In just three short days I’ll be settled (hopefully) on a plane, jetting across the country to Los Angeles, California. Yup, it’s time for the annual Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference. If you’ve never been, and you are a writer and, or, illustrator of books for children, this is a conference to keep in mind. It’s a blast. Seriously. Great speakers, workshops, a Saturday night party by the pool, and the Golden Kite Award lunch, to name a few of the scheduled events. And the fabulous Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser, the rest of the SCBWI staff, and the always wonderful attendees add pure fun and laughs to the agenda. The attendees include people who have published, those hoping to publish, and those just considering writing for kids. All are welcomed and encouraged and inspired. I’ve made some wonderful friends at this conference. Fellow writers that I still keep in touch with and that I am looking forward to seeing again.
Sometimes magic happens at this conference, too. Last year, a good friend of mine received a wonderful review of her picture book manuscript and was nominated for the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award. Manuscripts submitted for individual critiques at the LA conference and deemed the most promising for publication get nominated. Exciting, right? And, a few years before that, my agent called me while I was attending this conference to tell me that he had sold my first novel, Dog Gone. After that call, I pretty much lost my ability to concentrate, but I still had a great time. Yup, magic.
If you are not attending the conference this year, but you are interested in knowing what is happening during the four plus days of fun, nonsense, and inspiration, check out http://scbwiconference.blogspot.com/. SCBWI bloggers document the presentations, speakers, workshops, etc. Following the blog is almost as good as being at the conference. Almost.
When I return from LA, I’ll probably be blogging about the long weekend. I kind of live with an SCBWI Summer Conference hangover for a few weeks after I get home—but it’s a delicious hangover. One that I savor. : )