One of the fantastic things to come from my blogging is that last year I was asked to be part of SCBWI Team Blog - the group of bloggers professionally blogging the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators two annual conferences.
I love the SCBWI summer conference for a thousand reasons, but here are my top 5:
1. Community - oh, to spend four days surrounded by other adults who are as passionate about creating books for kids and teens as I am!
2. Craft - A chance to learn from some masters of the craft, this year's summer conference will include keynotes from M.T. Anderson, Jon Scieszka, Marion Dane Bauer, Gail Carson Levine, and so many more!!! There are workshops galore, and even premium workshops where you can focus in four sessions on one topic with an expert and get deeper - like the workshop on YA voice with Krista Marino, or workshopping your picture book with the author and editor Diane Muldrow, or writing and illustrating your graphic novel with Mac McCool. Check out the full conference schedule here!
3. Business - It's an opportunity to get the "real" perspective on the business side of writing and illustrating for kids. What are agents looking for? What do editors think is the pulse of the market? What do they need for their lists? How can you write a killer query? What's the best way to move your career forward? More than 25 of the industry's leading Editors, Agents, Art Directors and Publishers will be there to share their expertise!
4. Opportunity For Professional Feedback - The summer conference gives attendees a chance to submit either the first few pages (10 or 15, depending on genre) of their manuscript or their illustrator's portfolio for a professional critique - by either a published author or illustrator, an agent or an editor. Now, sometimes lightening strikes, and someone is "discovered" and eventually published through these one-on-one critiques, and that's a great thing to hope for... but really, the chance to sit down for a half hour with a professional and talk about you and your work and your journey to publication and beyond... that's an amazing opportunity! (Who knows who you might get?)
5. Fun. - There's a gala party on Saturday night - with costumes! (Theme: Heart and Soul.) There are friends from writing groups and your region and from previous conferences to re-connect with. There are lunches, and hanging out by the pool, there are drinks in the hotel lobby late into the night, showcases, jokes, raffles, and even organized socials (I'm especially excited about co-hosting the Friday Lunchtime LGBTQ Chat By The Pool!)
So there are 5 great reasons I'm going to be at the SCBWI 2010 Summer Conference in LA.
Register, and I'll see you there!