Monday, February 29, 2016

Will March be a lucky month for you? ~ by Patricia Toht

Do you write or illustrate books for children?

If so, are you a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators? 

If not, you are missing out on a premiere international organization that offers layer upon layer of support to you. From national conventions to local groups to a website teeming with resources, SCBWI is well worth the membership fee. So JOIN! HERE! NOW!

Let's wait a few moments for those who need to enroll...
We can have a little bite and a cup of tea while we wait...

Good! Now that we're all on the same page, let me direct you to another page here, because tomorrow is March 1st. And the first day of March is the day that YOU can apply for an SCBWI grant!

Let's be honest, folks. It's difficult to get your work in front of publishers. It's hard to feel validated in what you do. And it's not often you can receive an endorsement from a respected powerhouse like SCBWI.

Well, should you win an SCBWI grant, you will be achieving a hat trick -- exposure to publishers, validation, and endorsement!

SCBWI's Work-in-Process grants (WIPs) "assist children's book writers and illustrators in the publication of a specific project currently not under contract." SCBWI awards one grant in each of the following categories:

• Picture Book text
• Chapter Books/Early Readers
• Middle Grade
• Young Adult Fiction
• Nonfiction
• Multicultural Fiction or Nonfiction

Submissions guidelines can be found here. (You MUST follow these guidelines -- absolutely no tweaking or fudging allowed!)

Leo the Late Bloomer
by Robert Kraus
and Jose Aruego
If you're a "Late Bloomer" -- those of you over the age of 50 who have not been traditionally published before -- you have an additional opportunity. The Karen Cushman Late Bloomer Award provides the recipient $500 plus free tuition to any SCBWI conference world-wide. Author Karen Cushman published her first children's book, THE MIDWIFE'S APPRENTICE, at the age of 53. That book won the Newbery Medal in 1996! 
More details about the award here.

Patient illustrators who have read this far are probably wondering, "What about me? Isn't the group called SCBWI? I as in "illustrator"? I am an illustrator!

No worries! SCBWI has a grant with your name on it, too. Or perhaps I should say, "two." The Don Freeman WIP grant of $1000 (each) is presented to two illustrators annually -- one published illustrator, and one yet-to-be-published. Don Freeman is perhaps best known as the illustrator of the CORDUROY books. Details about the Don Freeman Grant can be found here. Again, follow those directions, folks!

You may only submit ONE piece, so make it your best! Submissions must be made between March 1 and March 31, 2016.  

Don't let time run out! 
Good luck!


  1. March in with new opportunities! I have 2 grants I could apply for! Thanks for putitn ghtis all together inane sweet spot, Patty.

  2. WOW! Terrific blog about great opportunities from SCBWI! Thank you for sharing, Patricia.

  3. March into March with this wonderful opportunity. Thanks for the reminder,

  4. Thanks so much for the reminder, Pat! I will be submitting in the next few days. . .

    1. So happy to hear that, Jarm! Best of luck to you.

  5. Thanks for the nudge, Patricia! I've been an SCBWI member for nearly 4 years and have yet to apply for a grant. Time to get on this!

  6. Thanks for the reminder, Patricia! I can't wait to enter this. What an awesome opportunity!

  7. SCBWI has my heart, Patty.

    BIG FOUR LEAF CLOVERS + More lucky charms to all the SCBWI grant applicants.

    I think all the grant providers, such as Karen Cushman, are
    a great reflection of the generous nature of people in our professional society.

    1. I agree, Jan. Such a wonderful and supportive group of people.