This weekend I’ll participate in the annual New Jersey SCBWI convention in Princeton—as an attendee, but also as a faculty member. I’ll be giving critiques on novel, picture book, and rhyming picture book manuscripts, as well as poetry collections. I’ll also teach two sessions of a seminar called “Summoning the Muse: Let Poetry Add Precision and Punch to Your Novel” or “Picture Book.”
A lot lies in store for this weekend, including seeing some inspiring artwork, taking notes in great sessions on all sorts of topics for children’s book writers and illustrators, and hearing words of wisdom from keynote speakers Kate DiCamillo and Dan Yaccarino. I’m looking forward to soaking up the fellowship as well as the many lessons to be learned at the conference.
I’ve been working on a MFA in poetry with a focus on versecraft at Western State College of Colorado at the same time I’ve been exploring avenues and opportunities in children’s publishing, and a lot of cross-pollination has occurred in my own writing. The thought of the small part I’ll be playing in the NJ SCBWI conference proceedings is a bit daunting. However, I’m also excited to share what I’ve learned about versecraft with my compatriots.
This conference is another opportunity for attendees to cross-pollinate in terms of writing and illustrating for children, but personally, I’m also really, really ready to stop, breathe, and admire all the good things blooming around us.