Frequently asked questions

Find some of the most commonly asked questions here.

Common questions

What is an SCBWI region and how does it operate?

SCBWI hosts a worldwide network of regions where our members can thrive. Regions are divided geographically and are run by dedicated volunteer leaders who coordinate communications, activities, and events that allow writers, illustrators, and translators to enjoy the benefits of belonging to a creative community. When you join SCBWI as a new member, or if you're a long-time member logging on to our new site for the first time, you must opt in to receiving communications from your home region by adding them to your list of regions on your member profile. To do this, go to your Member Home page, click the My Profile button, then the Edit My Profile button. Scroll down the page and click "Manage Your SCBWI Regions," then click the arrow and choose your home region to add it to your profile. To get the most benefit from your SCBWI membership, follow your home region to keep up with the latest local news and activities. If you wish, you may also follow this process to opt in to communications from multiple regions. Each SCBWI region is led by a Regional Advisor (RA) and may be aided by an Assistant Regional Advisor (ARA), Illustrator Coordinator (IC), and Translator Coordinator (TC). RAs, ARAs, ICs, and TCs are often referred to as the RT, short for Regional Team. The global network of these high-level volunteers are also known, collectively, as RTs. On a local level, the RA - with the help of the RT - coordinates local volunteers to help with events and activities. The magic of SCBWI truly happens on the regional level as members help and support one another in their work to create meaningful literature and art for children throughout the world. By pursuing the goal to make the world a better place through children’s literature, our members develop friendships, find support, and form lasting bonds with other creatives.

How do I get published?

There are a few different paths you can take - becoming a member of our organization would be a fantastic start! If you choose to join or are already a member, we have a publication called "The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children" and this would be your best resource, filled with freelance editors, and info on self publishing vs. traditional publishing, and literary agents. You can find this under your member home. If you are interested in traditional publishing with a big publisher, we definitely recommend finding a literary agent, as few big publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts. You can find agents via google searches, twitter, MSWL, and you can connect with many via our conferences! Please note that SCBWI is a member-based resource and does not publish books, edit materials, or represent you in any capacity.

How can I find an illustrator?

We can definitely help in your search for an illustrator. We don't give direct recommendations but you're welcome to use our resources to find your own. If you are self-publishing your book, we'd recommend checking out our Illustrator Gallery. There, you'll find the contact info and website of every member illustrator, along with a sampling of their work. If you would prefer to be traditionally published, please note that the Art Director of whichever publishing house takes on your book will find the right illustrator to bring your story to life. For more info regarding traditional publication, please feel free to check out "The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children."

What opportunities are there to promote my work through SCBWI?

Once you become a member, you can promote your book through the Member Bookstore or your artwork under the Illustrator Gallery (under Member Home > Share Your Work). If you would like to make your art eligible to be shared on the new site, please go to "Manage your permissions" in your profile and opt in to "SCBWI can showcase my artwork." We also have opportunities to be even more in the spotlight like through the Featured Illustrator highlight, monthly Reading Lists, and promotions like BookStop. Stay tuned for announcements about how and when to engage with these opportunities, some of which are on pause while we transition to the new website. Thanks for your patience!

How do I change my membership level?

There are three membership levels in SCBWI: Associate (for pre-published members), Full (for independently published members), and PAL (members who have published works with traditional publishers). If you're an associate member, when you add your book to your profile and the member bookstore (under Member Home > Share Your Work), you are asked to choose your publisher from SCBWI's list of PAL publishers. If your publisher is on this list, when you select it and save your book to your profile, your membership will change to PAL if it is not already PAL. If your publisher is not on the list, you may submit the publisher's name for a PAL inquiry. If you independently published your book, you'll be able to note this and your membership will change to Full.

I need legal advice.

We're not authorized to give legal advice but we can suggest a few resources: 1. Under your member home, find SCBWI’s Essential Guide and look at the contracts section; 2. Contact your state’s Lawyers for the Arts organization or the Alliance of Independent Authors; 3. Contact the Authors Guild or Society of Illustrators if you're based in the US; 4. If you're not US-based, you can try the Society of Authors. We're unable to help with specific issues but, hopefully, one or more of these will be helpful for you.

I need information about a local event!

Using the “help button” will put you in contact with the overarching SCBWI organization and not the volunteer team for your specific SCBWI Region. If you have questions about a local event, please contact the regional team directly at their e-mail address, which can be found on their individual SCBWI page (under About > Global Regions).

What happened to this webinar video?

We have a contract with our speakers to only keep the recordings for one month after live webinars. Unfortunately, if a month has passed and you're unable to find it, the video has been taken down. Our apologies for any inconvenience.

How do I find my event history?

Visit your "member home," then click the gray "events" tab at the top of the page.

Why do I no longer receive emails from SCBWI?

First, please check to see if your membership is up-to-date. Expired memberships don’t receive emails from SCBWI. Second, please double check that your email address is accurate (without any misspellings or typos). If those are both in order, please reach out to us to see if you’ve accidentally unsubscribed or been removed from the mailing list another way.

What is your refund policy?

SCBWI will refund new memberships or renewals within seven (7) calendar days from the date of purchase. Refund requests will not be issued after this timeframe. Please click the green "Help" button at the bottom right of this page to request a refund, and allow 7-10 days for processing.