Membership in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators offers a wide range of benefits, but many of them are often overlooked because we all lead such busy lives. So this month, we’re going to run down the list to make sure you’re getting the most out of YOUR membership!
Joining SCBWI provides many professional resources for writers and illustrators at every stage of their careers. From brand-new writers to industry veterans, there’s something for everyone!
- Did you know you can now attend different Regional Virtual Events* via Zoom? This is a fun way to sharpen your skills and meet other writers and illustrators from around the country and around the world!
- It’s almost time for the annual SCBWI Summer Conference, coming up online August 5-7. This event is usually held in person in L.A., and is *always* phenomenal, so take advantage of this opportunity to attend online if you can. Ticket price for members is $175.
- SCBWI’s Message Board (fondly known as the Blueboard) is an excellent resource many people don’t take advantage of and is a great place to connect and communicate with other members about writing and illustrating children’s books.
- Published authors, illustrators, and translators can advertise in SCBWI’s online Speaker’s Bureau database, making it easy for teachers and librarians to find them for school visits.
- Illustrators can post portfolios in the Illustrator Gallery, where art directors, publishers, independent authors, and others can come to look for illustrators.
- SCBWI also hosts an annual BookStop Event, where members are invited to create a customized sales page for a new book, then promote it and sell it online for six weeks in October and November.
- Many people are surprised to learn that SCBWI offers so many Awards and Grants for authors and illustrators at all stages of their careers!
- Have you checked out the updated SCBWI publication The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children (fondly referred to as “The Book”)? This is a comprehensive guide to children’s publishing and lists which editors and art directors are where, provides tips on social media and creating book trailers, and it is updated several times a year.
- The Essential Guide to Self-Publishing a Children’s Book is a similar publication for authors and illustrators who are interested in self-publishing. It provides information on successful planning, marketing, and self-publishing platforms and is also regularly updated.
- SCBWI also has a page specifically for members who publish independently with links to publishing resources and information on grants and awards.
SCBWI offers many more benefits to members, but for the purpose of this blog post I wanted to touch on those that people often miss. Please log in at https://www.scbwi.org/ and then EXPLORE to learn more!
By now, you’re (hopefully) familiar with everything our SCBWI Carolinas region has to offer. Our biggest event each year is our conference, and we’re looking forward to finally seeing everyone in person again at our 30th Annual Fall Conference: Swinging Into KidLit, September 30-October 2 in Charlotte, NC.
The SCBWI Carolinas region also offers industry-specific webinars at different times throughout the year, helps members form and connect with critique groups, runs a Book Fairies Program to help published authors get the word out about new books, hosts this fabulous monthly blog—The Carolinas Pen and Palette, and has an active Ignite the Sparkmicro fiction group which meets monthly via Zoom. And each month on our YouTube channel we interview SCBWI Carolinas members about their newly-released books!
We also offer members the opportunity to find comradery online via our multiple social media groups, including the SCBWI Carolinas Facebook Group, the SCBWI Carolinas PAL Facebook group, and the SCBWI Carolinas Working Illustrators Network (WIN) Facebook page. And we love to support our members across our social media platforms, so when you have good publishing/writing/illustrating news, be sure to tag us on Twitter: @SCBWICarolinas and Instagram: @scbwi_carolinas!
For more information about all these benefits (and more!), please visit our SCBWI Carolinas homepage.
Your Regional Team
One more thing—Erica, Elizabeth, Ashley, and I want you to know that we are accessible and our minds and ears are OPEN! Whenever you have questions or suggestions, email and let us know! And please communicate any concerns so we can resolve them quickly and effectively. Our Membership Coordinator Megan Hoyt is also always ready and willing to help. We are here for YOU! And if you’re coming to the conference in September, please come and say “Hi.” We’d love to meet you face-to-face! 😊
*Most links in this post will only work if you are signed into your scbwi.org account.
Becky Shillington is a lifelong poet whose first publication was in her local newspaper when she was in second grade. Since then, her poems have appeared in Highlights magazine and in the children’s poetry anthology Thanku: Poems of Gratitude, she’s written for parenting magazines in South Carolina and Texas, and she’s presented poetry workshops to children in grades K-5. Becky also writes picture books and middle grade and lives in Fort Mill, SC with her husband, a Zoom-loving dog, and twin sons who are in college but still call their house “home.” She currently serves as Co-ARA of SCBWI Carolinas.