Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2020 Retreat

Date(s) - 01/10/2020 - 01/12/2020
4:00 pm - 12:00 pm

Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
9415 Hearst Drive - San Simeon, CA 93452

Beach Retreat:

Picture Books from A to Sea

January 10 – 12, 2020

Cavalier Oceanfront Resort, 9415 Hearst Drive,

San Simeon, California

Fully Booked. Contact to be placed on a waiting list. 

Join us for picture book boot camp beside the sea with author/poet/UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Outstanding Instructor of the Year April Halprin Wayland. In addition to the programming, you’ll have time to write, join others for small group critiques, stroll on the beach,  gather each evening for a beach side campfire, play life-size chess/checkers and visit the elephant seals.

April Halprin Wayland writes poetry and picture books, including More Than Enough—a Passover Story (Dial), praised by The New York Times, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly; the gold medal-winning, New Year at the Pier (Dial), and the award-winning novel in poems, Girl Coming in for a Landing (Knopf).  She was named UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Outstanding Instructor of the Year, and blogs with five other children’s authors at When she’s not writing, April plays fiddle, hikes, and helps to change the world. Her tagline? 1/2 author, 1/2 poet, 1/2 not good at fractions.


Photo by Morgan Eagle

The programming

Whether you write fiction, nonfiction or rhyme, you’ll learn from one of UCLA’s best writing teachers as April presents four sessions during the weekend. Plus, two published picture book mentors will be there to offer guidance, encouragement and answer your burning questions about writing, picture books, agents and more. You’ll have time to write, stroll on the beach or meet other attendees for informal critique groups, and enjoy delicious meals together overlooking the ocean. To allow commuters to attend, this year we’re charging only for the programming which includes five meals (Friday dinner, 3 meals Saturday and Sunday breakfast). The fee for SCBWI members is $325, and $375 for nonmembers. The event begins at 4pm on Friday, January 10 and ends at noon on Sunday, January 12. Programming does not include hotel accommodations which need to be made separately.

Optional Hotel Accommodations

The price of our programming does not include hotel accommodations. You can make these separately by calling The Cavalier at 805 927-4688. Mention SCBWI CenCal to receive the special rate on the block of rooms set aside for our group. Group prices are $159 night for standard rooms with either 2 queen beds or 1 king bed;  $209 night for a Deluxe King Ocean View with fireplace; $269 for a Premium King Full Ocean View with fireplace (a little closer to the ocean than the deluxe). You must make your hotel room reservation by December 9, 2019. All rooms at the group discount will be released after that date.

Written Critiques

April is offering a limited number of paid written critiques. These are $45 for SCBWI members only. She will critique up to 850 words of a picture book manuscript (fiction or nonfiction).  You’ll receive your written critique on the first day, then as part of the critique, April will hold a group meeting session with those who purchased critiques. Critiques must be purchased at the time of registration and cannot be added on later. After registration you’ll receive directions on sending in your manuscript.  Update: Critiques are sold out, but there will be opportunities to receive feedback on your manuscripts at the event.


Registration will open in early October. To receive the member price, make sure you are first logged in at


Cancellations prior to December 9 will receive a refund less a $25 handling fee. Refunds after that date may not be available due to catering guarantees, so cancellations after December 9 will be handled on a case by case basis with the understanding we cannot guarantee any refund after December 9. SCBWI CenCal is not responsible for booking, cancelling, or confirming your hotel room accommodations–attendees bear full responsibility for making/cancelling their own hotel room reservations.


SCBWI events are for adults aged 18 or older. Minors are not allowed.


Please check with the hotel directly on their pet policy. SCBWI CenCal does not allow pets in the retreat meeting or dining rooms.


Contact Regional Advisor Rebecca Langston-George at 

Photos from last year’s retreat




This event is fully booked.