Become a PJ Library Author or Illustrator

Are you an author, author-illustrator, graphic novelist, agent, or publisher who has a Jewish children's story to share? If so, we want to read it! Here's your guide to working with PJ Library and PJ Our Way including exciting new opportunities below!

Illustrator and Visual Storyteller Fellowship 2023

In order to support talented illustrators and creators in developing books with Jewish content, PJ Library is excited to introduce the first international Illustrator and Visual Storyteller Fellowship in 2023. The fellowship will offer artists and illustrators the opportunity to create, connect, and explore together through a half-year, joint program with the National Library of Israel (NLI) in Jerusalem and the Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) in Vermont. We are interested in applications from artists from diverse backgrounds and locations. Applications are due Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 11:00 PM EST. Apply here!

Author Israel Adventure

The PJ Library Author Israel Adventure offers experienced and published children's book authors and illustrators an all-expense-paid experience designed to inspire them to bring Israel, Jewish ideas, and diverse Jewish stories to their board, picture, and middle grade books.

These 20 children's book authors and illustrators joined the third cohort of the program in 2022, and will embark on a yearlong creative experience including online meetups, customized sessions, and an eight-day trip to Israel and a writers' retreat in the US in 2023.

During the trip to Israel, authors and illustrators will explore the historical and modern country, meet with diverse groups of Israelis, and journey from the barren desert to the Mediterranean Sea. We will experience the unique vibrancy of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and take time for reflection, discussion, and writing, often facilitated by well-known local authors. Thanks to generous support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, the 2023 trip is central to a cohort year spanning from October 2022 through October 2023.

PJ Library Picture Book Summer Camp at the Highlights Foundation

Picture Book Summer Camp offers emerging authors a week of inspiration, mentorship, fun, and creativity on the beautiful campus of the Highlights Foundation. PJ Library selected 20 writers to attend the retreat in summer 2022 with the goal of bringing more Jewish voices and authentic Jewish stories to children and their families. Stay tuned for announcements about the 2023 program!

Highlights Foundation Scholarship

PJ Library is pleased to announce a scholarship program to nurture and develop authors and illustrators of Jewish-themed books for children. Applicants may apply for full and partial scholarships to attend a Highlights Foundation workshop or Unworkshop.

Applicants should be working on or pursuing a writing or illustrating career with a focus on Jewish themes. A description of your project(s) and interest in Jewish children's literature, as well as a writing or illustration sample should accompany your application. PJ Library is especially interested in supporting new and diverse voices with these scholarships.

To learn more visit the Highlights Foundation website.

Children's Book Workshop for Visual Storytellers: Exploring Jewish Themes and Content

In the summer of 2020, PJ Library sponsored a week-long intensive workshop to help eight visual storytellers create a draft of a children’s book or graphic novel. The workshop was held at The Center for Cartoon Studies in beautiful downtown White River Junction, Vermont and taught by CCS cofounder James Sturm and other CCS faculty. For more information about other opportunities, please visit the CCS website.

Tent: Children’s Literature

PJ Library proudly sponsored Tent: Children's Literature, a weeklong retreat for emerging and midcareer writers and illustrators of Jewish picture books, early chapter books, and middle-grade fiction. Creators spent a week at the Yiddish Book Center reading and writing, workshopping new projects, and talking about craft and the history of Jewish storytelling. The program offered intensive, multi-day workshops led by prominent critics and editors, as well as seminars on Jewish history, literature, and cultural materials. For more information about other learning opportunities, please visit the Yiddish Book Center's website.