Monday, May 21, 2012

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

Okie-diddly-dokie, one more week entranced by George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords, book three of the Song of Ice and Fire, means one less week reading for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. But I know you'll all forgive me. Instead, I'd like to fill you in on the pre-conference session I attended last Thursday 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!


  1. Sounds like a great idea for SCBWI to promote writers and blogs more. You're right. We know way more about books than most people.

    And I'm impressed that you're reading Game of Thrones. I want to but it's too long and I have too many books to read for my blog.

  2. I joined SCBWI without quite understanding the value of it, and I've gotten a lot of out of it already. The publications alone are worth the dues, and I'm pleased to hear that they evolving towards promotion because the industry sure is changing.

  3. Oh, it must have been fantastic to be at that meeting. I love SCBWI, too, and I love their ideas for helping promote SCBWI members. Thanks for sharing this information. Hope the changing of the guard goes well for your local chapter, too!

  4. I am not a SCBWI member and have been trying to figure out exactly what it does and how I would use it if I joined. I get different opinions from different writers (some published, some not). So thank you for your take on it!

  5. Sounds like you had a great time. Glad to hear SCBWI is looking to the future and ways they can help writers. I have learned and gained so much since I became a member. I agree, it is definitely an invaluable resource.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have so much to thank SCBWI for throughout my writing career. I know they have our best interests at heart. Everything has changed so quickly though, so it's understandable that they don't want to jump into policy changes too quickly.

  7. Through the years I've so appreciated meeting other writers through SCBWI and attending conferences.

  8. I've been a member of SCBWI for years, but I have never participated in any conference or forums. I really should invest more time in that. Great resource! Some day. Some day... I do read the bulletin I get by mail, though.

    Oh, and I tagged you on my blog with 11 Questions. You're it! :)

  9. So great to hear! I'm the newsletter editor for SCBWI-MI, and I've been waiting for more news from the head office about the new website improvements, etc.


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