Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Going to the Conference And I'm ...
Going to dress up as the Queen of Hearts. Yep! That's a not-so-flattering picture of me at the SCBWI (Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators) Summer Conference in Los Angeles this past weekend! This is my second year attending the conference, and I'm already counting down the days until next year. I thought I'd give a quick post on this conference, why I love it, and why I hope you'll be there next year to join me.
The people. The conference attendees and staff are absolutely amazing, supportive, and welcoming - from the budding authors all the way through the editors. The conversations are creative and inspirational, leaving you wanting to go off somewhere and write!
The Program. It doesn't matter what you write (picture book, chapter book, young adult) or if you're an illustrator - there is something for everyone at this conference. It also doesn't matter where you are in your career! You can get your manuscript critiqued by a professional, meet with agents and editors, do book signings for your own book, and even join the Pro Track to learn about managing your writing career. The panels cover everything from writing craft to social media to the state of the industry. It truly is a conference that grows with you.
The Fun. There are definitely some uplifting moments in the keynote speeches. I think I shed a tear in at least three of them! But there's also a ton of fun. There's Pink Taco for lunches and of course the Saturday night ball. This year's theme was Heart & Soul and I went as the Queen of Hearts with my two writing group partners (who went as "&" and an angel). If I have one piece of advice, it is this ... go in costume! I'm an introvert by nature, so I would've normally stood on the sidelines with my glass of wine and my friends. Instead everyone came up to me wanting pictures and to talk!
As a quick round-up on the topics discussed at the conference, I'd have to say that several of the keynotes covered getting through the slumps in your career ... the times when you're unable to produce or be creative. Lucky for us, they all pull through and come out on the other side! During the editor panels (which I went to the most) they continue to say that children's books are strong in the industry - in fact it's what keeps many editorial houses afloat during the bad economy!
If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask - I'm happy to share.