September 23, 2008

Writer's Conference

Having never attended a writer's conference (but always wanting to), I went to a SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) conference this last month. It was a regional meeting only an hour away from my home. It was invigorating to be with so many people working on writing in various forms. At my table alone sat a man with a full manuscript in a black notebook; an elderly woman who never sends her stories off; a budding book reviewer; an illustrator; an short story/article writer; a south African folk-tale writer; and me.

It was fascinating to listen to the vast differences in all our goals and dreams. Maybe I assumed every children's writer would be like me, and in some ways they are...we all love books, but in other ways our outlook's amazingly unique.

I kept my spiral notebook handy to scribble all my notes. There were so many great quotes "quoted" and advice pouring in. As I browsed the table of books, it excited me how many of them I'd looked at in bookstores. I was among real writers. I am a writer.

Sometimes, it still seems surreal. I'm only in the budding stage of my journey but I have high hopes of forging through to completion, whatever that may be. One of my stories will be coming out in a popular children's magazine soon and they are holding another one for consideration. Two years ago I was too terrified to send anything out. Today, I'm sending at least two a week.

I'm working on gathering my courage to finish and send my book manuscript to a publisher. For me that's a whole new ballgame, but one I'm ready to play.

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