The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is the only international professional organization for children's writers and illustrators. Founded in 1971 by a group of Los Angeles-based children's writers, 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. It serves as a consolidated voice for professional writers and illustrators the world over.
Words & Pictures first appeared
in the Autumn of 1996.
At the beginning, the quarterly print publication was edited and almost entirely written by its editor SCBWI-BI Assistant Regional Advisor Elizabeth Wein. On the cover was the plea: 'Don't you wish we had a more inspiring title for our newsletter? We do too - help us choose one!' In an empty box above were the words 'Attractive and Effective Logo to go here'. It became 'Words & Pictures' in the winter issue of 1997.
|The original nameless 1997 newsletter|
Elizabeth edited the newsletter from 1996 to 2002. In 1996 the World Wide Web was only about five years old and most people didn’t have access to it but Elizabeth’s vision was, indeed, for something more electronic and interactive. She says:
“My original vision for the newsletter was much more ambitious than I was able to make it. I really wanted readers to be able to interact with it like people do with the Internet today.”
Over the years, many other contributors joined the team, quite a few are still on board or have lent their enthusiastic support to this new, interactive online version.
In 2002, a new enthusiastic editor Leila Bouri, transformed the black and white A5 newsletter into a dynamic, thriving quarterly A4 format magazine, with a slick, new look. She too had a vision:
...to add departments and in-depth interviews in the style of a magazine and, most importantly, to reach out to SCBWI BI members and so create an active community.
Stephanie Williams who took over in 2009.
Then, in 2010, then SCBWI-BI webmaster, Candy Gourlay, dreamt up the idea of an innovative, interactive online magazine. Since then, we've been on a quest to fine-tune her idea and line up just the right team. We are proud to introduce you to our new, visionary editor, Jan Carr.
Words & Pictures is re-launched as an interactive magazine accessible to the whole world. Our mission is to bring readers something new every day and we hope you’ll find enough of interest to keep you coming back to our magazine. Isn’t it great when a vision becomes reality?
The 2013 team aims to bring energy, enthusiasm, distinct voices, great writing and fabulous illustration to those interested in the world of children's books. More than fifty volunteers – writers, illustrators, published and unpublished, undiscovered voices and industry professionals are collaborating to make this a vibrant digital publication with the life and interactivity of a blog and the high quality content of a printed magazine.
THE WORDS & PICTURES VISION
All SCBWI BI members should be able to look at Words & Pictures and think I’m there, this is for me – all genres, age groups, published and unpublished illustrator and writer.
Anyone who can use the English language, whatever their race, culture, gender, age or ability should feel welcome to comment or submit. We particularly welcome contributions from those facing specific challenges to illustrating or writing.
We are SCBWI British Isles but we have an eye to the world, conscious that we are part of a large SCBWI network and while we are rooted in the British Isles we aim to be relevant to readers globally.
To join SCBWI and take advantage of the many opportunities to raise your profile: market your work, meet fellow writers, artists, the gatekeepers to publication, while being supported in the development and pursuit of your craft, visit scbwi.org.