SCBWI New York City - Chapter 3!

The Society of Children's Book Wrtiers and Illustrators (SCBWI) recently opened the door to sponsorships during their conferences. Considering the International New York conference had 700 attendees who all wanted to learn about getting published as children's book authors and illustrators, our exact student demographic at Hollins University, we jumped at the opportunity! So, Mary Jane Begin and I headed to the Hilton Midtown in NYC to set up our fantastic-looking table in the heart of the conference.
We were popular! I wish I had more photos to share, but we were busy! I nearly lost my voice the first day there because we never stopped talking with folks - seriously!
     Many, many thanks to Sharon and Linda who made sure we had all the collateral we needed and that our website was linking to everything correctly! We had brochures, bookmarks, totes, business cards, pens, big banners, flyers, and table-toppers advertising our:
     1) New $1,000 scholarship competition for an SCBWI member to receive funding towards tuition. The entrance requirements are pretty simple and the deadline is March 15, 2024. CLICK HERE to learn more!
     2)The four fabulous workshops we're hosting this summer.
     3) Our new year-round MFA in Children's Book Writing and Illustrating option! (We still offer our popular summer-sessions-only programming too!)
     Yup, we looked GOOD! Which was a good thing considering we had a lot of interested people to talk to!
     Friday was a soft-launch day for the conference. Attendees signed up for one-on-one portfolio reviews, manuscript critiques, and marketing tips that took place all day Friday, so it was more of a steady stream of folks compared to the rush that was coming. It still looked plenty busy at the registration desk!
     Last year was the first time the conference ran in person since Covid, and folks were still a little shy back then; so, this year's conference felt like the real homecoming. Happily, we were invited to attend the private publisher's portfolio party Friday evening. Industry professionals from all the big New York publishing houses come to this party to mingle and look at the portfolios at their leisure. (There was also Free food and Free booze!) I got to hug so many people I hadn't seen in ages, but who I've know for probably 20 years at this point. The happy thing is, they remembered me too! I felt loved. So, it really was like returning home to the organization that I had missed while away for Covid and my studies abroad. And as sponsors, we had some lovely signage to help explain our new goals!
     Indeed, it was fun being there with a different purpose this time. I wasn't trying to sell a book; heck, I didn't even have a portfolio on display. I was there to represent Hollins and just get the word out about our graduate programs.
     The publishers seemed genuinely grateful for our program too, teaching creators to take themselves and their craft seriously, and to submit the best works possible. We heard that during one of the panels, a publisher said something along the lines of, "Heck, you've got an MFA program right outside that door, there to help you become a stronger creator. Go do that!" As a result, we had a sudden rush of attendees come to our table to ask about our programs. Teacher mode kicked in and we asked them to stand in a circle so that we could share with everyone at the same time!
     During the party, I got to connect with so many wonderful people. I only got pictures of a few and will share as more come in. Here I am with SCBWI founder, and dear, dear soul, Lin Oliver, and the head of Klutz, Netta Rabin.
Here I am with Dan Yaccarino and James Ransome (who will be our Illustrator in Residence at Hollins this summer, joined by his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome).
And I got to spend time with one of my favorite people in the industry, Paul O. Zelinsky, who I attribute as being one of the illustrators who made me want to become an illustrator! You probably remember his Caldecott-winner, Rapunzel.

     What a special day that was, and that was only the beginning!

Follow along!
     I'm in New York City - Chapter 1!
     I'm in New York City - Chapter 2!
     SCBWI New York City - Chapter 3!
     SCBWI New York - Chapter 4!
     Stan in NYC - Chapter 5

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