I recently wrote a reminder to myself that said, "It's how many people you help to dance." I meant it metaphorically, of course, since I dance wonderfully only in my dreams. But in that spirit I offer the following information to any wallflower writers/illustrators hovering out there on the fringes of the dance floor.
It's a conference, "Writing and Illustrating for Kids 2012" or WiK 12 for
short, to be held October 19-20, in Birmingham,
Alabama. It's sponsored by the Southern Breeze Region of the Society
of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the world’s
largest organization (22,000 members worldwide) for writers and illustrators of children’s books. But you don't have to be a member to
attend the conference.
In fact, my friends and fellow writers in SCBWI say it is the way to get inspired for success, to "meet editors and agents—and the friendliest, most supportive bunch of creative colleagues you could ever hope to find." Two things that make this conference most attractive: its small size and low cost. Space is limited to around 200 participants, and the cost even for non-members is probably less than a first-rate night on the town with dinner and (real) dancing!
I'm very excited that I'll not only get to attend the conference (my first), but also participate in the Friday intensive with Donna Jo Napoli. She's the keynote speaker, a linguist, and author of more than 70 children's books. (Read her interview here: http://writersandwannabes.com/) The intensive is a day-long, hands-on workshop to hone craft skills such as point of view and voice.
You might also consider registering for a formal critique. I did--another first--and I nervously anticipate it, especially since the manuscript I'll eventually submit doesn't yet exist.
Advance registration is required and spaces are limited. Tuition is $125 for SCBWI members, $150 for non-members, or $135 for students. Register by Sept. 10 and receive a $5 discount. The Oct. 19 writer’s intensive is $65 and the formal critique is $40.
You can find all the details and/or register for the conference at https://southern-breeze.net/
You might also want to check out the WIK 12 Blog Tour, where many of the guest speakers have been interviewed. Here's the schedule:
Aug. 15 Sharon Pegram at Writers and Wannabes
Aug. 16 Sarah Campbell at Alison Hertz’s blog, On My Mind
Aug. 17 F.T. Bradley at Laura Golden’s blog
Aug. 20 Chuck Galey at Elizabeth Dulemba’s blog
Aug. 21 Jo Kittinger at Bonnie Herold’s blog, Tenacious Teller of Tales
Aug. 22 Irene Latham at Robyn Hood Black’s blog, Read, Write, Howl
Aug. 23 Vicky Alvear Shecter at
Aug. 24 Doraine Bennett at Cathy Hall’s blog
Aug. 27 Virginia Butler at Bonnie Herold’s blog, Tenacious Teller of Tales
Aug. 28 Jodi Wheeler-Toppen at Diane Sherrouse’s blog, The Reading Road
Aug. 29 Ellen Ruffin at Sarah Frances Hardy’s blog, Picture This
Aug. 30 Donna Jo Napoli at Writers and Wannabes