Best use of scbwi ?

  • SVS OG

    I joined scbwi and am on my second year. Once I found this group I kind of ditched scbwi because it was a little overwhelming for me. The forums are huge, I feel a bit lost in it. What would those of you who are more involved with scbwi say is the best way to be involved? I've mainly used the forums a little and have done a couple of the Draw This! prompts but not much else. Just wondering if I should renew at all. Thanks.

  • SVS OG

    I just joined and would love to hear about experiences as well.

  • I am a part of scbwi and consider it worth every penny. It is a huge group, your membership gets you in the door and involved with all the people who have gone before you. The trail they blazed is much easier to find now and to go forward as a professional artist I am thankful and excited to be a part of scbwi. I do the prompts and it helps me every time... just like here. svslearn has a greater impact on me right now from the classes and the amazing critiques I hear each month... I am getting better by leaps and bounds, I think anyways, and I will find the money to be a part of both programs every year!

  • SVS OG

    @Russ-Van-Dine Russ, I have been having a hard time finding the prompts. When I put in Draw This! on the search bar it seems I see old ones but not the newest prompt. Can you tell me the fastest way to find it? I did do a couple of those and I should probably do it again. I was alternating between svs and scbwi.

  • Currently it is on the front page. the top right (big) scrolling picture box has about 7 things scrolling. Rest your pointer on the box and you will see little circles show up. either wait or click the small circles to get to the illustrator challenge. I just learned that I can find the winners in the monthly Insight under the Resource Library. I am still working on my style and I have this month's idea down, now I can relax and enjoy the process of finishing...

  • For me, conferences are the best thing SCBWI offers. Of course, you can attend them as a non-member, but the difference in cost is almost what it takes to be a member. Conferences can help you get a few feet into those difficult publishing house doorways, and it's great if you can get portfolio/manuscript reviews with publishers, agents, and professionals. The big LA and New York conferences are obviously the biggest and best venues for most exposure - if you can afford to make it there. Conferences are also a great place to connect with critique groups.

    SCBWI's illustrating opportunities are also very helpful. DrawThis has been mentioned, but there are also the yearly Don Freeman Tomie dePaola contests, and the bi-yearly Bologna fair opportunity. And you can at any time submit grayscale art (spot or vignette) for the quarterly Bulletin magazine (they pay $25 per illustration, once published). And I have to say that I have two illustrations in the latest Bulletin which an author loved - knowing her publisher is looking for an illustrator for her latest book - and who has since contacted me about potentially illustrating the book. So you never know what exposure may get you!

    Plus, SCBWI's website (howbeit a very cumbersome one) allows you to upload a portfolio of your work on their website and provides access to THE BOOK (a compilation of recommended publishing houses and agents, updated at least once a year). And whenever you submit things to publishers, letting them know in your cover letter that you're a member of SCBWI shows them that you are taking this endeavor seriously.

    SCBWI offers even more, but mostly for those with published books. I guess to wrap it up, you'll get as little or as much out of SCBWI as you want. Good luck making your decision!

  • SVS OG

    @Timbdsf Thanks, I just guess I need to decide how committed I am to being a professional. I am almost 60 years old so I guess I hesitate to jump in too deeply when my husband will be retiring in a couple of years. But I am enjoying the challenge of developing my own books right now. It might be nice to attend a conference.......

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