I am a long-time member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (http://www.scbwi.org/) and a huge fan of their conferences, which I have attended on local, state, national and international levels. The knowledge and take-away value that you can get from these conferences is immense, but for me it's even more than that.
Above is a picture of four long-time friends (l. to r., Young Adult Author Linda Joy Singleton, Voice Over Artist/Writer Connie Marie Mustang, Picture Book Author Lynne Marie, Picture Book Author Verla Kay) who have flown in from different parts of the United States to the SCBWI LA Conference this past July/August, coming together to share our thoughts, experiences, laughter and tears while we hone our skills and keep ourselves current in our craft.
We have been rooming together since 2001 and although for varied reasons we have missed a few conferences over the years, but we're still together and going strong. Best yet, the conference (the 40th anniversary of SCBWI) is on all our calendars for next year!
Think about reserving your own table at a future SCBWI conference (start saving pennies, airline miles) and make your own party of two, or four. You will create memories that will last a lifetime, and be in the right place to make your own dreams come true.
My first picture book, "Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten" illustrated by Anne Kennedy is being released in May, 2001 by Scholastic. See, dreams to come true!