Children's Book Writers
SCBWI members have access to a host of professional development events, marketing and promotional opportunities, online and print resources, and awards and grants. See below for the benefits your SCBWI membership brings you.
Conferences and Events — From large international conferences to small, intimate retreats, events are a key benefit to SCBWI membership. Award-winning authors, esteemed illustrators, editors, agents, and publishers present lectures, conduct workshops, and give individual manuscript and art consultations at SCBWI events around the world. These gatherings are excellent networking opportunities for those both already established in and new to the fantastic, demanding world of children’s book writing and illustrating.
Networking and Community — Being a writer, illustrator, or translator can be a lonely profession. With SCBWI you’ll have colleagues around the world to support your career, whatever the stage. When you become an SCBWI member you automatically become part of one of eighty-two SCBWI regional chapters worldwide. Opportunities to network with other members and industry professionals exist at SCBWI regional and national events, or online through our discussion boards and social media platforms.
Mentorship Programs –Many SCBWI regions offer programs for members wishing to be mentored by accomplished published authors and illustrators, as well as opportunities for members with publishing experience to serve as mentors.
Marketing and Promotion
SCBWI membership comes with unique opportunities to market and promote your work. Whether you’re a published author, illustrator, or translator and need people to find your book so you can create a fan base, or you’re just starting out and need editors, art directors, and agents to see your work, SCBWI will help increase your visibility in the market.
Speaker’s Bureau — Traditionally or independently published authors, illustrators, and translators can advertise in our Speaker’s Bureau, an online database used by teachers and librarians to find speakers for school visits.
Illustrator Gallery — Illustrators can feature their online portfolios in our Illustrator Gallery, which is visited by art directors and others looking to hire illustrators. Each month we select an illustrator member to feature.
Art Spot — Illustrators can also submit their art to the quarterly Art Spot column of the SCBWI Bulletin. The Bulletin is seen by our 26,000 members, including top industry professionals.
Recommended Reading List — Traditionally published authors may opt to have their books listed on SCBWI’s Recommended Reading List, which is distributed to independent bookstores and libraries across the country, as well as conferences such as ALA and NCTE.
SCBWI BookStop — Published authors, illustrators, and translators can promote their books at our online SCBWI BookStop event. Once a year in October through November, members are given the opportunity to create a special sales page on the SCBWI website for a newly published book. SCBWI BookStop pages are available online for six weeks. Visitors can browse, purchase, and enjoy learning about you and your book.
Happy Book Birthday — Celebrate and promote your new book the month it is released through our Happy Book Birthday program. On the first Monday of each month, we will display all the books released that month from both PAL and independently published members on our beautiful Happy Book Birthday page.
Print and Online Resources
Two Essential Guidebooks — When you become an SCBWI member you have instant access to The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children and The Essential Guide to Self-Publishing a Children’s Book. We update both guides throughout the year so that you always have access to the most up-to-date information in the field. The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children is filled with up-to-the-minute market surveys as well as information on maximizing social media, creating book trailers, enhancing your career through school visits, best practices in independent publishing, grassroots promotion, and much more. The Essential Guide to Self-Publishing a Children’s Book outlines the seven steps of publishing, explores ways to market your book, describes how to work with illustrators and freelance editors and explains the various self-publishing platforms as well as models for earning a living as a self-publishing children’s book author. Members can also order a hard copy of both books for the cost of printing and shipping.
The Bulletin — The SCBWI Bulletin is a quarterly publication containing comprehensive and current information in the field of children’s literature. In addition to features each month, regular departments include the latest market reports, information on school visits, book reviews, art tips, information on contests and awards, information on the illustration market, news of SCBWI members, and information about ongoing SCBWI activities throughout the world. Two hundred and fifty issues of SCBWI’s Bulletin, representing forty-two years of articles and advice, are now archived and easily searchable on the SCBWI website.
INSIGHT — SCBWI’s INSIGHT is a monthly digital publication featuring current children’s book news, hot topics, helpful hints, exclusive interviews, and monthly contests. Members receive the SCBWI INSIGHT in their inbox on the first of every month as a supplement to our quarterly Bulletin.
PRO-INSIDER — The PRO-INSIDER is a digital publication for PAL (Published and Listed) members. This quarterly newsletter is filled with information on building and maintaining a successful career as a professional writer or illustrator. The PRO-INSIDER features articles about contracts, royalties, marketing, school visits, taxes, and everything a professional writer or illustrator might need to know.
Podcasts — SCBWI releases regular monthly thirty- to forty-five-minute podcasts, with interviews from leaders in the field of children’s literature—from editors and art directors to authors and illustrators. SCBWI members can download the podcasts for free.
Resources for Independently Published Authors
SCBWI membership provides authors and author/illustrators access to member-only publications chock full of information on the business of independent publishing, up to date information on the technical tools used by authors who self-publish, guidebooks on how to self-publish a children’s book, awards & grants to offset the cost of publishing your book, and much more. Click HERE for a list of full benefits.
Awards & Grants
SCBWI presents several annual awards to recognize works by SCBWI members that exhibit excellence in writing or illustration, and genuinely appeal to the interests and concerns of children. In addition, SCBWI provides grants and scholarships to encourage continuing excellence in the creation of children’s literature. Grants are awarded throughout the year and provide financial assistance to members to finish works-in-progress, polish portfolios, attend conferences, market published books, and more. View our awards and grants here.
In addition to discounts at SCBWI events and conferences, members of SCBWI also receive discounts for services including Writer’s Digest, Scapple and Scrivenersoftware licenses, and Squarespace. Discounts and coupon codes for members only. Click HERE to learn more.
Publishers Weekly Subscription — Publishers Weekly discount subscriptions are offered bi-annually from mid-January through mid-February, and in June-July. Some of the benefits you’ll get include 51 weekly print and digital format editions of PW, the Spring and Fall Children’s Announcement issues, and BookLife the monthly roundup of the best in self-publishing. Watch this space for the next chance to become a subscriber.