Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Making Waves: A Pacific Illustrators Event

Date(s) - 11/07/2020 - 11/08/2020
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


No Categories

Hosted by Alaska and Hawaii SCBWI


Join us for two days of craft-oriented presentations, hands-on intensives, optional critiques, and a juried art show!


– Illustration and literary agent Janna Morishima
– Illustrator Joe Sutphin
– Design Director at Chronicle Books Jennifer Tolo Pierce
– Author and Illustrator Larry Day
– Illustrator Mirka Hokkanen
– Illustrator Lucas Elliott


 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6th: Zoom Social

6-7pm Hawaii/7-8pm Alaska, FREE

Signup required below to receive a link.

The social is optional, but we hope that you’ll join us to say hello to your fellow attendees and get excited for our weekend presentations. We will ask ice-breaker questions and rotate attendees to break-out rooms to get to know each other in smaller groups.


 SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7: Presentations by Industry Professionals

Cost: $50 SCBWI members | $75 non-members
*You must purchase Saturday ticket to be eligible for Sunday tickets, or to enter the Juried Art Show.


 9-11am HST | 10-12pm AKST
The ART of Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know About Illustrating GNs for the Kidlit Market ~ Janna Morishima
How is illustrating a graphic novel different from a picture book? What makes “sequential art” special? In this 2 hour session, agent Janna Morishima explores the mechanics of graphic novel illustration and how to break into the field. She’ll review the different graphic novel genres in the kidlit market and discuss what art directors are looking for. She’ll go over the different art specialists within graphic novel publishing, such as letterers and colorists. And she’ll answer all your art-related graphic novel questions!

12-2pm HST | 1-3pm AKST
Becoming an Illustrator of Middle Grade Books ~ Joe Sutphin
In this session, I’ll aim to inspire you by helping you focus and bolster your efforts toward becoming an illustrator of Middle Grade stories. I’ll touch on topics of:

Leaning into your strengths,

building your artistic muscle memory,

pulling from reference and past observation,

becoming a student of the kind of books you want to illustrate,

remaining self-aware,

creating illustrations that tell a great story,

building an engaging portfolio that draws editors and art directors in with familiar themes,

making contact with editors and art directors,

and building relationships with mentors.

2:30-4:30pm HST | 3:30-5:30pm AKST
Easter Eggs, Insomnia, and Impossible Hugs: The Making of a Picture Book ~ Jennifer Tolo Pierce
It’s a well-known saying that a picture’s worth a thousand words and picture books are enduring proof of the power of visual storytelling. Jennifer Tolo Pierce, Design Director of Children’s Publishing at Chronicle Books, guides you through a cover-to-cover exploration of what makes a picture book pure magic—from character design to pacing, collaboration to personal vision, and (almost) everything in between—and the role of the Design Director in the creative process.


 SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8: Hands-On Craft Intensives

Live workshops have a 15 person limit due to the hands on nature of them. Replays are available for the same price and are available for viewing from Monday, Nov 9, until midnight Sunday, Nov 15, and open for all attendees. Live workshop tickets includes replay.

Cost: $30 per session.
Sunday replay ticket: You can pick any or all of the workshops for a replay for $30 each.


Watercolor Painting With Larry Day

Join us for a hands-on watercolor workshop with author and illustrator Larry Day. In this workshop we will be painting along with Larry and getting a look at his process. Larry will share some practical tips on watercolor painting, favorite tools and give us an insight into his picture book illustration process. A sketch of the illustration that we will be painting will be sent to the attendees a week prior to the event.

Suggested supply list:
2b pencil
Eraser/Kneaded eraser
140 lb Cold Press Watercolor paper (Larry uses Arches)

Inking supplies. Larry uses Speedball Crow Quill Pen Holder with a Speedball #102 nib
Higgins Black Waterproof Ink, 1oz

Miracle Sponge, compressed sponges for textures

Small white salad plate or palette

Round Watercolor Brushes sizes small 1-3, medium 4-7 and large 8-10. (Larry uses: Bright sizes 2, 6, 8, 10)

Assortment of watercolors.

Here are the ones that Larry uses:
Winsor Newton: Yellow Ochre, Scarlet Lake, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine, Prussian Blue, Viridian Green, Alizarin Crimson and either Blockx Gamboge or Winsor Newton, Cadmium Yellow

White Gouache paint




1. Relief Printmaking workshop with Mirka Hokkanen

In this 3-hour class you will learn the basics of making relief prints and how to apply printmaking to illustration. During the session, participants will create, step-by-step, their first print. No prior knowledge is necessary! In this class you will discover:

-The basic tools to create your first relief print
-How to design an image for printing
-Different methods of transferring images to your carving surface
-Carving a block
-Printing a relief print
-Making additional textures
-How printmaking techniques apply to illustration

By the end of the class, you will have developed the skills to create and print a finished image and how to apply those skills in picture book illustration.

Supply list to have ready for workshop:

-Speedball Super Value Block Printing Starter Kit, Available at hobby stores and $24 on Amazon:
-Wooden spoon, door knob, or something similar with a smooth surface
-2 pieces, minimum 8”x10”, pieces of acrylic sheet/thick glass/cookie sheet/other smooth non-porous surface for rolling ink out on
-Newspaper or drop cloth for covering your table from messes
-Apron or old shirt
-Rags or paper towels to keep your hands clean
-Paper to print on, you can try a variety, but thinner works better when printing by hand.
-Parchment paper and (optional) tracing paper
-Sharpie marker

2. Refine your Design: A Procreate Workshop with Lucas Elliott

Join illustrator Lucas Elliott as he shares his experience with the program Procreate and learn how you can utilize this expansive program in your own art-senal. From building your own canvases and creating a piece of art you’re proud of to going further with brush editing and more, you won’t want to miss this session. Geared towards beginners, but open to anyone who wants to further their creative knowledge.

Supply List:

-Apple Pencil



Cost: $40 Limit of 25 spaces available, on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Guidelines: Submit up to 5 images, portfolio, dummy, or 4-5 pages of a graphic novel. See below for who is taking what for critiques. Critiques will be provided in written form, using the SCBWI Gold Form, and returned to participants on November  17th.

Submission Deadline: October 17 (no refunds for missed deadline).

Where to submit: After signing up send your materials/links for critiquing to

Written critiques by Janna Morishima, Joe Sutphin and Jennifer Tolo Pierce will be returned using the SCBWI Gold Form by November 17.

What to submit:

– Janna Morishima (only 5 critiques):3-5 page illustrated story segment (from a graphic novel) OR 3-5 images from a portfolio.

– Joe Sutphin (10 critiques max): black and white illustrations for chapter books OR 3-5 images from portfolio.

– Jennifer Tolo Pierce (10 critiques max): 3-5 images, and online portfolio OR an illustrated dummy.

File specifications: Please submit standard image files, or a link to your online portfolio that can be opened on any computer (.jpg, .png, .pdf). File name must include your name (for example: JaneDoe_BearsBigBooboo_Dummy.pdf). Keep file size under 5MB. For online portfolios, all images to be critiqued should be seen on the same page, as in a gallery on a website ex.



Cost: $15 registration fee (You must register to participate in the contest/show, and must also be registered for Saturday events.)

Prompt: “It looked as if all the adventures were coming to an end.”

Awards (2): Best in Show and People’s Choice

Prize: $50 gift card for each winner

Juror (Best in Show): Janna Morishima


1. Upload your work to the Padlet by midnight on October 31st.

2. Format: jpg OR png

3. No bigger than 5MB

4. Only ONE entry can be posted

5. Can be color or black and white

6. Include your name as the title on each entry, and one link

7. Only TWO votes (or likes), which count towards the People’s Choice award.



– Each entrant will make a new original piece based on the prompt, and upload it to the Padlet site by Oct 31st. The gallery will close to entries on midnight on Oct 31st, Alaska time. if you are not familiar with padlet, it is a simple program to use. Here is a short instructional video:

– Anyone registered for the Saturday event is allowed to enter.

– The gallery will be open for viewing the whole weekend, attendees are encouraged to leave positive comments under entries.

– Likes count towards the People’s Choice award. The People’s Choice award will be awarded to the entry with most likes. Attendees are encouraged to only give 2 likes to their top two favorite pieces.



Janna Morishima

Janna Morishima is an illustration and literary agent specializing in graphic novels and visual storytelling for kids. She was one of the co-founders of Scholastic’s Graphix imprint and has worn almost every hat in publishing, from art and editorial to marketing and sales. She is also the founder of Kids Comics Unite, an online community for children’s graphic novel professionals. Find out more at and


Joe Sutphin

Joe Sutphin is an illustrator for kids books such as the New York Times bestseller Word Of Mouse by James Patterson, Raffie On The Run by Jacqueline Resnick, Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga, Monster’s Trucks by Rebecca Van Slyke, as well as a newly envisioned edition of Little Pilgrim’s Progress (2021 Moody Publishers) and the official graphic novel adaptation of Richard Adams’s beloved rabbit-adventure classic, Watership Down (2022 Ten Speed/Random House). When he’s not drawing, Joe can be found herding cats. Seriously.



Jennifer Tolo Pierce

Jennifer Tolo Pierce is the Design Director of Children’s Publishing at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She has collaborated with illustrators and authors to create distinctive, best-selling books such as: Caldecott Honor-winner They All Saw a Cat; Josephine, recipient of the Coretta Scott King Book Award, Illustrator, Honor; Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug; You Are New; and Three Cheers for Kid McGear!. Prior to her current role, Jennifer was a Design Director in the Lifestyle publishing group at Chronicle for over ten years. She lives with her plant-whisperer husband, two teenage sons, two cats, and many fish in a foggy corner of San Francisco. Instagram


Larry Day

Larry Day is the award-winning illustrator of over 25 fiction and non-fiction titles. Most recent titles: A Fort on the Moon (Maggie Pouncey), Beware! (Bob Raschka), Found. (Jeff Newman, Simon & Schuster) and Voices from the Underground Railroad (Kay Winters, Dial). My Fourth of July (Jerry Spinelli), Bim Bam Bop and Oona (Jacqueline Briggs Martin). Larry’s work has won numerous state awards, a Golden Kite Award, and three gold medals from the Society of Illustrators.

“I grew up in a small rural mid-western town where, beginning at an early age, I drew everything around me. And what I didn’t draw, I observed. Art became even more meaningful to me after I flunked high school art class. I knew I was onto something bigger than learning macrame and decoupage.

I was searching for the emotion of things. And I’ve been at it ever since.”

Larry spent his childhood in Gibson City, Illinois, a rural farming community. Despite flunking Art in high school, he earned an Associate’s Degree in commercial art. Before becoming a picture book illustrator, Larry illustrated pinball and video arcade games. He’s a 33-year senior storyboard artist in the advertising industry. Larry’s principal love is painting. / / Instagram: larry.day56 / Twitter: @larrydayart


Mirka Hokkanen

Mirka Hokkanen is a Finnish-American artist, illustrator and entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in printmaking. She loves to share her passion for prints through teaching and organizing community events. Mirka’s prints have been shown in galleries around the world, and her illustrations have been featured on products from books to home goods. Her debut picture book, Four Otters Toboggan, (2019, written by Vivian Kirkfield) features multi-block wood engravings of endangered animals in their habitats. Mirka’s favorite subjects are animals and nature, and her style could be described as quirky-whimsical with a retro flare. Mirka is the Illustrator Coordinator for Hawaii and is excited to teach us how to make prints and how they apply to illustration. / Instagram


Lucas Elliott

Lucas Elliott is an illustrator in Anchorage, Alaska. His work has been published in the graphic novel “Moose”, IDW Comics, and Upper Deck Entertainment. He holds a BFA in Painting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and currently teaches Illustration at the University of Alaska Anchorage. When he’s not working on his next book, You can find him frolicking with the Moose he’s befriended with his wife and canine companion. You can find out more about him at his website




The Alaska and Hawaii chapters of SCBWI encompass a wide range of creators. Our priority is to reflect this representation and serve all members of our local community. In addition, we aim to help the children’s book industry and our local chapter build a bigger bookshelf, by creating a welcoming environment for creators while striking down barriers to access. In an effort to broaden access to resources offered by Alaska and Hawaii SCBWI chapters, we invite applications to our 2020 Making Waves Awards.

Submissions open now and deadline to submit is Sunday, October 31, 2020.


This award seeks to address financial barriers amongst creators in our regions for whom attending the conference is a financial hardship. ONE award will be granted.

The MAKING WAVES COMMUNITY AWARD includes the following:
♦ Attendance to the entire live 2020 online event which includes access to all presentations and workshops


This award seeks to lift the voices of underrepresented creators through attendance to our event. TWO awards will be granted, to an illustrator who self-identifies as a member of a community which has been underrepresented in the children’s and young adult literature. We welcome all definitions of underrepresentation.

Please note: the submissions themselves are not required to reflect an underrepresented or marginalized population, only the creator.

Each VOICES RISING AWARD includes the following:
♦ Attendance to the entire live 2020 online event which includes access to all presentations and workshops


All applicants must live within the Alaska or Hawaii Chapters.

-Applicants may apply for more than one award, but may win no more than one award.
-Applicants do not have to be members of SCBWI to apply.
-There is no fee to apply.

Submissions are now open and the deadline to submit is October 31, 2020. Winners will be announced by November 2, 2020.

Please submit work samples, which includes the following:

-Up to three (3) fully finished illustrations appropriate for the children’s literature market in JPEG format, each no more than 5MB in size.
-Name the illustration files “LastName_FirstName_Title.jpg”
-E.g.: “Smith_Jane_MakingFriends.jpg”

Please email Mirka Hokkanen, Illustrator Coordinator at with your entries and any questions.
We look forward to receiving your submission. Good luck!