Finding A SCBWI Schmooze (And Why You Should GO!)

Now, I know that as a children’s writer, you’re probably a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. (If you haven’t quite got round to joining, then off you go to pay your dues. We”ll wait.)

Okay, then. As you also know, with SCBWI, you’re getting a huge writing bang for your buck, what with all the online resources available to you. But there’s another resource for you, one that’s a ton of fun to attend, and where you’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with children’s writers just like you. Oh! And you’ll learn a ton about children’s writing, too! And did I mention it’s free?

I’m talking about a SCBWI schmooze, or maybe a workshop. They usually last a couple hours, and often, there will be a wonderful speaker (and refreshments!). There’s always time to ask questions, and if you’re lucky, there’s an opportunity for critique. And best of all, you’ll have a chance to meet with other writers that live close by.

You see, these events are brought to members by their Local Liaisons, people just like you who volunteered for the position. If you live in a large, metro area, there may be a dozen LL’s around you. A small, rural area may have only one LL. But whether there are 3 or 4 yearly events within an hour’s drive of you, or only one, I hope you’ll jump on the opportunity to go. Because that’s how you connect with SCBWI members, making friendships, making writing gains. When you finally get to a big conference, you’ll wave across a crowded room and say, “Hey! I know that person!” Or when you finish your manuscript, you may hear from a published friend, “Send this to my agent. Tell her I sent you!”

You may even meet someone at a schmooze who’ll become a mentor, a critique partner, or a lifelong friend. It could happen. So check out what’s happening in your SCBWI neighborhood and get your money’s worth!

(And if you live in the metro Atlanta area, join us Saturday, September 17th at the Collins Hill Library in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Vicky Shecter (CLEOPATRA’S MOON) will be our speaker, and we’ll have a First Pages mini-panel for critique. It’s 10:30 to 12:30 and rumor has it, the treats will be delicious! At least, that’s what my Co-Local Liaison Debra Mayhew reported. I’m just the LL in charge of ice!)