Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

  • SCBWI stands firmly against bias, oppression, or unfair treatment of people based on their identity elements. As we feel the pain of what is happening today in America and in the treatment of our Black citizens, we renew our commitment to equity, inclusion, and equal justice for all. To read more about our stand, here is our position statement on equity and inclusion: At SCBWI, we recognize that publicly committing to equity and inclusion is crucial to our membership and the readers we serve. Words, stories, and images are powerful: They define who we are for ourselves and for others. Historically, content creation that reaches a wide audience of children and teens has been intertwined with a legacy of privilege, oppression, bias, and racism. We acknowledge that, as part of the children’s publishing industry, we share in that legacy.   We accept the challenge and responsibility of becoming agents of change by affirming the need for increased representation in every facet of the children’s and YA book industry, including but not limited to race/ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship, and religion. To fulfill our mission of supporting the creation and availability of quality books for every young reader in all regions of the world, we commit to championing equity and inclusion throughout our organization by striving to:   –identify and dismantle inequities within our policies and practices –expand inclusivity in our leadership, membership, and volunteer corps –increase the social consciousness of our members through substantive learning opportunities –continually examine and renew that commitment in our events, programming, online initiatives, publications, awards and grants, community outreach, and education efforts   As creators of books for children and teens, we have both a unique responsibility and a powerful opportunity to help young people create an equitable, inclusive world. We look forward to listening, learning, and leading.
  • Due to the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases over the past month, the Marvelous Midwest 2022 planning team has decided to postpone the conference until a time when we can all gather safely. Once that date is determined, we will make an announcement. We appreciate your understanding and we look forward to a MMW conference where we can share our love of children's literature in person. Wishing you good health, Your SCBWI hosting regions Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin!    
  • We’re delighted to announce that SCBWI-MI will hold TWO novel mentorship competitions next year.   The mentors are: Patrick Flores-Scott and Kelly J. Baptist. You may enter only one of the mentorship competitions The mentorships include a year-long mentorship (six exchanges of material and critiques) with Patrick or Kelly.   Patrick Flores-Scott was a long-time public school teacher in Seattle, Washington. He’s now a reading tutor and early morning writer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Patrick’s first novel, Jumped In, was named to the 2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list, a Walden Award finalist, a Washington Book Award winner, an NCSS/CBC Notable Book for the Social Studies, and a Bank Street College Best Books of 2014. His second novel, American Road Trip, ​received multiple starred reviews and is a 2019 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, and a TAYSHAS Texas reading list selection. An interview with Patrick will be posted on the Mitten Blog on April 8.   Kelly J. Baptist was born and raised in the great state of Michigan. She’s lived in Alabama, Florida, and Minnesota, but somehow found herself right back in her home state. Kelly won the 2015 We Need Diverse Books short story contest, and her winning entry is included in the middle grade anthology, Flying Lessons and Other Stories. A follow-up to that story, Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero, is available from Crown Books for Young Readers. Kelly also won the 2017 Lee and Low New Voices Honor Award for her picture book, The Electric Slide and Kai. Kelly is a huge Kobe Bryant fan, and incorporates Mamba Mentality in all aspects of her life, especially writing! An interview with Kelly will be posted on the Mitten Blog on April 15.   Eligibility: Any SCBWI member who lives in Michigan for at least part of the year may enter. Exception: Won-And-Done – if you have previously won a writing mentorship (picture book text, novel or nonfiction) from SCBWI-MI, you are ineligible for this competition. Please have a complete draft of your novel before you enter either competition.   The Submission Window is April 25 – May 16, 2022. The registration platform will open at 9:00 am on April 25. Registration closes at 6:00 pm on May 16, or when we receive 30 applicants, whichever comes first. Check MichKids and social media to find out how many spaces remain. Registration fee is $20, nonrefundable (payable by credit card). During the submission window, links to the registration platforms will be provided here.   The mentorship judges are: Kristin Bartley Lenz, Tracy Bilen, Kelly Barson, Heather Smith Meloche, Jean Alicia Elster and Erin Brown. Three judges will be assigned to each mentorship. Every registered applicant receives a brief critique from three judges.   Click here for Submission Instructions   The winners will be announced in June or July.   For questions, contact SCBWI-MI mentorship coordinator, Ann Finkelstein.   Read more about the SCBWI-MI mentorship program and its past winners and mentors.
  • Newsflash! SCBWI Announces New Benefits for Members who are self-publishing! Check it out HERE Do you have indie questions? Depending on the indie path that you are considering, you may contact one of the three advisors below that best fits your direction. Indie publishing would include hybrid publishing (combines aspects of traditional and self-publishing), vanity publishing (publishers do it all for a price), self-publishing (the author does it all), and digital. All of these various publishing methods would fall under the indie umbrella. In an effort to provide the most current and accurate information for our members we have three indie advisors: Melissa Bailey - Picture Book, David Stricklen - Middle Grade, and Melanie Hooyenga - Young Adult. You should also consider their particular path to publishing. Who may best answer your individual questions?   Meet the SCBWI-MI INDIE ADVISORS     David Stricklen – SCBWI-MI Indie Coordinator & Middle Grade Author In a former life, David was an airport police chief with 30 years experience in law enforcement. After retiring, David went all in on his creative side. He has written a series of three sought-after MG fantasy adventure books: Beneath and Beyond, Through the Eyes of the Beast and The Heart of the Swarm. His new release is a contemporary MG fiction entitled Ripley Robinson and the Worm Charmer, which is reviewer recommended by KIRKUS Review and featured in their monthly magazine. His books and school visits are filled with magic and creativity. David’s reverse perspective painting was a Grand Rapids ArtPrize (largest attended art competition in the world) 3D 2018 popular vote finalist and a post prize Colors of Community 3D & 2D popular vote first place (ArtPrize category). David is on the Michigan Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI-MI) leadership team and is also the Michigan SCBWI indie coordinator, Grand Rapids Shop Talk coordinator and the overall Michigan Shop Talk Administrator.     Melanie Hooyenga – Young Adult Author  Multi-award winning young adult author Melanie Hooyenga writes books about strong girls who learn to navigate life despite its challenges. She first started writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to that age group. Her award-winning YA sports romance series, the Rules Series, is about girls from Colorado falling in love and learning to stand up on their own. Her YA time travel trilogy, The Flicker Effect, is about a teen who uses sunlight to travel back to yesterday. The first book, FLICKER, won first place for Middle Grade/Young Adult in the Writer’s Digest 2015 Self-Published eBook awards, and the Rules Series has won ten awards, including Finalist for MG/YA in the BookLife Prize. When not at her day job as Communications Director at a local nonprofit, you can find her wrangling her Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband Jeremy.     Melissa Bailey – Picture Book Author/Illustrator Hi! I’m Melissa, but feel free to call me Mo. I’ve been a member of SCBWI since 2013 and have been illustrating children’s books since 2009, including 2 award-winners and a feature in Kirkus Review’s 2019 Fall Preview. In 2018, I reached my goal of becoming an author-illustrator with Pug Is Happy (published by a pygmy indie publisher) and have co-authored and illustrated the upcoming picture book Imara’s Tiara (fall 2020). With the help of SCBWI, research, experiences clients have generously shared with me, and my own insatiable curiosity, I’ve worked hard to learn all I can about the ins and outs of the children’s book publishing industry (both traditional and indie) and try my best to keep current with ever-evolving trends and changes. I’m here to help make your publishing journey less confusing and more successful.   Access More Information about the SCBWI-Trailblazers HERE!
  • Members For Members Scholarship Fund - Supporting Inclusivity in Children's Literature It's time to start thinking about who you can encourage to apply for our Members for Members Scholarship! The application period runs from Feb. 14 - March 14.  This scholarship awards a one year SCBWI membership to a Michigan writer or illustrator who is actively working toward creating children’s books that resonate with diverse readers. More info at:   Qualifications: Must be a Michigan resident actively working toward creating children’s books that resonate with diverse readers.  (Applicants may be new or current SCBWI members.) Award: Awardees will receive a year’s membership to SCBWI beginning April 1 if awardee is a new member. If the awardee is a current member, the membership will be extended for a year. Applications Accepted:  February 14 through March 14 (via a link that will be posted here).   Winner(s) will be announced on or about April 1.      
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  • A note from Outreach Coordinator, Isabel Estrada O'Hagin~ Do you remember the moment when you entered your first Shop Talk or SCBWI-MI workshop with a tinge of nervousness, and then someone in the room smiled and said hello? These friendly gestures led you to feel welcomed and allowed you to feel like you belonged—so you stayed! Fortunately, we’ve been able to adjust through the covid19 protocols and have said hello through our screens and monitors! As your Outreach Coordinator, I invite you to share these moments with our community to celebrate and reaffirm the importance of how we foster relationships within SCBWI-MI. Our new column, It Starts with Hello, will highlight these positive personal memories that may inspire others. Based on my own experiences, I can attest those welcoming moments made me feel seen and valued. From the conference organizers and Shop Talk Coordinators who ask for first-time participants to stand and be recognized, to the empathetic person who invites you to join their table at lunch, together we form a network of creative kidlit professionals. Many of these relationships develop into long-lasting friendships and a support system we often need in our line of creative work. The stories you submit will be shared on The Mitten blog throughout 2022. Send your It Starts with Hello submission (under 300 words) to Isabel Estrada O’Hagin by December 20, 2021, at: Note: I will post a second call for these submissions in 2022 as a reminder. Start thinking about which welcoming moment you’d love to share with us!
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The strength of SCBWI lies in its individual members. Whether you are a creator, publisher, reviewer, librarian, bookseller, educator, or simply someone with a love of literature and a desire to see the best in the hands of children, we invite you to get to know us better. SCBWI-Michigan is

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