Being there, in that crazy hotel for days, it’s like writer’s summer camp. It really is. And I love summer camp. Some of the atmosphere stems from the setting and the schedule and the sunny days, but most of the camp feel comes from being in a group of such genuinely nice people. When I went in 2010, I knew nobody. I signed up on a whim and gathered the courage to cold contact some YA writers from Absolute Write, who were kind enough to let me room with them (that would be Corrine Jackson, Deb Driza, Veronica Roth, and Dawn Miller). It’s also where I met the entire YA Highway crew.
Amazingly, all those same writers and then-strangers are still good friends today. I roomed with some of them again this year, along with a wonderful YA writer I’d met at the Big Sur Writing Conference this past February. And I met even more incredible people this time: writers who are at all different stages of the process, but who are joined by the same passion of wanting to create books for children. I met many debut authors whose books will be coming out within the year, and I cannot wait to read their stories. They sound amazing! Of note: Gretchen McNeil’s POSSESS, Barry Wolverton’s NEVERSINK, Erin Lange’s BUTTER, and Emily Hainsworth’s THROUGH TO YOU.
I’m already looking forward to going back next year.
Oh, and the other great thing about SCBWI is the book sale! Since, I’m not only shopping for myself, but for my three kids, I brought home a ton of books…all signed by the authors and illustrators who are SCBWI members. Here’s a sampling of what I got.
For the picture book boy:
The chapter book girl:
The middle grade boy:
And for me!