We, in the Middle Grade Mafia, are proud members of Southern Breeze, the regional chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

We have the best SCBWI chapter in the world. (Hey, you want to brag about your chapter, write your own blog.) One reason Southern Breeze is so great is that it sponsors an annual contest for writers and illustrators with the winners being announced at the fall conference. Our awesome contest coordinator, Kristen Applebee, has convinced three real editors from three real publishing houses to be the judges. If you enter, you might win the grand prize of free conference tuition. But everyone wins just by entering because your work is being seen by a real editor. Entries are accepted between June 1 and June 30, 2016. Check out the details at southern-breeze.scbwi.org.

“But wait,” you say, “I don’t live in your region.”

Well, check out the awards and grants offered by SCBWI www.scbwi.org which are open to all SCBWI members. Do you have a recently released book? With the Book Launch Award, you could win $2,000 towards promotional events. The Emerging Voices Award is for writers or illustrators that are from an ethnic or cultural background that is “traditionally under-represented in children’s literature in America.” There are several more grants and awards including the Karen Cushman Late Bloomer award for prepublished writers over 50. Some of the deadlines have already passed for this year but it’s still a good idea to check them out for future reference.

“But wait,” you say, “I’m not a member of SCBWI.”

Well, JOIN! If you have any desire/wish/thought/idea that you might want to someday write a children’s book, you should join SCBWI. It’s the best single resource for all stages of publishing in children’s literature.

SCBWI- Don’t write a children’s book without it!