Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

  • What? A one-day, jam-packed nonfiction writing conference Where? VistaTech Center at Schoolcraft College, 18600 Haggerty Rd. Livonia, Mi. (Maximum of 100 participants) When? March 7, 2020, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Cost? SCBWI Members: $160, Not-Yet Members: $190 (become a member today and enjoy reduced pricing on all SCBWI events!) Fee includes a pre-conference nonfiction webinar (see below for description), light breakfast, bookstore, and 8 hours of specialty programming for writers and illustrators! * Seating is limited to 100 people * Register NOW and reserve your spot! Click I WANT TO BUILD MY NONFICTION TOOLBOX Have you tinkered with the idea of writing or illustrating nonfiction, but don’t know where to begin? Do you have a nonfiction WIP that needs a tune-up? Do you long to write narrative nonfiction that reads like fiction? Are you eager to learn more about the current “buzz” in nonfiction book creation? Join SCBWI Michigan for a day of tool gathering, project planning, and practice building. Bring your laptops, nonfiction works-in-progress, nonfiction ideas, and palettes and leave with a toolbox full of things you need to craft compelling nonfiction that sells in today’s competitive marketplace. Our featured speakers are: Carol Hinz: Carol is the Editorial Director of Lerner Books and was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s 2018 Star Watch Honorees. Carol joined Lerner in 2003 as editor and was promoted to Editorial Director of its Millbrook Press imprint in 2007. Ten years later, she took on overseeing picture books and nonfiction at its Carolrhoda Books imprint as well. Carol’s list includes National Book Award Longlist selection Sachiko, Sibert Honoree Sea Otter Heroes, and Orbis Pictus Honoree Dazzle Ships. Carol will guide attendees to find the nonfiction nugget that becomes the heart of their stories in her presentation, “Finding Your Nonfiction Nugget: Uncovering the Heart of Your Story.”   Heather Montgomery: Heather writes for kids who are wild about animals. Her subjects range from snake lungs to snail tongues. Heather will be filling attendees’ toolboxes with ideas on how to make nonfiction exciting in her presentation, “Don’t Do Boring: Turning a Nugget Into a Story That Sells!” Some of Heather’s nonfiction books include: Bugs Don’t Hug: Six-Legged Parents and Their Kids (Charlesbridge) Little Monsters of the Ocean: Metamorphosis Under the Waves (Millbrook) Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill (Bloomsbury), an NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book, a Junior Library Guild Selection, and a VOYA Nonfiction Honor Award Winner. You can find out more about Heather here:   Lindsay Moore: Lindsay is an artist and writer with roots in Northern Michigan. She studied Marine Biology and Fine Art at Southampton College on Long Island and figure drawing at the Art Students League in New York City. Lindsay earned her Master of Science in Medical and Scientific Illustration from Medical College of Georgia (now Augusta University) and has received recognition for her work from both the Association of Medical Illustrators and the Australian Institute of Medical and Biological Illustration. Sea Bear, published by Greenwillow Books, is her picture book debut. Sea Bear received starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal and Shelf Awareness!   Emmy Kastner an author/illustrator of children's books. As a former classroom teacher, Emmy taught high school English Language Arts, Biology, and Integrated Science. She is the co-founder and former executive director of Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK) — a literacy-focused nonprofit modeled after 826 National. RAWK is devoted to celebrating and amplifying youth voices through the cultivation of reading and writing skills, via joy, creativity, equity, and access. Kastner's debut series, Nerdy Babies, launched in 2019 with two titles (Ocean and Space) and continues to grow: Weather and Rocks (2020) and Dinosaurs and Transportation (2021).     Other highlights of the day include:  Morning and afternoon workshop time focused on finding your nonfiction nugget, writing backmatter, building a bibliography, using dialogue and primary vs. secondary sources and illustration-related topics designed to move your work forward. An afternoon conversation/panel discussion, “The Importance of Authenticity in Nonfiction Writing,” which will help answer the question, “Can I write my nonfiction idea?” For those who’d like a nonfiction refresher or are new to nonfiction, nonfiction author, Carrie A. Pearson will offer a complimentary pre-conference webinar so we all come to the building site on common ground. (further described below) Detroit’s Pages Bookshop will be on hand with books on craft mentioned in the presentations, some mentor texts, as well as titles from our guests and Michigan writers and illustrators available for purchase throughout the day. Opportunities for in-person paid critiques and portfolio reviews for authors, illustrators, and author-illustrators ($50 each). The SCBWI Gold Form will be used for critiques and portfolio reviews. To see the Gold Forms, click these links:  Manuscript-Critique-Gold-Form SCBWI-GOLD-Form-Illustrator Post-event submissions offered by our editor, Carol Hinz. No matter where you are on your creative journey, “Building Your Nonfiction Toolbox” will help you create compelling and beautiful nonfiction for children. Pre-Conference Webinar: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Shades of Grey In Between Nonfiction as a genre in children’s literature is on the rise. Why is this --from a reader and industry perspective? How can you tap into this world of creative possibilities in a way that meets industry expectations? Learn how new nonfiction is categorized and see clues in your own work that will help you determine what you’ve created. This webinar will be delivered as a Zoom meeting. Link and information will be emailed to registered attendees on the day of the webinar. Playback will be available until March 6, 2020. The webinar is available to members and not-yet members who are registered for this conference only and may not be shared. Schedule (Subject to Change) 8:00 to 8:35: Registration, breakfast, and mingling. Find your table for the morning.   8:35: Welcome and Announcements   8:35-9:25:- Plenary Session 1- Finding Your Nonfiction Nugget: Uncovering the Heart of Your Nonfiction Story- Carol Hinz It's an exciting time to be creating nonfiction for children, with an incredibly wide range of possibilities for topics and approaches. But with all those possibilities, where do you start? And once you have a topic in mind, how do you figure out the best way to approach that topic? We'll look at recent books, curriculum standards, and other essential resources to help answer these questions.   9:25- 9:35: Break   9:35-10:25*: Group Work- Filling Your Toolbox Part 1 During this table discussion, attendees will take their top five nonfiction ideas and brainstorm for the heart of the story. The thing that has yet to be told about their topic. 4 Critiques for Emmy *In-person critiques will take place during this time.   9:35-10:25: DIY Paper Construction Lab Online reference of historical structures or landmarks can be limiting. Using simple tools, learn how to build paper models to inform your perspective drawing of real life structures that you can't visit. Bring your sketchbook and favorite tools to practice drawing from different vantage points.   10:25-10:30: Break   10:30- 11:25: Plenary Session 2- Don’t Do Boring! Turning a Nugget Into a Story That Sells - Heather Montgomery From outrageous illustrations to irreverent voices to new narrative -- the image of humdrum nonfiction is being chipped away one published book at a time. In this session, participants will examine innovative approaches and stretch their voice, sequencing, and/or approach to their nonfiction nuggets. Illustrators- Lindsay Moore- The Illustrators' Notebook: Drawing from Life, Research and (Yes) Imagination. This will be a practical talk about chasing good ideas, gathering information and creating interesting nonfiction art to tell a story.   11:25- 12:40: Lunch on your own at area restaurants/bring your own lunch/order in from GrubHub   12:40-2:10: Plenary Session 3- Carol Hinz, Heather Montgomery, Lindsay Moore- The Nuts and Bolts of Nonfiction Writing. A broad-focus conversation on what it takes to pull a nonfiction project together from the editor, author and illustrator perspective.   2:10-2:20- Break   2:20- 3:40*: Group Work at Tables- Four 20-minute segments. Groups will move through 4 different stations. Table topics for Picture Books/Chapter Books/Middle Grade/YA- Table hosts will guide discussions on the following topics: Writing Backmatter that Sings!- What to include in story vs. what to include in backmatter. Organizing Your Information Using Notebooks Choosing the Right POV for Your Nonfiction Story The Power of Keywords- How the Right Keywords Can Unlock Better Information *Illustrators session with Emmy Kastner- Audience, Style and Color Lead the Way: Crafting your Nonfiction book Emmy Kastner, author and illustrator of the Nerdy Babies series, will explore developing a nonfiction series, focusing on how your audience informs style, format, and palette. Emmy will share her process, from research to development, the differences and similarities from fictional storytelling, and will lead a hands-on drawing workshop for participants to explore the elements discussed. * Remaining in-person critiques.   3:40-4:00: Break/bookstore/snack/mingle/author signings   4:00- 4:50: Panel Discussion- The Importance of Authenticity in Nonfiction/Can You Write Your Nonfiction Topic? Carol Hinz- Editor Buffy Silverman- Michigan nonfiction picture book author Jean Alicia Elster- Michigan historical fiction middle-grade author Lisa Rose- Michigan nonfiction picture book author and founder of The Missing Voice Facebook discussion group Heather Montgomery- Author Lindsay Moore- Author/Illustrator   4:50- 5:00: Final thoughts, announcements, author signings. TO REGISTER, CLICK HERE    
  • 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!
  • SCBWI Invite - Your Community at a Glance Learn more about becoming a member of SCBWI
  • 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. Winners receive a year-long mentorship with Stephanie Bearce or Patricia Newman. The mentorship includes six submissions by the mentee and six critiques by the mentor. All applicants receive constructive comments from three super-secret, superstar judges. 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
  • Members For Members Scholarship Fund This 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. Awardees will have an interest in and are actively working toward creating children's books that resonate with diverse readers. 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. This grant is sponsored by donations from current SCBWI-Michigan members. The number of awards will be determined by donations to this scholarship fund. Deadline: Applications are accepted February 14 through March 14, 2020. The winner(s) of the scholarships will be announced on or about April 1 annually. Award: Scholarship winners will receive a year’s membership to SCBWI either beginning April 1 if the winner is a new member. If the winner is a current member, his/her membership will be extended for a year. SCBWI and SCBWI-Michigan membership benefits include but are not limited to reduced conference registration rates for members, access to members-only opportunities and awards offered by SCBWI and SCBWI-Michigan, access to our quarterly publication, The SCBWI Bulletin, and ongoing free access to local Shop Talks in Michigan, etc. In addition, winners will receive a follow-up phone conversation with a current member. Guidelines: This award is open to persons who live in Michigan. Please collect the following information for 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 projects in the planning stages. Name some recent educational experiences that have supported your interests in writing/illustrating for children. 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,
  • Click here to browse our members' beautiful new releases.  Click here to register for the Happy Book Birthday Program 
  •     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!   DEI Volunteer Form & Blog Post Ideas   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.
  •   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: SCBWI School Presenter List 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.   Region Map-Author/Illustrator flyer   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
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  • Got news to share? A new release to celebrate? Contact Debbie HERE