SCBWI Europolitan!

Last weekend I was invited to speak at the SCBWI Europolitan conference in Zurich, Switzerland! I've always wanted to do that conference, so I was thrilled to go. My hostess was Elisabeth Norton (Elisabeth with an 's'), the RA for the Switzerland chapter and it fell to her to organize the Europolitan this year - a group effort between four EU SCBWI chapters. (It takes place in a different country every time.) Here we are with the Swiss Bear in the gathering space at the hostel.
Here was my nametag which claimed me as faculty.
I was invited to give my "How to Get Your Picture Book Onto the Page" workshop, which I did in Edinburgh a while back, and which has turned out to be a big hit. Here are all my attendees hard at work.
And all of them proudly sharing their accomplishments!
They worked on storyboards, mini-dummies, zines, and finally a full dummy. They all make great thinking tools!
     I also gave portfolio reviews to five attendees - always a treat to do. I love helping others where others once helped me.
     That was alongside the portfolio display during the conference. There's some serious talent in these regions!
I didn't get to attend any of the sessions as I was working on a book deadline, but the main reason I go to conferences these days is to connect with friends anyhow, which I did in spades! Here I am with Kathi Appelt.
And my new friend agent Molly O'Neill.
I also got to know folks from the various, nearby regions. Many I'd met before in Bologna, so it was so good to see them again and get time to sit down and talk.
     It was something the hostel was perfect for. I'd actually never stayed in a hostel before, and it was an absolute JOY! There wasn't a television on anywhere. But there were lots of tables and chairs, pool tables, foosball, and communal gathering areas for people to sit and get to know each other. If all hostels are this awesome, I want to stay in one again!
     All said, it was an absolute treat to visit Zurich and reconnect with my SCBWI peeps again. There really is a camaraderie with this group that is quite special. It feeds your creative soul.

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