Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

JambaLAya Kidlit Conference 2019 (New Orleans)

Date(s) - 03/22/2019 - 03/24/2019
8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Academy of the Sacred Heart
4521 St. Charles Avenue, - New Orleans, Louisiana 70115

March 22-24, 2019
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*** UPDATE: There are two Saturday night rooms available at the HAMPTON INN Conference Hotel. Email us at if interested and we will send the contact information. ***

So … you have a story and want to get it published? Or, you want to learn how others got their stories and/or illustrations published? Or, you like gathering in the company of colleagues to share insights and wisdom into the fascinating world of children’s books?

Whatever made you click to get here, BIENVENUE! And be sure to check out last year’s portfolio showcase winner and conference illustrator’s work, Sarah Gramelspacher, at


• Grace Kendall, Senior Editor, FSG Books for Young Readers/Macmillan. Grace works on a range of material from picture books to YA novels, fiction and nonfiction. (A limited number of in-person consultations are offered.) (FULL)
• Jennifer Laughran, Agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (A limited number of in-person consultations are offered.) (FULL)
• Laurent Linn, Art Director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. (A limited number of in-person consultations are offered.) (FULL)
• Freddi Williams Evans, award-winning author of three historically based children’s books. (A limited number of written critiques are offered.)
• Johnette Downing, Author/Illustrator/Musician, locally called “the Musical Ambassador to Children” and the “Pied Piper of Louisiana Music Traditions.”
• Nina Kooij, Editor-in-Chief at Pelican Publishing Company. (A limited number of in-person consultations are offered.)
• Catherine Frank; freelance editor at Catherine Frank Editorial and former Executive Editor at Viking. (A limited number of in-person consultations are offered.) (FULL)


• Caroline Starr Rose, award-winning middle grade and picture book author whose books have been ALA-ALSC Notable, Junior Library Guild, ABA New Voices, Kids’ Indie Next, Amazon’s Best Books of the Month for Kids, and Bank Street College of Education Best Books selections. Caroline will critique picture books, middle grade and young adult.
• Crystal Allen, winner of the 2018 Sid Fleischman Golden Kite and author of the Magnificent Mya Tibbs middle-grade novels. Crystal will critique middle grade.
• Leslie Staub, (FULL) picture book author and illustrator, 2017 Golden Kite Honor winner, and Golden Kite judge for the 2018 SCBWI picture book entries. Leslie will critique picture books.
• Sarah Campbell, Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor winner and whose books have been named as ALSC Notables. Sarah will critique nonfiction.
• Whitney Stewart, (FULL) award-winning author of young adult, middle grade and picture books. Whitney will critique picture books or the first 1,000 words of nonfiction middle grade or young adult.


Friday, March 22 ~ Writing MasterClass by Grace Kendall in the Hospitality Room of The Garden District Hampton Inn at 2:00 p.m.
(Optional $75; space is limited.FULL)

Friday, March 22~ Illustrator MasterClass by Laurent Linn at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, 5256 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA at 2:00 p.m. (Optional $75; space is limited.)

Friday, March 22 Icebreaker ~ Kidlit Drink Night Meetup at The Columns Hotel at 5:15 p.m. Cash bar.

Saturday, March 23 JambaLAya Kidlit Conference ~ Academy of Sacred Heart Rosary Campus general registration at 8:00 a.m.

Saturday, March 23 Conference Dinner ~ at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar, immediately following the conference.

Sunday, March 24 PAL Meeting in the Hospitality Room of The Garden District Hampton Inn at 9:00 a.m.

Want to be a JambaLAya Volunteer? Email us.

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Online Registration Only. Once you have selected the options below you will continue to payment. Click on pay online via Paypal. Click on the arrow for Paypal. When you click on Paypal you will be taken to a screen where you can either (1) use your own Paypal account; or (2) pay by debit or credit card through the regional Paypal account. Choose the second option to pay with your credit card. You do not need to open your own Paypal account.


~Conference Schedule, Cost & Lodging

~ Conference Faculty & Speakers

~ Writing Master Class with Grace Kendall

~ Illustrator Master Class with Laurent Linn

~ Manuscript Critique Information

~ Portfolio Critique & Showcase Information

~ How to Make the Most of Critique Time

~ “First Look” Writing Guidelines

~ Conference Saturday Night Dinner (optional) at Superior Seafood

~ Lodging at the Hampton Inn

~ RA Scholarship

~ PAL Meeting


For Critiques, Please Note: DEADLINES FOR THESE ARE PAST.

You may only register for one (1) from the following: Grace Kendall (FULL), Jennifer Laughran (FULL), Laurent Linn (FULL), Nina Kooij, or Catherine Frank (FULL). However, author/illustrators who are having a portfolio review with Laurent Linn may also choose one (1) other from this group.

All may choose a second or more with Freddi Evans, Caroline Starr Rose, Crystal Allen, Whitney Stewart (FULL), Leslie Staub (FULL) or Sarah C. Campbell.