Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Take the Read Local Challenge!

Cropped US map with Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Washington DC, and West Virginia highlighted, and the words "Discover the world from your own back yard ... Read Local!" in boldFrequently Asked Questions (for readers) (for authors)

Bold text invitation to "Host a FREE Read Local Party! (Informal Q&A)" "Invite us to your Event! (Read Local Discount on Speaking Fees)" and "Request a FREE Read Local Kit! (Posters! Prizes! Signed Books!)"

Discover books by people who live in your own state – maybe even your own neighborhood! Our Read Local Challenge features traditionally-published authors and illustrators from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. — We can’t wait to meet you!

Help your state win the Read Local Challenge Reading Race!

When you join the Reading Race, nominate a school, library, or other organization to win a special prize pack of signed books!!

We invite all schools, libraries, home school groups, scout troops … groups of any size to join us! Take the challenge to read as many of these books from local authors / illustrators as you can, and visit our websites or check out our events calendar to find our already-scheduled book signings and events, or to schedule a visit to your school or library! Then, download some pages to color and games to promote literacy.

How to Join the Read Local Challenge:

Choose a challenge level, and start reading.

It’s really that easy! There are no pledges to sign, no quizzes to take, and lots of great books for readers of all ages and interests. We believe that the best way to create lifelong readers is to make reading fun!

Read one book or two … or five … or every book in your selected challenge level. You can even take the ultimate challenge and read all 38 books!

You’ll discover new friends, fascinating facts, and more. Amazing adventures await in your new favorite book!

Join in the state-by-state Reading Race.

Tell us which books you have read, individually or with a team. Our interactive map will update within 5-10 minutes to tell us which state has the most frequent readers. (If your whole team / family / class reads a book together, you get to count it once for each member of your team!)

Then nominate a school or library near you to win a selection of signed books from us.

One school / library in the winning state will win the grand prize! (If we have extra books, we reserve the right to award prizes to a school / library in a non-winning state, as well.)

Fill your Read Local Challenge Passport and redeem it for an amazing reward!

Pick up a Read Local Challenge Passport bookmark from your participating school, library, or bookstore.

Fill the required number of passport spaces by reading books from our Read Local Challenge list, attending events to meet local authors and illustrators, visiting your library, and more. (Boxes can be signed by the authors you meet, booksellers and librarians you talk to, your teachers, or your parents!)

For details on the passport program (including a list of prizes, and bookstores where you can redeem your filled passport), please click here.

Meet a local author or illustrator at one of our events!

Check out the Read Local Challenge events calendar to find us at our already-scheduled events. Or host one of our Read Local Parties and invite one of our authors or illustrators for a FREE, informal Q&A event either in-person or via Skype call.**

All Read Local Challenge authors and illustrators offer a 10% discount on our individual speaking rates to any group participating in the challenge. (See our websites for more information, or contact us for current rates.)

Make it a competition!

Gather a group of friends together, or challenge your class (or even your whole school)!

Teachers, Librarians, & Group Leaders: Request your FREE Read Local Challenge Starter Kit. You will receive Read Local Challenge posters, passport bookmarks, stickers, and small prizes such as postcards, buttons, etc.

While supplies last, you will receive a FREE signed copy of a Read Local Challenge book (from the current or a previous year). Who will win the grand prize in your challenge? Will it be the class who reads the most books? The student who most improves their reading? The one who has the best book-themed costume for Literature Night? Or will you add the signed book to your library, so you all win together?

It’s your challenge! You get to decide the rules!

Thumbnail images of all 38 book covers in the 2019/20 Read Local MD/VA/DE/DC Challenge

Picture Book Challenge | Middle Grade Challenge | YA Challenge

**In addition to the discounted rates on our speaking fees for the challenge year, each author/illustrator will donate their time for ONE (1) informal appearance (Q&A + book signing only – not a speaking engagement!) at a FREE Read Local Challenge Party. You may request ONE (1) FREE party per challenge year. We will assign an author or illustrator for your FREE event based on location, availability, and requested challenge level. This party is a great way to kick off (or wrap up) your reading challenge! You may want to invite this author/illustrator to come back later in the school year to do a full presentation (or book them to do a presentation early in the year and then sign up to have them back for your FREE Read Local Party at the end of the year). Authors/Illustrators may choose (but are not required) to offer a 15% discount (instead of the standard 10% Read Local discount) for repeat speaking engagements.

Multi-author/illustrator visits at special rates are also available. If you have a set budget and/or you’d like to set up a special multi-author/illustrator panel for your school, library or organization, please contact Veronica Bartles, Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI MD/DE/WV, at, or fill out our event request form with your information!


The books in our challenge may have been published by many different publishers (Harper Collins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and more), but all of the books were written and/or illustrated by members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and Washington D.C. Travel with us from the ocean to the desert, and all around the world! Find stories that happened Once Upon a Time, in the future, or right here and now … And meet remarkable, real-life heroes. Have an adventure without leaving your own back yard, when you Read Local with us!

Our Past Read Local Challenge Books: (Spring 2017) (2017-18) (2018-19)

And don’t miss our FREE Read Local webinar videos!


Special thanks to author Jen Malone, who created a Read Local New England Challenge, and shared the challenge details with us!