Curious to know about your SCBWI membership benefits? There are a lot!
You’ve come to the right place to learn about everything you are offered as a member of the SCBWI Canada East chapter, in addition to the membership benefits offered by SCBWI headquarters.
In the right-hand menu, you’ll find links to the benefits our chapter offers, including our annual Art of Story conference and our Digging Deeper webinars, mentoring and critiquing options, and a variety of ways to connect and network with your fellow members. You can also read about Quick Notes, our monthly e-newsletter, and what you can do to make sure you don’t miss any issues. Non-members are invited to browse through our membership perks, however access to some benefit information is restricted to members. Members, please log in for full access.
But before you start clicking the buttons to the right, please take a few moments to follow the steps outlined below, because membership matters. Be sure that you are taking full advantage.
Whether you are published or pre-published, it is never too early to start working on your online presence. Yet more than half of our members fail to take advantage of one of the most important services SCBWI provides: a platform for members to introduce themselves through a Public Profile. Posting your member profile is critical! And update it now if it’s been a while!
Below, we will walk you through the simple steps to helping fellow members (and potential publishers) put a face and personality to your name.
Step 1. To get started, head over to your SCBWI profile and introduce yourself.
Click on My Home in the top-right corner, and then click on Edit Profile.
Step 2. Don’t be an anonymous green outline!
“What is that?” you ask.
It’s the graphic suggestion of a person that represents you on the SCBWI website when you don’t upload an image to your SCBWI profile. It effectively makes you invisible.
We are writers. We are illustrators. We are translators. We are champions of children’s literature. But how can people connect with us, if we don’t fill in the blanks?
Your natural preference may be to hide in the shadows, but if you appear in the SCBWI member directory as one of Canada East’s anonymous green outlines, it’s time to add a profile image. It doesn’t have to be a photograph, but choose something that would remind an art director, editor, or publisher you’ve met at a conference of your sparkling personality.
Step 3. Edit your profile.
Introduce yourself to your fellow members, fans, and those in the publishing industry. Don’t let them look you up only to find a blank. What would happen if an art director browsed the Illustrator Gallery, fell in love with your illustrations, and clicked on the Find Out More link only to find . . . nothing? Tell us who you are via Edit Profile!
While there, make sure that you also enter your bio in the About me text field. If you forget to do it there, you can also edit My Bio directly on your My Home page.
What if you’re not published yet? No problem. There’s still plenty you can say. What brought you to children’s writing? Do you have an educational background? Do you work with children? What projects are you working on? Do you write picture books, middle grade, YA? Nonfiction? Are you currently looking for an agent? Tell us something about yourself. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, just let us get to know you a little.
Step 4. Flesh out your character.
Taking the three steps above is the absolute minimum to establish that you actually exist as an SCBWI member! But take it even further, and enter an Artist Statement at the bottom of the Edit Profile page. Just as with your bio, you can also edit this directly from your My Home page.
Step 5. Fill in your speaker profile.
If you are published and want to be listed in the Speaker’s Bureau, be sure to check the Searchable on Speaker Bureau box at the bottom of the Edit Profile page. But don’t stop there, or you’ll have a speaker’s bio that looks like the one below. Would you hire someone who shows up like this?
As you can see, nothing is revealed about this member. We know what region they belong to, and that they don’t do Skype Visits. But maybe they do! They probably never filled in their Speaker Profile.
Checking Searchable on Speaker Bureau adds you to the searchable database. The next step is to tell your potential audience what kind of speaker you are. Once you’ve checked the Searchable on Speaker Bureau box, a new menu item, Speaker Profile, will appear in the left-hand menu of your My Home page. The Speaker Profile page is where you can specify age levels for your presentations, the distance you’re willing to travel, whether or not you are willing to do Skype visits, and more. If you don’t fill in this information, your profile will not be included in the search results when anyone conducts a search using filters (e.g., age level or “will Skype”). And, of course, even if filters haven’t been used, and someone looking for speakers manages to find your Speaker Profile, unless you offer a description of your presentation, they won’t really get your speaker profile, they’ll just get your bio. So fill in your Speaker Profile to give your audience an idea of what you can offer to children and teens.
Step 6. Add books to your profile.
The first reason to do this is obvious: You want people to know about your books.
The second reason is less obvious, but it’s just as important. Full and associate memberships convert to PAL memberships as soon as you add a PAL book to your profile. So if you have a PAL book, make sure to add it to your profile, or you may miss out on member benefits and related communications that are specific to PAL members. You’ll find the link to Add Books at the bottom of your My Home page.
Step 7. Add illustrations to your profile.
You’re illustrators! You’re fabulous! We want to see your work. And, besides, art directors are known to browse the Illustrator Gallery. You’ll find the link to Add Illustrations at the bottom of your My Home page. (Those who are writers only may skip this step!)
Step 8. Keep your contact information up to date.
Communication, communication, communication. If you don’t keep your contact information up to date, we can’t notify you of any upcoming events, grant deadlines, or other kid-lit-related news.
Email addresses are used for Quick Notes (our chapter’s monthly e-newsletter), conference announcements, membership renewals, etc. If you change your email address, don’t forget to update your profile. Please note: this will not automatically update the address you use for our listserv (Google Group). Please notify our listserve administrator of your address change.
But don’t forget to keep your physical address up to date as well. We send out targeted mailings for local get-togethers based on your physical address, and you’ll be left out if your address is not current. You’ll also miss out on the paper version of SCBWI’s quarterly, The Bulletin (for those who have not selected to read it online by checking the option View Bulletin Online Only in their profile). So remember to update your address whenever you move. You’ll find it under the General Settings section on your Edit Profile page.
These are just some of the highlights of what’s available on the My Home page. We hope you’ll take a look through all of the profile settings and make sure that you have everything filled in so that you can take full advantage of your SCBWI membership.
Any questions? Contact us! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and your creations.