Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thoughts on SCBWI

This past weekend was a huge blur of inspiration!  I attended the SCBWI summer conference that was held in LA.  For those that aren't familiar with SCBWI it's the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators.

The conference was held for 3 days and featured lots and lots of speakers.  They ranged from agents to art directors to editors to authors.  They had well established and newly established authors and illustrators speak and everyone was just as inspiring as the last. 
Here a few of my biggest take-aways:
  • Find your 'voice'"The only value you have is your individual voice."  - Justin Chanda
  • Tell the story only you can tell - "It's not about knowing what to do; it's doing what what you already know."
  • You can't just be good, you have to be great.  - "It only takes one great thing to be remembered and change the world." - Stephen Chbosky
  • Do better. - "Last year's success is this year's mediocrity." - Felicia Frazier
  • Reject is part of the process. Focus and Persevere.  One author had over 126 rejection letters before she got her first deal and this year she was being honored for an award!  So as Judy Blume said, "Don't let anyone discourage you.  If they try, get angry, not depressed."
I've been to a lot conferences and conventions over the years and I will say the SCBWI community is hands down the most welcoming of the all.  Even though everyone at the conference is competing on another to get the next book deal, everyone was still so encouraging.  The established artists whole-heartily welcomed new artists and made me believe that their is always room at the top.  It was something quite special.

If you ever get a chance to attend, please do.  It's absolutely worth your money and time.  Think of it as 3 day pep talk that will get your motors running again.

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