For about two and a half years now, I’ve been a member of The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI – or ‘scoobie’, as it often gets called for short), and in that time, this organisation has brought my writing on in leaps and bounds in many different ways.
I’ve been to –
writing workshops run by industry professionals,
‘Meet the author’ events at local libraries,
author panels and talks,
informal meet-ups with fellow children’s writers,
Christmas drinks parties,
The famous SCBWI annual agent party,
and book launches to celebrate the success of fellow children’s writers.
SCBWI is also where I met my fabulous critique group partners, who always know exactly which bits of my manuscripts need more work – and how to tell me!
But this will be the first year that I’ll be attending the SCBWI conference, and I’m both excited and nervous about it. There are several reasons to be excited, including the fact that there’ll be loads of like-minded children’s writers there, including several friends, and lots of talks and workshops to give me tips and ideas, and help me to improve my writing. But – there are two main reasons to be nervous.
The first reason is that I’ll get the chance to sit down with an agent and get their feedback on a ten page sample of my writing. Of course, this is a really great opportunity to get some professional advice, but – what if they absolutely hate it – and, if so, will they be at least a little bit kind with what they say? Hmm, I can only hope so!
The second reason to be nervous is the fact that there is a party in the evening, which is Fancy Dress (or Flipping Daunting, as I prefer to think of it). The dog has never minded when I dress him up in hats, coats, jumpers, etc., and I think he would be completely unfazed by the prospect of a Flipping Daunting party; but it’s been many years since I last went to one of these, and getting an outfit together has been nothing if not stressful. But – I think I’ve finally got something sorted out. What is it, I hear you ask? Ha! You’ll just have to wait a little while to find out…