The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

Advocacy for Writers and Illustrators of Children's Media

SCWBI 2011 Golden Kite Award Poster
The Golden Kite Awards are given annually by the SCWBI. SCBWI

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is a non-profit professional organization for writers and illustrators in the fields of children’s and young adult literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia.

Founded in 1971 by Los Angeles-based children's writers Stephen Mooser and Lin Oliver, the SCBWI has more than 22,000 members worldwide in over 70 regional chapters, making it the largest children's writing organization in the world.

The Role of SCBWI

The SCBWI advocates for professional writers and illustrators; the organization has successfully lobbied for copyright legislation, the equitable treatment of authors and artists, and fair contract terms.

Through its conferences and other services, the SCBWI provides advice and counsel, and acts as a network for the exchange of knowledge about the children’s book publishing world between writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, literary agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature or media for young people.

SCBWI Membership Criteria

The SCBWI welcomes anyone with an active interest in children’s literature or children’s media and there are two categories of membership:

  • Full SCBWI membership is open to those whose books, articles, poems, stories, illustrations, photographs, films, television or electronic media for children have been commercially published or produced.  
  • Associate SCBWI membership is open to those aspiring to be published children’s book writers and illustrators, as well as other journalists, bloggers, educators, teachers, and librarians, or children’s authors or illustrators who have self-published or published outside of the children’s field.

Benefits of SCBWI Membership

Members enjoy access to:

The SCBWI sponsors International Conferences on Writing and Illustrating for Children

  • Winter Conference, held annually, generally in January
  • Summer Conference, held annually, generally in August
  • SCBWI Bologna, bi-annually, this is a series of events at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

In addition, there are dozens of smaller conferences held all over the world by the SCBWI regions.

SCBWI Member Publications and Information Resources
SCBWI publications — regarding publishers, agents, markets, educational programs, contracts, critique groups, editorial services, and more — are designed to save members hours of research by consolidating current information about the children’s book market. 

The bi-monthly SCBWI Bulletin keeps members up to date on the field of children’s literature, including market reports; articles on writing, illustrating, and publishing; contests and awards announcements; SCBWI member news; and ongoing SCBWI activities throughout the world.

SCBWI Grants and Awards
The organization bestows a number of SCBWI children's book awards, grants and scholarships on both published and unpublished children’s and young adult writers and illustrators. Examples of these are the annual Golden Kite Award for the best fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, and the Sid Fleishman Award for Humor.

(Read more about awards for children’s and young adult books).

Local SCBWI Networking and Online Peer Support
On a local chapter level, Regional Advisors coordinate events and activities. Members Only Discussion Boards facilitate critiques; share publishing tips, techniques & questions; offer information on contracts, submissions and other matters relating to being in the business of children’s book.

For more information, visit the SCBWI official website.