Last weekend, I spoke at a day long workshop put on by the Kansas-Missouri Region of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Way back when, I was the regional advisor for what was then only the Missouri Region. Although I’m still active, I don’t make it to many events but this one really reminded me why it is such a great organization. If you want to write and/or illustrate children’s books, here is why you should seriously consider joining.
- The Programming. Whether it is a day long event, a three day workshop or a webinar, the programming is top notch. Unlike many webinars I’ve taken part in, they offer value vs simply trying to sell you another, more costly service.
- The Professionalism. Are you interested in traditional publishing? Or self publishing? Whichever it is, the purpose is to encourage professionalism and quality. Just getting your name on something so you can sell it? Not so much.
- Name Recognition. If I were to tell an editor from one of the Big Five publishers that I belonged to the North County Writer’s Guild (I made that up), they would be unimpressed. Editors have actually commented that they pay attention when they see SCBWI.
- Financial Aid. Making a living at this business takes time and effort. But the SCBWI wants to help you have the time to put in that effort to perfect your craft. They offer a wide variety of grants.
- Contacts. Networking is vital in today’s international marketplace. One of the best ways I have found to learn about new jobs and who wants what is to talk to my fellow writers. That’s how I knew to apply at Red Line.
There are many writers organizations out there. Time and time again, SCBWI has impressed me with what they have to offer. Find an SCBWI event near you or sign up for a webinar and see what I mean.