As many of you know I‘ve been busily writing for myself for a couple of years now. It’s been a hard struggle on my own, but I’m definitely one of the lucky ones as I have had lots of support from wonderful book blogging friends, especially Emma Davies ( Bookangel Booktopia) and Lynsey Newton ( Narratively Speaking). Not to mention, some amazing authors I’ve met on my blogging journey, who have been kind enough to read some of my writing and offer valuable advice.
Yet this is still not enough, even for me. Writing is a lonely business and I knew I needed to be able to spend time with like minded people, who could perhaps offer advice and support when the times get tough and my confidence is ebbing away. Other writers who have been through the dark times and have pushed through it to finally get their big break. So following long chats with Liz De Jaegar, former fellow blogger who will be published for the first time next year, I joined SCBWI.
SCBWI is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is a worldwide professional organisation that was set up in 1971. Many of the debut authors I have met over the last couple of years were already members of this society and they all informed me how invaluable their membership had been to their career.
I joined in the middle of April and received my membership pack this week. Up until it arrived, I was wondering what I’d actually paid for, but then I was informed by another blogger that the membership pack had to come from America, so if you are looking to join, please be patient while you wait for it.
When the package arrived with my membership card, I also received The Book, an essential guide to publishing for children, which is jam packed with useful addresses and information which will be invaluable when the time comes for me to send my WIP off into the big wild world. I also received a bi monthly bulletin, full of useful articles about being a writer that I can’t wait to read.
The covering letter gave me the information I needed to find the right people to contact and within about half an hour I’d managed to track down a local writing group, who have kindly agreed to let me join them. There is also an excellent Yahoo page and Facebook page, where I was warmly welcomed this week with open arms.
If you are an unpublished writer for the children or YA market I would definitely recommend joining it. For the price of $85, which is roughly around £55, I already feel like I’m getting value for money. So far I discovered lots of writing courses I would like to go on which will help me improve my craft, run by some highly renowned people in the publishing industry, as well some lovely writers willing to talk to me. I am excited to see what SCBWI has to offer as I hope to be attending my first discussion group very soon, so I will tell you all about it on my return. If you are interested in knowing more about SCBWI, please click here and here to find out more.