Conferences are one of the best investments I make in my writing. Last month I attended the Western Washington SCBWI conference in Redmond, WA. I came away energized ready to plow into revisions and test out new ideas. Being around a group of people who shared an interest in children’s literature was inspiring.
Workshops ranged from writing picture books, making the first page of your novel count, and how to connect the plot points of your novel to marketing your book, getting an agent, and what agents and editors see happening in the publishing world. Each gives the aspiring author tools to help make his or her manuscript the best it can be.
There is also plenty of time to network, not just with the presenters, but also with the fellow attendees who may become a critique partner or just someone else in the industry to go to for advice and/or support. Visiting with writers- published and unpublished- allows attendees to hear success stories and lessons learned by others who share the goal of publication.
Inspirational speeches by both an illustrator and an author rounded out the program. Learning about their journeys was enlightening. The common thread throughout both talks was an emphasis on persistence and hard work. Good writing doesn’t just happen; it is the result of continual writing and revision.
Attend a conference! You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn.