Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

Why You Should Become a Member, if You’re not Already

I have a few friends who are just beginning to write for children, and I am going to reiterate to them that joining this organization was the best thing I could have done, even just starting out in my career as a children’s writer. I’ve been a member for two years and if you are serious about writing for children, or even just interested, the membership is so worth it.

Reasons to Join

1. Regional Conferences: I would argue this is the number one reason. Although they are a definite expense for me in my current economic class, it’s worth every penny. It’s a full weekend of writing workshops whose faculty include authors and publishers alike. Going to one of the regional conferences per year can get you feedback on your writing from your peers, agents, editors, and published authors. You could also be having lunch next to an agent. (Seriously. I thought that was a line they fed you. That actually happened to me last month.)

2. Resources: Being a member of SCBWI gives you access to grants for children’s writers, published and unpublished. If you’re looking for fellow writers to pow-wow with, they also have a listserv of open critique groups.

3. Networking: Every year, I come back from the NESCBWI conference with contacts for a lot of friendly folk to commiserate and celebrate with online until next year. I’m friends with a lot of writers, but there’s nothing quite like the chance to network with other writers in your specific genre.

You know who you are. You should join up.

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