Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

  • The Laura Crawford Memorial Mentorship was established in memory of picture book author Laura Crawford, an active and enthusiastic member of our Illinois chapter, who made it her mission to help other writers on their publishing journeys. Funny and determined, she was a mentor herself—as an educator and as a writer.   Now entering its fourth cycle in celebration of the NOVEL, SCBWI-IL is proud to announce that the 2019 Mentor is PAL author, KATE HANNIGAN. Kate’s forthcoming historical fantasy for middle-grade, CAPE (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin), includes graphic novel elements and draws upon the earliest comic book heroines of the Golden Age of Comic Books. It is part of a three-book series titled THE LEAGUE OF SECRET HEROES that blends superheroes and real-life women from World War II — original computer programmers, brilliant code-crackers, courageous spies, and daring pilots. CAPE hits shelves in August! Visit Kate online at, on Instagram @KateHanniganBooks, and on Twitter @KateChicago. Kate will work with her mentee on one element of a novel manuscript over a six-month period.  The two goals of the mentorship are to (1) help the writer ready his/her manuscript for editorial submission and publication and (2) help the writer grow professionally. Together, the participants will decide upon one aspect of the novel manuscript upon which to focus for further development. Only SCBWI members residing in Illinois who have never traditionally published a novel may apply for this FREE member opportunity.   Online application begins 01 June! For more about the mentorship, mentor Kate Hannigan, and how YOU might be the 2019 LCMM recipient, visit the SCBWI-IL Laura Crawford Memorial Mentorship webpage!
  • We are excited to announce the return of the Prairie Writer’s and Illustrator’s Day Masthead Illustration Contest for 2019. This is an SCBWI-IL member only illustration contest for the masthead image that will be used in all marketing and promotion of the upcoming event. The theme for this year is GAME ON! The winning illustrator (as voted on by fellow SCBWI-IL Members) will be credited wherever the image is used and they will be awarded the Prairie Prize. which includes paid admission to the 2019 Prairie Writer’s and Illustrator’s Day along including one portfolio review and one manuscript critique. (Scholarship valued at $260). You have between now and July 1st 2019 to submit your entry. Voting will begin on July 6th and the contest winner will be announced on/before August 1st. Questions?: Email Good luck and GAME ON!
  • Congratulations to SCBWI-IL Member Denise Holmes, winner of the 2019 SCBWI Marvelous Midwest Grand Prize Illustration Award!
  • Congratulations SCBWI-IL Member Niki Stage, winner of the SCBWI 2019 Marvelous Midwest People's Choice Illustration Award!
  • Read the current issue of the Prairie Wind, the newsletter of SCBWI-Illinois.
  • Hello! Welcome to the READ LOCAL newsletter—the place where you can read about events, ideas, and updates across our great state of Illinois. I’m Sarah Aronson, SCBWI-IL PAL and Published Coordinator. I’m a member of SCBWI Illinois, a writer of books for readers of all ages. I also work with lots of writers on the craft of writing. And lately, I’ve been working to help connect Illinois writers, illustrators, teachers, librarians, and most of all, READERS. I couldn’t be more excited! Let’s start this newsletter with some gratitude! I will try to weave my thank yous into a story—so you can see how much MAGIC happens when people put their heads together in the name of BOOKS and READING.   Read Local would never have happened had Erica Weisz not taken the initiative to find out more about Read Local programs on the East Coast. To Erica, this idea seemed like the perfect fit for our region.   Let me tell you—the minute I heard about this idea, I was ready! I am a person who eats locally. I shop locally. Reading Locally made perfect sense.   It also seemed like a lot of work. But we ignored that part.   Instead, we took the idea to Debbie Topolski.   If you are involved in SCBWI Illinois, you know Debbie. She is the leader that makes everything happen. She asks the right questions. She finds enthusiastic people. Every creative mind and organization needs a friend like Debbie! She helped us set goals. She brought more amazing people to the brainstorming.   We were also most fortunate to receive financial support from the wonderful board at I-Care, the Illinois Council for Active Reading Education. Right away, the enthusiastic and dedicated women believed in the mission of Read Local—to connect Illinois teachers and librarians with Illinois authors and illustrators.   With funding, we could now overcome both obstacles to people finding Illinois books: awareness and budget. Now we could fund visits to schools!   We were also fortunate to receive a second PAL grant from SCBWI to help fund our amazing trailer! Check it out! Huge thanks to Storyteller Chicago, operated in part by PAL Rachel Ruiz, for creating this video—and giving ME the thrill of this adventure—recording the narrative!   Then, it was time to get to work. Cedric Gilane created the amazing banner at the top of the website. He also (pretty much singlehandedly) put the website together. Alice McGinty , Sara Shacter and Jenny Wagh also provided necessary feedback and enthusiasm at every step of the way—and every email. Authors and illustrators signed up quickly to help distribute information.   I am so grateful. I am so excited! So: do you have questions? Do you want to bring an author or illustrator to your school or library? Do you want to read some books by people who live HERE! In Illinois? Then check us out! And keep coming back! Every month, there will be new posts. There will be new opportunities. New ways to meet Illinois authors and illustrators. Do you have an idea? Let us know! Email me at Let’s read together! Let’s read local!      
  • Enjoy international SCBWI programming from the comfort of your own home with SCBWI Webinars
  • SCBWI-IL Networks provide free, drop-in programming monthly in a city or town near you.  Writing, illustrating and diversity netwotks arr open to both members and non-members. They focus on the craft and business of children's storytelling. Come and see what our creative community is all about!

Are you interested in writing and/or illustrating for children?

Are you a published author/illustrator, wondering what SCBWI can do for you?

Are you looking for a speaker for your bookstore, school or library? 

Learn more about SCBWI via THESE VIDEOS.

SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy Update                   SCBWI Book Bounty Header

Click HERE for our Spring/Summer 2019 Book Bounty!

Click HERE to sign up for our SCBWI-IL Book Bounty E-Bulletin.