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How do I join? What are the benefits of joining CANSCAIP?

The benefits of joining CANSCAIP can be found here.

I'm already a Member/Friend. How can I get more involved in CANSCAIP?

Join in the industry discussion by following us on Facebook and Twitter. You'll find CANSCAIPers, publishers and agents all keeping each other updated. 

Want to contribute in "real time?" We always need more people to volunteer with regional leadership and events! Contact anyone on our friendly Executive to determine what you can contribute!

Why doesn't CANSCAIP accept self-published authors/illustrators as Members?

This ruling may seem somewhat unfair toward self-published creators, especially with today's improved self-publishing technology. Unfortunately, CANSCAIP lacks the resources to individually assess a candidate's work. Getting published by a recognized publisher or distributed by a recognized distributor is a reasonably objective benchmark of production and (especially) editorial quality.

Self-published creators are welcome to join as Friends of CANSCAIP.

Getting Published

How do I get published?

There is an appropriate protocol for submitting a manuscript or artist's portfolio to a Canadian publisher. CANSCAIP Friends can access the area of our website that features many articles by children's book experts and published authors and illustrators about different aspects of Canadian children's publishing. 

CANSCAIP recommends the Get Published! Kit produced by The Canadian Children's Book Centre, which includes basic information about agents, cover letters, query letters, manuscript submissions and Canadian publishers currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts. The CCBC also has an illustrator's bank that is periodically reviewed by publishers. Visit the CCBC website at

How hard is it for a first-timer to get a children's book published in Canada?

Hard. One publisher reports getting 2,000 unsolicited manuscripts a year. However, each year they only published an average of one or two first-time authors. Because the number of unsolicited manuscripts a publisher receives is higher in children's publishing, it is actually more difficult, from a statistical point of view, to get a children's book published than an adult book. However, there are always success stories. Also, even though children's publishers get more submissions, they are also more likely to publish a first-time or non-agented writer than other publishers are.

How can I get my manuscript or series of illustrations evaluated?

CANSCAIP’s Blue Pencil Evaluation Program offers evaluation of a manuscript or a series of illustrations (for a fee). It is also a good idea to check out writing or illustration classes in your area. Or form a critique group!

I've written a children's book. Should I hire an illustrator?

Generally, no. Publishers prefer to match up a text to an illustrator of their own choosing. For marketing reasons, they may prefer to pair a first-time author with a more established illustrator. Usually, an author sends a manuscript for consideration and an illustrator sends a portfolio of varied work that the publisher will have on file to consider when a new manuscript is chosen for publication.

How do I negotiate a contract?

If you are an illustrator or author, CANSCAIP has a pdf called What to Look for in Your Illustrator or Author Contract. This pdf booklet is free to Members and Friends.

Sample contracts and an information package can also be purchased from The Writer's Union of Canada.

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