Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

  • Do you wonder how you can get on an art director’s or editor’s radar? Mailing a promotional postcard on a regular basis is the simplest self-promotion an illustrator can do! Maybe you have good intentions to send several postcards a year, but end up falling short. Wouldn’t it be easier if you were pleasantly prodded and cheered on by your peers? Join SCBWI Michigan illustrators in sending quarterly mailings on Feb. 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and Nov. 1st.   NEXT STEPS To participate, e-mail us at saying you are up for the challenge. Once you sign up, you will receive a welcome e-packet about the basics of promotional mailings and next steps, along with a digital badge you can use to share the news of our challenge. Check the MichKids listserv, social media, and The Mitten blog because SCBWI-MI illustrators Kirbi Fagan, Kara Marsee and Deb Pilutti will share printing resources, production tips, encouragement and success stories over the coming weeks. (BE SURE TO CONNECT ON THESE PLATFORMS! For more information on how, click HERE.) You can share your postcards on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag: #4outthedoor. We look forward to seeing what you create! Special shout-out to Kirbi Fagan for creating the 4 Out the Door logo and illustration.
  •           logo by Sara Kendall Online registration closes Sunday, September 23rd at 11:30 PM. Don't dilly dally!    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!    Do you want to get away from it all this fall and CREATE? How about some time to RECHARGE with your creative buddies? Would you like some inspiring craft sessions to MOVE FORWARD? We hear you! SCBWI Indiana and Michigan are teaming up to provide a weekend creative retreat in beautiful Pokagon State Park on October 5-7, 2018. The Park is located in northeast Indiana near Angola and is just off I-69. The cozy and comfortable Potawatomi Inn Resort and Conference Center within the Park will be the venue for lodging, retreat events, and meals. This Retreat is designed for writers and illustrators at every level of experience. It will provide a perfect blend of creative time, craft-related sessions, critiques, and socializing/connecting. Three or four optional craft sessions will be offered on Saturday and Sunday morning. Afternoons will be left open for creating, paid PAL level critiques, and/or optional peer critique groups for writers and illustrators. Optional social events will be held Friday and Saturday evenings. Fee: $125 SCBWI members, $150 not yet members. Your investment includes lunch and dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday, all programming, peer critique groups, and socials. Dinner on Friday night and breakfasts both days are available for purchase in the Potawatomi Inn dining room. (Or if you’d rather stay in your pj’s and nibble your own treats in your room, feel free.) Paid critiques and portfolio reviews by PAL members will be available for purchase in advance of the Retreat. Lodging: Our negotiated rate for a double room is $89.00 per night plus 12% IN sales tax. Attendees must register by September 4, 2018. After this date, rooms will be released for general sale. All reservations can be made by calling the Inn’s Central Reservations number (877) 563-4371. Use group code 1005SC and/or ask for rooms in our block under SCBWI.  Be sure to tell them how many nights you want to reserve (2 or 3) because they will assume 3 nights. Individuals will be responsible for room and incidental charges. To view rooms, click HERE. Note, no pets allowed. A Gate Fee ($7 in-state, $9 out of state) will be charged to all parties who have overnight rooms per Pokagon State Park policy.  Schedule: current retreat schedule final (subject to change) Presenter Bios: Presenter Bios Full session descriptions will be provided at the retreat. Critiques or portfolio reviews: Limited manuscript critiques and portfolio reviews will be available onsite. Each critique/review will be 10-15 minutes face-to-face. Sign up and pay for critiques/reviews onsite at the SCBWI event check-in table. The fee is $25 payable to the critiquer/reviewer. One critique/review per attendee. Any additional critiquers will be announced prior to the event and any open spots will be announced on Saturday morning. You can use your 10-15 minute critique/review time as you would like; for instance, have your critiquer read a portion of the manuscript or look at one image and give suggestions, or you can focus on a troublesome question about the manuscript as a whole/images and get expert advice on the spot. Be sure to bring an extra copy of your manuscript/sample for your critique since we may not have access to a printer. Manuscript critiques will be offered by: Silvia Acevedo (up to 10) Kelly Bennett (up to 5) Jennifer Carson (up to 10) Katherine Gibbs (up to 10) Leslie Helakoski (up to 5) Kathy Higgs-Coulthard (up to 5) Jodi McKay (up to 5) Heather Shumaker (up to 5) Lisa Wheeler (up to 5) Portfolio reviews will be offered by: Kirbi Fagan (up to 5) Deb Pilutti (up to 5) Register HERE Online registration closes Sunday, September 23rd at 11:30 PM. Art credit: SCBWI MI member Sara Kendall
  • Information coming soon!
  • SCBWI-MI ran two mentorships this year. Both were for novels. One mentorship was open to Published And Listed (PAL) members and the other was open to full and associate members.   The winner of the PAL novel mentorship with Leslie Connor is Kristin Bartley Lenz with her novel, The Door Swings Open. Eleven PAL members entered this competition. Congratulations, Kristin!   The winner of the non-PAL novel mentorship with Kelly Barson is Danielle DeFauw with her novel, Victory Stumbles. Fifteen full or associate members entered this competition. Congratulations, Danielle!   The novels were evaluated on appropriateness of style, language and diction for intended audience, development of theme or concept, development of plot, development of characters, pacing, and overall impression and originality. Many thanks to the super-secret, superstar judges for their time and expertise.   For questions about future mentorships, please contact Ann Finkelstein, SCBWI-MI Mentorship Coordinator.
  •  Whether you are an established author/illustrator or you're releasing your debut book, marketing is essential to your books’ success. This reference was designed for SCBWI members only to provide you with information on how and where you can market your work.   Click here to access our members-only book promotion page. Click here to access a list of indie bookstores in Michigan. Please frequent these great venues often.   Good luck and know that we are very proud of YOU! Slider art credit: M. Cody Wiley  
  • The mission of the PAL Newsletter is to provide SCBWI-MI's traditionally published authors and illustrators with resources that meet their needs. This will include: 1: An article written by a Michigan PAL author or illustrator on craft or experience. 2: Information regarding marketing opportunities. Let's sell those books! 3: Helpful blogs, websites, or articles for continuing education. SCBWI-MI wants its PAL authors and illustrators to feel supported and connected to each other and it is our hope that this newsletter helps contribute to that. If you are a PAL member and are not receiving the newsletter, please contact PAL Coordinator, Jodi McKay.
  • The Mitten is the official blog for the Michigan chapter of SCBWI. Please spread the word and share with anyone interested in reading, writing, and creating quality literature for children and young adults. SCBWI-MI members are encouraged to submit blog posts.  What are we looking for? Success stories tips on any aspect of the publishing process - writing, illustrating, promotion, time management, etc. agent/editor interviews photos, personal impressions, and brief overviews of events, such as conferences, meet-ups, book signings, book clubs, festivals, etc. reviews of books on craft We’re also looking for contributions for our ongoing features: Ask Frida Pennabook: Sometimes it's helpful to tap into the expertise of a fellow writer or artist. Got a question? Need advice? Just ask Frida. Hugs and Hurrahs: We want to trumpet your good news! Send 1-3 sentences about your accomplishment. We love to include photos and art, too. Do you have an idea for a blog post or a new feature?  We’d love to hear it! Submission guidelines: Please query Kristin Lenz at Include a 1-3 sentence bio and any links, art, book covers, or photos to accompany your blog post. (All images must be your personal property or fair use/public domain.)  
  • Wouldn't you love to attend a children's book conference without traveling? No airports, hotels, gas stations, or expense reports? No work time lost? Register and view our affordable webinar from the comfort of your home or office — wherever and whenever you have access to a computer. Or join your friends and colleagues who have registered and watch together. "You guided me from ignorantly-intimidated to old-dog-learned-new-trick! Well done! This internet thing might not be so bad."   CLICK HERE TO REGISTER  Children’s Book Industry 101: Terms, Conventions, and How It Works lead by Carrie Pearson and moderated by Leslie Helakoski. Description: A nuts and bolts session for writers and writer/s including standards for traditional publishing (formatting, word counts for categories, conventions, what’s pushy, what’s polite), how the industry works (role of agent vs. editor, publishing houses and what they offer, large house vs. small vs. regional), and how we get paid (advance, royalties).   "You guys absolutely ROCK at putting together great presentations and making them really work! Thank you so much!"   – author, Elizabeth McBride  Illustration credit: Nina Goebel


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.


  • Shop Talks - no charge, regular events at locations around Michigan
  • Webinar Library: Register and view our affordable webinar from the comfort of your home or office.
  • Other Industry-Related Events Around the Great State of Michigan:
  • Got news to share? A new release to celebrate? Contact Debbie HERE