It’s that time again, people. It’s SCBWI January conference. I’ve been attending this conference since 2009 and have only missed it one time since.
The January conference is magic to me. I used to go with hopeful expectations about meeting that agent or editor that would see promise in my work. Now I go to see good friends, hang with writing people, and work on craft.
One of my favorite events at this conference is the First Books Panel. This is where those who have published their first book the previous year get to stand in front of the room and tell their story. It is inspirational. It is beautiful. It is not to be missed.
This year one of own Tuesday Writers, Jonathan Rosen, will take his place on that stage and I can’t wait. It’s one of those rites of passage and he’s earned it. He knows we will all be cheering him on from the audience.
Also this January, my agent (also Jonathan and Marjetta’s), will be in attendance. Nicole Resciniti has changed my life, is changing my friends’ lives, and is just so smart. I can’t wait to see her. I can’t wait to pitch my new idea to her (yes, I have a new idea!). She makes me feel interesting and talented and worthwhile. Those are things us writers need on a regular basis.
I also hear from some sources that The Tuesdays will be doing a group costume for the costume ball on Saturday night. And it’s hilllllarious. Tuesdays rock. We are all in!
On Saturday, one of my good friends, Shutta Crum, will also be presenting on how to write books that matter. Shutta is such a great example to the writing community. She was a librarian, and knows so much about the writing process from beginning to end. She. Is. The. Real. Deal. I can hardly wait.
But most of all, I think for me, this conference is going to be about getting to be a real writer for the entire weekend. My third book (The Secrets We Bury) releases in March and I’m really excited about that. And this weekend I’ll be spending time with most of the people who helped me make that happen. Talk about finding your bliss.
So as I get to watch friends get critiques, I also get to hope they get to live the dream I’m living. I get to cheer everyone on. I get to clap for the Rising Kite winners, which will be announced on Sunday. And I get to hang with super cool, fun, hard working dreamers like myself.
Bring it on, Florida SCBWI. I. Am. So. Ready.