July 1, 2018
Stephanie Garber: On Crafting
a Best-seller
Celebrating the release of Legendary , sequel to the New York Times best-selling fantasy YA Caraval , author Stephanie Garber reflects on what made her series a runaway hit.

"In publishing, people often talk about the importance of a hook; a fantastic hook can make a book a bestseller. But I think a successful book has more than just a fabulous hook. A hook is what gets a reader to pick up a book and turn the pages, but heart is what makes a reader feel, and heart is also what I believe makes a book successful."

CLICK HERE to read the full interview
2018 Books for Readers Recipients
This year’s Books For Readers recipients are two wonderful organizations that do so much for kids in many facets of their lives. The books are coming in by the cartload at our office through the generosity of SCBWI members. Are you one of them? Donations will be accepted through July 9; go to the  FAQ on the website for more information.
LA18 Summer Conference – Early Bird Registration About to End!
Early registration for the Summer Conference is set to end after July 11.  Once early registration ends, conference tuition increases to $575, so register soon!
The summer conference has a powerful line-up of industry luminaries speaking on all aspects of writing and illustrating for children and young adults. Speakers include Newbery Medal winners Lois Lowry and Erin Entrada Kelly, Libba Bray, Daniel Jose Older, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Andrea & Brian Pinkney, Mike Curato, Eliza Wheeler, Marc Brown, Carolyn Mackler, Stephanie Garber, Ibi Zoboi, and more.

Celebrate July Happy Book Birthdays
This month Happy Book Birthday celebrates the release of 31 new books! The winner of this month’s random drawing is  Behind These Hands by  Linda Phillips.  Ten copies of her book will be purchased by SCBWI upon its release and donated to Reading is Fundamental, where the books will help children get ahead in their education. Read more about the organization  here .

If you have a new book coming out, make sure to add it to your SCBWI profile so it can be found in our Member Bookstore! Traditionally published members are eligible for PAL (Published and Listed) status by adding their books, which gives you access to exclusive information and events. Learn more about PAL membership here .

Submissions for the  July Happy Book Birthday are open from  June 15  until  July 20, no exceptions.  We hope you’ll come celebrate with us! Click here to learn how.
Recommended Reading List Accepting Submissions
The Recommended Reading List is back this year, providing PAL members with the opportunity to get their books in front of librarians and booksellers. This year we’re expanding our marketing to reach our target audiences so that member books have the maximum exposure.

Advertising, marketing, and promotions will be a significant part of rolling out the List. We purchased a mailing of list of 5,000 school librarians in the US and will run an email campaign touting member books to this essential group. We’ll also send an email to our list of about 100 independent booksellers with the same message. Advertising will also run in Publishers Weekly’s  Children’s Bookshelf e-newsletter during October. As per usual, SCBWI will reach out to its over 60,000 social media followers to let them know about the List. There will also be promotional opportunities including a chance for a librarian to win a Skype visit from the author and/or illustrator of one of their top 5 choices on the List. For bookstores, SCBWI would supply refreshments and premium giveaways for an in-store signing event around one of the books on the List. PAL members who creatively post/tweet about the Recommended Reading List one time per day during the launch week of October 8 – October 12 will have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win SCBWI purchasing 20 copies of their listed book and donating them to the public or school libraries of their choice. Five winners will be chosen.

We’ll keep you up to date on our upcoming plans to ensure the Recommended Reading List reaches the right audiences. 
Obtain PAL Status Now
You may have noticed that in the last few months, the SCBWI has made some changes to the names of our membership categories. We have eliminated the distinction between 'Associate' and 'Full' members. Now all pre-published and self-published members are referred to as 'General members'. The other two categories are 'Student members' and 'PAL members'.

With the 2018 Recommended Reading List around the corner, now is a good time to check if you are eligible for PAL status and the exclusive benefits that come with the category. PAL stands for "published and listed", and is a status available to those members who have at least one book or article published by a traditional press. Consult the full list of vetted PAL publishers here on the SCBWI website. If you believe that your publisher should be on the list, you can fill out a PAL Request form and an SCBWI representative will consider the request.

Once you've verified that your publisher is on the list, you must go to your Member Profile to make the change in status. In the Publications section (located under the Artist Statement), you can click to add a new title or edit an existing one. On the Edit page, choose a publisher from the drop-down list provided. As soon as you've hit Save, you will be free to enjoy your new PAL benefits.
PJ Library Jewish Stories Award Opens September 1
SCBWI and PJ Library® are thrilled to announce the second annual Jewish Stories Award, established to encourage the creation of more high quality Jewish children’s literature. PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that sends the gift of free Jewish children’s books to more than 200,000 North American participants each month.

Earlier this year, Audrey Ades won the top prize for her picture book manuscript,  Judah Touro Didn’t Want to Be Famous , a compelling biography about the Jewish philanthropist. An honorable mention was given to Joy Nelkin Wieder for her picture book manuscript and illustrations in Rivka and the Mice,  which uses a passage from the Talmud to teach children about Passover traditions. 

You could be a Jewish Stories Award winner in 2019!
Submissions will be accepted from September 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018. $2,500 will be awarded to the author of the manuscript deemed most promising for publication and for distribution by PJ Library. PJ Library will make every effort to partner with a publisher to have the manuscript published and to carry the book in the PJ Library program. The winner will be announced at the 2019 SCBWI Annual Winter Conference in New York City. The author will also receive tuition to the conference, as well as a transportation and accommodations stipend of up to $500.

For more information about the SCBWI PJ Library Jewish Stories Award, visit  scbwi.org/scbwi-pj-library-jewish-stories-award .
Comparing Self-Publishing Options: CreateSpace, Ingram Spark, and Lulu
by Laurie Miller
There are many things to consider when deciding to self-publish a book: eBook or print, paperback or hardcover, print-on-demand or invest in a print run? Then, of course, there are the seemingly endless number of self-publishing platforms to choose from. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.
This article looks at the pros and cons of three of the most widely used self-publishing platforms: CreateSpace, Ingram Spark, and Lulu. This is in no way a comprehensive comparison, but looks at three platforms and compares a small number of factors I believe will be of the greatest interest to children’s book writers and illustrators.

SCBWI Exclusive with...
Sarah Jane Abbott
Sarah Jane Abbott is an assistant editor for Paula Wiseman Books and Beach Lane Books at Simon & Schuster. She started her career at S&S as a publicity assistant in 2013 before joining Paula Wiseman Books and Beach Lane Books as editorial assistant in 2014. She is also on the editorial boards of Simon & Schuster’s OfftheShelf.com and RivetedLit.com. She loves quirky, character-driven picture books with a lot of heart and unique, literary middle grade novels.

Draw This!
Draw This! is our monthly prompt word for illustrators. 

Congratulations to the June winners! The June prompt word was "Magic"
Click HERE to view the June Gallery
Stan Yan
Rachel Marquez
July's prompt word is: "Heat"
Click Here for Draw This! guidelines
Faces of SCBWI
Want to see your face in Insight ? Send your photos to  faces@scbwi.org   or post on twitter using the tag #facesofscbwi
Edward Masessa at a school visit in San Juan, TX.
Globe-Horn book honoree Varian Johnson with Kate DiCamillo
Kekla Magoon, Laurie Halse Anderson, Bill Konigsberg, and Chris Crutcher at YA Summit 2018
Author Kim Ventrella presents to SCBWI Oklahoma chapter
PB Rippey and Daka Hermon facilitate Peer2Peer critiques for SCBWI SoCal