The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, or SCBWI, is one of the largest existing organizations for writers and illustrators. It is the only one specifically geared for those interested in, or already working in, the field of writing and illustrating for children in books, magazines, multimedia, or television. With over 22,000 members worldwide and over 70 regional chapters, the SCBWI acts as a network for the exchange of knowledge between writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people. Members of SCBWI receive a number of benefits such as member discounts, annual grants and fellowships, free publications, a bi-monthly newsletter The Bulletin and much more. SCBWI offers three membership levels:
- PAL (Published and Listed membership) is for those who have been published or produced by (or have a contract with) one of the publishers and/or production companies on SCBWI's approved list. This list excludes vanity presses, subsidy presses, and print on demand. It includes all those publishers listed on SCBWI market surveys, legitimate regional and small presses, foreign presses, widely published magazines, and production companies that distribute film and video to a broad audience.
- Full membership is for those published by non-traditional means, including vanity and subsidy presses and print on demand. (All PAL members are also full members.)
- Associate memberships are offered to those working towards their first publication, and those interested in the children's publishing industry or other forms of children's media.