Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Read Local Challenge: Rules

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 bold

How to Join the Read Local Challenge:

Choose a book by an author or illustrator in our region (MD/VA/DE/WV/DC), 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 twenty. You can even take the ultimate challenge and read all of the books on our lists!

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

Join in the Reading Race.

Tell us how many books you read, individually or with a team. — 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. Each book you read gives your school or library another entry!

One school or library will win a selection of Read Local Challenge books from us–purchased from a local bookstore! — We reserve the right to award more than one prize, if funds permit.

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 (in-person or online), visiting your library or local bookstore, and more. — Boxes can be signed by the authors you meet, booksellers and librarians you talk to, your teachers, or even 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 or your favorite KidLit Creator’s website to find us at our already-scheduled events.

Invite a Read Local Challenge KidLit Creator to YOUR event!

All Featured Read Local Challenge authors and illustrators offer a 10% discount on our individual speaking rates to any group participating in the challenge. Many of our non-featured regional KidLit Creators may offer a discount as well, if you mention the Read Local Challenge. (See our profiles for more information, or to contact us for current rates.)

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 with your information (budget, date/time, number of authors requested, theme, etc.) She will do her best to help you find the KidLit Creators that best fit your needs.

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 Kit. You will receive Read Local Challenge posters, passports, stickers, and more.

What will the prize be? Bragging rights? Extra recess? A school-wide announcement? A pizza or popcorn party?

And 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 Halloween?

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

Adopt an Author (or Illustrator)!

Our Read Local Challenge authors and illustrators are committed to making connections with readers and promoting a love of books!

In the spirit of the #KidsNeedMentors program (thank you @Jarrett_Lerner for the idea!), we would like to connect each of our Read Local Challenge KidLit Creators with ONE class for the challenge year. We will send a Read Local Challenge packet of materials, with full-color posters, Read Local Challenge passports, stickers, etc. to each school or library group that signs up here. We would like to pair as many classes/groups as possible with one of our KidLit Creators, giving first priority to schools/libraries within our MD/VA/DE/DC/WV region. (We will do our best to pair you with an author or illustrator who writes or illustrates for the grade level you select, who lives in your specific local area. Please keep in mind that we cannot guarantee you will be paired with a specific author or illustrator.)

This is a celebration of literacy, and a chance to get to know one of our Read Local Challenge KidLit Creators in an informal setting.

Read Local Challenge KidLit Creators will:

* Send ONE (1) signed copy of their Read Local Challenge book to the school or library associated with the class/group to which they are assigned.

* Connect with ONE (1) class or group, either in-person, online, or via the mail at least TWO (2) times during the Read Local Challenge year (October 1st through May 31st). As an example, you might schedule a 15-minute Zoom meeting at the beginning of the challenge to introduce yourselves to each other, and then exchange letters at some later point in the challenge year. It is up to you and your adopted KidLit Creator to decide how, when, and how often you will connect. (If you would like to invite them to do a full, official author visit, now is the best time to do it! Remember, each KidLit Creator in the challenge is offering a discount on their speaking fees for the duration of the challenge!)

* Offer a 10% discount on their speaking fees to ANY school/library/group who mentions the Read Local Challenge (even if it’s not the one that “adopted” them)!

Schools/Groups agree to:

* Read along with us! With so many local authors and illustrators in 3 different challenge levels, we have something available for all readers.

* Share opportunities to meet with Read Local Challenge authors/illustrators in your area, or online, when appropriate.

* Show respect! We love meeting with our readers and making real-life connections. Please remember that we are people too, and show the same courtesy to our KidLit Creators as you would like people to show you!

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.


 Picture Book Challenge | Middle Grade Challenge | YA Challenge

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!

KidLit Creators participating in the 2020/21 Read Local MD/VA/DE/DC Challenge

Meet the 2020/21 Read Local KidLit Creators!

Read Local Challenge 2020/21 poster

Discover your new favorite book when you Read Local!

Frequently Asked Questions

(for readers) (for authors)

Discover books by KidLit Creators who live in your own state – Maybe even your own neighborhood!

White box with a pile of crayons in the lower right corner. Bold text that says "Downloadable Games & Activities." Activities is colorful, as if being colored by the crayons.