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Laurent Linn – WPA SCBWI Illustrators’ Day


Registration is open!

What: Illustrator’s Day (Create a mock project and spend a day with a featured art director)

Where: Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport

When: Saturday, April 11, 2015 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Featured Art Director: Laurent Linn (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Cost: Full project tuition: $125 for SCBWI members/$150 for non-members (Space is limited to the first 20 registrants) Workshop audit only: $65 for SCBWI members/$75 for non-members (Space is limited to an additional 20 registrants)

Plans have been finalized for our first Illustrator’s Day!  It will be held at the Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport on April 11, 2015. Our guest art director is Laurent Linn, Art Director at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. He is anxious to work with us and is looking for illustrators to add to his list.

This workshop is intended to mirror the actual process of working with an art director on a picture book project. The deadlines, interactions and requirements are typical and represent a “real-life” scenario. Mr. Linn will assign a mock project in early 2015. Illustrators will return their work-in-progress for Mr. Linn’s guidance and create final artwork to be completed by April 11 when he will give face-to-face feedback in Pittsburgh. Submission guidelines will be provided to retreat participants. Space for the complete program will be limited to the first 20 registrants.

The day is also open for attendees who want to “audit” the day and simply attend to learn. Registrants will not complete the assignment and will not have their work commented on by Mr. Linn. Space for auditing-only will be limited to an additional 20 registrants.

The cost of the complete program will be $125 for SCBWI members and $150 for non-members. This includes Mr. Linn’s initial comments and the program on April 11. The cost of attending the workshop only without feedback from Mr. Linn is $65 for SCBWI members and $75 for non-members. Lunch and accommodations are NOT included in the registration cost. A restaurant is located at the hotel or you may bring a brown bag. Restaurants are also accessible at the airport. You will receive a voucher for $5 parking in the airport lot.


After registration, you will receive a lesson sheet from the art director. You will complete a sketch of a “spread” (explained in the lesson plan), scan and email the image to Nora (our Illustration Coordinator). Nora will email all of the images to the art director. He will make comments for you to work with on your final piece of artwork. Nora will email these comments from the art director back to you. You then read the comments, adjust the artwork, and complete the piece to bring with you the day of the workshop. Changes to each piece of artwork will be discussed during the workshop including what works, what doesn’t work and where to take the artwork from there. All work prior to the workshop will be done in your personal workspace.


  1. • Deadlines and rules must be followed so please read through all information before you register.

  2. • Requests for cancellations must be received by February 25. If you need to cancel you will receive a $50 voucher for a future Western Pennsylvania SCBWI event if you are attending the full program or a $25 voucher if you are only auditing on the day of the event.

  3. • If your initial sketch is late or your file is not submitted correctly, your work will not be included for consideration by Mr. Linn. You may attend the workshop in April as an observer only, and you will not receive a refund or voucher for a future event.

  4. • If you don’t know how to scan and save your files, DO NOT WAIT until the day the assignment is due to find out.

  5. • You must have an active email address to participate as this is the only way we will communicate prior to April’s workshop.

  6. • There are no restrictions on medium, color palette or style when completing your artwork.

  7. • All information, directions and details will be included in the lesson plan which will be emailed to paid participants on February 26.

  8. • Questions? Please email Nora Thompson at info (at) nornie (dot) com.


  1. • February 13: 9:00 am Registration opens for attendees participating in the complete program

  2. • February 25: 9:00 pm Registration closes for attendees participating in the complete program; Cancellation vouchers for the complete program will not be made after this date

  3. • February 26: Lesson assignment emailed to all registered and paid attendees participating in the complete program

  4. • February 26: 9:00 am Registration opens for audit-only attendees

  5. • March 10: Sketch due (one spread); Sketch should be scanned and emailed to Nora Thompson (info (at) nornie (dot) com). This sketch will be forwarded to Mr. Linn for comment, initial critique and suggested modifications to artwork

  6. • March 21: Comments from Mr. Linn emailed to individual participants for incorporation into final artwork

  7. • April 4: 9:00 pm Registration closes for audit-only attendees; Cancellation vouchers for auditing the program will not be made after this date

  8. April 8: Email Nora jpgs of your final artwork and character sketches. These files will be projected for comments at the workshop.

  9. • April 11: Workshop Day. Bring final artwork (one spread, either a quality color copy or the original artwork) with you to the workshop.

Laurent Linn is art director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers where he collaborates with both noted and new illustrators on picture books, middle grade and teen novels. He began his career as a puppet designer and builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop. With the Muppets for over a decade, he became the Creative Director for Sesame Street, winning an Emmy Award. Laurent illustrates and is Creative Advisor for the annual Original Art children’s book exhibit at the Society of Illustrators in New York.

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