Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

ARA job description and application

Thank you for your interest in the ARA positions. To apply, please review the job description and application questions. Then fill out the form at the link following the information. The application deadline is October 15,2020. We hope to have a decision by the beginning of November.

Assistant Regional Advisor

What do ARAs do? Like the RA, the ARA’s primary function is to ensure that members of the region feel supported and connected to the children’s book community.

Some Specific Duties of the ARA

  • ARAs assist with planning and holding regional events – as you know, we are assisted by many volunteers in this activity. 

Note: Even after the current embargo on in-person events has passed, a significant amount of our programming will likely be online and–spread over three states as we are–most Southern Breeze leadership business is conducted digitally (right now using Zoom and the suite of Google Drive programs most often). Comfort with the idea of learning new technical platforms and software is necessary, since these may change rapidly. 

  • ARAs are a full part of the regional team leadership, along with the RA(s) and Illustrator Coordinator. The team works together to plan and carry out the region’s programming topics, events, online formats/physical locations, priorities, scheduling, etc.
  • ARAs help coordinate contact with new members and recently expired members by downloading lists each month and emailing them to the Membership Coordinator (currently Paula Puckett). 
  • One ARA coordinates promotion for Southern Breeze’s activities via the Southern Breeze blog and our social media accounts. Other members of the Regional Team and regional volunteers can assist with writing blog posts and other promotional material. The ARA’s main focus here should be coordinating Southern Breeze’s messaging. Recruit as many hands as needed to do the work.

The other ARA maintains the Southern Breeze website and sets up online registration for events requiring a fee.

  • ARAs assist with identification of and interaction with potential volunteers.
  • Perhaps most significantly, ARAs attend and serve as volunteers at the SCBWI Summer or Winter conference in Los Angeles or New York. They also attend RA training/retreats when possible, and you should know that a training day is being planned for the LA meeting in August. Because of the travel involved, the LA summer meeting typically requires a whole week away from your home, while the Winter meeting is typically from Thursday to Sunday.

How Much Time Will it Take?

 As suggested by the amount of time required to attend the LA or NY conference, the ARA position requires a significant commitment of time and energy, typically up to and sometimes well more than 10 hours a week. While RAs must be “in charge” for both legal and practical reasons, every region depends on teamwork, each of us picking up the slack when others get busy or need help. We have wonderful regional volunteers on our team, and the staff at headquarters, and other RAs around the world are always ready to help.

Perks of Being an ARA

 As HQ often reminds us, however, our personal and professional life must not suffer as a result of our service as regional volunteers. And it is not all work. There are many personal benefits and rewards to being a Regional Team member. I cannot say how much it has meant to me to get to know so many people in the industry on a personal level at the Summer and Winter meetings. 

There are also some financial benefits. An ARA’s annual SCBWI Membership is free, tuition to the conference in Los Angeles is waived, and transportation and lodging in a shared room are paid by the region, sometimes supplemented by a grant from HQ.

HQ has also made it clear that we are not supposed to incur expenses and spend our own money to perform our functions, and so HQ and our Region provide cash cards that cover most of the other expenses at the LA/NY conference. Similarly, in recognition of the time required to plan and hold regional conferences, HQ has also directed that RAs and ARAs on a regional team are to share a $500 honorarium for each conference, which can be distributed and reported as income or used to fund travel and fees to attend professional functions (like other SCBWI conferences/intensives). 

Some annual SCBWI grants are available only to RAs, ICs and ARAs (more details about these are available on the website), and fees to attend other SCBWI regions’ conferences and intensives are also waived for Regional Team members whenever possible. You may have noted that we often get our neighboring RA up from Louisiana for wik!

Here are the application questions, for review. To apply, you must fill out and submit the form at the link below.

Name/ Preferred name

Which ARA position would you like to apply for?

Promotion/ Social media _____

Website maintenance/ Registration _____

Either _____

Why do you wish to serve as an ARA?

After reviewing the ARA job description, what skills and experience do you have that will help you in this role?

How many hours per week would you be able to spend on Southern Breeze work? (please be as specific as possible)

An ARA role sometimes requires a quick turnaround time on assignments. Can you list an example (from either paid or volunteer work) when you’ve worked under this sort of time pressure?

What do you feel is most important for Southern Breeze to provide or do for its members?

What is something you would like to see improved about Southern Breeze?

How long have you been a member of SCBWI? (if you have been a member in multiple regions, please list the approximate amount of time in each)

What volunteer jobs have you performed for SCBWI? (if other than in Southern Breeze, please describe)

Is there anything we can do to make it easier to volunteer with Southern Breeze?

Tell us about your personal writing, translating, and/or illustrating journey. What have you done? What would you like to do? Why do you create for children?

What else would you like the committee to know about you?

Link to Application Form