Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

  •     SCBWI-MI DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION COMMITTEE      MISSION We welcome and celebrate writers and illustrators who represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds and who seek to create quality literature that reflects the lives of all young children.   VISION To better serve our SCBWI-MI community, we aim to bring about change. To that end we commit to the following principles: INCLUDE, ENGAGE, EMBRACE.   INCLUDE: We strive for the inclusion of marginalized and underrepresented communities in children’s literature within our membership.   ENGAGE: We aim to fully engage members, communities, and allies by identifying resources and support available and other professional-growth activities.   EMBRACE: We provide a ‘welcoming place’ to nurture and better support communication and networking within the diverse voices of our members, the community and potential members. Everyone has a seat at the table.   PURPOSE We understand the power of children seeing themselves represented in books. Such diverse reading experiences can lead to empathy, understanding and respect. It is vital that we do all we can to implement initiatives that will address issues of diversity, inclusivity and accessibility for our kidlit community that will in turn help us write books for all children. The DEI Creates Community Welcome to our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Webpage! Through this initiative we want to play a role in meeting the needs our of membership through service and opportunities for dialogue. Our committee is energized to create a stronger SCBWI-MI community that will inspire a deeper understanding of these key issues through the inclusion of diverse voices. Thank you for dropping by!   Our first monthly DEI blog will be featured in The Mitten starting in November. We welcome all dialogue!   MEET OUR TEAM! Head, Isabel O’Hagin - Everyone has a voice in children’s literature! This summer I eagerly responded to the call to lead this SCBWI-MI committee focused on the tenets of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Growing up and situated in the rich tri-cultural background of Tucson, Arizona, I welcomed this new opportunity to enhance the visibility of underrepresented and marginalized voices in our chapter. Through the actions of this committee and the support of our entire SCBWI network we can provide a welcoming place among authors and illustrators so that together we can: “Imagine a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book” (We Need Diverse Books). I welcome and celebrate our members and invite you and your communities to engage with us as we embark on this adventure together!   Committee Members: Amy O’Hanlon- A diversity committee is a bit like a lighthouse. It can be a beacon for those who feel lost, and a way to highlight those hard to see places. Getting the chance to work on this lighthouse is something very exciting because I think it will help me, a recent transplant from California, see Michigan and the SCBWI community here in a wonderful, fascinating, interesting way. I'm so stoked to learn and grow, and to be a part of other people's learning and growing. Let's, all of us, shine brightly!     Lisa Rose - Anyone can tweet #weneeddiversebooks. But what are we as authors, illustrators, parents, and teachers going to do to make that change? Many times people don’t buy diverse books, because they lack the awareness. I am Jewish, and I teach in Detroit. I observe how both communities can lack an understanding of each other.  Not because of hate, but because of just living divided. I believe the way to end ignorance is with knowledge.  Therefore, it is important to me that SCBWI welcomes all voices to be heard and read by all members.   Debbie Taylor - I jumped at the chance to serve on the Diversity Committee because I want to make sure every potential member feels welcome to join us on the creative journey of authors and illustrators. The tangible resources of SCBWI Michigan are valuable, but the intangible ones, including inspiration, friendship and support are priceless. I am delighted to enhance and enlarge a community that welcomed a Buckeye from Columbus, Ohio into an ever-widening circle of Michigan friends.     Angie Verges - We all have unique differences. I am excited to serve on this committee to encourage others to celebrate diversity as I too become more informed. Our chapter is comprised of a wealth of creative differences, just as our story characters we will grow and transform through this journey. Engage with us as we promote literacy through inclusion, equity, and friendships.
  • Stay tuned for more information!    
  • Webinar Title: Marketing with Panache' Using Pinterest Date: Monday, December 9 Time: 7:00 – 8:30 PM Fees: Free for SCBWI-MI members, $30.00 for not-yet members (plus a small online service fee). Registration is limited. Presentation Description: Did you that Pinterest pins are “evergreen”, meaning that, unlike Tweets or Facebook posts, they never fade away? That Pinterest is three times more effective in making connections than Twitter? And, best of all, 80% of individuals who use Pinterest are educators. Teachers and librarians LOVE to seek out new books and lesson plans on Pinterest! Well, now you do. Exciting news, isn’t it? Presenter Debbie Gonzales has intentionally employed the power of Pinterest as a promotional platform to highlight her Guides by Deb projects and has had remarkable success in doing so. She’s grown her viewership from a mere 400 to 135K in just a year’s time, all the while keeping a close eye on trends and analytics. In this session, Deb will present an overview of Pinterest, demonstrate how to craft pins and create boards, discuss the importance of posting relatable content, and give a peek to how the back end of the platform functions. A downloadable workbook is included in the session. Bio: Debbie Gonzales is an author, an educator, a podcaster, and a coach specializing in helping book creators over the age of 40 establish visibility in the marketplace. Her debut picture book is entitled GIRLS WITH GUTS: THE ROAD TO BREAKING BARRIERS AND BASHING RECORDS was published by Charlesbridge and is the inspiration for The Debcast, her podcast celebrating the tenacity of the female athlete. Deb is a Michigan Reading Association board member and serves as part of the SCBWI-MI Ad-Com. She earned her MFA in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Learn more about Deb and her many projects by accessing her websites at and   Registration links will be made available soon! 
  • Remember how nerve-wracking Show & Tell days were in school? Kind of how we can feel when it comes to social media these days. We want to step up and out there, but where and about what? Your SCBWI-Michigan wants to help by hosting a Show & Tell Day for you on the first day of every month! We are inviting each and every one of you to join in the conversation. Show us what you're up to. It could be your latest book cover, illustration, what you're writing - or Tell us what you want to write, draw, or about your giveaway, building a platform, or online promotion. Even feel free to reach out expressing what the hardest part of the biz is for you,  or where you would like some input from your colleagues. It doesn't matter whether you have several books published or have finally managed to sit down and write. You can share a pic of your office chair! Show & Tell and get involved as you begin to boost your biz with SCBWI-MI! Use our social media channels to Show & Tell. Twitter: @SCBWIMichigan Facebook: SCBWI-Michigan Instagram general: Instagram illustrators:  For more information, contact our social media guru Karen Bell-Brege at karen [at] teambcreative [dot] com. Let's see what you've got, SCBWI Michigan!
  • The SCBWI-MI chapter extends HUGE congratulations to illustrator Sara Kendall for winning the highly coveted Shutta Crum Scholarship, granting her the privilege of attending the big LA conference in July 2020! Individuals who have been SCBWI-MI members for three years or more and have not attended the international SCBWI conference are eligible. Recently, Sara shared her incredible talent with our community as the illustrator who created the lovely logo for our Pokagon retreat, as featured below. Find out more about our talented winner by accessing her website at And, thank you, once again, Shutta, for making another deserving SCBWI-MI member's dreams come true!
  • We’re delighted to announce that SCBWI-MI will hold TWO nonfiction mentorship competitions in 2020. One will be for nonfiction picture books, and the other will be nonfiction Middle Grade or Young Adult books. Eligibility: Both mentorships are open to SCBWI members (of all membership levels) who live in Michigan, with one exception: Won and Done: If you have previously won any mentorship competition offered by SCBWI-MI, you are ineligible to apply for another. Runners-up are welcome to apply. The Nonfiction picture book mentorship with author Patricia Newman: Patricia Newman’s award-winning books show kids how their actions can ripple around the world. She is the author of Robert F. Sibert Honor Book Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem; as well as NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book Eavesdropping on Elephants: How Listening Helps Conservation;  Zoo Scientists to the Rescue, a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book; Green Earth Book Award winner, Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; Booklist Editor’s Choice title Ebola: Fears and Facts; and Neema’s Reason to Smile, winner of a Parents’ Choice Award. Newman hopes to empower kids to think about the adults they’d like to become. Her author visits are described as
  • About Our Mentorship Program SCBWI-MI has offered a mentorship program for its non-Published And Listed (non-PAL) members since 2000. The mentorship rotates on a yearly basis between the genres of picture book text, illustration and novels. Program details, including eligibility requirements and category of competition, are announced in early spring, and the submission window is in June. The winner is announced in the fall, and the year-long mentorship runs from January to December of the following year. Starting in 2018, SCBWI-MI will offer an additional mentorship for Published And Listed (PAL) members. The genre and submission window may vary from year to year. You must be a member with primary residence in Michigan to be eligible for either mentorship. Other requirements are listed within the details of the current year's program. If you have suggestions for improvements or additions to the mentorship program or questions about upcoming programs, please contact SCBWI-MI Mentorship Coordinator, Ann Finkelstein. Details about upcoming mentorships are here. Please check back for specific submission instructions. Special thanks to Ann Finkelstein, mentorship coordinator, for her role in making this mentorship program run smoothly. ********************************************************************   Mentorship Program History:   The winner of the 2019-2020 PAL picture book text mentorship with Kelly DiPucchio is Buffy Silverman with her manuscript Loon Song. Runners-up are Patti Richards with her manuscript Cupine's Perfect Dance Partner and PJ Lyons with her manuscript Alien Invasion of the Little Sister. The winner of the 2019-2020 non-PAL picture book text mentorship with Lisa Wheeler is Katherine Gibson with her manuscript Of Dragons and Princesses. Runners-up are David Stricklen with his manuscript Poodle Foolery and Marty Bellis with her manuscript Sally and the Snowman. The winner of the 2018-2019 PAL Novel Mentorship with Leslie Connor is Kristin Bartley Lenz for her novel The Door Swings Open. The two runners up are Charlie Barshaw for his novel Aunt Agnes and Margaret Mason for her novel Is My Name.The winner f the 2018-2019 non-PAL Novel Mentorship with Kelly Barson is Danielle DeFauw for her novel Victory Stumbles. The two runners up are Isabel O'Hagin for Chavela's Quest and Susan Santone with The Shape of Change. The winner of the 2017-2018 Illustration Mentorship competition is Sara Kendall who won a year-long mentorship with acclaimed illustrator Kirbi Fagan. Basya Cohen is the runner-up. The winner of the 2016-2017 Picture Book Text Mentorship competition is Jennifer Burd for her entry When You Sit in One Place.  Jennifer won a one-year mentorship with picture book author Deborah Diesen. The two runners-up are Sue Agauas for her entry, How to Wash Your Elephant, and Jayne Economos for her entry, Nan’s Magic Carpet. In an effort to increase the number of children's books with diverse themes and/or characters, the 2015-2016 mentorship focused on entries at any age category including multicultural characters and/or topics. Congratulations go to the winner, Daniel Burns, for his entry Out of the Shadows. Daniel will benefit from a year-long mentorship with celebrated author and We Need Diverse Book mentor, Patricia Hruby Powell. Runner up was Ann Dallman for her entry Looking For Ben. The 2014-2015 SCBWI-MI Novel Mentorship Competition winner was Wendy Sherrill with her submission Playing Dead. She was mentored by novelist, Edie Hemingway. Second place went to Ann Finkelstein for The Wind Djin and third to Magdalena Roddy for her manuscript, Certain Exceptions. A special illustration mentorship was given to Jeff Morissey at the 2015 Spring Hook of the Book Conference. Lucky Jeff won a year to work directly with award-winning artistrator, EB Lewis. The 2013-2014 SCBWI-MI Picture Book Mentorship Competition winner is Ashley Potts with her submission Charlotte’s Sleeping at her Desk. Second place was awarded to Diane Tomczak, followed closely by Patti Richards in third. Ashley began her one year mentorship with Boni Ashburn in January. At our SHINE 2 conference in June 2012, several talented illustrators competed
  • SCBWI Invite - Your Community at a Glance Learn more about becoming a member of SCBWI
  • Click here to browse our members' beautiful new releases.  Click here to register for the Happy Book Birthday Program 
  •   Welcome to the Teacher/Librarian Corner: Where connecting with a local children’s book author or illustrator is made easier. SCBWI-MI is proud to partner with teachers and librarians to provide students with the resources to expand their love of reading. We hope the information included will not only allow you to locate authors and illustrators in your area, but help you discover ways to create a great literary experience for your students.   Feel free to take advantage of these resources and share them with other professionals.   Authors and illustrators in your area: List of Authors & Illustrators Categorized by Region This link gives you a list of children’s book authors and illustrators in those different regions. Each region (1-7) is found at the bottom of the page on a tab. Once you find your region, click on that tab and it will take you to a list of authors and illustrators separated by age category -- picture book, middle grade, and young adult. Each author has indicated the age groups they present to as well as the themes their presentations touch on. We hope that this will help you find a presenter who best fits your needs. Once you find a speaker, we encourage you to check out their website for more information on their individual presentations as well as how to contact them.   Author/Illustrator Flyer - Categorized by Regions   Additional resources listed below: SCBWI National Speakers Directory: (searchable for Michigan authors!) Michigan Library Association: Authors by State Blog: American Library Association: SKYPE an Author:   Contact nearby bookstores: Book Bug (Kalamazoo) Kazoo Books (Kalamazoo) Nicola Books (Ann Arbor) Schuler’s (Lansing and Grand Rapids) Book Beat (Oak Park) Pages Book Shop (Detroit) McLean & Eakin Booksellers (Petoskey) Snowbound Books (Marquette)   Helpful School Visit Preparation Resources: Funding author visits How-to-plan-a-school-visit new Creating School Visits that Kids, Teachers & Librarians Love   To learn more about SCBWI please visit their website: SCBWI-MI SCBWI


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 affordable webinars 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