Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


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SCBWI Piranha Pit


You’ve seen the Shark Tank

 now enter the

SCBWI Piranha Pit  

for a chance to win


For Your Marketing Plan


You’re an author, illustrator, author-illustrator, or translator who has great ideas of how to market your book. If you’re traditionally published, you want to supplement what your publisher is doing. If you’re independently/self-published, you want some support to get your book seen. SCBWI is here to help with Piranha Pit.


SCBWI Piranha Pit will take place Saturday, February 11 from 1–2:15pm. A panel of marketing piranhas will listen to your pitch LIVE at the SCBWI Conference in New York City.


How it works:

-Entries must be submitted by 5pm PT on Friday, January 13, 2023

-Submit your entry via email to It may be in written form or on video.

-You must be a paying attendee of the SCBWI New York Conference 2023. SCBWI members and non-members may enter.

-Six contestants will be pre-selected by the SCBWI staff to present their plans live.

-You will have 8–10 minutes tell us a little bit about yourself, then present an elevator pitch of your book, why you think your marketing plan will be effective, why you chose these tactics, and how you will measure success.

-Contestants may be traditionally or independently/self-published

-Books may be new works or backlist titles published within the last four years (2018 – March 31, 2023)

-You may present your marketing plan any way you’d like (using props, costumes, music, instruments––whatever you think will help the piranhas understand your book and your plan is acceptable!)

-Piranha deliberations will take place immediately after the last contestant presents and the winner will be announced on stage

-The winner will receive $1,000 and will be featured on our website, on SCBWI social media, and in Insight, our monthly member newsletter

-All Piranha decisions are final.


Your aquatic arbiters (aka your judges) will be:

Tammy Brown is Director, Marketing and Communication Strategy at SCBWI.
Tammy directs SCBWI’s marketing and advertising to members, trade and consumer press, and the publishing industry as well as cultivating member benefits, partnerships, and sponsorships for the organization. Tammy is responsible for data analysis for programs and promotions, the website, and member acquisition and retention.
Antonio Gonzalez Cerna is the Marketing Director at Levine Querido. He has 17 years of experience developing marketing, advertising, and social media strategies for publishers such as Hachette Book Group, Penguin Books USA, and Scholastic, as well as for non-profit institutions including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Lambda Literary Foundation. An advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, he has proudly served on the Children’s Book Council Diversity Committee, Lambda Literary Awards Host Committee, and a founding member of Latinx in Publishing.
Emily Romero is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House. She oversees the marketing of over 600 titles a year, and is passionate about connecting readers of all ages to Penguin’s list of inclusive, innovative and entertaining books. Emily has spent over 20 years at Penguin and has had the privilege of working with some of the most beloved and celebrated creators and brands including John Green, Jacqueline Woodson, Oliver Jeffers, Sabaa Tahir, Eric Carle, Who Was and The Last Kids on Earth. Previously, Emily worked in marketing and publicity at various independent and multicultural presses including North-South Books, Barefoot Books and Children’s Book Press. She received her B.A. from Vassar College and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

We look forward to seeing your entries!