Founded in 1971 by a group of Los Angeles-based children's writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is a non-profit , 501 (c)3 organization which is one of the largest existing organizations for writers and illustrators. It is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals writing and illustrating for children and young adults in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. Several of the most prestigious children’s literature professionals sit on the SCBWI Board of Advisors.
The SCBWI acts as a network for the exchange of knowledge between writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people. It serves as a consolidated voice for professional writers and illustrators the world over. As a unified body, the SCBWI acts as a powerful force to effect important changes within the field of children's literature, promoting new copyright legislation, equitable treatment of authors and artists, and fair contract terms. There are currently more than 22,000 members worldwide, in over 70 regional chapters writing and illustrating in all genres for young readers from board books to young adult (YA) novels, making it the largest children's writing organization in the world.
The benefits of membership in SCBWI are many. The SCBWI sponsors two annual International Conferences on Writing and Illustrating for Children as well as dozens of regional conferences and events throughout the world. The bi-monthly magazine, SCBWI Bulletin, offers thousands of dollars in Awards and Grants for writers and illustrators, and provides vital market information on the craft and business of writing and selling books for young readers. The SCBWI also presents the annual Golden Kite Award for the best fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, and the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor.