Tuesday, August 9, 2022

10 Gems of Wisdom and Inspiration from the #scbwiSummer22 Conference

The banner for the 2022 SCBWI Summer Conference

The coolest thing about the virtual conference with so many breakout sessions (all of which will be available on video through September 11, 2022) is that you can choose your own path through the offerings, and go back and look at different ones! 

The takeaways and inspiration each of us gets from an SCBWI conference is unique, and so any list of those highlights is going to be subjective and personal. With that caveat, here are some moments from this past weekend's conference that have stayed with me:

Dhonielle Clayton had 345 rejected queries before getting her first YES. In her keynote, she said, "Remember there is a child reader on the other side of all this, waiting" for what we're creating.

In the Editors and Agents panel the discussion of some of the silver lining from the pandemic, including the decentralizing of publishing from New York city. And Elena Giovinazzo urging us to "Continue to be fearless in your creativity." And James Mustelier speaking about not being willing to wait for things to clear up to experience joy -- because things may never clear up. 

Jessixa Bagley saying "You'll always be able to find someone to discourage you." And, "If you love it, pursue it regardless of the outcome."

Dela Wilson quoting Deepak Chopra, "What you pay attention to, grows." And tying that into growing more diversity in publishing.

Martha Brockenbrough saying, "If your book is in your heart, I think that's the best path to get into others' hearts."

Lexie Bean commenting on their debut middle grade novel, The Ship We Built, "This book is a gift to my 10-year-old self."

Kelly Starling Lyons asking us to think of a picture book page turn like a "mini-cliffhanger."

Colleen Paeff's advice to "find your community."

Karol Silverstein sharing in her "Disability Reset" breakout how she learned the euphemistic words crazy and insane are disrespectful (and maybe lazy writing) after her book Cursed was published, and how she was able to replace those in the paperback edition. 

Donna Barba Higuera's advice, "Never forget who you are. Keep nurturing yourself, and your dreams, and the child inside you that needs your stories.

What are the conference moments that resonated most for you? Feel free to share in the comments!

Illustrate and Translate and Write On,

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