March 2023

Announcing the 2023 Golden Kite Winners

Congratulations to this year’s Golden Kite winners, which were announced live on Zoom on Friday, February 24. Each winner received $2,500 and an additional $1,000 to donate to a non-profit organization of their choice. The honor winners received $500 and an additional $250 to donate to a non-profit organization of their choice.

Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text

Fly written by Brittany J. Thurman, illustrated by Anna Cunha (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum)/Simon & Schuster

Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Illustrations

Kumo the Bashful Cloud, illustrated by Nathalie Dion, written by Kyo Maclear (Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada)

Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction Text for Younger Readers

Our Planet! There’s No Place Like Earth written by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by David Litchfield (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan)

Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction Text for Older Readers

Absurd Words: A Kid’s Fun and Hilarious Vocabulary Builder for Future Word Nerds by Tara Lazar (Sourcebooks)

Golden Kite Award for Middle Grade Fiction

The Civil War of Amos Abernathy by Michael Leali (HarperCollins)

Golden Kite Award for Illustrated Book for Older Readers

The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens by Isabel Roxas (Flying Eye Books)

Golden Kite Award for Young Adult Fiction

Beneath the Wide Silk Sky by Emily Inouye Huey (Scholastic Press)

Sid Fleischman Award for Humor

Freddie vs. The Family Curse by Tracy Badua (Clarion Books)

For more information about the winners and honor winners, visit our website HERE.

SCBWI NY23 Winter Conference

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2023 New York Winter Conference--in either iteration! We're are still buzzing from the one-two punch of the In-Person Conference, in Manhattan on February 10-12, and the Virtual Conference, which took place on Zoom on February 25.

Videos of the virtual conference will be available to view for the rest of the month.

Register now to experience the conference through our video archive.

Both conferences featured an authors and agents industry panel, and stirring keynotes by award-winning novelist Aisha Saeed and best-selling picture book author Marla Frazee.

Below you can read the recap of Marla Frazee's keynote, written by SCBWI blogger Jaime Temairik, and a recap of Aisha Saeed's keynote by blogger Jolie Stekly.

Marla Frazee - Saturday Morning Keynote

Marla Frazee is a longtime SCBWI member, incredible teacher, and all around terrific person. Her books have won Caldecott Honors, movie deals, and numerous illustration awards. Marla's keynotes are always a lesson in picturebook magic and heart/life insights so she's the perfect choice to set the vibe for our first time back together in person. Marla thanks SCBWI for bringing us all together again as well as thanks them for shifting and adapting during the Pandemic to bring our beloved community together online.

Marla tells us about hearing Trina Schart Hyman's SCBWI keynote many years ago where she complained unapologetically about the publishing industry (Trina was known for being brutally honest). Marla admired Trina's frankness and badassery and began a correspondence with her that lasted many years. Marla, as a struggling newbie, wrote to Trina complaining about work/life balance. Trina wrote back: You're right, the center doesn't hold and most things are falling apart.

Trina and Marla's correspondence went on, Trina posing these sorts of questions to Marla when Marla shared her worries about having enough time and money to continue making books:

Do you want to be an artist? Or do you want to fuck around?

Who are you doing this for? And is it worth it? 

READ MORE on the Official SCBWI Blog

Aisha Saeed - Closing Keynote

Aisha Saeed is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of books for children. Her books, including the middle grade novel Amal Unbound (Penguin), the young adult novel Yes No Maybe So (co-written with Becky Albertalli), and the anthology Once Upon Eid (co-edited with S.K. Ali) received multiple starred reviews. Amal Unbound was selected as a Global Read Aloud for 2018 and was the winner of the South Asian book award. Her picture book Bilal Cooks Daal (Simon and Schuster) received an APALA honor. Aisha is also a founding member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books™. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her family. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram via @aishacs.

Aisha as a child was an avid library-goer and reader. So much so that she pretended to be afraid of the dark so she could get a nightlight to read at night. But as much as she read, she didn't see someone that looked like her in the stories she read. She had lots of "window" books, but not "mirror" books. Not that they didn't exist but she didn't have access to any of them. 

Success for her early on was the joy of the creation, filling notebook after notebook. but she didn't have any thought of becoming a published author. She didn't really know it was possible. 

READ MORE on the Official SCBWI Blog

Congratulations, NY23 Portfolio Showcase Winners!

On Sunday morning, Manager of Design and Illustration TeMika Grooms announced the winners and honor winners of the Portfolio Showcase. The judges surveyed over 150 portfolios, but after much deliberation, these winners were chosen:

Unagented Honor Winner: Laura Garvin

Unagented Grand Prize Winner: J. Yang

Agented Honor Winner: Julian Chung

Agented Honor Winner: Annie Herzig

Agented Grand Prize Winner: Druscilla Santiago

Learn more about the Portfolio Awards HERE.

SCBWI Impact and Legacy Expands Micro Grant Recipients; Initiates Mental Health Initiative

The SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund, established in 2022 as the charitable and community service division of SCBWI, has expanded its innovative program of monthly microgrants by funding three new initiatives in the first months of 2023. Nominated and approved by our 15 member steering committee, a $1500 grant is provided each month to an organization or initiative that serves the entire children’s book community. 

The 2023 microgrants for 2023 so far include funding a full scholarship to the Highlights Foundation workshop for a person from an historically marginalized community. A second ILF microgrant supports the Ukrainian literary fair Book Arsenal to be held in Kiev this May. The microgrant will make possible a children’s book section of the book fair, despite the presence of the devastating war that has been continuing there for the past year.  

A third microgrant has been awarded to Book Dash, an organization based in South Africa that supports publication of books created for local communities in mother tongue languages. Book Dash will be demonstrating their book-making process at the Bologna book fair. The ILF microgrant will sponsor the printing and distribution of the book created at the fair. 


Meet Us in Bologna!

Going to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair? Be sure to visit us in our booth: Hall 26, Booth A156.

Monday, March 6:

Learn about our Awards, Grants and member benefits from 10am-4pm.

Tuesday, March 7:

Come meet the SCBWI Executive Team, all day on Tuesday. FREE Tote Bags while supplies last.

Wednesday, March 8:

Have your portfolio reviewed by an agent or publisher from 9:30am-10:30am. Dueling Illustrators starts at noon.

Join our Executive Director, Sarah Baker, at 4pm in the booth for a prosecco toast!

Then find us at Libreria Trame (Via Goito, 3/C) starting at 7:30 PM for a private party with our members and industry professionals. 

Please email [email protected] for more information.

Social Media Column: How to Utilize Social Media Before, After, and During an Event 

As social media continues to be a crucial part of staying connected to others, it is important to understand how to take advantage of all it has to offer. 

In today’s column, we will be exploring how to use social media before, during, and after an event in order to maximize your connections and build a strong social media presence.


Before the Event

Create a countdown for the event. 

Did you know you can create a countdown via your Instagram Story? Here’s how!

Open Instagram

Add a photo or video to your story via the capture button. Alternatively, you can click the tiny square on the bottom left-hand corner to upload a photo or video from your camera roll. 

Once you have chosen a photo/video to act as the background for the countdown, click the square smiley face in the upper right-hand corner.

Select the countdown feature and fill it out. 

Tap done and click “your story” to add it!

Using the countdown timer is a great way to let other people know that you will be at the event! You can use this to interact with others prior to the event in case you want to meet up with specific people in person at the event.

Utilize any social media assets that the event may have already created. 

Be sure to share any social media assets that the event host created on all of your platforms. 

Follow the hashtag ahead of the event! 


Featured Illustrator: Juanita Londoño

Every month a talented illustrator is chosen to be the SCBWI Featured Illustrator.  This month's featured artist is Juanita Londoño.  In this interview, Juanita shares her art process and the influence of magical realism in her art. Learn more about Juanita’s work at

Are you interested in submitting work to be a Featured Illustrator? Click here to watch the Featured Illustrator's interview and apply!

Apply to one of our awards, grants, and scholarships today!


Great Reads. Important Themes.

All-new books by our members.


New Series of Free Digital Workshops Starting March 16: Don’t Miss out on DW 8.0

They’re back! SCBWI’s Digital Workshop series returns this month with an a brand new slate of webinars. These sessions are available for free to all SCBWI members. The new line-up of workshops includes a session on editorial ‘first aid’ taught by literary agent Lynette Novak, a session on picture book storyboarding led by illustrator Claudia Rueda, a Spanish Language webinar featuring author Monica Rodriguez, a session on graphic novels taught by agent Janna Morishima and more!

The Digital Workshops take place each Thursday at 1pm PACIFIC / 4pm EASTERN starting March 16. If you can’t attend live, video recordings will be posted on the SCBWI website and kept up for an entire month. More information will be sent out the second week of March.

Don’t miss out on this amazing member benefit!

SCBWI Exclusive with... Lucy Hamilburg, Agent, Hamilburg Agency

Lucy Hamilburg is a literary agent in Los Angeles. Formerly, as a teacher, she worked toward the goal of motivating young people to love books. Lucy put great time and passion into curating a classroom library with a core foundation of equity and inclusion. Teaching allowed Lucy to pass on her love of books to her students and to instill in them that special sense of connection to story, to see themselves in the characters. As an agent, she uses her experiences to create long-lasting relationships with her clients, editors, and publishers, to represent work that amplifies voice-driven stories, and most importantly, inspires and sustains life-long readers.

When she is not agenting, she loves spending time with her dog, Cowboy, discovering new restaurants, reading, exploring local bookstores, taking improv classes, and watching reality TV!

What was your path to becoming an agent?

My path to becoming an agent started when I was 10 or 11 and I abruptly declared that I was going to be a literary agent when I grew up. My father was a literary agent and I was raised in a household with counters overflowing with manuscript pages, distinct sounds of the typewriter and fax machine, and a general understanding that stories are powerful and should be shared and heard. I loved books as a kid and fell in love with the ability to dive into and explore new fictional worlds.


Current in KidLit

Penguin Random House Announces New Leadership After a Turbulent Period by Elizabeth A. Harris,

Two Caldecott Medal-Winning Illustrators Tell Their Own Stories by David Small,

Children's Publishers Adapt by Joanne O’Sullivan, to Sell E-books, Publish First Print Title by Ed Nawotka,

Sci-Fi Publishers Are Bracing for an AI Battle by Elizabeth Minkel,

See Your Byline in INSIGHT!

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You can submit to become a guest writer by filling out this form. Please include a writing sample and a pitch for a story you'd like to cover.

SCBWI regions offer affordable virtual events featuring industry professionals from all around the globe – and you can attend from the comfort of your own home!

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Tune in to the SCBWI podcast on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, IHeartRadio, Pandora, and Stitcher. New episodes every Wednesday!


What Are You Reading?

Tammy Brown (Director of Marketing and Communication Strategy):

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Kim Turrisi (Director of Programming and Content):

A Thousand Heartbeats by Kiera Cass

Sarah Diamond (Senior Manager of Awards and Publications):

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

Laurie Miller (Manager of Events and Special Projects):

It Happened On Saturday by Sydney Dunlap

Danielle Monique (Administrative Assistant):

We Do This 'Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice by Mariame Kaba


The February prompt was: WORM'S EYE VIEW

The February winners are...

Jennifer M. Potter

Ken Eaton

The March prompt is: AVOCADO

Every month we develop a long list of potential #scbwiDrawThis prompts to choose one word or phrase that will challenge our illustrator members to dig deep and draw. Our goal is to find words rooted in a unique action, mood, point of view, or character theme. We also hope this practice will help you develop new art for your growing portfolios. Share your work with us! Share it often online and in your member profile page on We want to see what you create!

Official Hashtag: #scbwiDrawThis

The Official SCBWI Blog

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