I finally made it to my first SCBWI conference, here in NYC this past weekend …
To say that I’m at sensory overload at the moment is a bit of an understatement. After several panel discussions, three content-specific breakout sessions, an informal cocktail dinner, and meeting several fantastic pre-published (that’s for you, Lin Oliver) and already-published authors, I think it’s safe to say that it will be some time before I can process everything that has transpired.
I’m not ashamed to admit, either, that the scope of everything can be daunting at times.
But more than anything, I was struck by the community. As Lin Oliver said (to paraphrase), the boats all float higher when the water rises. SCBWI is the water. And for me to have been a small drop in the bucket was an honor.
The highlights included Chris Crutcher’s hilarious, and deeply moving, lecture about finding The Truth and writing about it, and Henry Winkler’s incredibly inspirational speech. I’d already seen (and met) Mr. Winkler at Books of Wonder the previous Wednesday … but the way he packaged and presented his personal story for SCBWI was incredibly uplifting and encouraging!
With respect to my own writing the bottom line is … I have a *lot* of work to do. Especially in terms of refining and revising my manuscript. More than ever, I am really confident about the story and my overall vision. But holy hell … I really need to do a lot more to allow that vision to come through for potential agents, editors and publishers.
At least I won’t be without something to do for the next few weeks!
Thanks again to everyone at SCBWI. And especially Kimberly Sabatini, who has a debut novel, Touching The Surface, scheduled for a September 4, 2012 release, and Jodi Moore, who has already published a picture book, titled When A Dragon Moves In, for taking me under their wings and helping me feel like I truly belong with the SCBWI family!