Our Okahoma SCBWI spring conference is next month!! This year’s theme is “Ignite the Spark,” and it’s going to be incredible. There’s a great lineup of publishing professionals on the roster, and I can NOT wait.
And check out this awesome poster for the event, designed by our regional illustrator coordinator, Jerry Bennett!
It’s funny that it’s only been two years since I attended my first spring conference. That one was in Tulsa, too (we alternate between Tulsa and Oklahoma City) and I was really nervous about it. I had only joined SCBWI a few months before, but I made a point of attending the Critique-a-thon in January and both OKC Schmoozes before the conference, in February and March, so I had at least made a few friends. I asked if anyone wanted to rideshare (partially to ensure I’d have someone to hang with) and got three lovely ladies who agreed to ride up with me. We left early in the morning and came back late that night, and it was hands-down the best day I’d had with SCBWI, up to that point.
Anyway, I still remember how scared I was about it. Having others around me who knew what was going on helped. I was worried about 1) driving to TULSA (the horrors); 2) finding the hotel; 3) knowing where to park; 4) knowing where to go when I actually got inside the hotel…
And this was all before I even made it to the conference room!
But luckily, I had friends, I had a new dress and new shoes and a manicure and a pair of spanx and I was ready to wow everyone with my shiny new novel.
And also scared.
And if you’ve never gone to an Oklahoma SCBWI conference, maybe you feel like I did. Or maybe you’re super confident in all situations and awesome, in which case, woohoo for you! Maybe we can hang when I have to go in a new situation next time.
In the meantime, I’m gonna post a few thoughts about what you can expect at an Oklahoma SCBWI conference. Your experience may vary, but I think some things are universal.
1. People are gonna be really, really nice and welcoming.
As soon as you see our crowd at the registration table, you’ll be greeted by sincerely friendly people. We’ll be happy to see you! We want you to succeed in your publishing dreams, and we can all make that happen together!
2. The speakers are excellent – informative and highly motivational.
Also, are speakers are actively looking for new talent. Even if they’re not living in a van down by the river. (But if they are, then even more reason for them to want your fabulous book, right?)
3. Our speakers are also wildly entertaining. Always.
At least, that’s been my experience. I’ve only been to four Oklahoma SCBWI conferences now, two spring and two fall, but I’ve never been bored.
4. You’re going to learn a TON.
The speakers WILL be incredible. Bring a notebook or laptop because your brain won’t even be able to take it all in at once. Your mind will be blown.
5. The speakers will be accessible.
I mean, you don’t want to smother them, but they will be hanging out at certain times, and you’ll be able to visit with them. For reals.
6. You’ll get to pick up some new reading material.
Both traditionally and independently published Oklahoma authors and illustrators will have books there to purchase. You can even get them signed and take a big pile home with you!
6. You’ll meet a whole lot of people who get it.
People who love books. Who love creating books. You know…people like you.
8. You’re going to get really, really excited about writing and illustrating for children.
There’s an amazing energy in the air at SCBWI conferences, and it’s contagious. Before it’s over, you will be super ready to do fantastic things.
9. And you’ll believe in yourself!
Shake off all the doubt because you CAN do this! You WILL do this! And it’s gonna be GREAT!
10. And finally…the FUN!
It might seem scary before you go (or maybe not) but trust me, it will be fun. It’ll be really fun. Yes. Seriously. As much fun as Rapunzel is having. Maybe funner. You won’t regret it.
So…will you come? Please? PLEASE?