Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Presenting a Writing Opportunity Only for SCBWI Members


By Lin Oliver


Do you know or love a scary story, one middle grade kids would be thrilled to read?  If so, then we have a major opportunity for you.  The SCBWI has been offered a book contract for a new and prestigious children’s trade book of scary stories, and the writers of this book will be you!

Godwin Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, is putting together a collection of fifty-one short stories, one for each of the fifty U.S. states plus Puerto Rico. Nationally known or relatively unheard of, based in fact or based entirely in local lore, these stories should capture the spooky side of the U.S.  The stories will be written exclusively by members of the SCBWI, including authors from underrepresented communities, with the goal of having a diversity of creators and a diversity of tellings from both first-time and more established authors.   

You don’t have to live in the state you’re writing about, but if you don’t, our hope is that you have a local connection to the place that results in a strong regional attachment and voice.

We will open submissions next week, and your stories will be due in early December.  Every SCBWI member will receive detailed parameters for the story (3-4 pages), the financial remuneration, the deadline, and the submission procedures. We will then vet the stories and make our recommendations to the team at Godwin Books.  Ultimately, the SCBWI will also be seeking an illustrator for the book.

We are so excited to have been offered this opportunity to make a first-rate book by our members.  Let’s scare each other silly!