The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is the only international professional organisation dedicated to serving people who share a vital interest in children’s literature, magazines, film, television and/or multimedia.

Whether you’re a professional children’s writer or illustrator, or a newcomer to the field, the SCBWI has plenty to offer you, from local to national to international events, from advice on getting your first deal to help in navigating your career as a writer or illustrator. Established in 1971, SCBWI now has over 22,000 members in 70 regional chapters worldwide.  Membership benefits include professional development and networking opportunities, marketing information, events, publications, online profiles, grants and awards. You can read our mission statement here.

What does SCBWI British Isles do?

SCBWI British Isles is a dynamic and friendly chapter of over 1000 members, which aims to support aspiring and published writers and illustrators and provide opportunities for them to network, hone their craft and develop their careers. Events include online webinars and conferences. A network of local coordinators run local critique groups and organise workshops and speaker and social events across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are also promotional opportunities, including the SCBWI showcase, Bookshop, the Mass book Launch, Debut Author Bootcamp and more. We have also made a commitment to offer 10% of places at all BI events to underrepresented authors and illustrators.

What SCBWI does for its members

SCBWI is a professional guild. It speaks as a consolidated global voice for professional children’s book writers and illustrators. In recent years, the SCBWI has successfully lobbied for such issues as new copyright legislation, equitable treatment of authors and artists, and fair contract terms;

  • It keeps members up to date with industry developments through the SCBWI PULSE series, with opportunities to learn more about the ’business‘ of writing and illustrating, and network with librarians and booksellers at exclusive events;
  • It offers members invaluable exposure to editors, art directors and agents through one-to-one manuscript or portfolio reviews at the annual conference and retreat, the members-only Agents’ Party, and the Slush Pile Challenge and biennial SCBWI Undiscovered Voices (www.undiscoveredvoices.com) competitions;
  • It supports professional development for members to hone their craft through the Masterclass series, conference workshops and highly- successful critique groups;
  • It gives members increased visibility online with a free profile on the main SCBWI websites, often a point of call for agents and editors;
  • It provides support and a network of like-minded people, helping to answer members’ queries through a variety of online resources, including an email forum and social networking site;
  • It facilitates networking opportunities with professionals worldwide;
  • Publications include the SCBWI international magazine, the Bulletin, Words & Pictures newsletter blog and resources including the annual publications and market guide.
  • Website resources include book launch parties, members’ bookshop, discussion boards, illustrator gallery, find-a-speaker search facility, webinars and podcasts.

The SCBWI administers a number of awards and grants: