Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2022 SCBWI-CenCal Writer’s Day “Perfect Your Pitch”

Date(s) - 07/10/2022
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

A SCBWI-CenCal 2022 Writer’s Day Webinar



Perfect Your Pitch


Sunday, July 10, 2022 1:30pm-3:30 Pacific Time

Registration *Opens June 10, 2022* & Closes July 7, 2022

$27.00 SCBWI Members  * Not Open to Non-Members

♦ ♦ ♦

Agent Joyce Sweeney will teach you how to pitch

Debut Spotlights Lynn Becker & Lisa Kerr will inspire you   

♥ Free Writing Contests ♥ 

Free “Help me Perfect my Pitch” Feedback Opportunity

Banner art by Trish Heully. View her SCBWI illustration portfolio here



In her 75-minute presentation Joyce will teach you how to perfect your pitch with advice, examples and live feedback given on a handful of participants’ pre-selected pitches. 

Bio: Joyce Sweeney is an author and literary agent for The Seymour Agency. She has written fourteen young adult novels, many of which have won awards. She is also the author of two chapbooks of poetry. She is currently working on a fantasy series about Atlantis. Joyce was a creative writing teacher, mentor, and coach for over 25 years. She also published a plotting how-to book, Plotting Your Novel with the Plot Clock (Giantess Press, 2019). At this writing, she has successfully mentored 65 students to traditional publishing contracts. In 2020 she joined The Seymour Agency, and represents picture books, middle grade novels and non-fiction, as well as select poetry and verse novels. Her hobbies are theater, collecting illustration art and animal causes of all kinds. She lives in Coral Springs with her husband Jay and cat Nitro.

SPOTLIGHTS – Local debut writers discuss their publication journey in these two 10 minute spotlights. 


Lynn Becker  “Inspiration in the Briny”

Lynn has been a reader and creator all her life. These days, if she’s not writing picture books–or children’s book reviews–she’s probably out hiking or digging in her garden. After growing up in New York, Lynn spent many years in the Southern California desert with her husband, children, cats, dog and lot and lots of chickens. A longtime SCBWI CenCal board member, Lynn now lives in Colorado. The chickens stayed behind, but a few mythical beasties may have followed her to her new home. Monsters in the Briny is her first picture book. June Moon releases Spring 2023. 



Lisa Kerr “Take the Quiet Road (Even if it Takes Longer)

Lisa Kerr grew up hiking and exploring the Western United States. She is a children’s book author, playwright, educator, and essayist whose work has been featured in magazines and publications including Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Bustle, and more. After a recent visit to the California super bloom, Lisa was inspired to research and write Wake, Sleepy One. She lives in Central California. Visit for more information. 




Open only to those registered for the event. Attendees may submit up to 2 manuscripts in two different categories (picture book, middle grade or young adult). Both fiction and nonfiction are included in each category. Entries are anonymous. Please print the CONTEST SUBMISSION FORM and email it along with your entry (full Picture Book manuscript OR synopsis + first 10 pages of MG or YA) by 11:59pm Friday, July 1, 2022.

Questions: please read the contest submission form carefully, then if you still have questions contact Rebecca at but do not wait until the deadline. Winners will be announced at the end of the event & will receive free attendance next year.  * Access the 2022 Writer’s Day Contest form here.


Open only to registered attendees of this event. Attendees may send a single one page query letter of no more than 3 paragraphs no later than 11:59pm Friday, July 1, 2022 to   A handful of these will be selected and Joyce will use those selected in her presentation to give constructive feedback. Your pitch should be anonymous (no name or address) and should be no longer than 3 paragraphs. These will not be returned and only those selected will receive public feedback. 



Named in honor of our dear late friend and contest coordinator Susan Ruch Rouch, this grant is for a CenCal member or members who might otherwise not be able to afford the registration fee. To apply send an email to by June 17 stating your name, and the fact you’re a CenCal member applying for the Susan Ruch Roush grant, no further information is needed. The names of all applicants and recipient(s) will be kept confidential.

Read below to Register for this event. Please read all information below first as many things have changed from previous events:

♦ This event will be ONLINE. The recording will be available approximately 24 hours following the event and will remain accessible for 2 weeks following the event.

♦ INTERNATIONAL MEMBERS ONLY: If our payment system isn’t processing your credit card or PayPal payment, email to request an alternate method of payment. Please include your name and address in your request. Please allow at least three days for a response.

CenCal’s policies:

Refund Policy: No refund will be given for online events as attendees will be able to view the recording for two (2) weeks following the event.

Minor Policy: Minors under the age of 18 are not allowed at events. By registering you affirm you are 18 or older.

Recording Policy: Attendees are not allowed to videotape the event. The webinar portion will be recorded by CenCal and made available to all registered participants within approximately 24 hours following the event. It will be accessible for 2 weeks.

Guests: Attendees are prohibited from bringing guests to the webinar, or sharing the recording. Should a registered attendee require the help of an attendant please notify the RA immediately upon registration by emailing and we will make accommodations.

If you experience difficulty registering please check to make sure you are logged in to your profile and that your membership is up to date, then try again.

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The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion. 

The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include Zooms, Webinars, online meetings, communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.


Code of Conduct

All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, including faculty, volunteers, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

  • Intimidation, stalking, or following;
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events;
  • Unwelcome sexual attention or advances;
  • Abusive verbal comments;
  • Quid pro quo– sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors;.
  • Harmful or prejudicial verbal comments, written comments, or visual images related to gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion, socio-economic status, disability, age, appearance, body size, or other personal characteristics;
  • Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images
  • Unwelcome or uninvited attention or contact
  • Physical assault (including unwelcome touching or groping);
  • Real or implied threat of physical harm;
  • Real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm;
  • Body policing, unwelcome photography or recording;
  • Doxing
  • Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.

We expect all participants at SCBWI activities, meetings, and networking events to abide by this Anti-Harassment Policy in all venues, including sanctioned events, ancillary events, unofficial events, and social gatherings.


Reporting Procedures

Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:

  • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.
  • A complainant may submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
  • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.

SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made under this policy. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.



SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.

Sanctions for faculty, speakers, volunteers, staff or board members may include any of the following:

  • warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;
  • withholding of a contracted honorarium;
  • prohibition from future speaking engagements;
  • prohibition from future faculty appointments;
  • expulsion from SCBWI; and/or
  • removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.

Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

  • warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event, without refund;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
  • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
  • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.

If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties and witnesses. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.


If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.

If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "Anti-Harassment Policy" in the subject line. 


I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.