Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference in Fort Wayne was Fab!

Jane Yolen and me at SCBWI conference in Ft Wayne.

Jane Yolen and me at SCBWI conference in Ft Wayne.


I recently attended a regional conference of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). It was held in Fort Wayne and was well attended with 300+ in Hotel Fort Wayne.
Author during book signing-- Franny Billingsly, author of new novel, Chime.

Author during book signing– Franny Billingsly, author of new novel, Chime.


The speakers were top notch – Lin Oliver, Jane Yolen, Kirsten Cappy, Alice McGinty, Caldecott Finalist Peter Brown.
Caldecott finalist and author of Creepy Carrots, Peter Brown, during book signing

Caldecott finalist and author of Creepy Carrots, Peter Brown, during book signing


There were many others—too many for me to mention—but special thanks to one of the people in charge – Kristi Valiant
Indiana SCBWI Regional Advisor
http://www.indianascbwi.com
http://kristivaliant.blogspot.com
Author/Illustrator of: Penguin Cha-Cha (Random House, 2013)
Illustrator of: Pretty Minnie in Paris (Random House), The Little Wings Series (Random House), The Goodbye Cancer Garden (Albert Whitman)

She answered a myriad of questions prior to the conference for those of us who had never attended. I’ve posted photos of the conference. A highlight was meeting Jane Yolen, author of 300+ books and even has an award named for her!
Her son, whom she writes with, Adam Stemple, was also there and they were so easy to chat with about their writing lives.

Another highlight was listening to marketing ideas from Kirsten Cappy of Curious City.

Curious City children's book publicist Kirsten Cappy.

Curious City children’s book publicist Kirsten Cappy.

I’m planning to implement some of them for my 9 non-fiction Middle Grade books.

I also met other writers like Pat McCarthy whom I exchanged my Taylor Swift book for her Friends of the Earth title to add to my school library.

Author Pat McCarthy holding her books.

Author Pat McCarthy holding her books.

Lastly, a pic of the Wild West (theme for conference) costume contest. Check out Baby Bump’s tiny hat– he may have made an appearance by now!

Members of the Ft Wayne SCBWI club.

Members of the Ft Wayne SCBWI club.


If you can attend a SCBWI conference, please do so. It will give you ideas, encouragement, motivation and
contacts.

Have you attended a recent writing conference? Which one and what did you glean from it? Do you know of an upcoming conference you would recommend? Please share.

11 thoughts on “Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference in Fort Wayne was Fab!

  1. Doris Rapp says:

    Wish I had been aware of this conference. It would have been great to attend. Maybe it was the same date as the book signing in Roanoke. I’m glad you had a great day! Doris Gaines Rapp – Escape from the Belfry – a Y/A novel

  2. Thanks for the shout out! I’m so glad to hear how much you enjoyed the conference. Yeehaw – I love the photo of the pregnant belly cowboy hat – our youngest attendee!

    • kayreusser says:

      Kristi: I wish I had snapped a pic of you at the conference to add here. Hopefully people will go to your blog and see your fantastic work. If you’re ever in FW, lmk and maybe we can gather some SCBWI members to meet up.

  3. Karen Mahara says:

    What fun! I am so jealous! I can’t wait to get involved in all those things. Thanks for blog and pictures. How incredible to meet Jane Yolen!

  4. Hi Kay – I live in Warsaw and occasionally attend the Ft. Wayne writer’s group that you do. I’d love to join the Ft. Wayne’s SCBWI since I write YA and children’s books. How do I join? Will Ft. Wayne have another meeting like this one next year? It’s very exciting to see!
    Thanks,
    Michelle
    Random Writing Rants

  5. Pamela James says:

    I wish I would have been aware of the conference. I really need to attend something like this. I would like more information. I am in the midst of a writing a Christian children’s book. It was really nice to read all about the conference. I wish I would have known. Thank you Have a wonderful day!

    • kayreusser says:

      Check out the SCBWI website and join it. That is the best way to find out about groups and conferences in your area. If you live near Ft Wayne IN, Let me know as I could connect you with some monthly groups.

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