What I got from Lucky 13

‘Tis Tuesday everyone! The Federal Government may be shut down, but we are up and running here at As the Eraser Burns!

First off, I have to welcome October – one of the prettiest and most fun months of the year! Some of my friends have started their official countdown to Halloween and I’m looking forward to the onslaught of spooky decorations and fall colors. Right now, everything is still pretty green, though there are hints of the new season out there. Until autumn’s colors burst, feast your eyes on this lovely scene:


Also, can I just say how thrilled, excited and oodles happy I am that Larissa Graham and Shelley Koon will be joining us as our co-bloggers? You, my friends, are in for a treat! Stay tuned for future posts from them.

The last time I was here, it was still summer and we were getting geared up for our Lucky 13 Conference. And what a great one it was! I could list all the reasons why, but it would pale in comparison to the fantastic recap Laura gave us on Friday. Instead, I’m going to just talk a little about what I took away from it.

As one of our speakers, the lovely Marie Lamba wrote about in her blog yesterday, ‘social media’ was the buzz phrase at Lucky 13. Whether you were a published author or aspiring one, the need for a platform hit home. I fall into the aspiring author category and frankly didn’t think it was such a necessity. Wrong. Needless to say, I’ve made some changes and  started with my Twitter page, refocusing it on my writing. Following  authors, illustrators, agents, editors and publishers has made a huge difference. I’m more educated, connected and motivated.

Which leads me to my other conference takeaway.

From the faculty to the attendees, this was a wonderful group of people that made me feel proud and privileged to be part of the greater community. I know it sounds cliched, but it’s true. We have so much to glean, to learn from each other about all aspects of  the writing process.  Writing (and I imagine illustrating) is such a solitary endeavor that it’s easy to get into a frustrating rut.  At least, that’s the case for me. Keeping in touch with others, even if it’s in 140 characters or less, helps pull me out of that rut. We have some truly inspiring people in this industry who are creating some serious magic, despite incredibly busy lives and personal setbacks. Get out there and meet other writers, and not just on Twitter or Facebook. Organize a write-in with some of your  friends, join a critique group, or meet for coffee and brainstorming. Talk and share…then go home and write!

Tell the story that’s inside you  – whether it be in an illustration, picture book or novel – give it your all, because that’s what you’re called to do. Then let us know how you’re doing. You never know who you may inspire!

Happy writing and illustrating friends!


About Susan Mannix

Susan worked as a biomedical research editor for the Department of the Navy for fourteen years and has been a member of SCBWI since 2007. She writes young adult and middle grade novels. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time doing all things horses, including attending her teenaged daughters’ many competitions. Susan lives in Maryland on a small farm with her husband, two children, an adorable black lab, two cats, and three horses.
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6 Responses to What I got from Lucky 13

  1. I was so disappointed not to be able to make it this year. Really missed catching up with you all.

  2. Inspiring post, Susan. I agree that Twitter, especially, is great for helping feel part of the writing/illustrating community. And it’s such a nice community to be part of 🙂

  3. rsmith605 says:

    Unfortunately, I missed the conference. Sounds like it was a real blast.

    But I still have some good news for 2013.

    I just signed with Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary!

    The book is a middle grade southern gothic with supernatural elements.

    At least that’s what I call it. I’m sure it’ll change!


  4. Sue Poduska says:

    Congratulations, Ron!

    Just wanted to put in two cents for our unbelievable volunteers. Loretta Carlson does a lot of amazing work with the critiques. And Linda Jeffries-Summers did a great job with a convoluted system to get everyone registered. Couldn’t do it without Sue Peters, Susan Detwiler, Laura Whitaker, Susan Mannix, Shelley Koon, Tracy Gold, Lois Szymanski, Carolyn Griffith, Rebecca Evans, and several others I’m no doubt forgetting.

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