG No refunds for program changes. No refunds allowed if you have signed up for a critique. No refunds after 9/1/18. All cancellations incur a $25 processing fee.


   2018 SCBWI 

Writers and Illustrators Day


    Cal State University Fullerton 

                                            October 6, 2018

                              Registration: 9:00 am to 9:30am

                                  Program 9:30am to 5:00pm 

     Titan Theater Inside the Titan Student Union Building

     800 N. State College Blvd.Fullerton, CA 92831-3599 


Calling all writers, Illustrators, published and pre-published creative people. You are invited to meet an Editor, an Art Director and three Agents along with published authors and illustrators on 10/6/2018. Get the insiders scoop on Children's Publishing and the opportunity to sign up for a manuscript critique or a pitch session, promo critique, contest, portfolio display and more. 


  1. Trisha de Guzman, Associate Editor - Farrar, Straus, Giroux Books
  2. Jordan Hamessley, Literary Agent - New Leaf Literary & Media
  3. Natalie Lakosil, Literary Agent - Bradford Literary Agency
  4. Natascha Morris, Literary Agent -  BookEnds Literary Agency
  5. Lauren Rille, Art Director and Author- Simon & Schuster                             
  6. Steve Bramucci - Middle Grade Author
  7. Merrie Destefano - Young Adult Author 
  8. Henry Herz - Picture Book Author
  9. Alane Adams - Spark Award Winner                                                   

Event Details

Writers and Illustrators Day is packed with plenty of opportunities for our attendees, including Manuscript Critiques, Promo Critiques, Pitch Sessions, Friday night Illustrator’s art exhibit, First Pages Panel, Portfolio Displays, Lunch-With-The-Faculty drawing, Pal Book displays, book signings, and book giveaways. Don't miss out on this fabulous chance to connect with industry professionals! Lunch is included.

 To kick off the conference this year we are calling all illustrators attending the conference to take part in our Friday night art exhibit on October 5th, 2018. See side bar for details. Pre-conference Opportunity - llustrator’s Art Exhibit (Illustrator attendees only. No guests allowed.)

Lunch With The Faculty Drawing 10/1/2018  - At least fifty-six winners of a random drawing will be seated at a faculty table for lunch! Make sure to note your main area of interest on the registration form. The lunch list will be posted at the event and on your name tags. All other attendees are invited to lunch at a table with one another or with the many published authors or illustrators who will be attending.

Agent/Editor/Author’s Pick  Are you loaded with talent? Each speaker will have the opportunity to pick the most promising manuscript from the group they have critiqued. The author will then have the opportunity to meet with the editor/agent/author to discuss their work for a few minutes. Picks will be notified on Saturday morning.

Critiques are now SOLD OUT Submissions will be e-critiqued and emailed back to you on October 7, 2018. 

Agent/Editor/Art Director Pitch Session SOLD OUT For an additional fee of $20 ($30 non-members) you may pitch your picture book, middle grade or young adult story idea. You may pick a critique or a pitch spot. Due to a limit number of spots, you may not select a critique and a pitch. This is a eight-minute pitch session and you must be pre-registered for this session. To learn how to do a pitch, you will receive a pitch sheet from celebrated pitch master Michael Mahin on how to get the most out of this golden opportunity.  

Free Manuscript Contest For picture books, mid-grades and young adult manuscripts. Submissions must be no longer than 10 pages, double-spaced, and formatted with one-inch margins all around. At the top of your first page, type CONTEST, manuscript title, and genre. Please be specific, such as YA thriller, or MG fantasy, or MG realistic fiction. For MG and YA include a one-page, single-spaced synopsis. DON'T LIST YOUR NAME on your manuscript. Please save your story as a Word document titled in this format: Your Name, Book Title. Please email your contest submission with MS Contest in the subject line to:  All submissions are due: September 1st, 2018, midnight. You must be a registered  attendee to participate. Contest winners will be announced at the end of the conference. One entry only.

Illustrator's Promotional Sheet Critiques, If you are an illustrator don't miss out on this opportunity. For an additional fee of $45, (non-members $55), The National Illustrator Coordinator, Priscilla Burris will critique your one-page promotional material, tear sheet or postcard. Please email your submission as a Jpeg. Type Promo Critique, your name (the same name you used to register) in the subject line. Email to: Priscilla Burris at; All submissions are due: September 1st , 2018, midnight. You must be a registered attendee to participate. Your one page critique will be emailed back to you following the conference. 

First Pages – Panel Does your first page work? Will it get an editor or agent's attention? Mail 3 copies of the opening page of your manuscript for our First Pages Panel. Prepare the page as you would for a critique submission. First Pages will be picked randomly, read out loud and critiqued by our panel of speakers. At the top of your page, type First Pages and the name that you registered with. Please mail your first page submissions to; SCBWI - Francesca Rusackas 4195 Chino Hills Pkwy, #381 Chino Hills, Ca 91709. Submissions are due: September 22nd, 2018. DO NOT MAIL REQUIRING A SIGNATURE.  You must be a registered attendee to participate. Due to time constraints, not all submissions will be a part of the First Pages Panel. One entry only.

Portfolio Display and Contest: Would you like your Portfolio to be seen by our visiting Agents, Editor and Art Director? Bring your portfolio to the conference. We will have a table set up on the stage for you to display your work. If you bring a picture book dummy, please make sure to attach it to your portfolio. Please do not bring orginial art work. Copies only. Don't forget to bring your promo cards and business cards. The Portfolio Winner will be announced at the end of the conference. 

Published Book Showcase for PAL Members Would you like to join our published book showcase? If you are a PAL member bring your current published children’s book (limited to three) on Saturday and you will have the opportunity to display your book at the conference. If you think you should be a PAL member log on to your membership home page at and follow the guidelines to update your status to PAL.  Attendees only. 

Writers and Illustrators Day Fees: (see side bar for mailing address for checks)

SCBWI Member Event Only $125 (includes lunch) (non-members $155)

Manuscript Critique Members $45 (non-members $55)

Pitch Session Members $20 (non-members $30)

Illustrator Promo Critique $45 (non-members $55)

Make checks out to; SCBWI and mail within 2 days of registering. 

To save money as a member please apply for a SCBWI membership. Visit:

Click the Link below to Register: (please note, you do not need a Paypal account to check out using Paypal. You will use our Paypal account to check out).