Four Reasons You Want to Be a Member of SCBWI

Do you write or illustrate for children?  Then you really should belong to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).  Here are four reasons why.

  1. They are here to support industry professionals.  Take advantage of their events and you will learn a lot about the industry.  Sure you can learn some of it elsewhere online but being part of the SCBWI community is a great networking opportunity.  I’ve found out about numerous markets that have led to sales through SCBWI.
  2. This support takes many forms.  Normally they offer a wide variety of workshops, meetings and conferences.  Unfortunately, these have largely been cancelled due to COVID-19.  To offer continued support to their membership, they are offering weekly digital workshops.  The first is this Thursday with Kate Messner.
  3. They want this support to be widespread.  SCBWI’s leadership knows that all 22,000 SCBWI members have been impacted.  There is no way they can hold a workshop with 22,000 members but they can record it and make the video available to everyone so that is what they are doing.  I’ve attended workshops live and I’ve also watched videos later.  I have no qualms about paying for a webinar if I’m busy when it will be held.  The videos are convenient since I can rewind if I didn’t hear something, pause and go get a cup of coffee, or whatever.
  4. They are generous.  These weekly events?  Free.  They are the sort of thing that the organization could make money on but right now they know what everyone needs a little something extra and they are willing to be the ones providing it.

So far they have 8 workshops scheduled:

4/2 Big Picture Revision for Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels with Kate Messner

4/9 Outstanding Openers: How to Grab Young Readers from the Start with Sara Sargent, Random House Editor

4/16  How to Write Children’s Books and Why with Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

4/23 Book Marketing 101: How to Be Your Own Publicist with Jennifer Vassel

4/30  Page by Page: Breaking Down Picture Book Pagination with Scholastic Editor Kate Feldmann

5/7 Two Art Directors Talking with Laurent Linn and Cecilia Yung

5/14 Using Scene to Build Story with Linda Sue Park (squeee!)

5/21 A Creative Look at the State of Children’s/YA books with agent Marietta Zacker

Find out more about these webinars here.  You can only register the week each webinar is held but you can watch the video for an entire month, assuming you are an SCBWI member.