Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Read Before You Register

What you need to know about registering for The Big Chill at The Gray Center in Canton, MS, October 12-14, 2018…

Three cottages have been reserved for our retreat. There are also rooms at the Inn available, should demand warrant it. You will be able to choose single or double occupancy. The pricing is below.

Each cottage has 8 rooms with 2 beds per room. Each room has a private bathroom. All cottages have a common area for meeting space, a full kitchen, a fireplace, and a back patio overlooking the Gray Center Lake. All Cottages have their own WiFi capabilities. The rooms in the Inn, yards away, are similar – 2 beds per room with a private bathroom.

The room allotment will be first-come, first-served. Please note, all reservations will be taken “pending approval.” This will allow us to allot the rooms as they are approved, filling first cottage #1, cottage #2, etc. If you are sharing a room, you must make arrangements with your roommate ahead of time. After registration, each should immediately email with the name of your roommate. Once both registrants have emailed us, the registration will be approved. Since the rooms will be allotted in the order they are approved, you should both plan to register at the same time, with an immediate email confirming roommate status to us. Should you want to register for double occupancy but have no roommate in mind, please email and we will match you up with another attendee in your position. If no matches are available, you will be required to select single occupancy.

The offsite written critiques by the editor or editors chosen by each registrant must be selected when you register and are separately priced. These will also be first come, first served. The deadline date for emailing the material (20 pages and 400-word synopsis for MG or YA; full text for PB; or a link to an illustrator’s portfolio of up to 20 images) is August 28, 2018, by 7 p.m. C.S.T. The editor/designer feedback will be distributed at the Retreat. You will email your material to Feel free to send a test email ahead of the deadline. You will get a response.

For illustrators, you also have the option of selecting the Storyboarding session led by Chuck Galey on Saturday morning. This can be selected instead of or along with written critiques. Please note that this session will be held concurrently with the critique sessions.

Our working sessions will be held in the Gray Center Meeting Rooms. The main focus of the working sessions will be assimilation of the feedback and brainstorming ideas for moving forward with our manuscripts. During registration, you will select the group that best matches the project that you will be working on during the retreat: Picture Book, Middle Grade Novel, or YA Novel. This selection process will facilitate the sharing of work prior to the retreat.

The retreat registration rates include food and lodging – Friday supper, all meals on Saturday, and Sunday breakfast. Snacks and refreshments, including adult beverages for evening socials (beer and wine), will also be provided.

Once registered, there will be no refunds. This is due to the cancellation policy at the Retreat Center. Because of this and because the rooms will be allotted as they are approved, there will be no offline payments. All payments must be online. You do not need your own Paypal account. When you reach the payment page, read closely. Below the invitation to open a Paypal account is the option – pay by credit card (or debit card). Paypal designs this page and we cannot alter it. Just know that you will not click on the button to open an account; you will click on pay by card and will use your own debit or credit card.

Retreat Registration Rates:

$215.00 Member, Double Occupancy

$245.00 Member, Single Occupancy

$255.00 Nonmember, Double Occupancy

$285.00 Nonmember, Single Occupancy

$45.00 Written Critique from Offsite Editor (limit two)

$45.00 Illustrator Intensive on Storyboarding

Day Passes. Should we meet the minimum requirements for reserving the retreat center, we will open the retreat to participants who will not be lodging at The Gray Center. We will send an eblast when this option opens.