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Welcome March, ILLINOIS…with snowdrops, four-leaf clovers, lots of luck, and of course, GOOD NEWS! Share yours on our Google Groups with the subject March Good News!

See MARCH Regional Event Calendar at bottom
Are you ready for a home run of a program? Let’s host 2!
Opening day of registration March 11, noon
Limited attendance for maximum feedback opportunities.
It’s a double-header! Choose your conference comfort level during registration.
Select either in person Pitch N’ Stitch or online/written Coaching Chat + Critique.

Our all-star lineup of industry professionals will get you in the game!

Kelly Barrales-Saylor (Editorial Director, Sourcebooks eXplore)
Josh Gregory (Editor, Albert Whitman & Co.) Jordan Kost (AD, Sourcebooks) 
Jennifer Mattson (Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency) Alicia Sparrow (Acquisitions Editor, Chicago Review Press), & Alexandra Weiss (Agent, Azantian Literary Agency)

NEW FOR 2023: Art director Jordon Kost PLUS illustration contest
Join our hybrid pitch program for on-the-cusp authors, illustrators and author-illustrators!
More to Celebrate
Photo courtesy Jen Wagh.
Leali Wins Golden Kite

Congratulations to Michael Leali, SCBWI-IL PAL Member and 2022 Laura Crawford Memorial Mentee!

On Friday night, SCBWI awarded Michael the 2022 SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Middle Grade Fiction for THE CIVIL WAR OF AMOS ABERNATHY. along with $2,500 and $1,000 to donate to the nonprofit of his choice.Find all the winners and honor books here.

Instituted in 1973, the Golden Kite Awards are the only children’s literary award judged by a jury of peers. The Golden Kite Awards recognize excellence in children’s literature in six categories: Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Nonfiction Text for Younger Readers, Nonfiction Text for Older Readers, Illustrated Book for Older Readers, Picture Book Text, and Picture Book Illustration.

PHOTO: NsShantá Fletcher, IC & Reese Eschmann, PAL Coordinator at Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast. Photo courtesy Jen Wagh.
Volunteers Make
Anderson’s a Success

Our thanks to Sarah Aronson, Reese Eschmann, Jen Wagh and NaShantá Fletcher who coordinated our appearance at the 2023 Anderson’s Children’s Literature Breakfast and handed out 500 swag bags last Saturday morning!

With a grant from iCARE, the region created an updated #ReadLOCALIllinois poster, with 2022-23 PAL books.

Thanks to ALL the volunteers, including Jen Wagh, Kate Hannigan, Srividhya Venkat, Shirin Shamsi, Diane Telgen, Laura Smetana, Lisa Maggiore, Loretta Caravette, Karla Clark, Claudia Martinez, Ruth Spiro, Kim Oclon and Deborah Topolski for volunteering and distributing stacks of posters to public libraries, bookstores and school librarians in our wider communities! 
Call to action from Deb Aronson
Former Assistant Regional Advisor, Deb Aronson speaks about her experiences as an Illinois member and challenges us to look for "new blood" within our community to keep our volunteerism going.

For Members
Last Chance!

SCBWI-IL Many Voices Prize
recognizes an exemplary

Take advantage of this prize, celebrating the best work from members of underrepresented communities within our own.

Free to published & pre-published Illinois member illustrators, authors and author-illustrators.

Our thanks to the Equity & Inclusion Team, including Alina Celeste Hevia, 2023 MVP Coordinator, and the generous member benefactor who makes this opportunity possible!

Questions? Email Alina Celeste Hevia, a member of the E & I Team.
Illinois Reading Council
March 9-10

Take advantage of this opportunity to hand-sell your PAL books, engage teachers and pass out #ReadLocalILLINOIS posters, swag bags and prize book bundles at our IRC booth, #519!

Boost and promote yourself and your colleagues alongside veteran conference coordinator, Louann Brown, and members of the IL Regional Team. Thousands of teachers (PreK-high school), their administrators, and librarians will attend.  

SCBWI-IL hosts a booth to promote PAL published books and storyteller visits. We are looking for PAL members who would like to take advantage of this opportunity to promote their book(s), the organization, and colleagues' books.

Questions? Email Louann Brown to schedule your booth volunteer time.

Speak at an SCBWI-IL Event
SCBWI-Illinois is always looking for great speakers, panelists and moderators. We're also looking for the next best topics for our monthly network meetings, workshops and conference sessions.

If you would like to participate in our events, please fill out the following form. If one of your presentations fits our schedule, we'll contact you. If we're having a panel on a topic that you've listed as your expertise, we'll consider you as well as any other submissions.
Network Highlight
East Central / Champaign-Urbana Network

First Pages

Calling all children's and young adult writers and illustrators! Bring the first pages of your manuscript for peer feedback.

Bring the typed first page or two of a manuscript you have been working on. You will have the opportunity to receive peer feedback in a supportive and constructive environment.This program is a great way to meet others who are passionate about writing for youth and to learn about resources to assist you on your writing journey.

This program is presented in collaboration with The Urbana Free Library. No registration is necessary and it is open to everyone - feel free to join us even if you don't regularly attend network events.

More to Explore
In this Shirin Shamsi

A new year always inspires a feeling of hope and possibility. As I envision my goals for the year, I feel a sense of gratitude for all the wins of last year—one of course being the privilege of collaborating on the Prairie Wind!

Read more
Want to write or illustrate in an upcoming issue? Email Shrin Shamsi, Creative Director

Enjoy UNLIMITED viewings of the following programs for an entire month with a small convenience fee.

Because SCBWI-IL is self-supporting, your fee ensures the continuity of SCBWI-IL Network programs like these, originally offered offered LIVE and FREE to both members and non-members PLUS our paid, professional speakers and Illinois’ fee-free mentorships and scholarships.

Available March 1 through March 31
SCBWI-IL | Visit our website