#LA14SCBWI Conference!

I’m not sure what it is about the SCBWI LA conference, but each year I attend, I seem to find exactly what I’m looking for.

This is my fourth year going to the conference, and each time, I’ve been in a completely different place on this writing journey… whether with my emotional journey or my actual craft/ability/knowledge of the industry. And for some reason, the SCBWI has always been able to reach me—to know exactly what I need at the time and refuel my tank. I’m always able to find myself again. To find what it is I want and what I need and where I want to go.

As we all know, sometimes that "magic something” leaves us. We keep working without really remembering what it is that’s rooted inside of us—that reason why we’re writing in the first place. And I’ve been to conferences that focus only on craft or the industry or how to get from point A to point B. But the SCBWI is different. They seem to get it. They focus on the magic. The art. The heart. The reason why we pour our souls into our work and spent sleepless nights crying over whether we have the ability to really create.  They get that it’s not only about the change that takes place within ourselves, but it’s that books change people. (A concept I could go off forever about, but won’t) 

Recently, I’ve had to face some difficult decisions as far as writing goes, and it’s because of this 2014 LA conference that I’ve been able to block out all the different voices shouting at me and reaffirm my goals. I've found that no matter what you're looking for as a writer, the SCBWI has what you need. Including friends. 
With the ridiculously talented Liz Briggs

I’ve connected with dozens of writers who really have become my best friends. (Each one of them much more talented and cooler than I) ;)

And now for fun pics!

And with Karen Grencik, who will always be so special to me!

If you're a YA, MG, or picture book writer, I highly urge you to become a SCBWI member. It's changed my life, opened up opportunities I never dreamed, and helped me take the necessary steps toward this crazy journey called publication. 

Red. Head. Out. <3