Saturday, I had a great chance to recharge my battery. I went to the Missouri Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) fall conference. Yes, it is work related. No, I don’t get to honor my introvert self by avoiding people, but I get to do something even better than that — I get to spend all day with people who love children’s literature as much as I do.
If you’ve never been to a children’s writing event, I’d like to encourage you to find one near you. Check out the list of (SCBWI) events here. You’re going to see different types of events listed. Not every even is right for every writer so choose carefully. Here are a few of the most common:
A conference is often a larger event. Some are single day. Some are multiday. There is usually more than one speaker. The SCBWI winter conference in New York focuses on marketing. The SCBWI LA conference each summer focuses on craft. Some conference are simply for information gathering. You go, you sit, you take notes. Other conferences feature workshops . . .
A workshop is very different from a conference in that this isn’t simply a session where you sit and take notes. This is a session where you do. A workshop on dialogue when involve writing new dialogue or improving on existing dialogue. Some sessions might involve writing exercises. Others might involve improving a manuscript you’ve already written.
A retreat is generally an overnight event. Some writing retreats feature speakers who lead sessions on craft. Some simply offer time to write or to interact with your fellow writers. The venue can be elegant — I’ve stayed in some very stately B&Bs — or rustic.
Read the details of any event you are considering carefully. A single day event can be easiest to work into your schedule. When it comes to multiday events, I have to admit that I prefer retreats to conferences, but only you can know what is the right event for you and when is the best time for you to recharge.
Check back throughout the week for more of what I learned at the conference. For more on recharging, see yesterday’s post at the Muffin.