As a new member of SCBWI, I was excited to attend my first annual conference in Springfield, MA this year. Although I couldn't go for the whole weekend, I was impressed when I went to sign up for Sunday workshops at how many terrific options were available; even in just one day, I was able to pack my schedule with relevant, exciting material. I frantically scribbled notes and surely didn't catch every available gem of wisdom, but I finally understand Scrivener's Inspector Panel (thanks to Dee Romito); learned about Feedly, Hootsuite, and other social media tools (thanks to Matthew Winner); and started writing a novel in verse (thanks to Mary Rand Hess)! I even ended up sitting next to Jane Yolen at lunch somehow and babbled inadequately about how many times I'd read Owl Moon to my children (she was very gracious, of course).
At the end of the day, I left with the words of some very inspirational speakers starred in my notebook:
"The dream has to be matched with will. Getting in the door is hard, but staying on the other side of that door is the real challenge." -Matt Phelan, Keynote Speaker
"The author is the business person, but the writer is the creative one. You must protect the writer... Honesty and authenticity will keep you happy. Who wants to be someone they're not?...If you can conjure up the bravery to share [your stories], you will change lives. That's why you have to go home and write that book." -Lynda Mulally Hunt
The energy and inspiration found from sitting in a conference room full of people who share a passion for creating literature for children is like no other!