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  • Writer's pictureJosette Abruzzini

Thank you, SCBWI!

This weekend I attended my first writer’s conference, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be going back for another. The winter conference of SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Book Writers, was held in New York, and in spite of being book-ended by two storms, there were well over a thousand agents, editors and authors sharing tips and encouragement. Here’s my take-away.

I am but one of many pre-published authors. Yes. I WILL get and agent and I WILL get my book published. I saw more than a possibility in the eyes of those I spoke with, and hope they saw the same in mine.

  • I mastered my elevator pitch. So many opportunities to share the story of my historical novel, and after a few clumsy attempts, my “quick description” finally found its legs.

  • I now have a better sense of where my book fits, and doesn’t fit, in the publishing industry. Because it’s “out of the box”, there’ll still be challenges in finding just the right agent and publishing house, but I’m better prepared to present it than I was before.

  • I already knew that agents and editors are like gods who have the power to make dreams come true, but they are also people who care deeply about putting wonderful books in the hands of children of all ages. And they enjoy making dreams come true!

  • In the non-fiction world, STEAM and STEM have momentum! “Yeah” to that!! Our artful books brimming with imagination, heart, and knowledge will bode well for ALL of our children!

  • I met my namesake! I’ve never visited France, so I’ve had few if any opportunities to meet another Josette. Actually, a once-in-fifty-year experience. And we’re both writers!

  • So many talented writers are committed to making this world a better place! I loved the encouragement, and I hope our mutual love of writing nurtures our new friendship for many years to come. There was a whole lot of talent at the Grand Hyatt this weekend!

  • SCBWI is led by a committed group of creative people, and its mission is to be a “powerful force to effect important changes within the field of children's literature”. SCBWI is truly there for all of us children’s book writers and illustrators!

  • I connected with several members from my eastern PA chapter, and even brainstormed an interesting project with an illustrator!

  • Finally, “SCBWI” is sliding off my tongue more easily!

A special thank you to Lin Oliver, Kayla Heinen and the many others whose organizational and inspirational efforts gifted all of us with a weekend to remember and a creative future that, whether or not we publish, will be more fulfilling! Fingers crossed!

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