Thursday, August 15, 2013

SCBWI LA Reflections, Part 2- Goals & Statistics

For this post, I just want to share with you my first day at the SCBWI LA Conference and what I learned. If you are a first-timer like me, I recommend going to the New Attendees Orientation. Jolie Stekly, speaker for the session had us newbies answer 2 important questions:

1. Why am I here?
It had been my goal to attend the SCBWI Summer conference once I felt I was at my peak. I've read quite a number of craft books and completed a few writing classes. It was time to take my craft to the next level.

www.romellebroas.blogspot.comI also wanted to meet my online friends in person, network with others in the industry, and take home up-to-date information about the craft and business of writing. But the most important reason was to get a one-on-one critique on my manuscript. I belong to 3 critique groups and have had my manuscript critiqued at my local SCBWI conference, but I have NEVER had a face-to-face talk about my writing. I wanted to know what I could do to improve my skill. This was my opportunity to get that feedback.

2.What are my goals? 
  • To enjoy the moment! Did I ever!
  • To improve my interpersonal skills and practice my pitch whenever anyone asks me what I am working on. I did get to practice my pitch on a few friends and that was nerve-racking! I fumbled. But by the time I had my one-on-one critique I felt more at ease. That surprised me the most.
  • To have a face-to-face conversation with an agent, editor or publisher...about anything.  I just needed to get that experience. I've always heard people say that the SCBWI LA is where people got their break in the industry or have made connections that gave them that break. So I put it in writing hoping the spiritual laws of success would manifest itself to me. God answered my prayers. More on that later. 
Answering these questions really made my experience more meaningful. The conference was everything I thought it would be and more!
Our Hostess with the Mostess- Lin Oliver
The Ballroom

If you haven't been to an International Conference yet, you must! The following are some statistics that may motivate you to attend. Lin Oliver compiled this list and shared it with us during our welcoming session. She is as funny and witty as the stories she writes and she's got charisma that can keep this work-a-full-day-catch-a-late-flight-right-after-work, sleep-deprived, non-caffeinated attendee on the edge of her seat. Yessiree! 

Ms. Oliver was nice enough to allow me to share the statistics with you:

  • 1266 attended the SCBWI LA conference
  • 38% of attendees are published
  • 400+ attendees are first-timers to the Summer conference
  • 175 submitted art portfolios
  • 312 signed up for the writer intensives
  • 988 attendees are women
  • 192 attendees are men
  • 86 are undeclared...go figure! 
  • Attendees came from 46 different states and 14 countries outside the U.S. If you are from Mississippi, West Virginia, North Dakota or South Dakota, then you'd better start saving for next years conference to represent!

What did I learn on the first day? 
If you have to go to the Ladies' room, go during the Keynote and not when it is over or you'll be standing in line for a while, which will delay you from attending the workshop that is scheduled immediately after the keynote. If you are late, the chances are the workshop will be full and you have to scurry to find another one before that one fills up. Of course I waited until the end because I didn't want to miss the speech. And with nerves running high and the room temperature at cold, it doesn't matter if you try to do your thing before everything starts because you are bound to feel the urge to go again anyway. Men, you don't have a thing to worry about.  After all, there are only 192 of you.

Well, that's it for now. In part 3 I will give you an overview of the workshops I attended.

Share: What goals do you have for the SCBWI conference?


  1. Sounds like fun! Now, I need to find me one of those conferences!

  2. Sounds like you had an amazing time. Clarifying your goals is a great start of a conference because you'd hate to flying home thinking about the thing you forgot you really wanted to do!
    p.s. There's been a couple references to "more about that later," and honestly I'm on the edge of my seat!



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