My first SCBWI conference.
The first time I heard about SCBWI my neighbor told me about it, in 1995! She referred to it as “ska buii” —I looked into it but I ddin’t get involved at that point. I think I belonged for a year or so. I remember having to drive into LA to join by going to the main office. It surprised me that the “Society for Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators” was based in Los Angeles. The book business was based in NY so why wasn’t this?
I wrote and then babies came. I wrote and then cancer came.
Now I am back and it is high time I see what I am made of. So I bought tickets and went to the Los Angeles Summer Conference.
Over 1100 writers and illustrators gathered in downtown LA with Editors and Agents and we learned. We explored creativity, expression, social norms, diversity, morals, values, and the written word.
It was inspiring.
I found myself inspired and aware and “woke” to the possibilities of my stories. Writers need to remember that we carry the story of our time. We awaken others to thoughts and feelings they maybe haven’t explored before. We encourage kids to read, think, imagine and become. It is a powerful thing.
Lois Lowry had the perfect answer for anyone who asks if your ever going to write an adult book, She said, “It’s like asking a pediatrician if she’s going to get serious and become an internist.”
We hold in our hands the future of the world.
We have the ability to help children see differently when they are still open minded enough to open their eyes to something unusual and beyond their experience. The gift is we get to do that while making it fun and entertaining.