I went to a writer’s conference this weekend, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Prairie Writer’s Conference. It was an amazing and intense day of break-out sessions and speakers and a chance to meet other writers, published and unpublished, as well as agents and editors. While writing is, by necessity, a solitary pursuit, the community of writers evident at this conference invigorated my desire to write books for children, and illuminated the path to getting there.
If that all sounds dry and very studious, let me assure you there was singing, cartwheels and much hilarity. The people that craft the wonderful books for our children are, in fact, stupendously funny. And entertaining. Even in real life!
Author extraordinaire, Cynthia Leitich Smith, gave two wonderful talks and in one she spoke about Craft, Career and Community. While writing is about the craft and career of writing and publishing books, it is also about the community of authors- sharing their works, helping each other grow in their craft, supporting one another through the years-long journey that a book takes from conception to publication (assuming you get there!). A true artist living the writing life, Cynthia’s talks were inspiring.
A heartfelt thanks to the organizers! I’ll definitely be back next year.