SCBWI Summer Conference 2013 – What I’ve gained and why you should go.

-Resources-Image-scbwi-logoH66W170A1The SCBWI LA Summer Conference is only one week away! I’m so excited. I’ve been packing for a week already. Next step — meal planning! I have food allergies. Eating away from home can be difficult. And on top of that, hotel food can get pricey.

There are a few spots still open for this life-changing conference extravaganza. Don’t delay! Register today.  (Sorry for the rhyme. Couldn’t help it.)

What have I gained from this event? One word describes it. As was featured in keynote speaker, Bruce Coville’s talk in 2011 — ripples.

Rewind to 2011 … my first summer conference. I didn’t know anyone. I went online seeking an SCBWI buddy in my area. I found one immediately. We started out as coffee buddies, and then conference buddies; now we are close friends.

Fast forward to 2012 … my second summer conference. I knew a small classroom full of people. And I built even more connections. This is the year that my big take away was “dig deeper.” They were several moments of bawling at this conference, but it was breakthrough bawling, which is totally ok.

And now it’s 2013 … I’m actually attending a Pre-Conference party on Thursday, and dressing up with a group for the gala (which I’ve always wanted to do.) Me — shy, little me!

This event helped further my writing career, feed my soul, and shed my introverted skin so I could interact with some of the most amazing people I have ever known. I hope you will think about attending. And if do, and you happen to see me, don’t be afraid to say hello! I love making new friends, and will be happy to help out if you are new!

I also wanted to share the following comics below created by Debbie Ohi who has a great SCBWI Success Story!! Her comics capture the pre-conference newbie jitters perfectly!

SCBWInewbie-01 SCBWInewbie-06kidlitchat SCBWInewbie-07editor

Ripples…One Year Later

Last year I heard the amazing, Bruce Coville speak at my very first SCBWI 2012 Summer Conference. Here are a few quotes from his keynote “Ripples in the Pond: Why What We Do Matters…and Matters…and Continues to Matter”:

“Start ripples throughout the world” and “You cannot know how you’ve affected the world; make ripples anyway.”

Powerful words, right? Every time I hear them, I my heart melts.

I threw my tiny rock in the pond in 2010. That’s when I attended my first ever writing conference, the Central Coast Writing Conference at Cuesta College. I met Children’s Book Author, Merrily Kutner, who told our class that the best thing we could do for our career was to join SCBWI. So I did…

Fast forward to July 2011. My little pebble sat in the pond, stagnant. I longed to make a connection. I gathered up some courage and emailed another local SCBWIer I’d found online and invited her to coffee. I was nervous to meet someone this way, but I took the plunge anyway. We connected instantly. We attended the summer conference as buddies and enjoyed every breathtaking keynote together. One ripple.

A few weeks after the conference, feeling more inspired than ever, I stalked the SCBWI Critique Connections board, anxious to find a critique group in my area. As luck would have it, a new one was forming. One more ripple and then after a SCBWI Schmooze — two more.

This summer I attended the Summer Conference again. This time I had made a few connections. But it didn’t stop there. This year I found my courage. My courage to write. My courage to look inside my heart and will my true self out, the one I’d suppressed for many years.  I spoke with agents and authors who inspired me, hugged me, and nodded my way with eyes filled with a ‘way-to-go’ like shine. It was magical. I met other writers from across the nation. This time, I can’t even count the ripples, and as Bruce said, I can’t even imagine what kind of affect they will have on the world. I felt blessed to have attended this year. My true writing voice is ready to ooze out of my fingertips onto the page. I hope to continue sending ripples outward, that all started with a tiny, stationary pebble.