To publish and promote your work is hard, especially if you are just starting. It's okay to make your blog or website and get your works published in there, but sometimes it might take a little more time for people to recognize your art. Promoting on your social media and getting help from people who are close to you is also a plus, but it also depends on the number of followers that they have or the number of people on your followers’ list who are actually into art and anything related to illustrating children's books. You might just hope that they'll also be interested in terms of illustrations and such, though.
Good thing that organizations for promoting children's book writers and illustrators exist. Yes, they do exist! Organizations to gather and promote new and old writers and illustrators exist and they can help YOU gain recognition for your work. These organizations might cost a little to be part of it, but for many, they are worth joining! Ready to find out which group is for you? Then read on to find out!
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
Founded in 1971 by Lin Oliver and Stephen Moore, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is the most well-known non-profit organization ever on this list. It is a professional organization for not just children's book writers and illustrators... but also for aspiring filmmakers, translators, educators, artists, musicians, and anyone who has absolute interest and passion for children's content! There are a LOT of opportunities and benefits to joining this organization, which is really worth the subscription price! This community has helped thousands of aspiring writers and illustrators get recognized for their work and gain clients. Also, they accept students who wanted to have a career in the children's content industry with mentorship from professionals. Whoever you are or whatever career you wanted to pursue regarding children's content, this organization is definitely for you— especially if you're a writer and illustrator!
DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP:
● Associate Membership ($95 for the first-year subscription, $80 for renewal)
- This membership is open for writers, illustrators, translators, and anyone with interest in the children's content field who have yet to begin or publish their own work. If you are a journalist, blogger, educator, etc. who has published work in other fields other than children's content, you are also welcome for the Associate membership.
● Full Membership ($95 for the first-year subscription, $80 for renewal)
- This membership is for writers, illustrators, translators, etc. whose works such as books, stories, illustrations, and other works are already produced or published. Independent authors, illustrators, and translators are solely welcome in this kind of membership.
● PAL Membership ($95 for the first-year subscription, $80 for renewal)
- Open to those who have at least one book or other work that was published by traditional publishing houses. Works must meet the PAL Publisher Guidelines and be listed on the PAL Publishers List.
● Student Membership ($65 for the first-year subscription, $55 for renewal)
- This membership is only open for SCBWI's new members who are currently enrolled and studying in a college university internationally. You have to join SCBWI as a student member to avail this kind of membership. Those who are already members of the organization cannot be able to renew the student membership.
THESE ARE THE BENEFITS THAT YOU'LL BE EXPECTED TO EXPERIENCE ONCE YOU JOINED SCBWI:
● Professional Guidance and Development from certain professionals in the industry
- SCBWI has the capability to hold both international and local conferences, retreats, events, and such activities are the key benefit in earning the membership. Several famous authors and illustrators conduct consultations and workshops to provide extra knowledge and guidance to aspiring authors, illustrators, translators, educators, and more who are interested in learning about the children's content industry. Also, once you become an SCBWI member, you'll automatically be a part of one of 82 regional chapters of SCBWI worldwide. This means that you can get tips, support, and encouragement from your colleagues in your country. You can also have an opportunity to communicate with professionals online or through events done by social media platforms. Not just all of that, but you'll also get a chance to be mentored by published and well-known authors and illustrators... members can also have experience in serving as mentors for others!
● Unique Marketing and Promotion of Work
- At SCBWI, one of the sole priorities is promoting people's work and helping them grow, that is why they conduct unique marketing and promotion of work that will surely make one's work successful. They promote works of aspiring artists and writers through their Speaker's Bureau, Illustrator Gallery, Art Spot, Recommended Reading List, BookStop, and Happy Book Birthday. All of those ways of promoting artists' work have been proven very helpful to members of the SCBWI who have started as newbies and are now published, authors and illustrators.
● Resources, Awards, and Discounts
- SCBWI will also provide independent members with exclusive resources such as up-to-date tools on publishing, guidebooks, information, and more! These resources are very helpful and effective especially when you are an independent artist.
SCBWI also give awards to members with excellence in writing, illustrating, translating, and more to better promote their work and help the artist gain clients. Grants are also awarded as well as scholarships and financial assistance to members to continue pursuing their work, to help them with publishing, and polish their portfolios. SCBWI also provides exclusive discounts to subscription magazines and newsletters like Writer's Digest, Scapple, and more. Discounts to events and conferences can also be provided!
The Children's Writer's Guild
The Children's Writer's Guild or CWG is a writers', illustrators', and educators' community founded by Sheila Wright in 2007. This community stands to its mission to promote excellence in the children's content industry. For over 14 years, the CWG has helped several passionate artists, writers, and teachers of the children's media promote their own works and gain recognition from them. This community welcomes both new and published aspirants as their purpose was to promote excellent works from various writers and illustrators. The good thing here is... there is no subscription fee to be a part of CWG!
HOW TO JOIN CWG:
CWG is a very effective and affordable way to help promote your work as they require no fee in gaining membership, but, you will only be a member if you will submit content to their site. All contributions—written works, illustrations, and other content related to the children's media are welcome! If your content gets accepted, they will create a customized profile as you will be labeled one of their official CWG contributors. Here, you can now start promoting and posting your post while contributing content to their site.
BENEFITS IN JOINING CWG:
Joining CWG has many benefits, including being in a warm community of writers, illustrators, and educators. You can also keep in touch with some published artists and writers here for advice, guidance, and encouragement. You will also be guided by the staff in contributing content for the site in case you are still a new independent writer. By having your work posted and promoted on the front pages of the CWG website, it will be exposed to hundreds and thousands of visitors each and every day, getting you recognized for your work and your skills.
The Society of Authors' Children's Writers and Illustrators Group
The Society of Authors' Children's Writers and Illustrators Group (CWIG) is a sub-group or community under the organization The Society of Authors. This sub-group is a special community of exclusively writers and illustrators only specialized to create and enrich the content for children. Founded in 1884, The Society of Authors has helped many aspirants grow and turn their work into something remarkable and recognized by a lot of people and especially readers.
MEMBERSHIP / SUBSCRIPTION RATES:
● Full Membership - £108 (approx. $148)
● Youth & Student Membership - £76 (approx. $104)
● Joint Membership - £162 (approx. $222)
BENEFITS OF JOINING THE SOCIETY OF AUTHORS' CWIG:
● Opportunity to join group events to socialize with other members and as well as professionals in the industry
● Groups members will automatically receive daily news and notifications regarding events and their details
● Close links with renowned publishing companies such as Amazon, Public Lending Right, Association of Illustrators, and more
● 20% off for full first-year membership for new members!
● Meet other authors and interact with them for tips, guidance, encouragement, and other tricks that could be shared between about children's content industry
● Professional workshops hosted by industry professionals and other mentors
● Attract more clients by promoting your work on the website
International Directory of Children's Illustrators (ChildrensIllustrators.com)
ChildrensIllustrators.com is a professional website designed to showcase and promote the work of the world's most talented children's illustrators. This site is mainly purposed for serving the needs of only aspiring artists for the children's content industry. Art buyers are given the chance to choose from a wide variety of talented illustrators as they can browse through their portfolios and skills. You can also have an opportunity to get your work featured on their monthly newsletter as a way to further promote your talent!
FOR ONLY $350 DOLLARS, YOU CAN HAVE ACCESS TO THESE WONDERFUL BENEFITS:
● Promotion of your work to art buyers and publishers through their social media platforms
● Free and friendly support from professionals
● Get your portfolio published and be known by many art buyers looking for talents
● Unlimited access to their images and animations
● Opportunity to showcase your work at The Bologna Children's Book Fair
Wanna know something else? This website is accessed daily by famous art buyers and publishers such as Walker Books, Capstone, Charlesbridge, and more! By having your work promoted in ChildrensIllustrators.com, you can have a chance to commit to one of these leading publishers in the children's content industry! Opportunities like these are a big break to your career as an artist as you will surely gain lots of support and recognition by being promoted by these publishers.
Author: Blaine Kaye Morales
With the help of these organizations of communities, your dream of being a known illustrator or writer won't be impossible anymore. We are glad these organizations exist with a pure intention of helping others promote and gain clients for their work, in this way, we are helping each other grow and be recognized by many other people for our skills, talent, and passion.