I love weekends like this. In just a little while, I'm headed out of town and up to Cleveland, OH for the Northern Ohio SCBWI conference. Yay! I have never been to this conference before, but I have high hopes for it. Thinking back to the first SCBWI conference I attended years ago, before I really knew anything about publishing, it's pretty amazing to me how far I've already come. I went there completely alone, knowing no one and nothing about what was going on. It was a truly eye-opening experience to suddenly be in the same room with real agents and editors who had flown in from Manhattan just for this event. How exotic! It was also inspiring and terrifying to see so many published and hoping-to-be-published authors all sitting in the same room. I knew there were a lot of writers out there, but this really showed me just how much competition there was. Luckily, all of the writers I met were crazy supportive and sweet, and I already knew at that conference that this was where I belonged.
Now, feeling a little better versed in all things children's publishing, I'm even more excited for this conference. For one thing, I actually know people! In fact, I know enough people that I'm going to have to make a concerted effort to see them all during just one day. I'm even friends with one of the faculty on the panel this year, the wonderful Jody Casella, which makes me feel famous by association. ;) I'm also looking forward to the presentations and critiques. At my first conference I didn't know what to expect, but now I know I'm going to learn a lot and come home even more inspired to write.
Too bad we only have one state conference a year--I think I could use a little conference inspiration every month.