What is SCBWI?

What is SCBWI?

You may have heard of it, but what does the acronym stand for? What is SCBWI?

What is SCBWI?

What is SCBWI?

You’ve probably heard me refer to SCBWI at different times here on my website or in passing. But I’ve realized that to many of you, it’s probably just some acronym. So I wanted to take time today to actually answer this question. What is SCBWI?

SCBWI is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It’s an international professional organization for children’s and young adult authors and illustrators. In other words, it’s a writing guild.

What is the SCBWI Mission?

Although the organization technically caters to the creators, their mission and outreach do so much more. They joke that their belief is there can never be too many good children’s books, and they stand by that. They do whatever they can to both support creators in creating their books and also in supporting the channels and networks to get the books into reader’s hands.

Is it worth joining SCBWI?

I’ve been asked by writers before- is it worth joining a guild like this? Do I actually get my money’s worth? My answer to you would be, it depends. In the second article in this series, I will get into answering this question in more detail. What I will say here is that SCBWI has been worth my time and money.

I’ve been a member of SCBWI for over ten years now. Although my personal journey has not always aligned with the more traditional offerings of the organization, I’ve always found some value in the organization. And now, SCBWI has even opened up a number of benefits for non-traditional authors like me as well!

For instance, as a member of SCBWI, you get a TON of learning and networking opportunities. They have regular webinars, socials, conferences and more. And this is in both your regional/local chapter and on the national/international level. One of my favorite benefits has been the ability to find and match with critique group members. This was how I found my own critique group many, many years ago! 

They also offer business resources and benefits. For instance, they’ve established an organizational relationship with the Alliance of Independent Authors so all SCBWI members have access to many of their independent publishing resources and directories. SCBWI also offers numerous ways to promote yourself and your work! They have speaker listings, book listings, grants, awards and tons, tons, more.

How does SCBWI benefit the community?

I’ve mentioned all the creator benefits, but I think it’s also important to mention the community benefits. As I stated earlier, part of SCBWI’s mission is also supporting the channels for getting books in the reader’s hands. This involves partnering and supporting teachers, librarians and booksellers as well. SCBWI offers a number of ways to support classrooms and libraries. These range from the speaker directory to help aid in finding guest authors for visits, recorded author readings and book talks, themed reading lists broken down by reading level and more!

I hope this helps explain that SCBWI is so much more than just an acronym. And if you are a reader with children in your life, I hope you take some time to peruse the website and share the many offerings with others as well.

Joyana has recently accepted a volunteer position with SCBWI as their new Mid-Atlantic Independent and Self-Published Coordinator. She will be coordinating networking and programming opportunities for other Indie authors like herself. Feel free to reach out to her with any questions about this at hello@joyanapeters.com.

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