Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You Tell Me!

In your opinion, what is the best site to find out about local conferences and conventions (children's of course)? Which is your favorite convention?
I don't know. But maybe my Anonymati do? Readers, I call you to the comments!


E.M. Kokie said...

SCBWI. Join your regional chapter and you will get the national and regional information.

The regional conferences are usually a good, less expensive and closer to home place to start attending conferences. Then move up to the national SCBWI conferences if you have the resources and inclination.

But joining SCBWI and getting involved with your regional chapter will give you local networking and local support, and I have found my regional conference a good place to begin my foray into writing conferences.

Then, you can peruse what neighboring regions/states are doing for their conferences and branch out if a neighboring state is bringing in an agent, editor or author you are particularly interested in hearing/meeting.

Lori W. said...

I agree 100% with Emily. SCBWI is a wonderful way to find writers who live right next door. In my case, I met a children's author who does indeed live four houses away!

The regional SCBWI conferences I've attended have been excellent.

Anonymous said...

I second that, SCBWI of course!

Aubrey said...

I've also heard SCBWI is great!

I think a good place is to just check out the continuing education programs from local colleges and universities. I went to one locally this year and it was incredible!

Anonymous said...

EA: "'Which is your favorite convention?' ... I don't know. But maybe my Anonymati do?"

Your favorite convention is a the ConFurence.

I believe that's you in the middle?

Christine Tripp said...

I agree with Emily, SCBWI is a great organization to join, especially when someone is just starting in this business. Mind you, there is always something new to learn from this association for even a seasoned writer or illustrator.
With the membership you can also access their forum, where they post conferences and dates, in the US, Canada and around the globe.
The local chapters often bring in Editors, Art Directors, Agents to speak.
For example, our Canada East chapter is holding the annual "Agent Day" this Saturday.
It's a great chance to spend the day listening to and talking to, lunching with professionals in the biz.
I'm hosting the dinner after the conference (OG must clean the bathrooms AGAIN!!!) for the volunteers, executives and the agents from "The McVeigh Agency" and "McIntosh and Otis".
Your local chapters will often have weekend writing retreats and such. For the small yearly fee, it is an excellent choice.

D. Robert Pease said...

Yup, join SCBWI. I went to my first regional conference a couple weeks ago. Fantastic!

Becky Mushko said...

What Emily said.

Sometimes, however, there might be other writers conferences that—while not geared exclusively to children's writers—offer several workshops or presentations for children's writers. They're worth checking out. A bit of Googling might turn some up.

df said...

Yes. And also, visit the SCBWI and Verla Kay discussion boards for more conferences & retreats, and to see what the chatter is about them.

Anonymous said...

Anywhere a bunch of needy hopefuls can ask me about my stuff while wondering how I can help leverage their stuff is a total party as far as I am concerned!

Steve Brezenoff said...

SCBWI seconded. I met my editor at my local conference last year.

Anonymous said...

SBWI...especially the intensive workshops that are limited in the number of people and are usually over a weekend.

Anonymous said...

I love the SCBWI conference. There is also, if you are in New Jersey, the Rutgers Conference. Attendees are accepted by submitting writing samples, so to a certain extent, you know the people you meet can write. (And, yes, I have know people who have submitted for years and still have been unable to attend Rutgers.) However, the downside, or at least it was when I attended, was that they don't really match the agent/editor you meet with your writing genre. I write MG fantasy. The editor I was paired with represented YA romance exclusively. Oh, well, it was an experience! (And, I'm not the only one who this happened to!)

Gabi said...

SCBWI is a wonderful resource. I'm a big fan of their winter conference, though I haven't tried any of the regional meetings in my area. This conference tends to focus more on writing and the writing process, though it does have some sessions that talk about the publishing world. Note: I think their intensive sessions are most helpful if you have a completed manuscript ready.

I went to the Backspace Writers Conference in NYC a couple of years back and it was also very helpful. Completely different from SCBWI (more focused on what agents/publishers are looking for and the publishing business, less focused on actual writing.) Both types of conferences are valuable; it depends on what you're looking for. said...

SCBWI is great. But you might also think "crossover" - most RWA and Spec-Cons have good solid groups of Childrens Lit folks attending, presenting, networking.

Anonymous said...

Just for the flip side -- I joined SCBWI with stars in my eyes, but found the conferences were way, way out of my price range (even the local ones that didn't require plane travel and hotels). I tried to find a critique group through them too, and couldn't seem to do that either.

So, it might depend on where you live or what you local chapter is like as to if you fall in "love" with them.

I second going to Verla's -- so much info there and superbly nice people!

Megan Maynor said...

I heart SCBWI too.

Here's another:
Children's Literature Network

CLN is based in Minneapolis, but events span the Midwest and beyond, including some online opportunities.

Watch your local bookstore and library for author visits (not a conference, but can be enlightening)

Check with area colleges or community ed for classes.

Another SCBWI tip, check neigboring states and see what those chapters are up to--it may be worth the drive for a great conference or even a weekend retreat.

Good luck!

Megan Maynor said...

I heart SCBWI too.

Check out what neighboring states are doing in their SCBWI chapters too--may be worth the drive for a great conference or weekend retreat.

Children's Literature Network
Based in the Midwest, but with an ever-expanding reach and online opportunities too.

CJ Omololu said...

I love the Asilomar conference/retreat out here in California every February. Smallish with LOTS of time and opportunity to hang out with fabulous writers, editors and agents. Small conferences can be great for meeting people.

Verla Kay or AbsoluteWrite are good places to hear about what's going on where. Use those airline miles and travel - I met my agent at a conference in Kansas City. I'd never been to Kansas City and didn't really know anyone, but I went because there were so many great speakers, and it paid off.

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