Sunday, February 25, 2018

Why You Shouldn't Miss the 2018 Oklahoma SCBWI Spring Conference

About ten years ago, I decided I was going to try my hand at writing for children. I mean, how hard could it be, right? After all, I had spend my entire adult life surrounded by children's literature, beginning with my 2nd, then 3rd, then 4th grade classrooms, and in raising my sons.

     So I sat down and fashioned a story that I thought was really cute. I mean, it surely was the best thing ever written right?

     Wrong! I sent it away and immediately found out that it wasn't "industry standard" and "current market worthy" and all those words that I never even considered before.

     It was then that I realized...I knew nothing, and writing is hard.

     It was sometime later that, through an author visit to my school, I met Anna Myers. I informed her that I was writing for children (this was before I realized I knew nothing) and she told me about SCBWI.

     I finally attended a local meeting and discovered one very important thing. These people knew a whole lot more than I did. And then I attended my first conference. And left there blown away.

     Fast forward to 2018. I now have one book published, THE SURVIVOR TREE.

     This book would NEVER have happened without SCBWI. Through this community I have gained lifelong friends, knowledge in children's literature, and opportunities galore. 

     This year, I've stepped into the role of Assistant Regional Advisor. Folks, let me tell you, I had no idea how much work goes into a conference of this caliber. It's endless work, and our leadership teams, not only this year, but from all the years prior are to be commended. Anna Myers, Pati Hailey, Helen Newton, Jill Donaldson, Jerry Bennett, and a host of others have volunteered their precious time and paved the way for a writing community that will continue to grow, and strengthen.

     Our region has produced amazing and prolific authors, who have made an impact on children's lives.  And that, my friends, is what this business of writing for children is all about. I couldn't be more proud, or honored, to be part of this group.

     So, come join us!  See what you've been missing as we bring you the 2018 Oklahoma SCBWI Conference, April 6-7.