2023 Letters & Lines Sessions

2023 Letters & Lines Bookstore

These books were written, illustrated, or worked on and recommended by our 2023 faculty members and/or attendees.

Thank you to The Wandering Jellyfish, our 2023 conference bookstore. We still love you guys!

2023 Golden Pen Awards

Silvia Rodriguez-Sama for The Solstice Stone, a middle grade historical novel set in the ancient Andes, the land of the Incas and their ancestors. Silvia is a We Need Diverse Books 2022 Mentee, an archaeologist based at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and a National Geographic Explorer. Visit her at silviarodriguezsama.com and Instagram @silviarodriguezsama. Congratulations!

Additional nominees include:

  • Sally Alexander, The Goodbye Tree
  • Katie Brandyberry, For the Fans: A Love Letter from the Home Team
  • Rondi Sokoloff Frieder, Jake and the Adventures of Ed Lightning
  • Breanna Henry, Sunshine Juice
  • Alana Hodges, Alli: A Wheel Dancer
  • S.Y. Knoll, What It Takes 
  • L. Michelle Quraishi, The Hidden Story of the California Missions
  • Lauren Reed, When Baachan Comes to Visit
  • Stacey Simmons, Tiny Trespasser
  • Megan Troup, Mira Devlin of the Shadowed Skies

2023 Portfolio Contest Winners


Grand Prize: Brittany Cicchese
brittanycicchese.com | @cicchese.art


Honor (tie): Alice Feagan
alicefeagan.com | @acfeagan


Honor (tie): Amber Owen
asterplume.com | @z.b.asterplume

2023 Calendar Contest Winners

(For the 2024 calendar.)

2023 Letters & Lines Schedule

7:30-8:00 Registration and Breakfast Check in at the Registration Table, get your name tag, pick up pre-orders, and get some breakfast.
11:45-12:15 Welcome: Susan Wroble and Stan Yan, Co-Regional Advisors of the Rocky Mountain Chapter
8:15-9:00 Keynote Arthur Levine: Then and Now: What’s changed since I last spoke to the Denver SCBWI (40 years ago?)
9:15-10:15 Breakout 1 The Murky Middle The Debut Author’s Marketing Guide You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know Your Five Year Map to an Illustration Career
10:30-11:30 Breakout 2 Tackling Revisions Best of Lists Poetry: Write It, Publish It Early Readers
11:45-12:15 Lunch
12:15-1:00 Keynote Andrea Wang: Shining A Light On Our Complexes
1:15-2:15 Breakout 3 Decoding Voice The Care, Finding and Keeping of Literary Agents Ten Powerful Ways to Use Mentor Texts First Impressions
2:30-3:15 Free Choice Pitchapalooza School Visit Activities Quiet Room
3:00-3:20 Portfolio Contest Drop-off
3:30-4:30 Breakout 4 Mining the Self Buy In, Sell Through, Earn Out Literary Devices Inspiration: Broadening Your Horizons
4:45-6:15 Dessert First, Book Signings, Portfolio Review
6:30-8:00 Critique Connect
7:30-8:00 Registration and Breakfast Check in at the Registration Table, get your name tag, pick up pre-orders, and get some breakfast.
7:30-8:00 Connects Meet and Greet
8:00-8:10 Prize Giveaway
8:15-9:15 Breakout 5 How to Build Complex and Fascinating World for Your Reader Instant Platform: Small Published Pieces to Build a Portfolio The Author-Editor Creative Relationship, A Conversation with Andrea Wang and Arthur Levine Designing and Illustrating Covers
9:30-10:15 Industry Panel Arthur Levine, Miranda Paul, Kristen Nobles, Saba Sulaiman, Sara Megibow, Ana Crespo
10:30-11:30 Breakout 6 Plot Points Roadmap Don’t Get Knocked Down Lure ‘Em in With Layers Thinking Visually: The Illustrator as Illuminator
11:45-12:15 Keynote Miranda Paul, Beyond Bookmaking: Centering Passion and Purpose Over Publication
12:30-12:45 Closing Remarks
2:30-5:30 Intensives Post-Conference Intensive Purchase Required During Conference Registration

2023 Letters & Lines Volunteers

The 2023 Letters & Lines Conference was powered by a team of volunteers. We had photos for some, but there were EVEN MORE who stepped up and filled a need at the last minute. Thank you to those who worked for a year AND those who worked for the weekend. We could not have had such a wonderful conference without you!