I was a couple hours into the SCBWI 2017 Winter Conference when I wondered if I was done with it. The opening keynote speaker didn’t say anything I hadn’t heard before, same with the panel discussion, and my first workshop on middle grade novels was equally familiar.
But the money was spent so I stuck with it. The second workshop on YA fiction held a few fresh nuggets but it wasn’t until the evening social that I was glad I went, and not just for the Pulled Pork Sandwiches. That’s when I realized that, after four of these conferences on two coasts, I’ve made connections. I saw the regional illustration coordinator who I hadn’t talked to in months and, while catching up, saw an opportunity for the regional SCBWI chapter to connect with the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers, of which I am an active member and organizer.
I was a joke contest winner again and this time the prize was a $50 gift certificate to the conference book store. I got a few books, one of them by Peter Brown, and took it for him to sign. Turns out, were neighbors! He lives a couple blocks from me.
And there were people I spoke with for the first time who I may see again. As the saying goes, showing up is 80% of life.