SCBWI is a world-wide professional organization dedicated to the production of quality books for children. Unlike many professtional groups, SCBWI welcomes those not-yet published to participate. If you are interested in writing or illustrating kids's books, I highly recommend not only joining SCBWI, but that you get INVOLVED. What you gain from mingling and working with industry leaders is invaluable!
Writing and illustrating are both solitary activities. Oftentimes, your friends and family do not understand your passion, nor can they provide the support and encouragement you need.
In SCBWI, I found my tribe -- fun, talented, helpful people who encouraged me and helped me grow as a writer.
In addition to conferences, workshops, and critique options, SCBWI offers terrific industry resources, awards, grants, contests and promotional opportunites. Learn more about SCBWI at https://www.scbwi.org/