Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

  • 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 our members, our community, 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. 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.
  •    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 webinars 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. So, what’s the Buzz About the Biz? How can you prepare yourself for success in the publishing world? Join 4 industry professionals every Monday evening during the month of October as each takes you through a different look at the business side of the publishing journey. The cost of each webinar is $15 for members and $25 for not-yet-members plus a small online registration fee. Want to become a member? Click HERE! Registration for all webinars is now open. Register for individual webinars or all. Click HERE to register.   Can't attend? Each webinar will be recorded. Links to view the recordings will be sent to registrants and will be available for viewing for two weeks after each webinar.  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ October 7th: 7:00-8:15- Jillian Manning  The Book Business -- Publishing From Start To Finish Through The Eyes Of An Acquisitions Editor: From the editor's inbox to the hands of a reader, get to know the journey of a book from inside a publishing house. Former acquisitions editor and children's book author Jillian Manning breaks down each step, including how manuscripts are vetted for publication, the editing process, the basics of cover and interior design, and the early stages of marketing leading up to a book's release. In addition to hearing about the inner workings of the publishing business, you'll learn how to make your query stand out in the slush pile, build and leverage your platform, and develop actionable marketing strategies. Jillian Manning is an author, editor, and public relations professional who loves reading and writing (but not arithmetic). She's the author of five books with Sesame Street and has worked in the editorial departments at Sourcebooks and HarperCollins. Jillian lives in Northern Michigan with her husband and three picture-book-worthy kittens. Jillian is offering a limited number of manuscript critiques! Fee: $45. One critique per registrant, SCBWI members only. First come, first served. The material will be due to Jillian on October 7th. Allow 4-6 weeks for critique return. Any genre will be accepted. 2 YA critiques (query + 10 pages) 2 MG critiques (query + 10 pages) 2 PB critiques (under 1,000 words) More details about how to submit will be provided at registration confirmation. ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ October 14th: 7:00-8:15- Laren Panepinto and Marc Scheff  Art Business Bootcamp: Learn how to get found, get hired, and get paid from real live industry Art Directors and Curators. Most art schools don’t teach the business side. In this talk, Lauren and Marc will discuss everything you need to build a successful business. Great art is only 50% of an art career; Lauren and Marc will cover the rest! Lauren Panepinto is the Creative Director and Vice President of the Orbit Books division of the Hachette Book Group. She has 16 years of experience designing and art directing book covers and managing both in-house teams and hundreds of freelance artists. She has also worked in fashion (Perry Ellis), television (MTV) and independent design firms. Lauren is an Adjunct Professor of Design at the NYU Graduate Program in Publishing, and a frequent guest lecturer and teacher at The School of Visual Arts (SVA), Parsons, Syracuse University, the Illustration Master Class, and SmArt School. She has reviewed thousands of portfolios at conventions such as San Diego ComicCon, New York ComicCon, Spectrum Fantastic Art, GenCon, and IlluXcon. Lauren hires many freelance artists every year and gets hundreds of artists’ promotional emails in her inbox every week. She is also the co-founder of the online gallery Every Day Original. Marc Scheff is a fine artist and illustrator with a degree in Computer Science from Harvard University. His work is available through Rehs Contemporary and Haven Gallery in New York, and Corey Helford in Los Angeles. He is a co-founder of the online gallery Every Day Original. He has worked as a staff artist for Electronic Arts and an art director for a company that produces merchandise and art shows for releases of major video game licenses such as Tomb Raider and Dragon Age. He is a teacher at SmArt School and guest teacher at Illustration Master Class. He has reviewed thousands of portfolios at conventions such as San Diego ComicCon, New York ComicCon, Spectrum Fantastic Art, GenCon, and IlluXcon. Handouts for the webinar can be downloaded here for free: ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  October 21st: 7:00-8:15- Nancy Castaldo  Be the Perfect Panelist: Panels are a wonderful way to promote your books at all sorts of events, from community book festivals to librarian conferences. During this webinar, you'll learn how to propose a panel,  prep for a panel, and have the perfect panel etiquette for the event. Nancy Castaldo has written award-winning books for kids for over 20 years, including Green Earth Book Award title THE STORY OF SEEDS, and Crystal Kite Award titles, SNIFFER DOGS and BEASTLY BRAINS.  Using her undergrad degree in science, graduate degree focusing on children’s literature and her experience as an author, Nancy has moderated and spoken on a variety of book panels at book festivals, science teacher conferences, SCBWI events, TxLA, and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Nancy also serves as the Regional Advisor of the Eastern NY SCBWI region. Her 2018 title is BACK FROM THE BRINK: Saving Animals from Extinction. ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ October 28th: 7:00-8:15- Megan Tripp  Social Media for Authors and Illustrators: An overview of the children's book market, how social media can drive sales within that market, and how to create buzz around your book using competitive strategies on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Megan Tripp is a graduate of Emerson College and works in social media for Random House and Del Rey Books. She has previously worked at the literary agency, Curtis Brown, Ltd. She is an active member of the
  • 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’s 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
  •  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 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