March 2, 2020
Reflections on NY20 and the Golden Kite Gala
Leah Henderson and Linda Sue Park at the Golden Kite Gala
The 21st Annual SCBWI Winter Conference was held February 7-9 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. The weekend kicked off in a sea of gold – Friday night’s Golden Kite Gala included the top editors, agents, publishers, designers, writers and illustrators in the industry. Adjacent to the cocktail party was the Portfolio Showcase, where illustrator conference attendees showed off the best of the best. The Golden Kite Awards were introduced by none other than the number one best-selling author in the world, James Patterson , who was introduced by fellow legend, best-selling author whose books are Newbery and Caldecott recipients, Kwame Alexander . Patterson reminded the audience of the importance of persuading kids to become readers: “We will lose millions of kids every year if we don’t address the reading crisis."

A special all-picture edition of Insight recapping the New York Winter Conference will be out this week.
SCBWI Announces IPOC Scholarships for Nonfiction Workshop
The SCBWI is offering two scholarships to send marginalized creators on an all-expense paid trip to the Nonfiction Smithsonian Workshop in Washington DC. This scholarship is available to Indigenous or People of Color; unlike the IPOC Women's Scholarship, this scholarship is open to people of all genders.

The scholarship includes one reserved spot at the Nonfiction Smithsonian Workshop (which is currently sold-out), hotel accommodation, travel expenses, and a $250 stipend to cover additional costs. Applicants may send a 500-word writing sample about their nonfiction project to

The Nonfiction Workshop will be held at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC on April 24 and 25 . Registration opened on February 25 and sold out within 5 minutes, though people can still register for the waitlist.

CLICK HERE for more information on how to apply for the scholarship.
Jane Yolen Selects Winners of the Midlist Author Grant
Jane Yolen
The SCBWI is proud to announce the winners of the 2020 Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant: Tanuja Desai Hidier and Alethea Kontis . This grant of $3,000, split between two writers, was created to honor mid-list writers and help raise awareness about their current works-in-progress. The grant was named for legendary children’s author Jane Yolen, who also serves as judge.
Alethea Kontis is the author of 21 books including AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First (Candlewick), Enchanted (Harcourt), and Hero (Harcourt) and has published everything from board books to YA fantasy novels. Tanuja Desai Hidier is an author and musician who has published two novels, Born Confused (Scholastic) and its sequel Bombay Blues (Scholastic). Born Confused is considered a modern classic, chosen as one of the best YA novels of all time by Paste , Entertainment Weekly , and Rolling Stone Magazine . Both Kontis and Desai are building on their proven successes, prepared to use this opportunity to revitalize their careers.

Yolen said of the winners, “I was looking for true professionals who had slipped off their trajectory for whatever reason. Those two stood out above the rest.Both had award-winnng and bestselling books from traditional top publishers and also side projects with small publishers, but suddenly had their careers yanked from under their feet. Both seem to be continuing to work hard despite this caesura in their writing lives. Both are still working on projects to help other women writers. Both seem to still be emotionally connected to the field and are eager to get back to publishing again.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Mid-List Authors Grant
Summer Conference Changes Dates and Venue
Big changes are coming to the Los Angeles Summer Conference. The JW Marriott at LA Live is undergoing renovations, which means that the hotel can no longer be our home in 2020. However we have landed at the glamorous Intercontinental Hotel, where the Conference will proceed with an all-star lineup of keynotes and workshops leaders. 

The previously announced dates for LA20 are no longer in effect; the Conference will now be held July 31 through August 3 . Stay tuned for more information. Registration will go live in April.
SCBWI DrawThis! Debuts in New Format on April 1
We have exciting news, SCBWI illustrators! Beginning in April, our monthly Draw This! prompt is moving to the interweb and will live on Instagram and Twitter. The visual nature of these platforms, along with their reach, make this the perfect new home for Draw This! , which was established in 2015 to provide our illustrator members with an additional opportunity to hone their craft and share their creations with the SCBWI community. Moving Draw This! to social media will make this monthly prompt challenge more interactive for our members and more fruitful for their work, as it guarantees a wider audience. 

Participating in the new and improved Draw This! is as easy as 1-2-3: 
  • Starting April 1, we will post the Draw This! prompt word on Instagram and Twitter, as well as INSIGHT. 
  • Please share your submission on Instagram and/or Twitter with the hashtag #SCBWIDrawThis.
  • At the end of the month, we will feature all of the submissions in a story on Instagram and video on Twitter. We will also announce two winners and promote them in the following month’s INSIGHT and our other social media channels. INSIGHT will also announce the next month's prompt.

Since its inception, Draw This! continues to provide illustrators with opportunities for advancement in their craft and career. Past winners have included Vashti Harrison, who was contacted by indie and traditional publishers after being featured on our homepage; Chamisa Kellogg, represented by Painted Words Artist & Literary Agency; and Larissa Marantz, represented by Prospect Literary. 

We look forward to seeing Draw This! further evolve into a benefit that inspires our illustrator members, promotes their work, and advances their career. In the meantime, please participate in INSIGHT’s last Draw This! gallery before it moves to the digital realm. March’s prompt word is Climate Change. We look forward to continuing the Insight feature of Draw This!, and we will also see you on Instagram and Twitter starting April 1!
The E-Book Lending Battle Between Libraries and Macmillan, and What It Means to Authors
by Deborah Halverson
Deborah Halverson
American libraries and Big 5 publisher Macmillan are in a public dispute over e-book lending. Their disagreement puts children’s book creators, who are stakeholders in e-book sales as well as library supporters, in a conflicted position.
In November, Macmillan changed its e-book lending policy, allowing library systems (regional networks of libraries) to license just one perpetual-use copy during the first eight weeks for each new release. This windowing, referred to as Macmillan’s embargo, fanned a conflict sparked last summer when Macmillan tested this policy with its Tor imprint. Under this model, the initial copy is licensed at half price, to be loaned “one copy/one user” forever. After the window, each additional copy licensed is full price, requiring full-price renewal every two years or 52 lends.

Other publishers have been moving to time limited, one copy/one user models, but only Macmillan has a new-release embargo. Macmillan’s CEO John Sargent says the change was necessary because consumers are borrowing rather than buying, hurting sales and author royalties.

Librarians counter, saying buzz for new books can fade in two months, making bestsellers that can maintain their buzz the only books warranting additional licenses. That, they say, hurts library patrons (especially those in underserved communities or with disabilities) and authors who aren’t bestsellers.

SCBWI Exclusive With...
Sasha Henriques, Associate Editor, Random House for Young Readers
Sasha Henriques is an associate editor at Random House Books for Young Readers. She has worked at Hachette Book Group on the James Patterson team, as well as at Simon & Schuster, Berkley, and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Sasha acquires picture books, middle grade, and young adult projects, both fiction and nonfiction. She’s constantly on the lookout for YA stories with lush, literary writing and a commercial hook that will instantly appeal to young readers. For YA, she loves mysteries and thrillers with adult crossover appeal, historical fiction with fresh takes on stories we think we know, retellings and modernizations of classic tales, contemporary rom-coms, and horror with a psychological, suspenseful bent. She lives for high-concept, genre-crossing speculative reads that turn our understanding of the world on its head. For middle grade, she prefers witty female protagonists and stories that are funny and voice-driven. She enjoys developing projects from the ground up with debut writers. Above all, she’s looking for diverse voices, sassy narrators, and sharp writing! She particularly hopes to find projects that represent the LGBTQ+ community, stories that star otherly-abled characters (especially those dealing with chronic illness), and highly commercial immigrant and first generation stories.

Draw This!
Draw This! is our monthly prompt word for illustrators. Starting in April, DrawThis! will be moving to Twitter and Instagram, rather than a separate gallery. Two winners will still be featured in the Insight newsletter.

Congratulations to the February winners! The prompt word was "Secret Admirer"
Click HERE to view the February Gallery
Leslie Kubica
Sharee Miller
March's prompt word is: Climate Change
Click Here for Draw This! guidelines