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.
  • Our chapter offers a growing number of scholarships described below. We hope you will consider applying for opportunities you feel are a fit for you. Questions? Contact our Scholarship Coordinator, Jacquie Sewell at Mischolarshipcoordinator at  (use the @ symbol in place of 'at')   Members For Members Scholarship: Supporting Inclusivity in Children’s Literature This scholarship awards a one-year SCBWI membership to a Michigan writer or illustrator. Qualifications: Must be a Michigan resident actively working toward creating children’s books that resonate with diverse readers. Award: Awardees will receive a year’s membership to SCBWI beginning April 1 if the awardee is a new member. If the awardee is a current member, the membership will be extended for a year. Deadline: Applications are accepted from February 14 through March 14. The winner (s) will be announced on or about April 1 each year. For more information and to apply go to M4M Scholarship Application Interested in making a donation to support our Members For Members Scholarship Fund? You can send your donation via PayPay or by check. By PayPal: donations made through our SCBWI MI PayPal account should read, “M4M Scholarship” Search for address is By check: make your check payable to SCBWI-MI with a note to read,
  • 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!
  • The mentor for picture book illustration is Dow Phumiruk The mentor for middle grade/young adult illustration is Brittany (Bea) Jackson.   Winners receive a year-long mentorship with Dow or Bea. The mentorship includes six exchanges of art and critiques.   Meet Picture Book Mentor: Dow Phumiruk Dow Phumiruk is a former pediatrician who has found her passion in creating children's books.  She is currently a co-Regional Advisor for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI. She has written and/or illustrated several books. Clients include HarperCollins, Henry Holt/Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, Abrams, Viking, Sleeping Bear Press, and Zonderkidz. She lives in Colorado with her husband of almost three decades, three artistic daughters, and a handful of small pets. She is the recipient of numerous awards including Winner, SCBWI Inaugural Narrative Art Award, 2017, Winner, SCBWI Postcard Contest 2016, 1st place RMC SCBWI calendar image contest 2015, and Winner, SCBWI Emerging Voices Award 2013 for Mela in the Jungle (published as Mela and the Elephant)   Check the Mitten Blog for an interview with Dow on April 30, 2021.   Meet MG/YA Mentor: Brittany (Bea) Jackson. Brittany Jackson loves telling stories through her art, from dynamic and diverse character design, to delightfully fun and energetic children’s book illustrations. She attended the College for Creative Studies and is the Grand Prize Winner of the L. Ron Hubbard’s Illustrator of the Future Award of 2007. She has illustrated several books including the New York Times best seller, Parker Looks Up, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Children’s. In addition to her work as a children’s book illustrator, character and concept artist, Brittany’s work has been featured on the covers of books, comics, and in various magazines and articles.   Check the Mitten Blog for an interview with Bea on May 7, 2021.   The submission window for both mentorships opens on May 17, 2021 at 8:00 am EDT. The submission window closes on June 7, 2021at 8:00 pm EDT or when we receive 30 applications – whichever comes first. Note: applicants will have until midnight on June 7, 2021 to submit a pdf their artwork to Ann Finkelstein.   Cost is $20, nonrefundable, payable by credit or debit card. All registered applicants receive constructive comments from the judges.   The judges for the picture book illustration mentorship are: Amy Nielander Brianne Farley Heidi Sheffield The judges for the middle grade/young adult illustration mentorship are: Sara Kendall Ruth McNally Barshaw Cathy Gendron We invite you to visit their websites and enjoy their wonderful illustrations.   The competition is open to all SCBWI members who live in Michigan for at least part of the year. Previous winners of SCBWI-MI illustration mentorships may not apply.   Co-Regional Illustrator Coordinator, Deb Pilutti, offered a free webinar on May 4, 2021 to discuss formatting your submission. The Zoom link to the recording is: HERE   The winners will be announced in midsummer 2021.   A link to the registration platform will be provided here during the submission window. Download Submission Instruction for Picture Book Mentorship.   Download submission Instructions for YA-MG illustrator mentorship.   Read more about the SCBWI-MI mentorship and its past winners and mentors.   For questions, contact Ann Finkelstein, SCBWI-MI mentorship coordinator. annf1234 [at] gmail [dot] com.
  •     THE E & I TEAM CREATES COMMUNITY Welcome to SCBWI- Michigan Equity and Inclusion webpage! We commit to our role in meeting the needs of members through service and opportunities. The E & I Team is energized to create a stronger SCBWI-MI community that includes, engages, and embraces disparate voices. So glad you’re here!             MISSION We welcome and celebrate writers, illustrators, and translators who represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds and who seek to create quality literature for young people that reflect the lives of all children.   PURPOSE We understand the power of children seeing themselves represented in books. Such equitable reading experiences lead to empathy, understanding, and respect. We must implement initiatives that will address issues of inclusivity, accessibility, and belonging for our children's literature community that will, in turn, help us write books for all children. As Lin Oliver has stated,
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  • Click here to browse our members' beautiful new releases.  Click here to register for the Happy Book Birthday Program 
  • This multi-region conference is designed to give you a large SCBWI NYC or LA conference experience closer to home. Featuring over 35 faculty members sharing content for writers and illustrators that will move your Work In Progress and your career forward. Make industry connections. Get a portfolio review or critique. Have access to acquiring editors, agents, and art directors. Find your people and make lasting relationships. Start your planning now to join in! Much more information to come. Stay tuned.
  • Members For Members Scholarship Fund New Extended Deadline for the Members for Members Scholarship Fund Applications This M4M scholarship will be awarded to writers and/or illustrators who are Michigan residents and who wish to become members of SCBWI or to current SCBWI-Michigan members who fit the scholarship guidelines. Scholarship winners will receive a year’s membership to SCBWI or in the case of current members, as an add-on to the current membership, OR funds may go towards an SCBWI-MI conference.   Awardees will have an interest in and are actively working toward creating children's books that resonate with diverse readers. We recognize all diverse experiences and seek applicants who promote inclusion and support underrepresented groups in children’s publishing including, but not limited to, those marginalized due to race/ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship, and religion. The scholarship will offset the cost of an annual membership in SCBWI (which includes membership in SCBWI-Michigan and is currently $80.00 for full membership and $65.00 for student membership) or may be applied towards an SCBWI-MI conference.  This grant is sponsored by donations from current SCBWI-Michigan members. The number of awards will be determined by donations to this scholarship fund.  Extended Deadline:  Submissions are open through June 1, 2021. The winner(s) of the scholarships will be announced on or about June 15.   Guidelines: This award is open to persons who live in Michigan.  Please collect the following information in the body of an email:  1.)  Full name and contact information: mailing address, email address, social media handles, and phone number. Indicate if you are a current SCBWI member. 2.)  Provide a brief description about works-in-progress or those in the planning stages and how your WIP meets the criteria established above.  3.)  Include a statement about why you want to become a member of SCBWI. What in kidlit captures your motivation and commitment? Indicate your school or college and program if applying as a student member. 4.) Include a brief statement of financial need. Please do not provide any personal income information.   Address the email to our SCBWI-MI Regional Advisors: Carrie Pearson ( and Jodi McKay ( Fill in the subject line with: Members for Members Scholarship Application. Provide the requested information in the body of the email letter and send. Questions?  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee Chair Interested in making a donation to support our Members For Members Scholarship Fund? You can send your donation via PayPay or by check. By PayPal: donations made through our SCBWI MI PayPal account should read, “M4M Scholarship” email address is By check: make your check payable to SCBWI-MI with a note to read,


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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