Saturday, October 30, 2010

Top 10 SCBWI Observations--I Found My Tribe

Last Saturday, I attended my first children's book writers conference in Northern Virginia. I was nervous and exhilarated all at once. There were published authors, self-published authors, aspiring authors, illustrators, publishers, agents, editors, all eager to connect and learn more. My top ten initial observations were as follows:

1. This is clearly an industry dominated by women. Two thumbs up!
2. Everyone was genuinely friendly and eager to share experience and advice.
3. There was no overt sense of competition.
4. We like to eat--all kinds of food!
5. Of all the attendees, approximately 10 were men; one African-American.
6. Of all the female attendees, approximately 15 were minority women--diversity is craved and welcomed.
7. Many of the participants appeared not to be inclined to join the digital age; many that were joining were "kicking and screaming" their way into it. **Of course, I jumped in head first with a website, Twitter, and a blog--I was the unofficial digital advocate throughout the conference.**
8. Getting a book published doesn't make a lot of economic sense but offers an overdose of profound accomplishment.
9. Once you publish a book, it belongs to the reader.
10. Finding time to write is NOT indulgent; it is the bare essential that nurtures your craft.
BONUS: In the words of author Lisa Yee, "I found my tribe."

Stay tuned for posts on my MS feedback (including a pic with my author/advisor), notes from the funny and insightful keynote speaker, and advice on seeking out an agent--straight from the mouths of agents.

Always, Athena


  1. Glad you were able to get so much from your first conference. I agree with your insights on the digital age and have been trying to stress the importance of improving in that area.

  2. I've been a member of SCBWI for two years now, and it really has made all the difference. I can't even imagine where I'd be without my "tribe." So glad you had a similar experience.