The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators has been around for quite some time. It is a world-wide organization that helps bring the #kidlit world together and encourages the best in all of us.
SCBWI is broken down into regions. While USA has two major conferences, each region will have conferences too. I’m located in Southern Breeze region. We have two regional conferences one in the Spring and one in the Fall. I’m also the Local Liaison for South Georgia of the Southern Breeze region. As a Local Liaison, I reach out to newcomers and see if they have any questions and try to make them feel welcomed. I’m also encouraged to hold mini-get-togethers (smoozes) where we can share ideas, critique stories, hold workshops, etc. All this builds community.
Here is a little bit about SCBWI from their website:
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, is one of the largest existing organizations for writers and illustrators. It is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals writing and illustrating for children and young adults in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. Our mission is to support the creation and availability of quality children’s books around the world. We accomplish this by fostering a vibrant community of individuals who bring books for young readers to the public including writers, illustrators, translators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers, bloggers, enthusiasts and others. We provide education and support for these individuals and the community through our awards, grants, programs and events. We strive to increase the quality and quantity of children’s books in the marketplace, and act as a consolidated voice for writers and illustrators of children’s books worldwide.
Membership in the SCBWI is open to anyone with an active interest in children’s literature from picture books to young adult novels. We welcome aspiring and published writers and illustrators, librarians, educators, artists, students, dramatists, musicians, filmmakers, and others. A passion for children’s literature is our #1 criterion.
SCBWI is now home to THE BLUE BOARD! I cannot stress how helpful and valuable this forum is to me! When I started writing professionally 15 years ago, this was one of the first writing forums I came across. It’s still here! That in its self is a testament as to how valuable it is. There is a search option, if you are looking for something specifically. Or just start browsing the boards. BUT have some time on your hands. There is so much information contained there!
There is a membership fee for SCBWI and an annual due, but I must say it is well worth the cost.
This is the main organization I stress to anyone who writes for children!
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Until next time…
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