SCBWI membership questions



  • HI! Is anyone here a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators? I thinking of joining but since i'm very low on money would like to know how your experience with being a member there has helped you. What can i expect from a membership and how does it help? Would you rec joining?

    Thanks



  • @irina I joined about half a year ago. I've been a little busy so I haven't taken full advantage of what my membership gets me, but I'm pretty happy with it.

    Few reasons I like the organization so far.

    1. They have monthly challenges which can get you exposure.

    2. They sometimes get you neat deals on things like other subscriptions to magazines and such.

    3.) You'll most likely be able to find local critique/mentoring groups for both art and writing.

    4.) Personal story time. I wanted to set up an illustrators group in my hometown. I emailed my local arts council and my local and tiny (based a few hundred KM away) chapter of SCBWI. Same email to both of them. Introduced myself as an illustrator/teacher, told them what I was doing and asked if they had any resources available (contact lists, information, startup packages and in the case of my arts council, space to have regular meetings).

    My Local Arts Council: Took days to respond and bluntly told me they had no resources to offer and that I should join the creative community facebook page.

    SCBWI: responded in a matter of hours, immediately emailed all SCBWI members in my area telling them about me and asked to set up a phone call so they could talk to me about how to make the group successful. Immediate and overwhelming support.

    I'm sure this response would change depending on which SCBWI chapter you're dealing with, but from that reaction alone I'd say yes, joining SCBWI is absolutely worth it.



  • @Braden-Hallett said in SCBWI membership questions:

    SCBWI: responded in a matter of hours, immediately emailed all SCBWI members in my area telling them about me and asked to set up a phone call so they could talk to me about how to make the group successful. Immediate and overwhelming support.

    "SCBWI: responded in a matter of hours, immediately emailed all SCBWI members in my area telling them about me and asked to set up a phone call so they could talk to me about how to make the group successful. Immediate and overwhelming support."

    This sounds wonderful. I was actually thinking of starting something similar in my area as well. Awesome. Thank you!!


  • Pro

    For me it's been a little bit of a miss, I have to say. I got it for the directory, which I used to mail postcards last Spring. That was nice, but I've since had more luck with just regular email and haven't used it again. Also I posted a bit in the forums there and got a couple piece of nice advice on my portfolio, but the forums there are much slower than SVS so I've been hanging out here instead for several months. And then I contacted my local chapter to ask about joining a critique group, using the email they themselves listed for that purpose, and never got an answer back...So that's been very disappointing. I'm not sure I'll renew it when it expires, I haven't been there in months...



  • SCBWI has been pretty pretty important for me. At my first local conference I won an illustration mentorship and I was able to learn in a very short period of time what might have otherwise taken me years. And even though my mentorship is over, we still talk and cowork and I know that if I need help with something my mentor is always there.

    Also from SCBWI I have formed friendships that resulted in me joining a critique group that I meet with every month. I call it art therapy, and without SCBWI, I probably would have never have made those connections because I’m not a very social person.

    Keep in mind that you do have to be a member to participate in contests, but you don’t have to be a member to attend meetings. Our meetings have an open critique afterward and that was another thing that really helped me when I was brand new and didn’t know anything about children’s publishing. So, you could always try it out for a while before you decide if you are going to pay the membership fee. I feel like they have done a lot for me though and like to support them financially.

    But, I should also say that my local chapter of SCBWI is very active and I have heard from regional advisors of other chapters that not all of them are like that.



  • I JUST joined and I see that i can apply for awards and grants. Which i plan to. And theres a schedule on attending sketch/writing gatherings. This has been helpful for me so thanks everyone for their input.


  • Moderator

    I joined up in November. I think the Big Book directory is great! lots of helpful info in addition to up to date contacts. My local chapter Nor Cal is very active too. I’m attending my first Local Chapter conference in May and am looking forward to the portfolio critique. I will also be attending the Summer conference in LA which I am anxious and excited about. The members are helpful and have answered every question I’ve had very quickly. As said earlier there are contests and grants that are offered for writers and illustrators. I haven’t gone in for any yet but I plan on it.


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