Both have annual membership fees and both are volunteer and not-for-profit organisations. There is a similarity between the two in mission statements and philosophies, composition of membership, awards, publications, support resources available to members and they both hold Conferences and Writing Festivals.
There is the obvious difference - one is an Australian organisation established in 1945 with State and Sub-branch Regions (CBCA) and the other is an international organisation established in 1971 with over 70 regional chapters worldwide and over 22,000 members (SCBWI). Their management structure is different and their method of operating is different.
However, the main difference for me is that the CBCA offers me the opportunity to connect to others in the Australian community who share a love of Young Australian’s Literature and are fascinated by it and who want to engage others in the same passion, whereas SCBWI allows me as a writer to connect to other writers and illustrators for networking support all over the world.
When I go to a SCBWI meeting or conference other attendees are mainly authors and illustrators and those aspiring to be. We talk about the industry and what we are doing in our professional lives.
When I go to a CBCA meeting in Sydney other attendees are teacher librarians, pubic librarians, editors, booksellers, authors, illustrators and parents. Publishers are interested in what we’re doing and a representative of all the major publishers are on my email distribution list. We talk about CBCA authors and illustrators involvement in schools and at libraries, author activities and launches and events, and writing festivals and workshops and courses for young Australians.
And, the CBCA totally supports SCBWI. In the SCWBI Conference bags on 29th June this year, delegates will find CBCA stickers, promotional material and probably an Application Form!
I’m looking forward to the SCBWI Conference and meeting other delegates and would like to take this opportunity to thank the many authors, illustrators and organisations that have donated material to be included in the Conference bags.