Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2019-2020 How-To READ LOCAL for PALs

The goals of the 2019-2020 SCBWI-IL READ LOCAL program are:

–strengthen our PAL community and help us work together to promote one another through local events and one-on-one visits with teachers, librarians and booksellers.

–assist teachers, librarians and booksellers to find PALs in their school district/communities for school visits and literary events with our new searchable, interactive Read Local web pages.

–give individual PALs a platform accessible to our core audience.

–offer an opportunity to be selected by an undeserved school for a paid school visit thanks to a grant from iCARE.

New to Read Local? Click here to see the SCBWI Read Local trailer!


To be eligible to be a 2019-2020 SCBWI-IL READ LOCAL author or illustrator, Illinois SCBWI PAL members must log in at and complete the sign-up form (at right) beginning July 19 (deadline August 2). You’ll be featured in our poster and website. The sign-up period for READ LOCAL for the 2019-2020 school year is over.

The form will ask you for the following information:

— Contact information, including school district & hometown

— Social media handles

— Upload you bio, head-shot, and image of your most recent PAL book cover

— (optional) If you would like to write for the Read Local blog and for which month (September 2019-May 2020).

— (optional) If you would like to act as a read Local Ambassador.

— (optional) If you would be wiling to mail your bookmarks and other book swag to your local PAL Ambassador for distribution.

— (optional) If you have an existing relationship with the following bookseller, teacher or librarian in your school district that you would like to share as a Read Local Ambassador.

— (optional) If you are considering attending IRC and AISLE conference this year

— (optional) If you have an idea to share for a collaborative SCBWI-IL Read Local Event!


Be a 2019-2020 SCBWI-IL Read Local Ambassador
Ambassadors are Read Local PALs who will take the initiative to visit local teachers, librarian and booksellers in their school district/community to promote themselves and their fellow Read Local PALs.

Ambassadors will be offered a script and a list of contacts to visit, or perhaps they might already have established relationships as well.  An Ambassador sets up a visit which should take no longer than 10-15 minutes of their time. During the scheduled visit, Ambassadors will introduce the 2019-2020 Read Local Poster, show contacts how to find/use the Read Local web page, and give their contact local PALs’ swag.  Ambassadors  can also discuss opportunities to collaborate on events to promote READ LOCAL PALs and get support on those events from SCBWI-IL.

Email Deb Aronson, ARA  , beginning August 15, for further information on the role of a Read Local Ambassador.


The 2019-2020 new SCBWI-IL READ LOCAL web pages and blog
SCBWI-IL is creating a more user-friendly platform with searchable, interactive web pages to make it easier for teachers, librarians and booksellers to find YOU, our SCBWI-Illinois READ LOCAL authors and illustrators.  An interactive map will showcase PALs by school district and community.

 A platform for individual PALs, the Read Local Blog will showcase you—your new book, how you will help teachers and librarians create the perfect school visit, activities for educators that deepen the understanding of your book’s topic—whatever makes you a READ LOCAL PAL!

Bloggers will be assigned on a first-come, first served basis, 1-per month, from September 2019-May 2020.  When you sign-up for Read Local, you’ll be asked if you want to blog and what month you’d prefer.  Consider a month for your debut or perhaps, if it’s a holiday book, the month we celebrate that holiday.

PALs who set up Read Local events will also be invited to blog about that event–so consider spearheading a collaborative Read Local Event.

Email Deb Aronson, ARA ,beginning August 15, for further information about the Read Local Blog.


Create a collaborative Read Local Event with your fellow PALs
When you sign-up for Read Local, you’ll be asked if you have an event in mind.  At its core, SCBWI-IL Read Local is all about creating community among PALs, teachers, librarians, booksellers and ultimately, with our readers!

Read Local PALs are invited to collaborate with other Read Local authors and illustrators in their community or school district to create a literary event to promote themselves and their peers.  Events should have two or more participants and planners should consider diversity as a core component of planning when arranging an event.  PALs who set up Read Local events will also be invited to blog about that event so consider spearheading a collaborative Read Local Event.

Event requests and details will be sent to Sarah Aronson for approval and promotion via an online Read Local Event Request form (link to be provided).  In some cases, SCBWI-IL may request/accept a budget and provide funding if an event will serve to promote many Read Local PALs in multiple communities, school districts or large portions of the Illinois Region.

All Read Local Events will be posted on the Read Local Event calendar and promoted by SCBWI-IL via social media.

Email Sarah Aronson, PAL & Published Coordinator with questions on how to propose and schedule a SCBWI-IL Read Local Event.


Schedule of Read Local Events
Check here for updates.  Email Sarah Aronson, PAL & Published Coordinator with questions on how to propose and schedule your SCBWI-IL Read Local Event.

  • September 15: SPARKLE IN SEPTEMBER at the Evanston Public Library. Hosted by Read Local PAL Sarah Aronson, The Evanston Public Library & Booked!
  • October 3: IRC BOOK TALK at the Illinois Reading Conference in Peoria. Hosted by Read Local PALs Alice McGinty and Sarah Aronson
  • October 10: AISLE BOOK TALK at the Association of Illinois School Library Educators Conference in Springfield. Hosted by SCBWI-IL Regional Team Members & Read Local PALs Deb Aronson and Jenny Wagh.
  • February 2020: INTRODUCTION READ LOCAL 2019-2020 at the Anderson’s Literary Breakfast. Hosted by SCBWI-IL with PAL & Published Coordinator Sarah Aronson.


Important Read Local Dates to remember
Check here for updates.

  • 19 July: First day to sign up online to be a Read Local PAL
  • 02 August: Last day to sign up to be a Read Local PAL
  • October 3: New posters and updated web page available.  Posters will be distributed from the SCBWI-IL Booth at 2019 IRC in Peoria, IL


Your SCBWI-IL Read Local Contacts
Sign-up form and poster: Email Cedric Gliane, IC
General questions & Events: Email Sarah Aronson, PAL & Published Coordinator
Ambassadors & Blog: Email Deb Aronson, ARA for further information on the role of Ambassadors and blog schedule beginning August 15.
Feedback on the Initiative: Contact Deborah Topolski, Co-RA Illinois.

The SCBWI-IL Read Local PAL Initiative will grow over time. We want your ideas to improve the experience for our PALs and our wider community.


Click here for FAQs about our 2019-2020 Illinois Regional Program