Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Haunted States of America Makes Strides Forward


CORRECTION: A former version of this story reported that the word count for the stories was 500 words. The word limit is actually 1,300 words.


We have great progress to report on SCBWI’s newest publishing project, The Haunted States of America.  The anthology, comprised of scary stories from each state in the union and submitted exclusively by SCBWI members, is in active production, after almost a year-long delay.  Stories from 35 states have been selected, and the authors have been notified.  There are still open submissions for the remaining sixteen states, and we have extended the deadline for submission to March 21.  If you live in (or have a strong identification with) one of those sixteen states, please consider sending in your story, as we are actively seeking new material.  A reminder that your story should be no more than 1,300 words, should appeal to middle grade readers, be set in contemporary times, and feature a locale or setting specific to your state.  And of course, it should be delightfully scary!

Click here to apply. The following states are currently open for submission:









North Carolina



South Dakota


Washington, DC

West Virginia



In related news, the publishers have chosen an illustrator for the book.  He is Solomon Hughes.  A talented newcomer to the field and student of SCBWI Advisory Council member Pat Cummings, his style will bring a contemporary and graphic element to the book.  We are thrilled to have him aboard.

Congratulations to those of you whose stories have been selected for inclusion.  Everyone give a big shout out to:


Heather Morris, Alabama

Dusti Bowling, Arizona

Katy Duffield, Arkansas

Freeman Ng, California

Fleur Bradley, Colorado

Aixa Perez-Prado, Florida

TeMika Grooms, Georgia

Bill Borders, Idaho

Kathryn Siebel, Illinois

Mary Reding, Iowa

William Mockry, Kansas

Billie Skelley, Kentucky

Jan Eldredge, Louisiana

Andrew Hacket, Massachusettes

Wendy Booydegraaff. Michigan

Brianna Kaiser, Minnesota

Constance Van Hoven, Montana

Kathy Rygg, Nebraska

Ellen Hopkins, Nevada

J.W. Ocker, New Hampshire

Rachel Murray, New Jersey

Jenny Lacika, New Mexico

Tina Tocco, New York

Erin Lagerberg, North Dakota

Shanna Heath, Ohio

Ginger Reno, Oklahoma

Kiara Medina, Puerto Rico

Padma Venkatraman, Rhode Island

Kenneth Lewis, South Carolina

Sandra Aguirre-Magana, Texas

Rachel Wilson, Utah

Marcia Wells, Vermont

Debbie Schrack, Virginia

Jolie Stekly, Washington

Silvia Acevedo, Wisconsin


Those selected will be receiving their contracts shortly.  We look forward to a successful launch of this unique book, which we hope will be the first of many in SCBWI’s publishing future.  Thank you to all of you who contributed submissions.  There is so much talent in our ranks, you made us all proud!