Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New Breezers and The First of the Year

Oh, Breezers, January is a busy month for SCBWI! Let’s take a look at the First of the Year PAL To Do List:

Update the PAL Speaker Card
Update the PAL email list
Inform and sign up PALs re: spring events
Round up a PAL Panel for Springmingle

And that’s just the PAL doings I can remember right now.

But then I remembered you, new Breezers, and I sat down to write. So gather round, ‘cause this post’s for you!

January is the time when we’re all making resolutions, goals, affirmations, loose plans…. whatever. For children’s writers and artists, it’s the time of year when many of us join SCBWI. That means new membership coming in.


Except, well, it’s all new to you. And the first conference, that wonderful event when you can meet people and really sink your teeth into this terrific organization you’ve joined, is not until March.

Oh, dear.

It’s possible that you might miss out on our January PAL doings, and we can’t have that. So first of all, you need to see if you are a PAL member. Please check here, on the SCBWI Membership page.

And because time is of the essence, I’m answering here and now the questions I commonly get:

  1. My book doesn’t come out until April of 2017, so do I sign up for PAL then?
You are PAL when you have a contract. Fill out the information and plug in that PAL publisher and bam! You’re PAL.

  1. But I don’t have a book; I only have an article I wrote seven years ago for Highlights Magazine. That doesn’t count, does it?
Why, yes, it does count. Articles, illustrations, poems—anything that’s been published that’s on the PAL list, no matter how long ago, qualifies you for PAL membership.

  1. My publisher is not on the PAL list, but I think it should be. What can I do?
The instructions are right there on the membership page. If you don’t hear back within a reasonable time period—say, two to three weeks—then send an email with your questions to the SCBWI membership email.

Or you can send your questions to me, and I’ll do my best to find the answers. Now, off you go, Breezers! Time and PAL doings wait for no man (or woman)!

PAL Coordinator
SCBWI/Southern Breeze