Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Work For Hire in Educational Publishing Series–with MENTORSHIPS!

Date(s) - 10/16/2021
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


No Categories

Do you want to make money from writing? Are you willing and able to write on assignment if given a topic, word count, grade level, and deadline? Then you may be perfect for educational work for hire!

Educational publishers need writers for nonfiction and fiction books, test passages and questions, lesson plans, and more. Learn about the options in educational publishing, what makes a good work-for-hire writer, how to approach publishers, and how to produce a good resume and writing sample.


Attendees will have two options:

  • Watch the webinar series and work on your own.
  • Be paired with a mentor who will review assignments. Those who complete the course assignments will finish with a writing sample and résumé as well as connections to editors. The number of participants at this level will be limited by the number of mentors. FULL!



$150 webinar series only, members.

$200 webinar series only, nonmembers.

Webinar series with mentor, members only: $400 total



The webinar series will be on 7 Saturdays, starting September 4 and going through October 16. These webinars will start at 2 PM Mountain Time (1 pm PT; 3 pm CT; 4 pm ET) and last 60-90 minutes.


In addition, a roundtable with editors or individual meet-and-greet sessions with editors will be scheduled at the editors’ availability.


An effort will be made to record all sessions for those who have a conflict. Recordings will be available for one month. However, due to the challenges of technology, we cannot guarantee that every session will be successfully recorded.


Key Points:

  • Overview of Educational Publishing: What is it? Why would you do it? Books, test passages, curriculum development, and more. Pros and cons of work for hire. The qualities of a good work-for-hire writer.
  • Getting work: Identifying publishers. Submitting your resume and writing samples.
  • Understanding publisher guidelines for assignments. Time-efficient research. Choosing kid-friendly angles and facts to include. Writing in the appropriate style. Writing to an assigned grade level.
  • Please note: This program cannot guarantee you will find work in educational publishing. Some students may be ready to seek work at the end, while others will leave the course with advice on how to further their skills through additional study and practice.



SCBWI-New Mexico is committed to increasing the representation of people from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in the children’s book publishing community, including educational publishing. These groups include BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with physical or mental challenges (such as neurodiversity/Deaf/wheelchair users), and other people from traditionally underrepresented groups whose identity affects their worldview.



Limited scholarships are available. If you are in one or more of the communities that are traditionally underrepresented, and also have financial need, please apply for a scholarship.




Part 1: Webinar on Educational Publishing – September 4


Overview of Educational Publishing. What is it? Why would you do it? Pros and cons. What makes a good work-for-hire writer?


Assignment: Review your strengths and interests. Choose a particular area to start your journey. Those who have mentors should turn in their assignments for feedback by the Wednesday after each class.


Part 2: Webinar on Writing Work-for-Hire Texts – Part A, September 11


Identifying publishers. Getting work: submitting your resume and writing samples. Understanding publisher guidelines for assignments. Choosing kid-friendly angles and facts to include. Writing in the appropriate style.


Assignment: Write a rough draft of a writing sample you could use to apply for work.


Part 3: Webinar on Writing Work-for-Hire Texts  – Part B, September 18


Digging deeper into writing work for hire texts: time-efficient research, appropriate sources, examining some successful texts to see how the author got there.


Assignment: Revise your writing sample draft and double check your sources and facts.


Part 4: Webinar on Grade Levels: ATOS and Lexile – September 25


What does it mean to write to grade level? Learn the main methods of checking grade level and how to adjust your language to meet grade level requirements.


Assignment: Revise your writing sample to an appropriate grade level. Advanced option: revise your writing sample to three different grade levels, such as third, sixth, and tenth.


Part 5: Webinar on Writing Test Passages – October 2


What are educational test passages, assessments, and questions? How do you find this work? What are the requirements?


Assignment: Write a resume and cover letter focused on getting work for hire in your chosen area.


Part 6: Webinar on Curriculum Development/Lesson Plans – October 9


What is curriculum development? How do you find this work? What are the requirements? (This field is changing – and possibly expanding – with more students learning from home.)


Assignment: Revise your resume and cover letter, OR write a sample test passage or lesson plan.


Part 7: Writing Is a Business – October 16


Learning to think like a businessperson: Tracking your time; How to choose jobs; Tax deductions for writers.


Assignment: Revise your initial statement to update your goals and plans for achieving them. List next steps, with a timeline. If requested by your mentor, revise and resubmit your cover letter or writing sample.


Part 8: Roundtable(s) with Editors – TBD


We’ll finish with meet and greet/Q and A with editors who hire writers for educational publishing. The number of meetings and the timing will depend on their availability.


If you are applying for the mentorship option, please answer the following questions:

 1. What is your writing experience to date? (Such as: What do you like to write – fiction and/or nonfiction? For what ages? Have you been published? Have you taken classes? Are you in a critique group? There is no right answer. This is simply to give us an idea of your experience and allow us to pair you with an appropriate mentor.)

2. What do you hope to get out of this program?


Scholarship Application

If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please answer the following questions and do not register or submit your payment yet!

 1. What is your writing experience to date? (Such as: What do you like to write – fiction and/or nonfiction? For what ages? Have you been published? Have you taken classes? Are you in a critique group? There is no right answer. This is simply to give us an idea of your experience and allow us to pair you with an appropriate mentor.)

2. What do you hope to get out of this program?

3. Do you identify as someone from an underrepresented group?

4. Do you have financial need? If so, could you cover part of the cost or would you need a full scholarship?

5. Do you want to only attend the webinar series, attend the webinar series and have a mentor, or will you take whatever is available?


Please email your questions to Chris Eboch at


Chris Eboch is the author of over 60 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. She has also written educational test passages and questions.



Sue Ford writes for children as Susan Uhlig. Work-for-hire projects include three picture books for Unibooks (Korea) for their English as a foreign language program, and seven digital readers for Compass Media.


Jan Goldberg served as a classroom teacher before launching her full-time educational consultant career as an author, editor, and writing instructor. She is the author of 70 books for publishers such as McGraw Hill Education and Rosen Publishing.



Fran Hodgkins has worked in educational publishing for more than 30 years. She has been a writer and editor in language arts, science, math, and social studies for a wide variety of clients, creating materials for students and teachers.


Cindy Kane was an editor in educational publishing for over 20 years, specializing in grades K-12 English and Language Arts programs. She continues to write for this market.



Leah Kaminski is editor and author of dozens of nonfiction books and graphic novels, for publishers such as Bearport, Capstone, Cherry Lake, and Kaeden. She’s also a poet and fiction writer.


Joanne Mattern has written more than 300 books for educational publishers. She also writes assessment and classroom materials. She has presented workshops on educational publishing and has written many articles for publishing market guides.


Paula Morrow has written more than 70 books, including nonfiction and fiction for all grade levels. She and co-presenter Jan Fields have made the Highlights Foundation “Writing for the Educational Market” workshop an annual success since 2013.


Kristin Marciniak is the author of more than 40 literature study guides, 20 school library books, hundreds of reading comprehension passages, and thousands of test questions. She has a special fondness for writing children’s poetry.


Sue Bradford Edwards has authored 30+ books for the school library market, including Black Lives Matter and Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA with co-author Duchess Harris.  She has also written test passages and online curriculum.


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Webinar Only Nonmembers - $200.00

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The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion. 

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