Hooray for conferences, hooray for making new connections, hooray for cementing old ones and for getting creative with the creatives!
Being at a SCBWI conference is like cramming months of excitement, information and geeky book stuff into a couple of days.
This was my third SCBWI Sydney Conference and every time more things click in place, are reinforced and some new words of wisdom find their way. I have condensed the conference and masterclasses down to a few insights that especially resonated with me:
Like last conference, I was part of the team of the SCBWI Roving Reporter with Dimity Powell our esteemed Papa Smurf. For more detailed information on each session read the SCBWI blog!
But, the most brilliant moment was when my conference roomie, friend, and author/illustrator Katrin Dreiling received the recognition she so deserves. Being a creative and especially being a full-time creative in the children’s publishing industry is hard. It takes perseverance, dedication, and many hours of questioning whether the low income is worth pursuing the passion while the rest of the family has to sacrifice some of their lifestyle along with yours.
Over the years we’ve had these discussions over coffee with the books of Where the Wild Things Are and Avid Reader as our backdrop. We’ve pulled each other out of a few dark holes and high-fived each other during brief bouts of sunshine, because after all, deep down, we knew it was going to be worth it, that in fact, we didn’t want to do or be anywhere else.
So, when during the dinner dance the Illustrator Portfolio mentorship awards were announced and Katrin received a mentorship award from Harper-Collins with editor Lisa Berryman, I together with the entire Queensland contingency screamed the place down, while Katrin quietly and totally overwhelmed walked up to the stage to express how grateful she was to have her work noticed.
I am sure many more doors will open for Katrin and I am thrilled that more Australian children and the world beyond will be able to enjoy Katrin’s art. You can find more about Katrin and her books on her website.
Many thanks to Susanne Gervay and her team of volunteers for putting on another successful conference!
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Children's Writer and Illustrator