Annual Conference

Blazing a Trail: Your Creative Journey

2017 conf logo lo res

(artwork by Sophie Cayless)

We’re back! 

Our 2017 Northern Ohio Regional Conference, "Blazing a Trail: Your Creative Journey," will be held on September 15-16 at the conference center at Lorain County Community College.

Join fellow travelers for a spectacular sendoff on your creative journey at this year's conference! To guide you on your journey, we’ve lined up an award-winning faculty including editors, agents, an art director, and many talented authors and illustrators.

We will again be offering intensives Friday afternoon as well as critiques, an illustrator showcase, calendar contest, book basket, and publication recognition. Any PAL member published since 2015 is invited to participate. Celebrated members’ books will be available in our wonderful bookstore, run by Mac’s Backs.

Follow the links below to map out your trails for the weekend. All of your selections (conference fee/breakout sessions/food/add-ons) will happen when you register. 

In the meantime, soak up all the conference info! We encourage you to have your selections planned in advance of registration.  Critique slots go quickly, as will intensives, which have a limited number of participants.  Register early for your best options.

We are very excited about this year’s conference and look forward to seeing you in September!

Links to conference details:

 •  Conference Site and Hotel
 •  Faculty
 •  Breakout Sessions and intensives
 •  Critiques
 •  Friday film screening
 •  Illustrator Showcase and Calendar Contest
 •  Conference Registration (opens on 7/9 at 9:00am)



07/09/2017 Early Bird registration begins
07/28/2017 Deadline for manuscript critiques
08/01/2017 Publication celebration deadline (to get books in bookstore)
08/02/2017 Regular registration begins
08/18/2017 Last call for conf volunteers
09/01/2017 Last day for cancellation/refund requests
09/08/2017 Registration closes and calendar contest entries due
09/15/2017 Intensives
09/16/2017 Main conference sessions



Members: Early Bird $150 (through August 1), then $170 (August 2 – September 8)
Non-Members: Early Bird $190 (through August 1), then $210 (August 2 – September 8)

Friday intensives are an additional $65.
Critiques (face-to-face, written-only, portfolio) are an additional $45 (each)
Friday Film screening of "44 Pages" documentary is an additional $9 ($10 at the door)

PayPal is the preferred payment option. Please, please, please use PayPal. If this option will not work for you, select "Offline Payment" from the dropdown in the confirmation/payment screen (the PayPal option will display by default). Offline payment instructions will be displayed after you submit.

Volunteers will be needed in several areas to keep the conference running smoothly. These areas include such things as being a room host, helping with book signings, transporting faculty from Hopkins Airport, or assisting with any additional needs that may arise as plans are finalized. If you will be registering for the conference and would like to volunteer, please contact Gloria Reichert at by August 18. Job descriptions and details of the assignments will be sent to volunteers prior to the conference.


We want to recognize the publication accomplishments within our SCBWI community.

To participate, you must be a PAL-status author and/or illustrator who has or will have published a book, article or other qualifying publication (as per SCBWI National) from September 2015 through and including September 2017. You must be a current SCBWI member with your membership dues paid. A list of qualifying PAL publishers is available at:

Please contact Jean Daigneau at and send along a photo and a one-page copy of your book cover or article opening page (subject line Publication Celebration). A slide show will be created to show off this year’s celebrants.
Up to two book titles may also be sold in the bookstore (pending availability), again run by Mac's Backs – Books on Coventry. Please send title(s) and ISBNs to Jean as well.

Celebrants do not need to be in attendance to be part of the publication recognition, but must be in attendance to have books sold in the bookstore, in order to be available for the book signing at the end of the conference.
Please respond to Jean no later than August 1st with celebration pictures and titles. And contact her if you have any questions as well.



Please consider donating a gently-used or new book(s) to the Book Basket for children ages birth – 18.  All genres are welcomed.  Drop off the book(s) at the conference registration table by 11 am Saturday. We greatly appreciate your contributions! 


The conference registration includes continental breakfast and a boxed lunch on Saturday. During online registration, you will choose your boxed lunch option (ham, turkey, chicken salad, tuna salad, vegetarian). 


Registrant must contact Mike DeSantis at to request a refund by August 31.
No refund requests will be accepted after September 1.
Contact the Cambria hotel and Suites for cancellation and refund details for your hotel reservations. SCBWI Ohio North has no control over attendees’ hotel reservations. 


Attire is casual to business casual. Room temperatures vary so please plan accordingly.

SCBWI Northern Ohio is not responsible for lost, late or missing items. 

Audio taping, videotaping, and/or transmitting any part of this conference is prohibited. The presentations and handouts are copyrighted and may not be reprinted, blogged, tweeted, or reproduced in any way without written permission of the copyright holder. You may share your thoughts about the conference and some brief quotes, but please respect our speakers and the copyright law by not giving away detailed notes. Thank you for your professionalism.

Photos of faculty and attendees may appear on our website. If you have any concerns or question, contact Mike DeSantis at

All information listed is subject to change without notice.


For conference and registration questions:  

Mike DeSantis, Regional Advisor:
Susan Howard, Conference Coordinator: