It's almost here! Tomorrow's the start of the sold-out 2015 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles.
Here are a few tips to get you ready:
1. Wear your nametag everywhere.
Even at the mall when you're grabbing some food. Or hanging out in the lobby in the evening. Your conference nametag is a great way for you to identify others of our tribe, and for them to identify you.
2. Do your homework. If it's too late for in-depth preparation, cram.
Read the faculty bios. Study the breakout session choices in advance. Make a point of hitting the conference bookstore early to check out speakers' books before they present. (After they present, their books are often sold out!) The more you prepare, the more you can get out of keynotes and sessions.
3. Stretch yourself. Look beyond your current silo (of genre, target age, etc...) for inspiration ...
Writers can learn a lot from illustrators.
Fiction can be strengthened with nonfiction techniques. (Just check out Deborah Wiles' Golden Kite-Winning "Revolution.")
Novelists can write Picture Books (Michelle Knudson, who won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award for her YA novel "Evil Librarian" is also the author of the classic "Library Lion.")
4. Be friendly. Make friends. SCBWI offers you a great community where you belong just by your passion for writing and or illustrating books for kids and teens. A community where others are happy for your success. So, remember to let others know you're happy for their success, too. And when the journey doesn't feel full of success, that's when your friends really shine for you.
5. Have a great time! Allow yourself to be proud - you've claimed these days for your passion, your career, your writing and illustrating. That's a huge gift. Enjoy every minute of it!
Got a great tip to add? Do it in comments, or on twitter with the hashtag #LA15SCBWI
Illustrate, Write and Conference On!