Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Membership Categories

SCBWI has three membership categories: Associate, Full, and PAL—But what do those mean?

Sorting out which category of membership describes where you are in your writing, illustrating, or translating career can be confusing, so here are a few possibilities along with which membership category applies to each.

You’ve just decided to get serious about creating for children and joined SCBWI. (Associate)

You’ve been in SCBWI a few years and are actively pursuing publication, but you haven’t made a sale in the children’s market yet. (Associate)

You’ve published one or more books in the adult market but nothing yet for children. (Associate)

You’ve independently published a book for children. (Full)

You’ve published a book for children with a hybrid publisher or through a book publishing service. (Full)

You’ve had work (writing, illustration, or translation) for children published by a traditional publisher or in a publication that is not currently on SCBWI’s PAL-qualified list of publishers. (Full) If your publisher is not on the PAL list, but they meet the qualifications, you can apply to have them added to the PAL list!

You’ve had work (writing, illustration, or translation) published by a publisher on SCBWI’s PAL list. (PAL)

You’ve had work (writing, illustration, or translation) published in a magazine on SCBWI’s PAL list. (PAL)

Pro tip #1: Update your member profile when your membership status changes! SCBWI doesn’t know when you publish, unless you share the news.

Pro tip #2: Check the PAL list for your publisher, even if it’s not large or doesn’t exclusively publish for children. For a quick example, prepping for this blog post I found the American Cancer Society on the list.

Pro tip #3: Magazine publications count just as much as books. Illustrations count as much as writing. Translations count as much as illustrations or writing. Give yourself the credit you’ve earned.

Pro tip #4: Why does your membership category matter? While most Southern Breeze and SCBWI sponsored events are open to all members, at the regional level we have a new Published Members Group that meets to discuss topics that apply only to published authors, illustrators, and translators. To get on this email list, you must be a PAL or full member as determined by the membership list we download from the full SCBWI list. Therefore, update your profile!


Finally, find all the details and fine print about membership categories here:


Happy Creating!