Monday, May 21, 2012

I ♥ the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)

I'm crossposting this from my Mafia blog. If you're not the clubbable sort, read no further. Otherwise, read on to learn a bit more about one of the writing organizations to which I belong.

Last Thursday, I attended a session with the head honchos from the SCBWI: Lin Oliver (Executive Director), Stephen Mooser (President), and Chelsea Mooser (Director of Outreach).

Chelsea Mooser is back row second from left
Front row, first from right is Stephen Mooser; second is Lin Oliver

They were in Portland because there's a changing of the leadership guard. Our long-time Regional Advisor is stepping down after many years of service.

As always happens at a change of leadership, there is new blood and new ideas. There will be four people coordinating our chapter's activities. The folks from head office shared some new ideas, and were open to hearing from the membership.

First, the SCBWI is always ready to change with the times. Lin Oliver spoke about a new focus being on how best to promote SCBWI members. Getting one's book read is perhaps an author's hardest task in this day and age (beyond the writing of the book, of course). The public has so many other diversions, breaking into the public consciousness is difficult. (Trust me, the readers of this blog and all others versed in childrens' books have heard of all manner of books, but when one mentions to a member of the "general public" what one considers to be a well-known title--DIVERGENT, let's say--you'll see a lot of headscratching. The books that everyone knows, the Harry Potters and Hunger Games and Twilight and, sorry to say, 50 Shades of Grey, are few and far between.)

The SCBWI plans on using its website to feature books and bloggers and to even have a bookstore, with links to IndieBound, Barnes and Noble, and that old Trex, Amazon. (But please go to IndieBound and keep the indie bookstores alive!)

They plan to do more for their "PAL" members (which means published and listed), but are also talking about how to support well-written self-published works.

I was impressed with Lin Oliver, who was the moutpiece for the leadership. She's smart and funny and thoughtful. One thing that shone through was how much the SCBWI leadership wants all of its members to succeed. If you are a children's writer and illustrator, belonging to the SCBWI is a must!

Do you belong to any Writers' Organizations? If so, which ones?


  1. I am also very impressed with Lin Oliver. She made similar comments at the Bologna Book Fair. It's nice to know we're in such good hands.

  2. I've always said, I'll join when I'm agented, or, I'll join when I sell a book, but maybe that's silly. I'm not sure.

  3. I'm glad to hear this. I was beginning to wonder why I was still a member. At first it was because I was going to one annual conference a year, so the membership fee was worth it. But then I switch to the RWA nationals because they have so much more for writers and for writers of YA. I was getting no benefit to my SCBWI membership.


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