The first weekend in February, we traveled to New York City for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) Winter Conference. I've been to many teaching, blogging and writing conferences throughout my career, but I'd never been to this particular conference. In fact, I only joined the organization a couple of years ago when I wrote my book, The Jolt Felt Around the World. It's a wonderful organization that supports, teaches, markets and advocates for writers and illustrators all over the world.
James Patterson, Lin Oliver, Kate Messner and Jerry Pinkney were four speakers who offered empowering keynotes. The breakout sessions were also helpful and empowering. I learned about creating characters in middle grade novels, developing plots and dialogues in middle grade novels, the 10 principles of picture book writing, and so much more.
At the dinner, I met the SCBWI Carolinas group. It was nice to connect with other writers and illustrators from my home state of North Carolina and neighboring state of South Carolina.
I left the conference feeling energized and more knowledgable than ever before. The regional conference in N.C. will be held in the fall and I plan to attend. Conferences like this are important no matter what profession you are in. There's nothing like meeting other people who share the same love and passion for a particular craft. I'm looking forward to the next SCBWI conference and to crossing paths with many of these folks again and again.