Here we go:
If I haven’t expressed it in the past, I have to now. If you’re a children’s writer/illustrator, I can’t tell you enough how important it is that you join SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).
This organization is amazing. And it’s done so much for my career up to date. I just returned from the 2013 LA Conference—my third year in a row. I can’t imagine not attending this conference.
There’s something about this organization that stands out from the others. I’ve been to other conferences, but all of the events that SCBWI puts on are definitely miles above. Not only do they provide the best keynote speakers from the most revered people in the industry, but there’s a personal vibe in the air that unites all of us—regardless of status, genre, or age.
You’d think that being around so many agents/editors/well-known authors would create a standoffish vibe, but it’s completely the opposite. Even when you have a table war with the amazing Arthur A. Levine… right, Michael Pierce? (A long story) J
Before this conference, I felt myself falling into a funk. But emerging from the other side, I have such a clear head with what I want to accomplish next—not only with my next project, but with how I want to keep my mental perspective. Something changed in me this year… some sort of renewed strength that gave me a long term POV, rather than just the present.
Too many highlights to name, but aside from the wonderful classes, I enjoyed:
|The gorgeous Karen Grencik|
Breakfast with my amazing agent. I met her here two conferences ago, and I can honestly say I haven’t met a more brilliant woman. To get the full story, click here.
Meeting up with writer friends. You guys are my sanity! It’s so much fun to get together and talk the same language. Some pics:
|Ryan Dalton and Jolene Perry|
|With Jerry Bennett, amazing illustrator|
|Christa Desir |
The great thing about SCBWI is that you don’t need to spend loads of money to travel to the bigger conferences. There are smaller chapter retreats in your area that are amazing too. Every writer needs a community. And I know I’ve found a home with this one.
Red. Head. Out. :D