Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators



The SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund, launched in 2022, is a division of SCBWI created to support the charitable activities and community purposes of SCBWI. Its programs and initiatives are not limited to SCBWI members but are available to the entire children’s book community. The mission of the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund is to provide and administer specific endowments, grants, awards, and programs that enhance the effectiveness and reach of the children’s book community. Specifically, these projects highlight the important role of children’s books and their creators, support quality children’s literature for all communities and audiences, and provide education, financial support, and public information for children’s book creators, their programs, and good works.


The projects funded by the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund serve the following purposes:

  • Support promising and emerging authors and illustrators of children’s books
  • Provide grants for excellence to creators of children’s books
  • Promote equity and inclusion of marginalized voices both domestically and globally
  • Increase access to quality children’s books in all communities
  • Support children’s books whose content helps create a better world
  • Honor the past works of great children’s books creators and recognize their legacies
  • Provide public information and education on matters of freedom of expression and thought in the children’s book field
  • Create connections between children’s book creators and their readers
  • Partner with other non-profit children’s book organizations to support programs of mutual interest to our communities
  • Contribute to the welfare of children’s book writers and illustrators, regardless of their membership in SCBWI


The SCBWI Impact and Legacy Funds has launched four initial programs: The Russell Freedman Award for Nonfiction for a Better World, given to a work of nonfiction that contributes to our understanding of how to make our world and society better. The Student Advocates for Speech Program, a collaboration between SCBWI and The National Coalition Against Censorship to train high school students in the underlying issues related to freedom of speech and expression. The Stephen Fraser Encouragement Fund offers three no-strings attached yearly grants of $2,000 each to three children’s book authors, artists or translators who have traditionally published at least one book. And finally, the Tomie dePaola Professional Development Award offers grants of $3,500 and $1,500 to two early-career illustrators in need of professional development funding.


For more information about our inaugural programs please click the links below:



Future programs of the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund include the establishment of a grant to support endangered animals and species and the creation of a program to advance global publishing and works in translation.


The SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund welcomes your donation. Your gift to support our activities and programs is an investment in the future of children’s literature. If you wish to contribute, please use the form below. If you would like to discuss your contribution or explore setting up a particular program, send an email to We are glad to receive your input and encourage your support.


The SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund is a division of SCBWI, which is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. The Fund is supported by private grants, public grants, member donations, and grants from the SCBWI reserves. The Fund would also like to acknowledge the Authors Coalition of America, an organization of 23 independent authors organizations, for their continuing support of authors and artists, all of whom benefit from programs offered by the Impact and Legacy Fund.

Under the guidance of Managing Director Lin Oliver, who reports to the SCBWI Executive Director and Board of Directors, The Fund is led by a Steering Committee comprised of the following members.


Lin Oliver, Managing Director, is the co-founder of SCBWI, a New York Times best-selling author of over 65 books for children, and Executive Producer of numerous television series and films for family audiences. She is a prominent advocate for literacy and has served on the Board of the Los Angeles Library Foundation and Advisory Council of Common Sense Media. Visit her at


The Impact and Legacy Fund Steering Committee members are:


Kim Castellano is a researcher and a second-generation Puerto Rican raised in Connecticut. She believes that the path to a fair and equitable society, where everyone has access to the same opportunities and resources, is through diversity and inclusion. A dog lover, Kim lives in a century-old house in New Haven County.
Christopher Cheng is co-chair of the SCBWI Advisory Council and pencils the text for each of his picture books from his dining room table in Sydney, Australia. His recent title, Bear and Rat (illus. Stephen Michael King), published internationally, is a powerful and uplifting story about loving friendship, even through the hardest of times. Visit Christopher at his website to discover more.
Federico Erebia is a retired physician, artist, woodworker, author, and illustrator. His works have been featured in magazines, newspapers, radio and television. His Pepito the Squirrel picture books were published in 2021. Pedro & Daniel, a debut novel, will be published by Levine Querido in spring 2023.
Michael Harley is a retired attorney and member of the Shared Word writers’ group. He loves history and writes middle grade historical fiction. Michael lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Brenda, and three dogs.
Ellen Hopkins is the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction books for young readers, fourteen NY Times bestselling YA verse novels, two middle grade verse novels, and four novels for adult readers. She lives near Carson City, NV, with her extended family, two German shepherds, and a few too many guppies. Visit her website.
Arthur A. Levine is the founder and editor-in-chief of Levine Querido, a small independent company devoted to publishing excellent books by people from communities that have traditionally been under-represented. He identifies as Jewish, Disabled, Queer, a Parent, a Writer, and someone who continues to be amazed by the power of a great read. Twitter: @leivnequerido, @arthuralevine1
Tara Michener is the author of six books including: Who I Am Not What I Am, 100% Real, Summer Camp Survival, No Longer Besties…and other assorted teenage drama, Teen Life Crisis and I’m Just O.K. Tara is a TEDx Speaker, Licensed Professional Counselor and the E&I Committee Chair for SCBWI-MI. Twitter: @taramichener
Cynthia Mun is a Korean-born American who received her B.A. from Yale University as a first-generation college graduate. She enjoyed 25 years as a successful strategic marketing executive before switching careers to become a children’s book writer. She is the Regional Advisor for SCBWI Nevada and also serves as the Nevada State Commissioner and Vice Chair for Nevada Commission on Tourism. Visit her at
Ana Otaru is an active member of the children’s book community. She’s excited to support quality children’s literature for all communities and be an advocate for children’s book creators. Twitter at @AnaOtaruBooks
Carrie A. Pearson is a children’s book author, speaker, consultant, and co-Regional Advisor for SCBWI-Michigan. In her former life, she helped build development programs for nonprofits, institutions, and community service organizations. Carrie realized early that asking for support is easy when you believe in the cause. Visit her at
Rob Sanders is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. He is known for his funny and fierce fiction and nonfiction picture books and is recognized as one of the pioneers in the arena of LGBTQIA+ literary nonfiction picture books. Visit him at
Lawrence Schimel is a bilingual (Spanish/English) author of over 100 books, which have won a Crystal Kite Award, a White Raven, and have been chosen for IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities three times, among other honors. He is also a prolific literary translator. He lives in Madrid, Spain, where he founded the SCBWI Spain chapter and served as Regional Advisor for five years, in addition to programming the first two SCBWI-Bologna Conferences. Twitter: @lawrenceschimel
Karen B. Winnick is the author of fourteen picture books, most of which she illustrated. An animal lover, she serves on several boards devoted to the well-being of animals and conservation. She’s president of the LA Zoo Commission and her family foundation. A graduate of Syracuse University, she’s a mother of three grown sons, grandmother of eight, and minder of 5 pups. Visit her at