Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Application for the Creating Books for Change Project

Date(s) - 07/31/2020 - 08/10/2020
12:00 am


SCBWI PA West and the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development present the Creating Books for Change Project. 

Fill out the registration form below to apply to the Creating Books for Change program. 

The application period and submission period is open from August 1, 2020 through August 10, 2020.

SCBWI PA West and the Office of Child Development at the University of Pittsburgh are proud to announce the Creating Books for Change Project. This project is for writers and illustrators of picture books. In this unique partnership, writers and illustrators will work with students in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh to learn how to better write and illustrate books that promote racial equity and justice. 

  • Are you working on a manuscript or dummy that tackles an important racial justice topic?
  • Do you want guidance and feedback on your manuscript or dummy that deals with race, equity, and/or justice?
  • Get feedback from undergraduate students and their faculty member. They are studying racial justice and ways early childhood educators can use picture books to promote racial justice with young children.
  • Work with students in education to develop your manuscript or dummy to support racially literate and affirming interactions between readers and adults, teachers, librarians and more.

Are you interested in learning more about how to make your manuscript or dummy equitable, affirming, and anti-racist? Not sure how to handle a tough topic like race in a way that interests kids and helps adults improve their own racial literacy?

The Creating Books for Change Project will offer a unique opportunity for writers and illustrators to work with university students to closely examine the themes, language, and images used in their manuscripts and dummies. Through review, critique and discussion, the students will share feedback with writers and illustrators about the impact of words and pictures on racial equity and justice.

Topics of discussion include:

  • Racial Humility
  • Historical, Contemporary, and Developmental Knowledge about Race
  • Colorblind vs. Color Brave Language
  • Developing back matter topics that tackle questions adults aren’t sure how to answer
  • Representation in images

Once accepted, writers will share their manuscripts and dummies with Dr. Shannon Wanless and her university students. Students will review the manuscripts and dummies and give feedback on how the works might contain effective race-related messaging as well as areas that could be improved. Students in this class are learning how books help adults talk to children about racial equity, how children learn and acquire messages about race through picture books, and ways books can help readers as they develop.

In this program, writers and illustrators will learn how to create words and images that truly convey intentions and help readers – both adult and child – send racially affirming messages and help children understand how to promote racial justice.

Fill out the registration form below to apply to the Creating Books for Change program. 

View the Creating Books for Change Project Introductory Webinar Recording

Password: JDJ7b1+2


Questions? Email Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan at