Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators-NY: A Crystalizing Moment

I attended the Winter Conference of the SCBWI in New York City this weekend. It was one of the best conferences I've attended since I began this journey toward becoming a published author. I participated in a Writers Intensive. It consisted of reading your first 500 words (two pages) of your manuscript to a group of fellow writers and an agent or editor. In the morning, Kate Sullivan, editor at Little Brown lead the group and Tina Wexler, literary agent at International Creative Management (ICM) led a different group in the afternoon.

I left the Intensive knowing I was on the right track. I received very positive feedback from both groups. If you've read some of my other posts, you know this has not always been the case. I had a lot to learn and that is the point.

The positive feedback I received was a direct result of the criticism I've received in the past. We all want to feel we're doing an excellent job when we tackle a task. Sometimes that's not always the case. If you receive criticism you're not happy about, what are you going to do about it? How are you going to handle it? Are you even going to accept it or allow yourself to go into denial?

 I choose to accept it. That doesn't mean I was happy with it, but one's greatest growth comes not from the positive, but from the negative. It's the commitment to work and then re-work that brings change. With every criticism I received, I choose to sink my teeth into the work, understand my mistakes, and hone the writing craft to a greater level of perfection. No one is perfect, but one can reach a higher level toward that ultimate goal if you put in the work that's necessary. I did that and bore the fruit of it in the fantastic feedback I received. You can do the same.



  1. What an awesome experience to be able to go to NYC for the SCBWI Conference. I have attended the ones locally and have met some wonderful agents and editors as well. What a great organization.

  2. It truly is a wonderful organization. It was so nice to be surrounded by people with a common goal who "get" what you're going through. People were amazingly helpful to each other.


I enjoy reading what you have to say. Seriously!