We are so excited about this year's conference - we have many a first!
It's the first time we have an author-writer with an author-illustrator sharing the author keynote spot, first time we're piloting our own TV style talent show, first time we'll be dressing up as pirates for the party in honour of our illustrator keynote, first time we have an industry keynote…
But perhaps, the most exciting firsts are those individual, life-changing firsts that only happened because writers and illustrators took the plunge, booked their conference place, their 121 and came ready to meet the fabulous SCBWI community. Here are some of those life changers...
"Well... I was lucky enough to win the Margaret Carey Scholarship which has been the start of many great things! I met and made friends with several wonderful fellow writers AND it sparked my relationship with my editor at Hot Key Books... I haven't been 'acquired' by them yet but I'm working with her on my book at present, so that's an incredibly positive thing! The whole experience made me feel like a proper legitimate writer (though I do still have name moments of feeling like a fraud/interloper!)"
|Conference 2014: The Friday Night Critique|
"Two wonderful things happened when I attended the conference. As an ex-pat, I was disconnected from my tribe of writers and it gave me a chance to connect with many wonderful Scoobies. I also met my agent, Julia Churchill, through a critique session. Wish I had the money to wing my way over there this year!"
|Conference 2014: Illustrators' Juried Exhibition|
Monica 'The Art of Puro'
"Last year was my first time to a conference, I had a wonderful time, I met a lot of interesting people and received a lot of good advice from great artists."
|Conference 2014: The Picture Book Panel|
"I met the loveliest agent in the world Gemma Cooper at the SCBWI conference. My advice for meeting interesting people at the conference generally is hang out near the bar. My second bit of advice is volunteer!!! I was so preoccupied with making sure all the invited guests had drinks, met people and were having fun that I completely forgot to be nervous about talking to agents and publishers."
|Conference 2014: A one to one with Gillie Russell|
Colleen Cailin Jones
I've been twice to the SCBWI BI conference and once to the SCBWI Europolitan conference. Hands down the best thing for me is meeting so many awesome people who are as deeply into creating great books for kids as I am. It's nice to get all geeky together and drool over the likes of Judy Blume or Shaun Tan or other equally amazing talents!
|Conference 2014: The Party!|
Clare Helen Walsh
I attended my first SCBWI conference in 2013 after winning the Margaret Carey Scholarship for picture book writers. I learned so much at the conference from guest speakers and break out sessions but the networking opportunities were worth it alone. I met my now editors Steve Bicknell and Kim Nye from Maverick who are publishing my first picture book on September 28th; aerodynamics of biscuits. I also met friends and a support network to get me through the ups, downs and turmoil that is writing. I saved all my christmas and birthday money to attend the 2014 conference and met the wonderful Alice Williams of David Higham and Associates at a one-to-one critique. She is now my very own agent!
|Conference 2014: One of the signing queues|
And you needed any more persuading of the benefits of the 121 here's conference chair,
It is WELL worth it. A conference 1-2-1 once got me all the way to ACQUISITIONS at a very big publishing house and an awful lot of top notch editorial advice all for free.
If it's your first conference we are all geared up to make it an especially positive experience for you, with 'Newbie Coffee' on the first morning and Party Newbie Hosts all set to make sure you feel part of the action.
So what are you waiting for?
Bookings are open here until November 7th.
|Conference 2014: Pop-up paper fun!|
Jan Carr is co-chairing this years conference with George Kirk. Mostly she hopes that people will have brilliant time, get their one or two of their own conference firsts and come back next year.